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Cyclocross news & racing round-up for October 14, 2005

Date published:
October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
  • Bessette and Johnson kick off 2005 'cross campaign

    Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau)
    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Husband and wife teammates Lyne Bessette and Tim Johnson (Team Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau) left...

    Husband and wife teammates Lyne Bessette and Tim Johnson (Team Cyclocrossworld-Louis Garneau) left their mark all over the opening weekend of the 2005 Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, Oct. 8 and 9 in Portland, Ore. and Tacoma, Wash. In their first major outing of the ‘cross season, Tim and Lyne both showed great early-season form and posted excellent results against the best cyclocross racers in North America.

    Lyne, back racing cyclocross after a three-year hiatus, won both weekend races in impressive style. She soloed off the front each day, leaving the remnants of the Elite Women’s field to scrabble for the remaining two podium positions. Lyne proved once again, for all to see, why she remains the only North American ever to win a UCI World Cup event.

    “I didn’t have too much doubt in my form coming into the weekend,” said Lyne. “But on Saturday the course was very muddy and I wasn’t so confident as to how I’d ride on that. But I did some mountain bike racing this year and that helped a lot. I was definitely expecting some tough competition, but as soon as I got a gap I went as hard as I could.”

    For his part, Tim got any bad luck out of the way in Saturday’s race in Portland. After a solid race to make up for his bad starting position, Tim crashed on the rain-slickened course in the final 50 metres of the race, ceding fourth place in the process. Johnson’s luck was better and his legs just as good for Sunday’s race in Tacoma. After another bad start, which saw the former national champion way back in 20th place on the first lap, Tim charged through the field to catch a main chase group of five. Upon catching the group, he attacked straight away, trying to avoid wasting energy at the back of an aggressive sextet.

    “It was awesome,” said Tim of his weekend exploits. “Saturday’s race was brutal, it felt like the whole race was uphill...

  • Verge New England 'cross series starts Saturday

    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The first of the 2005 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series kicks off this Saturday with...

    The first of the 2005 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series kicks off this Saturday with the Downeast Cyclo-Cross in New Gloucester, Maine. All six Verge NECCS races boast prize lists of at least $5,000, with overall elite men's and women's series winners splitting a $1,000 payday.

    In an effort to draw quality fields, this year's series offers two sets of "double dip weekends" with races on Saturday and Sunday: November 12-13 in Farmington, Conn. and Northampton, Mass., and December 3-4 in Rhode Island, the latter coming less than a week before and only a few miles away from the start of the National Cyclocross championships.

    Four-time defending Elite Men's series champion Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar) comes into 2005 with perhaps the best fitness of his career and seems on course to tally a fifth Verge crown. However, the return of local legend Tim Johnson (Cyclo-Crossworld-Louis Garneau) to the cyclo-cross fold after a three-year hiatus could provide a worthy challenge to McCormack. Adam Craig (Giant), series runner-up in 2004, will follow up his highly successful summer of World Cup mountain bike racing with another full slate of New England 'cross racing.

    As for the out-of-town set, Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai), Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks (Kona-Les Gets), Ben Turner (TIAA-CREF) and six-time Canadian cyclo-cross champion Peter Wedge (Kona-Les Gets) head the list of challengers. Six-time US national champion Jesse Anthony (Team Clif Bar) will try to defend his Under-23 national and Verge Series titles on home soil. Anthony figures to face challenges from Todd Wells (TIAA-CREF) and Tommy Magrath (Redline).

    Canadian Lyne Bessette (Cyclo-Crossworld-Louis Garneau) figures to be the odds-on favorite for the entirety of the New England series. The only North American to win a cyclo-cross World Cup, Bessette figures to contest all six NECCS events after nearly three years out of the sport. Local and regional racers lining up to take...

  • Trebon, Bessette Head US Gran Prix Standings after First Weekend

    Ryan Trebon
    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The weekend's elite men's winners, Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Mark McCormack (Clif Bar), are separated...

    The weekend's elite men's winners, Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Mark McCormack (Clif Bar), are separated by a scant 10 points in the series standings. Trebon's Kona teammate, Barry Wicks, rests in third in series points and also leads the FOCUS First-Lap Competition. Wicks, fourth place Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau), and fifth place Adam Craig (Giant) are all within 10 points of each other in the standings.

    Defending Under-23 National and US Gran Prix Champion Jesse Anthony (Clif Bar) maintains a healthy lead in the U-23 category. In the tightest category so far, Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory) and Alex Howes (TIAA-CREF) exit the first weekend tied for the series lead in the Junior Men. Selander and Howes swapped wins in Tacoma and Portland, respectively, with each finishing third in the race the other won. But, Selander leads the Junior FOCUS First-Lap Competition.

    The 2005 Crank Brothers US Gran Prix continues October 29-30 with the Michelob ULTRA Grand Prix of Cyclocross from Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, Mass.

    Points Standings after 2 of 6 Series Races:

    Elite Men
    1. Ryan Trebon/Kona, 90
    2. Mark McCormack/Clif Bar, 80
    3. Barry Wicks/Kona, 66
    4. Tim Johnson/Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau, 60
    5. Adam Craig/Giant Bicycles, 57

    Elite Women
    1. Lyne Bessette/ Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau, 100
    2. Barbara Howe/Velo Bella, 74
    3. Ann Knapp/Kona, 70
    4. Rhonda Mazza/S&M-Vailla, 53
    5. Georgia Gould/Kona, 49

    Under-23 Men
    1. Jesse Anthony/Clif Bar, 100
    2. Morgan Schmitt/Redline, 63
    3. Troy Wells/TIAA-CREF, 57

    Junior Men
    1. Alex Howes/TIAA-CREF, 84
    2. Bjorn Selander/Alan Factory, 84
    3. Danny Summerhill/TIAA-CREF, 80

  • Nys in doubt for Ruddervoorde

    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Cyclo-cross World champion Sven Nys has been experiencing impaired balance recently, which is why...

    Cyclo-cross World champion Sven Nys has been experiencing impaired balance recently, which is why the Belgian did not attend the official presentation of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden on Tuesday. It is not yet known if the balance problems were due to a crash into a tree at the GP Pro Cycling Neerpelt last Sunday. The world champ did finish the race in fourth, and felt fine on the next day at the presentation of his Rabobank team.

    The dominant rider of last cyclocross season in Europe will now take medication to cure his condition. If this doesn't help, a more thorough examination will follow, possibly meaning that he won't be at the start of the opening race of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde, which he won in 2005.

  • Barbara Howe diary: The damp Northwest (October 10, 2005)

    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Friday: Scoring at the yard sale - Just when things were becoming normal again after returning from...

    Friday: Scoring at the yard sale - Just when things were becoming normal again after returning from New York, it starts all over again. Friday's flight necessitated a before-the-crack-of-dawn start. Driving to the airport at 4:30am is great; there's no traffic in San Francisco or on the highway. Josh and I met Melodie at the airport and had an uneventful flight to Portland.

    We found our host house with only minor confusion and met Brent and Simon (Josh's Rock Lobster team-mates). After some serious napping and eating we got ourselves together enough to get to the venue. After an extended tour of Portland's bridges in search of I-5's on-ramp, our little caravan arrived at the Alpenrose Dairy for some mudding. Our arrival was perfectly timed with the start of the rain. Every race I've done here has been a tenebrous mud massacre starting with '03 Nationals. This year promised to be no different. While doing some race prep on the roads near the venue, I saw several signs advertising a "hot sale". Curiosity peaked, Mel, Simon and myself follow the signs and did indeed come across a hot sale. I scored several towels/rags for $0.25 each, a few paperback books and a mini beer stein. Josh found a very choice Ranier Light beer poster, which he purchased for a quarter. But Mel was the true winner of the weekend, as she went home with a functioning waffle iron for only $4 as well as a flour sifter for a buck.

    Read the entire Barbara Howe diary here.

  • 'Cross racing round-up

    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    It has been a busy week in cyclocross world. Check out this rundown of events: Kermiscross Ardooie,...

    It has been a busy week in cyclocross world. Check out this rundown of events:

    Kermiscross Ardooie, Bel (C2), October 13: Full results
    Cyclo-cross de Schlierbach, Fra (NE), October 9:
    Stevens Cup, Ger (C2), October 9:
    Evo Cross/Verge MACC #1, USA (NE), October 9: Full results & report
    Bio Wheels, USA (C2), October 9: Full results
    Rad Racing GP of Cyclocross (C2), October 9: Brief results & photos
    GP Pro Cycling Neerpelt, Bel (C2), October 9:
    Budvar Cup #3, Cze (C2), October 8: Full results
    Internationales Querfeldeinrennen, Ger (C2), October 3: Full results
    Stumptown Classic, USA (C1), October 8: Brief results, report & photos

  • Barbarella, Queen of the 'cross Galaxy: An interview with Barbara Howe, October 10, 2005

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    Article published:
    October 14, 2005, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    It's funny how life can imitate art. The liner notes to the 1968 Jane Fonda cult classic invite the...

    It's funny how life can imitate art. The liner notes to the 1968 Jane Fonda cult classic invite the viewer to 'See Barbarella do her thing!' Velo Bella cyclo-cross racer Barbara Howe has been nicknamed Barbarella most of her life, and as Cyclingnews' MTB Editor Steve Medcroft finds, the catch phrase could easily be her own.

    The 'thing' that you want to see Barbara Howe do is ride off the front of US cyclo-cross races. In 2004 alone, she stood on the podium in almost every national-caliber 'cross race in the season, winning three along the way. In fact, the only race she didn't do well in was the US National Championships in Portland, Oregon (Howe finished on the lead lap but three minutes and eight places behind winner Katie Compton).

    Just like Barbarella bumped through the universe, comically oblivious to the dangers and threats being thrust at her, Howe has had a few misadventures of her own. One involves a 18-hour car pool to a mountain bike race with Howe-led navigation down dirt roads and into a speed trap. Another involves her use of training to escape a relationship. But that's not where her story starts...

    The balance bar and life without a car

    Howe wasn't always the Queen of the 'Cross Galaxy. She discovered athletics at eight years old in a very traditional way: gymnastics class. "I did gymnastics through the end of high school," she says from her her home in Marin, California. "I was doing ballet but switched because gymnastics was much more interesting - there was a trampoline opposed to standing around in front of a mirror hanging on a bar." Howe says she took gymnastics seriously enough but adds: "I was competitive so I guess that's not mediocre, but I liked bouncing and swinging myself around much more."

    Read the entire Barbara Howe interview here.