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Cyclocross news & racing round-up for December 4, 2005

Date published:
December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • Global 'cross racing round-up

    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    ...

  • Queen Ann: The Barabara Howe diary

    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Guys - ever want to know what really happens when two women get together and talk? Barbara Howe...

    Guys - ever want to know what really happens when two women get together and talk? Barbara Howe gives us an inside look in this week's diary...

    The newest addition to the Velo Bella Elite cyclocross team is Ann Fitzsimmons. She currently resides in Morgan Hill, California with her husband Mark. Best known for her downhill exploits, she's making a name for herself as 'cross racer. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann Sunday evening after her second win of the season.

    Barbarella: Ok, so let's get through the normal stuff first then onto the fun questions. How long have you been racing bikes?

    Ann Fitzsimmons: (long pause). Mmmm... I did my first cross-country race in '98 .

    BH: And when did you start racing downhill?

    AF:I started in 2003, it was thrilling and I love gravity.

    BH: How about the clothing, were you attracted to the non-lycra downhill look?

    AF: Actually I don't like downhill clothing at all, I find all the armor and full-face helmet restrictive.

    BH: Like a medieval knight?

    AF: More like a football player.

    Read the entire Barbara Howe diary here.

  • Seattle's Emerald City Cyclocross wraps this weekend

    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    With only one race remaining in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series, the final race at Kelly Creek...

    With only one race remaining in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series, the final race at Kelly Creek Farms in Sumner, Washington (worth double series points), will determine the leader of the 2005 series. Only six points separate the top three spots currently occupied by Josh Squires (Recycled Cycles), Richard McClung (Broadmark Capital) and John Christian-Flack (the Valley).

    Coming off an impressive third place at the U-23 race in San Francisco, Morgan Schmitt riding for Redline has been one of the key riders in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series. While still a devoted member of his fraternity, Schmitt has acknowledged that moving out of the frat house this year has allowed him to focus more on school and cycling. This has resulted in numerous top three finishes at races throughout the series and a win at the always challenging Fort Steilacom course in Tacoma, Washington. During most of the season, Schmitt has dueled with the other riders in the top four of the Emerald City Cyclocross Series: Josh Squires, Rich McClung and John Christian Flack.

    After retiring from the elite road racing scene, Richard McClung (Broadmark Capital) has focused exclusively on cyclocross, except for the team time trial this summer, setting his sights on the Masters 40-45 National Title in Providence next month. With more than twenty years of racing under his belt, including years of US national team experience, McClung moved to the Seattle area only a few years ago and has become staple of the Pacific Northwest racing scene. With a focus on high RPM leg speed and focusing on the basics in training, McClung has pulled through with big wins, like the State Time Trial Championships, on little more than home made poster board disk wheels and the usual pre race meal of a Coke and Snickers. Until recently, McClung had a consistent streak of races in the Emerald City Cyclocross Series where he finished in the top three. Favoring fast, flowing courses like next week's Kelly...

  • Rhode Island Hosts Verge NECCS Finals

    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    A state better known for its yacht racing, Rhode Island will become the center of American...

    A state better known for its yacht racing, Rhode Island will become the center of American cyclo-cross with this coming weekend's Verge New England Championships Cyclo-Cross Series Finals, the W.E. Stedman Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross, on Saturday, and the Castor's Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross, on Sunday. Building up to the following weekend's Liberty Mutual U.S. National Championships, the Ocean State twin bill will provide perfect preparation for Nationals as well as a race-heavy end to the six-race Verge NECCS. With top riders from all across the U.S. flying in to get a final shot of racing before Nationals, overall Verge NECCS winner's will be decided in Warwick on Sunday

    “I can tell you that Castor's GP organizer Matt Bodziony and I are very proud and excited to be hosting the Rhode Island Race Weekend,” says Joel Brown, organizer of Saturday's W.E. Stedman GP. “Who would have ever thought that Rhode Island would become the epicenter of US cyclo-cross!? This coming week, Rhode Island will indeed be ‘The biggest little state in the Union.'”

    Coming into the Rhode Island “double dip” Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) maintains a slim 15 point series lead over four-time defending Verge NECCS champion Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar), but with double points on offer for Sunday's race an off-day for either rider could prove decisive. While Johnson and McCormack concentrate on racing each other for the Verge NECCS crown, non-title contenders Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai), winner of the final USGP, Barry Wicks (Kona), winner of the USGP #5, and Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly-Pool Gel) may well throw a few wrenches into the overall points chase. Michael Cody and Matt White (both Fior di Frutta) sit fourth and fifth, respectively, in the points hunt and could steal a few decisive points from either Johnson or McCormack. Under-23 Series leader Jesse Anthony (Team Clif Bar) has cinched up his Verge NECCS title and...

  • TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar riders heading to Europe

    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    With a successful US race season wrapping up and the all-important national championships looming in...

    With a successful US race season wrapping up and the all-important national championships looming in early December, four members of the TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar cyclocross team have been selected to join US national cyclocross coach Geoff Proctor at his prestigious Euro Camp III. The riders are Alex Howes and Danny Summerhill as juniors, along with Brady Kappius and Troy Wells in the U23 ranks.

    Based in Belgium and running from December 22 until January 5, the camp is intended to give the top tier of US 'cross racers the chance to compete against the world's best in the heartland of cross during the holiday rush of 'cross racing. Each rider will be able to race up to seven times at World Cup, Superprestige, and GVA Series events, with most riders attending the camp going on to compete at the world championships in Zeddam, The Netherlands on January 28-29.

  • Horner looking for upset at 'cross nationals

    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    A newcomer to cyclo-cross, Tour de France star Chris Horner, will line up to race at the Liberty...

    A newcomer to cyclo-cross, Tour de France star Chris Horner, will line up to race at the Liberty Mutual US national Cyclocross championships. Horner recently made his cyclo-cross debut at the final two races in the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross in California where he started from the middle of the pack and placed 13th and 11th respectively over the two races. "I had a blast," Horner told the crowd after the final race in San Francisco, "I think this suits me."

    Horner will step to the start of the elite race on December 10 to match skills with the likes of Jonathan Page, Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, Adam Craig, Todd Wells, and Mark McCormack. The men's elite race is set to start at 3 p.m. on December 10.

    For the complete race schedule and information about the Liberty Mutual U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships, visit www.cyclocrossnationals.com.

  • Gearworks 'cross wrap-up: Johnson & Bessette swoop in the snow

    Tim Johnson (cyclocrossworld.com-louisgarneau)
    Article published:
    December 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Billed as a sneak preview of the course for December's National Championships in Rhode Island,...

    Billed as a sneak preview of the course for December's National Championships in Rhode Island, Saturday's Gearworks Bay State Cyclocross, round four of the 2005 Verge New England Championships Cyclocross Series, presented by Cycle-Smart, added an extra bit of intrigue: a healthy blanket of snow. The Sterling, Mass. course, designed by National's course guru Tom Stevens, was already challenging before the four inches of white fluff came down on Thanksgiving Day, but the added element of dodgy traction and sub-freezing temps made for an epic day in the fourth race of the 2005 Verge NECCS.

    Verge NECCS Elite Men's points leader Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) reveled in the slick conditions, taking a solid victory over four-time defending Verge NECCS champ Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar). McCormack's teammate Jesse Anthony got the action started on the first lap as the Under-23 Series leader pushed the pace hard going into the race's main run-up. With McCormack falling back due to technical bobble in the treacherous conditions, Anthony and Johnson were on their own. Johnson powered away from Anthony on lap three, cracking open a lead that, while seriously threatened in the waning laps, never disintegrated totally.

    McCormack fought back in the closing four laps, trimming Johnson's margin down to a mere six seconds with two laps to go. But while McCormack could see Johnson he couldn't catch Johnson, who goosed the pace just enough to make a last-lap lead change impossible. McCormack settled for a credible second, while Johnson solidified his overall Series lead. Anthony rounded out the top three and also finished on top of the U-23 podium.

    Read the entire Gearworks 'cross race report here.