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Cyclo-cross News & Racing Round-up, Monday, January 24, 2011

Date published:
January 24, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • USA men named for cyclo-cross world championships

    Cannondale teammates Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson would race for the USGP Championship today.
    Article published:
    January 14, 2011, 17:44 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Driscoll joins Powers, Johnson, Trebon and Page

    USA Cycling today announced its five-man team for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in St. Wendel, Germany. While the national champion, Todd Wells, declined his automatic nomination in order to focus on the upcoming mountain bike season, two other automatic qualifiers, Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson (both Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) accepted their selections.

    Powers, ranked 12th in the world, and Johnson at 15th will be joined by their teammate Jamey Driscoll and 'cross veteran and the silver medallist at the 2007 world championships, Jonathan Page.

    Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) rounds out the team after his silver medal at the US cyclo-cross championships.

    The five men complete the USA's 17-rider team for the world championships, which take place on January 29-30.

    Elite Men’s Roster:

    Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com)
    Tim Johnson (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com)
    Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA)
    Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com)
    Jonathan Page

  • No surprises in Belgian team for cyclo-cross Worlds

    World Cup leader Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) leads Kevin Pauwels in their decisive two-man break.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2011, 20:47 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    No Vanthourenhout in St Wendel

    The Belgian elite men's team for the upcoming cyclo-cross world championships in St. Wendel, Germany was reported today in sporza.be, and includes neither Sven nor Dieter Vanthourenhout.

    There were no surprises in national coach Rudy De Bie's selection, as he chose the top seven Belgians in the UCI rankings for the championships on January 30.

    The team includes UCI number one and World Cup leader Niels Albert, the UCI's second ranked rider Sven Nys, Pont-Château World Cup winner Kevin Pauwels, Kalmthout World Cup winner Tom Meeusen, former World Champion Bart Wellens, Bart Aernouts and Klaas Vantornout.

    Rob Peeters, Dieter Vanthourenhout and Sven Vanthourenhout, who injured his hamstring in Pont-Château, remain on the reserves.

    The excluded riders will get a chance to race at this weekend's World Cup in Hoogerheide. The team includes Aernouts, Albert, Meeusen, Nys, Pauwels, Peeters, Vantornout, Dieter Vanthourenhout and Kenneth Van Compernolle.

  • 'Cross world champ Stybar dreams of Classics success

    Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) en route to victory.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2011, 21:41 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Czech balances 'cross, Olympic mountain bike, road aspirations

    World cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar told Cyclingnews that it would be a "dream" to become a top Classics rider in the future. The Czech rider was speaking during his training trip to Mallorca, Spain.

    Stybar is currently locked in set of contract negotiations with team Quick Step and his current 'cross outfit Telenet-Fidea.  The contract with Telenet-Fidea will expire soon although the team has the first right of refusal on a follow-up contract.

    "It's difficult at the moment because there are some discussions between my current team and my manager as they're tying to find a good way to end things but we're getting very close to the end," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I want to ride on the road for Quick Step, and I think it will give me a lot of options for the future and that I can do different things, not just in cyclo-cross."

    Those "things" would include riding the Classics and competing the Olympic mountain bike race at the London Games in 2012, something that Quick Step boss, Patrick Lefevere, confirmed to Cyclingnews earlier in the month.

    "It's a team where I could do everything I want and don't have to eliminate anything and do my own programme."

    Worlds

    Before plotting a plan of world domination on and off road, Stybar has the small matter of the cyclo-cross Worlds to think about. As defending champion he will start as a favourite, despite enduring a season plighted by tendonitis.

    "I'm fine at the moment. I've been staying just over the road from the HTC team here," he said.

    "My injury is getting better and so far there's been no reaction and I'm satisfied that it's cleared up."

    Stybar missed last weekend's World Cup race in Pont-Château, France but will race this weekend as part of his final build up. For now though he will continue to train in...

  • Albert, Compton remain atop UCI 'cross standings

    Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) put in a blistering attack.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 21:17 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian men dominate nation rankings

    Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and US champion Katie Compton remain atop the UCI 'cross rankings, released today. Since the previous ranking from one week ago, the major event on the calendar was the penultimate round of the World Cup held in Pont-Château, France.

    In the men's standings, Albert, also the World Cup leader, extended his lead slightly over compatriot Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) due to his second place finish in Pont-Château. Nys, third in the French World Cup round, remains in second overall on the UCI rankings with 1,540 points, 163 down on Albert.

    Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea), who won his first World Cup of the season in Pont-Château, moves up one position into third. Pauwels' teammate, world champion Zdenek Stybar, skipped the World Cup race and dropped from third to fourth in the standings.

    Frenchman Francis Mourey (FDJ), 14th in the Pont-Château, remains in fifth overall with 1,054 points.

    Despite not racing since the Heusden-Zolder round of the World Cup on December 26, Katie Compton's 1,210 points were enough to keep the US champion on top of the women's standings. Dutchwoman Sanne van Paassen (BrainWash), winner of the World Cup in Pont-Château, remains in second place overall, but reduced Compton's lead to 70 points. Van Paassen, however, took over the World Cup lead from Compton and will likely clinch that series in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands on January 23.

    Daphny van den Brand (ZZPR.nl) remains in third overall, 245 points behind Compton, while British champion Helen Wyman moved up one position to fourth, 137 points behind Van den Brand.

    Belgian champion Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus) rounds out the top five with 821 points.

    Belgian champion and World Cup leader Laurens Sweeck remains in control of the junior men's standings with 150 points. Swiss and European junior champion Lars Forster holds second, 30 points down, while Dutchman Danny...

  • Kalmthout loses World Cup Cyclo-cross race

    Tom Meeusen out-sprinted Sven Nys to win the Kalmthout World Cup
    Article published:
    January 21, 2011, 19:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Date given to Namur instead

    Kalmthout, Belgium will lose its World Cup cyclo-cross race in the 2011-2012 season. Its place will be taken by a race in Namur, Belgium, on December 28, 2011.

    Kalmthout organiser Louis Van den Buijs told Sporza that while he was assured his race had again been nominated for the World Cup, "obviously they have chosen Namur."

    He added that he was not sure if the race would be held at all, "because we don't have a good place on the proposed calendar. So we are almost finished."

    The race was also the first in the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden series, so now organiser Christophe Impens must look for another.

    Neo-pro Tom Meeusen prevailed in the Kalmthout round of the World Cup this season, ahead of Sven Nys, who has won the race five of the last seven years.

    American Katie Compton took the women's race title in December. Daphny van den Brand, who has won six of the seven years the women's race has been won, had to pass due to illness.

  • Nys enters World Championships with low pressure, high optimism

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won the sprint for third place.
    Article published:
    January 22, 2011, 19:41 GMT
    By:
    Christine Vardaros

    Belgian back on track after flu bug

    As the most watched rider in cyclo-cross, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) is getting a break from the attention heading into the World Championships in Sankt Wendel on January 30, courtesy of a flu bug three weeks before the big event. Nys is thankful for the lowered pressure, but is the tradeoff of ideal Worlds preparation worth it? Nys assures Cyclingnews he has it all under control, both physically and mentally.

    "When I feel really strong for a whole period of races like in Baal and Tervuren and Loenhout and everything is going so well, you hope you can hold onto that condition for Worlds. But when there is two to three days of illness, it's not good. When I was younger I maybe panicked but now that I'm a little bit older I know what I must do to have a good feeling at World Championships when I have two weeks of time to work with – that's what I'm hoping," explains Nys.

    With a little more than a week to get to top form, Nys remains optimistic. "The form is not perfect at the moment. It's difficult to have the really good feeling back in a short period, but it's getting better every day. This week I mostly trained on the road. I also trained a lot behind the motorcycle for the speed and distance. The last of my preparation I'll get in the races this weekend. I hope I can race at Hoogerheide again for the podium. If I can, then I think I will be ready for the World Championships."

    Paralleling his returning fitness, his motivation is coming along nicely. Part of this is due to the event's location where Nys has had much success in the past, including his sole Elite World Cyclo-Cross Championship victory in 2005. "I also won the World Cup in Sankt Wendel the year before I won Worlds there. And I had a strong race at the Mountain Bike European Championships there [in 2008 – 16th place]. Of course that's good for my mind."

    As for his competitors who are feeling the increased pressure from press and media, Nys says, "Niels...

  • Vos aiming for fourth rainbow at 'cross worlds

    Marianne Vos heads to the win in Pont-Château
    Article published:
    January 22, 2011, 22:18 GMT
    By:
    Christine Vardaros

    Dutch champion to trade 'cross bike for track in February

    While current world cyclo-cross champion Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) may have had an abbreviated 'cross season, her results were nothing short of impressive. Of the eight races she entered since the middle of December, she has been on the podium every time, including four first places, one of which her first ever Dutch National Championship title.

    Her most recent victory was in Pont Château, France last weekend. It was her first World Cup win of the season, and not so coincidentally, it was also the first World Cup this season where she had a first-row starting position thanks to her quick collection of UCI points over the short month of competing.

    "In Pont-Château I was able to race my own race from start to finish. But in my first two World Cup events, I started off with chasing other riders," explained Vos to Cyclingnews from Gran Canaria where she is training for a week with the Dutch National Road Team.

    Going into World Championships, held January 30 in Sankt Wendel, Germany, Vos is naturally feeling solid about her chances to earn a fourth World Cyclo-Cross Championship title. "Until now my season is going how I hoped and I have done the training I wanted to do, so I'm looking forward to the race.

    "I've done Worlds in Sankt Wendel six years ago and I liked the course. It's hilly and hard because there's not much recuperation. Of course, depending on the weather, it can be slippery, muddy or fast. But I don't really mind what the conditions are," said Vos.

    Her biggest challenge is expected to come from USA rider Katie Compton (Planet Bike) who has won all four World Cups she entered this season. When asked about the expected battle between her and Compton, Vos says, "Compton dominated the races she did and I'm the current World Champion, so it not strange people talk about this duel between us."

    What will be different about this duel, though, is that it will be the first time...

  • German team for Cross Worlds announced

    German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP Powerplus) up with the leaders.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2011, 13:43 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    German champions Walsleben and Kupfernagel head the line-up

    The German cycling federation BDR has released the final nominations for the upcoming Cross Worlds in Sankt Wendel on January 29 and 30. After the last World Cup event in Hoogherheide, Netherlands, both German champions Philipp Walsleben and Hanka Kupfernagel will lead their teams in the quest of the rainbow jersey.

    In the Elite Men category, former U23 world champion Walsleben (BKCP Power Plus) will count on René Birkenfeld (Dresdner RC), Christoph Pfingsten (Cyclingteam de Rijke), Johannes Sickmüller (Stevens Racing Team) and Sankt Wendel native Sascha Weber (Stevens Racing Team).

    In the Women's category, the four-time world champion Kupfernagel (Radsport Rhein-Neckar) will be captaining Elisabeth Brandau (Central Haibike ProTeam), Sabrina Schweizer (RU Wangen), Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike) and Martina Zwick (Abus-Nutrixxion).

    The Espoir squad comprises Fabian Danner (RU Wangen), Marcel Meisen (Eddy Merckx-Indeland), Ole Quast (Harvestehuder RV), Michael Schweizer (Harvestehuder RV) and Walsleben's younger brother, Max Walsleben (SSV Gera).

    Competing in the Junior event will be Jan Dieteren (SSG Bensheim), Yannick Eckmann (SV Kirchzarten), Yannick Gruner (RC Endspurt Herford), Silvio Herklotz (RSC Werner Otto Berlin) and Julian Lehmann (Harburger RG).