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Cyclocross news & racing round-up for November 5, 2005

Date published:
November 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
  • So. Cal. Cross #7/Hart Park Cyclocross ready to roll

    Article published:
    November 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

    Race #7 in the Southern California Cyclocross Series will take place this Sunday, November 6th. at...

    Race #7 in the Southern California Cyclocross Series will take place this Sunday, November 6th. at Hart Park in Bakersfield, CA. The race is hosted by the Kern Wheelmen Bicycle Club of Bakersfield.

    This season's series has seen record turn outs and Hart Park should be no exception. "We're expecting 200 racers, that's our goal" says Sam Ames, Race Director. "All the other races in our series so far have had record fields and we hope to do the same." The 13 race SCCX Cup, as its known, started in September and concludes with the famous "Santa Cross" in December.

    Hart Park hosts one of the best and most traditional European style cyclocross courses in the state and is always a rider and crowd favorite. A blend of road, grass and dirt, the course features two running sections, lots of turns and technical challenges. The speed will be high as riders make their way around a very fun and professional style course. Spectator viewing is supreme and their will be music, food and hot racing action. The weather will be cool and clear, ideal for spectators, fans and families.

    Several sponsors of the series will be on hand to include Kool N' Fit sports spray, the Cannondale Bike Demo Truck, Specialized Bikes, Redline Bikes, Trek Bikes, Cliff Bar and XS energy. There will be a drawing at the end of the men's A/pro race for a Cannondale Optimo cyclocross bike. All proceeds benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Raffle tickets can be purchased race day for $1 at the SCCX booth.

  • Big 'cross weekend coming in Verge MACC series

    Article published:
    November 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

    This weekend sees another double fixture in the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series, with C2-class...

    This weekend sees another double fixture in the Verge Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series, with C2-class races at Camp Hill, near the Pennsylvania Capital of Harrisburg, will be followed by a C2 race in Highland Park on the same course used for last year's US Grand Prix of Cyclocross. Todd Wells won both races last year and is heading East for the first time this year to defend his record.

    Wells will be joined by his brother, Troy, a member of the new cyclocross team sponsored by TIAA-CREF financial services. Other favourites include Kona's Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks, who have combined to be the most dominant team in America this year. Trebon will miss Saturday's race to attend his best friend's wedding, but will be at Highland Park looking for revenge after losing last year's duel with Wells.

    On the women's side, Defending champion and points leader West Virginian Betsy Schauer of FORT/GPOA! will try to stave off Virginia's Melanie Swartz (Square Coppi/Van Dessel) and Idaho's Georgia Gould (Kona).

    Saturday's "Lower Allen Classic" is a benefit for the Lower Allen Community Park where the race is held. In the race's short history, it has already raised $3500 (US) for the park. It is a classic east coast park course, fast with lots of grass and tight technical sections. Sunday's race at riverside course in Highland Park is even faster. With generous use of paved cycle paths in the park, it's normal to see long strings of riders trading pulls. But the course also features two nasty run-ups. Both races are excellent spectator races with heavy local promotion and great visibility. According to Mike Hebe, promoter of the Camp Hill race, "95 to 100% of Camp Hill's track can be seen from a number of locations, plus we have a huge fun-fort and playground for the children. Over at Highland Park, they also have a playground and they've got a great set of run ups set side-by-side, but one is at the beginning of the lap and one is about halfway...

  • Irish weekend preview

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

    By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent There is no lack of...

    By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

    There is no lack of competition this weekend for the cyclo-cross competitors with events both north and south of the border in Ireland. Tomorrow in Ballymena, the local club is staging an event at the Showgrounds in the town with the start scheduled for midday. On Sunday the action switches to Kilcullen in Co. Kildare where Liam Walker is the master of ceremonies, with another midday start.

    Liam was instrumental in kick-starting cyclo-cross on behalf of Cycling Ireland, and it is now a big success. "Originally when I started the revival of 'cross, the numbers were not great, to say the least," said Walker. "Thankfully, I stuck at the task and it is great to see the number of road cyclists who have become involved. Unfortunately from my perspective, we now have events on both Saturday and Sunday! Whereas a number of years ago, it was either day and promoters were always assured that the opposition would come from both sides of the border.

    "It is great that 'cross is motoring, but at the moment, I have enquiries from clubs and venues who want to promote the sport, but there is no availability of dates. Anyhow, we can live with the problem for this season, but something will have to be addressed if the sport is to continue on its upward trend, in so far as dates are concerned next year."

    Whilst the competitors involved in the action over the weekend will have to dabble in the mucky conditions that are part and parcel of the sport, spare a thought for Andrew McQuaid and Eugene Moriarty who go into action in the seven-day Tour of Southland in New Zealand. The field of 105 competitors will start the event with a team time trial, which is now becoming a welcome addition to stage racing, on Monday.

  • Climatic extremes: the Barbara Howe diary

    Barbara Howe (Velo Bella)
    Article published:
    November 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The week between races while on the road is fun; it always makes me feel like a real pro. Generally...

    The week between races while on the road is fun; it always makes me feel like a real pro. Generally I spend five days a week at work but while traveling I get to sit around and watch TV. And during that week we ran a training ride on Tuesday (October 25th) in 40 degree weather and pouring rain (little did I know that it would be good acclimatization for the weekend). Wednesday was sunny and pleasant and Josh and I rode to a park to make use of the open space for 'cross technique practice. We were joined by several hundred high school students running cross country and the workout finished just as a few football teams arrived for practice. We never made it to the old boat in Philly. In fact, our longest walk was only about 15 minutes. Thursday's drive to Gloucester was uneventful and we arrived at our host house with enough time for a spin on the trainer.

    Our host house was awesome, there is space for most of the team and entourage. Our host Mom, Nancy, makes incredible masks and has filled the house with amazing beaded, feathered, and painted masks and other artwork. Walking into the basement is like walking into a personal craft store. There are drawers full of glue guns, beads, feathers, sparkly things, and puff paint. Friday evening Melodie, Erin and myself spent quality time in the craft room decorating our helmets.

    Friday's pre-ride provided absolutely no indication of what the course would be like on Saturday. As is usual for the Stage Fort Park racecourse in Gloucester, Mass., we were routed through the sand volleyball pit. I thank the promoters and course workers for draining the six inches of standing water from the pit.

    Read the entire Barbara Howe diary here.

  • Canadian Cyclocross Nationals November 5th

    Wendy Simms (Kona)
    Article published:
    November 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    An all-time record of more than 150 riders will converge on Hardwood Hills, Ontario, this Saturday,...

    An all-time record of more than 150 riders will converge on Hardwood Hills, Ontario, this Saturday, November 5, for the cyclocross national championships. Ten official national champion titles will be awarded in various categories; national team positions are also at stake for the 2006 cyclocross world championship in Zeddam, Netherland on January 28-29.

    Elite Men - In a brief phone interview on Thursday, current champ Geoff Kabush says he's not going to make the trip to nationals since he's deep in middle of his off-season break. "I did an X-Terra event in hawaii and a couple of 'cross races but I'm tapering off the bike right now." Which leaves the door open for perennial favourite Peter Wedge (New Brunswick; Kona), who finished a close second in Dieppe, New Brunswick in 2004 after an epic battle with Kabush. Greg Reain (Ontario; Stevens Racing) will be a man to watch as well. Greg has been training and racing in Europe this fall with some of the best riders in the world, and has a good shot at capturing the 2005 champion's jersey. An outside pick is Nathan Chown ( Ontario ; St. Catherines Bike Club), the best-ranked Canadian in the UCI ranking so far in 2005; Mathieu Toulouse (Québec; Maxxis), a mountain bike national team member, will also be a threat.

    Elite Women - On the women's side, current National champion Wendy Simms (British Columbia; Kona) will try to defend her title but will face a strong opposition from Lyne Bessette (Québec; cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) who has so far won all the races she has entered this season. Bessette took a year off from road cycling in 2005 to concentrate on mountain bike and cyclocross events, and is currently ranked eighth on the UCI ranking.

    U23 Men - A new National champion will be crowned in the Espoir (U23 men) category in 2005 as Christian Meier ( New Brunswick ; Symmetrics) will not be present at the event. Per Strom (...

  • Women's World Cup in Spain cancelled

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

    The Women's event of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Igorre (ESP), which should have been held on...

    The Women's event of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Igorre (ESP), which should have been held on December 11, has been cancelled according to the UCI on Thursday. No explanation was given..

  • Superprestige #2 - revenge for Wellens

    Bart Wellens (Fidea) pushes hard
    Article published:
    November 04, 2005, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

    After losing Saturday's second round of the 'cross world cup to Sven Nys, Dutchman Bart Wellens took...

    After losing Saturday's second round of the 'cross world cup to Sven Nys, Dutchman Bart Wellens took out Sunday's Superprestige #2 race on home turf in Sint-Michielsgestel. The racing was hard and fast, with Wellens proving the stronger of the two 'cross strongmen to take victory. The 2005-06 season is already shaping up as another Nys vs Wellens season-long super slug-fest, with a busy schedule ahead and both riders in great early-season form. Last season Nys prevailed, capturing another world championship title, but Wellens will be determined to change things in 2005-06.