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Cyclo-cross News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, October 3, 2010

Date published:
October 03, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • CrossVegas the first stop for CXNC capers

    Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) spent the race with the chasers as he missed the break.
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 2:19 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Top ten contenders return for 2010 calendar

    The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar (CXNC) is approaching its first C1 event - CrossVegas - on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. The twilight race will showcase many of the nation's top ten 'cross contenders, including last year's overall series winner Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com).

    "It was awesome to go for the series but I don't think anyone starts out by saying they are going to target it," said Powers. "It is something people start to think about once the season gets underway. Last year I had a chance to do a couple of races that the other guys didn't. It shows consistency throughout the season from September all the way through December."

    The CXNC's 53-round series kicked off at the Nittany Lion Cross in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, on September 11 and will conclude at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Bend, Oregon, on December 12. Cyclingnews looks at the top ten riders from last year's standings who are scheduled to contest many of the series' races across the country.

    The Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com trio swept the top three positions in last year's series overall standings. The title went to Jeremy Powers, followed by US national champion and the North American Cyclo-cross Trophy (NACT) series winner Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll. Johnson had a good start to the season, winning back-to-back Green Mountain Cyclo-cross events in Vermont last weekend. Driscoll won Cross Vegas last year and all three New England natives are expected to deliver another strong showing on Wednesday.

    "It would be great to win CrossVegas again but I haven't been training specifically for that," explained Driscoll. "It was such a good opportunity for me to win but this time I won't be an underdog or be able to slip away like I did last year. I'm not going into it expecting to win again because there are going to be a lot of...

  • Albert to start 'cross season in Neerpelt

    World champion Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) wins the final round of the World Cup in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands.
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 18:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Top Belgians face off in Fidea Grand Prix

    The second cyclo-cross race on the Belgian calendar will see most of the sport's top names assemble in Neerpelt for the Fidea Grand Prix, but last year's winner and 2009 World Champion Niels Albert is still "only at 90%" after falling ill last week. Albert missed the opening round last weekend in Erpe-Mere due to gastroenteritis.

    Last week's winner, Sven Nys, will be back for the first race of the season to be broadcast live on television. "It's a very technical 'cross race, so if you win here you're set for the rest of the season."

    Klaas Vantornout will be looking for a better result than in Erpe-Mere, where he crashed out of contention, but is still feeling good about his efforts last week. "I unfortunately had a little bad luck, but I can feel good about it. The course was pretty heavy, and so it was best to wait until the final sprint. Many others clearly were going deeper than me. With just over two laps to go I accelerated and got a nice gap right away. I felt really good."

    Also on the start list are last week's podium finishers Kevin Pauwels and Bart Aernouts, as well as Bart Wellens, Radomir Simunek, Tom Meeusen, Sven Vanthourenhout, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Thijs Al, Enrico Franzoi and Philipp Walsleben.

    World Champion Zdenek Stybar will not make his debut in Belgium until next month.

    The full list of participants and more information on the Grand Prix Fidea Neerpelt on www.fideacyclocrossclassics.be.

  • Albert must postpone start of cyclo-cross season

    Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) finished the season with a tenth placed finish
    Article published:
    September 23, 2010, 10:42 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Knee injury forces Belgian out of racing for at least one month

    Niels Albert will miss at least the first month of the cyclo-cross season due to a knee injury. He twisted the knee in training last week and a hospital has now confirmed the injury, which he calls “a disaster”.

    Albert, 24, missed the season-opening first race last weekend due to gastroenteritis. He had twisted his knee last Wednesday, but thought he could still ride, until the illness struck.

    When he resumed training on Tuesday, he was unable to put any pressure on the knee. He had the knee check in hospital on Wednesday, and “they discovered a crack in the connection of the kneecap and muscle,” he told Sporza.

    The BKCP Power Plus rider may not ride for two weeks and not race for a month, and will therefore miss the opening races of the Superprestige series, the Gazet Trophy series and the World Cup. “If I'm really unlucky I won't be back until November,” he said.

    “My preparation for the season is for nothing,” he continued. “You have to see it this way: a two-week break means four weeks of training, three-week break means six weeks' training. I hope to keep it to two weeks, we'll see.”

    The injury has already pretty much put an end to his ambitions for the season. “The rankings for the regular races are gone,” Albert noted. He will definitely miss the first Gazet Trophy and Superprestige race. The first World Cup race is in Aigle on October 17. “If I'm lucky I can ride it, but I will have to struggle to get a top 20 finish.”

    "It's the first time I did something to my knee. For me, the fans, the team and the 'cross world, it is a disaster. If a winner fails, that's no fun for anyone," said Albert, who won the world title in winter 2009.

  • Boom to ride more 'cross races this winter

    Lars Boom (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 11:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider to use races as training for road

    Lars Boom is returning to his roots and will ride at least six cyclo-cross races this season. The Rabobank rider isn't turning his back on road racing, but rather using the 'cross races as preparation for the coming season.

    Last year Boom rode two 'cross races, and this year plans to ride six, starting in early December.

    "I want to try a slightly better winter training," Boom told the Belga news agency. "If I ride more races, I might get a better rhythm.”

    He was not sure whether he would ride the national 'cross championships, but said he would definitely not ride in the 'cross Worlds. “That doesn't fit in my programme.”

    Boom, 24, is on his way to the world road championships in Melbourne. He started off the year by winning the Dutch national 'cross title and on the road he won the first stage at Paris-Nice.

    Over the years, Boom has won world titles in 'cross as an elite, U23 and Junior. He has won the national elite title every year since 2007. In 2008 he won not only the world 'cross title but also the national titles in 'cross, road race and time trial. He was also U23 time trial champion in 2007.

  • Compton kicks off 'cross season in Madison

    Katie Compton (Planet Bike) rides to her sixth straight national cyclo-cross championship.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 22:08 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Knee injury kept US champion out of CrossVegas

    US national cyclo-cross champion Katie Compton will most likely start her season this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin at the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross opener. A still-healing knee injury forced her to miss out on a planned start at CrossVegas this week.

    While the final decision on whether or not to race will be made Saturday morning, Compton is hopeful to make the start and use the race to see if the injury she sustained in a crash during the team relay at the mountain bike world championships has healed sufficiently.

    "It was hard not to be able to race the kick-off race, but the knee is healing," Compton told Cyclingnews during Interbike. "I'll race one race in Madison and see how the knee feels for the second race."

    Compton crashed on a rocky section of the Mont-Sainte-Anne course and suffered a torn bursa and bone bruise in the fall on September 1, ending her most successful mountain bike season to date on a disappointing note. After a win in the US short track championship and a fourth place in the Val di Sole World Cup, the crash forced her out of the cross country race at Worlds.

    While more mountain bike racing may be in her future with an eye on the 2012 Olympic Games, cyclo-cross will remain her focus and she is determined to win the world championship which has so far eluded her.

    Toward that goal, Compton will be limiting her travel back and forth to Europe in order to avoid the fatigue which ruined her drive toward last season's Worlds. "I'll do five of the seven World Cups, along with the US races - the Madison USGP, the races in Ohio, Fort Collins and Nationals.

    "I need to get enough UCI points to get a good position at Worlds, but I need to balance that with avoiding getting run down by the travel."

    Her first World Cup will be in Aigle, Switzerland on October 17, after which she will immediately depart for home and remain there until the end of November for the Koksijde World Cup....

  • Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com adds Antonneau

    Newly signed Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com rider Kaitlin Antonneau
    Article published:
    October 01, 2010, 21:25 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    18-year-old made debut at Planet Bike Cup

    Kaitlin Antonneau is the newest addition to the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com squad and the first female competitor to ride under the banner since former Canadian champion Lyne Bessette three years ago.

    The 18-year-old cycling talent hopes that joining teammates Tim Johnson, the reigning US national cyclo-cross champion and current US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) leader, along with Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll will help develop her full 'cross potential in the season to come.

    "It's the best team in the country and I felt extremely honored that they were interested in me," Antonneau told Cyclingnews. "I met them last year in Toronto and then during the spring I received an email from Tim Johnson. I think they want to offer me the chance to develop to my fullest potential. All three of them are willing to answer any of my questions and help me out in any way possible."

    Antonneau turned heads when she placed on the podium at the International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned Toronto International Cyclo-cross last year, an event that was part of the North American Cyclo-cross Trophy (NACT) series.

    "She goes to school full time and races collegiate 'cross, road and track," Johnson said. "It will be great for her to join us at a few races during the 'cross season. I've seen her at some of the races last year and she's young, really excited, has great skills and we are looking forward to having her race with us this year."

    Antonneau is currently a freshman at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Last weekend she competed in the USA Cycling Collegiate Track Championships where she won the points race and was a valuable member of the winning team pursuit squad.

    In the same weekend, Antonneau switched from track racing to cyclo-cross and competed in the USGP series' second round held at the...

  • Nys' Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy ambitions ruined by off day

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) proves his technical skill by riding sections his rivals have to run.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2010, 21:07 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian affected by hot conditions

    Like he did last year, cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) got his cyclo-cross season off to a rough start. A year ago, Nys coped badly with heat during the first World Cup race in Treviso, Italy, where he withdrew from the race and had to give up his hopes for the overall World Cup classification. During the first round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy in Namur, Belgium, on Sunday afternoon, the 34-year-old Belgian champion struggled in similar warm weather conditions and once again abandoned the race.

    Nys missed his start on the slopes of the massive citadel in Namur. The Belgian champion came out of his pedal and ended up riding half a minute behind leaders and in a position just outside the top 15. During the following lap, Nys made up a few seconds, but from then on, he only went backward in the peloton. When trailing the leaders by almost two minutes, Nys withdrew.

    "This was my Treviso from 2010. It was completely the same story," said Nys to sport.be. "Due to the heat, I had to battle my own body. I was feeling nauseous before the start and that feeling didn't go away during the race.

    "Right from the start, I was feeling like I was sitting in my camper van. I was sweating like a mad man. I lacked power and had a complete off-day," said Nys to Sporza.

    "I'm not worried now because it was so extremely bad. The previous races showed that basically I'm good. I need to take time to recover and hope that next week's race in Ruddervoorde won't be too warm. The start there is at 5:00 pm, and I don't mind that at all," said Nys, looking forward to the upcoming races although he realized his chances at the GvA-Trophy overall were done.

    "Winning this classification is impossible. I have to put it out of my mind and try to make the best of each individual race in this competition. What happened today shows how consistent you have to be to win a competition like this," Nys told sport.be,...

  • Pauwels runs out of luck in Namur

    Bart Aernouts, Sven Nys and Kevin Pauwels on the podium in Erpe-Mere
    Article published:
    October 03, 2010, 21:45 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian earns third despite flats

    During the first round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy cyclo-cross in Namur, Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) was racing in the lead group together with world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) until halfway through the race. That's when his luck ran out.

    The timid Belgian had overcome a first flat tyre earlier in the race, but it cost him. "Just before the pit, I hit my rim, but I was unsure whether I just hit a root or whether I had a flat tyre," said Pauwels to Cyclingnews.

    "I decided not to enter the pit, but once I rode past the pit, I quickly realized that I had flatted. I thought about running back to the pit, but that would've probably cost me even more time. I think I lost half a minute during that lap."

    "Still I returned to contest the race, getting within about five seconds of the leaders although I started to struggle. Then when Klaas [Vantornout] accelerated, it was over for me. I'm satisfied with third place."

    Pauwels' teammate Zdenek Stybar went on to win the race, and thanks Pauwels' own third place, the Telenet-Fidea team sported two riders on the podium at the citadel in Namur.