Organizers of the Boulder Cup cyclo-cross changed the race's location for this weekend's race. The Boulder Reservoir replaces the Harlow Platts Park location for Sunday, November 1, thanks to an early winter storm.
The Front Range of Colorado was blanketed with heavy, wet snow on Tuesday night and Wednesday which forced the City of Boulder and organizers to move venues in an effort to avoid damage to the turf at Harlow Platts.
Race director Chris Grealish described the move as the best alternative given the fragility of the turf at Harlow Platts. "The racers love Harlow Platts because of the challenging nature of the grassy terrain but we have an agreement with the City of Boulder to make a move if conditions there risk long-term damage to the park."
The schedule of events for the event remains unchanged with racing takes place all day beginning with local amateurs at 8:00 am. The professional men and women will race during the afternoon beginning at 2:30 pm with the elite women followed by the elite men at 3:20 pm.
Belgian cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys will join the UCI's cyclo-cross commmission, replacing Erwin Vervecken in the role. Nys will attend his first meeting with the group in Nommay, France before the next round of the UCI World Cup.
Nys will take over from the three-time world champion as the rider representative for the UCI on cyclo-cross, since Vervecken is retiring at the end of the season and will no longer be eiligible for that position.
"I hope to make a contribution," Nys said. "Do I have issues I wish to raise? Sure. For example, I would like to know what the issue is with getting hand-ups in cyclo-cross. The rules need to make sense ..."
Great Britain’s Helen Wyman is determined to narrow the gap between her and the world’s top female cyclo-cross riders following her third place finish at the European Continental Championships. Wyman took the bronze medal after finishing 42 seconds behind Marianne Vos.
“I have to put my head down now and work hard to close the gap to Vos and [Katie] Compton, and fingers crossed that can start in Nommay next week,” said Wyman. “Then I’m off on a training week in some warmer weather to get myself ready for the next part of the season.”
Vos is one of the world’s top women’s cyclist, having claimed International Cycling Union (UCI) World Championships in cyclo-cross, road and track racing. America’s Compton is amongst the world’s best in her cyclo-cross discipline having dominated the discipline in her homeland and won several World Cup races in Europe. Compton will enter next weekend’s UCI World Cup race in Nommay, France as the defending champion.
Wyman was delighted with her bronze medal in Hoogstraten, Belgium. The result was her first major championship medal. “I came really close to a medal in the Euro’s a few years ago, but a double puncture stopped that attempt,” she said. “I’m just so happy things have gone my way and I’m able to be on the podium in a major championship.
“I have a great crew of people behind me as well as Kona, and it’s the work that these people put in that helps me keep improving year on year,” added Wyman. “Cyclo-cross is strange sometimes and I have been on the end of some fairly bad lack in the last couple of World Champs, so I’m really glad to have done this for everyone that kept believing in me.”
As the current national champion Wyman is Great Britain’s top women’s cyclo-cross competitor. She has held the national title for four years.
26 of 42 events on US national 'cross calendar completed
As elite level 'cross racers have completed more than half of the North American cyclo-cross season, Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) leads the men's USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar standings while Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) tops the women's standings.
Twenty-six of the 42 events on the calendar have taken place, including four this past weekend: the Blue Sky Velo Cup and Beacon Cross on October 31 and the Boulder Cup and HPCX on November 1.
Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Katie Compton (Planet Bike) won the Blue Sky Velo Cup in Longmont, Colorado and repeated their winning performances the following day at the Boulder Cup in Boulder, Colorado.
On the east coast, Nicholas Weighall (California Giant Strawberries - Specialized) and Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) took top honours at Beacon Cross in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The following day Valentin Scherz (Pro Cycles-Scott-Newwork) and Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) earned victories at the HPCX in Jamesburg, New Jersey.
USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Racing Calendar
Jeremy Powers (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale
James Driscoll (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale
Former world 'cross champion makes season debut this weekend
German Hanka Kupfernagel will make her return to the UCI cyclo-cross circuit at the Nommay World Cup in France this coming weekend.
After a successful cyclo-cross season which saw her win the overall UCI World Cup and lead the UCI rankings, the five-time world champion (cyclo-cross, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2008, road time trial 2008) missed most of the summer due to injuries from a crash sustained in June at the Tour de PEI in Canada.
Interviewed on her personal web site, www.hanka-kupfernagel.de, she explained that although she did not break any bones in the crash, she suffered from headaches and problems with her cervical spine.
After plenty of physiotherapy and an extended break from racing, the 35-year-old spent time in October training in Mallorca in good weather to prepare for her return to top level competition this weekend.
"I didn't want to take part in a competition until I'was all fit again," Kupfernagel said.
The slow start meant that she has postponed her goal of seeking another world cup overall title in cyclo-cross. Instead, she will look to the World Championships in Tabor in January, and even further down the road to 2011, when 'cross worlds will be held in her home country at St. Wendel, Germany.
All eyes will be on New England this weekend as the only UCI-sanctioned 'cross action in the US takes place at the Cycle-Smart International in Northampton, Massachusetts on November 7-8. In its 19th edition, the Cycle-Smart International is also the oldest UCI 'cross race in the country and serves as rounds nine and ten for the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-cross Series.
Veteran course designers JD Bilodeau and Adam Myerson have put together a fast, technical, traditionally New England-style course in the Look Park venue. The hallmarks of this course - the steep run up and ride up - will make an appearance, as well as the drop off and several raised train track crossings. New for this year, the finish will be moved to the lower level, near the main parking, bringing the action into plain view and making the race much more spectator friendly.
"The venue is two-tiered where there are two plateaus with a steep change in elevation between them. We've moved more of the action, the expo area, the parking and the start-finish line all down on the lower plateau," Myerson told Cyclingnews. "It should be good for everybody because it makes everything more compact. It will be better for spectating as spectators can stand up on the upper plateau and be able to see all the action."
Unlike previous editions of the Cycle-Smart International, this year there are no other UCI races in the US to draw riders to other parts of the country. "Every weekend this year there's a conflict, there's a UCI race on the East coast and a UCI race on the West coast," said Myerson. "We moved one week later so we didn't conflict with Boulder, we've always conflicted with Boulder, and now that we don't conflict with Boulder we don't conflict with anyone.
"We're going to have a few more guys travelling from out of the region than we might normally. Adam Craig is going to show up and that's really good for us. We've had a situation where the...
First American ever to wear leader's jersey hopes for rain in France
Katie Compton will toe the line in Nommay, France as the first American ever to wear the jersey of World Cup leader, but despite this honour, she is hopful the kit will be obscured by mud by the end of the race.
"It feels great to wear the World Cup leader's jersey. It willl be a privilege to be on the start line as the first America to wear that jersey. I hope to keep it for more than one race!" Compton told Cyclingnews on Friday.
"I think the conditions will have the greatest effect on what the course is like. I'm hoping for rain and/or snow so that it will be a tough, technical race. Fast races are fun, but muddy ones are better."
Compton dominated the first round of the series in Treviso last month, besting Dutchwoman Daphny Van Den Brand and France's Christel Ferrier-Bruneau with apparent ease. However, this weekend she will face the two rivals who relegated her to third at the World Championships last season, Marianne Vos and Hanka Kupfernagel.
After a late start in 'cross following a strong road season, World Champion Vos has already shown herself this season by winning the European Championships in Hoogstraten, Belgium last week. Kupfernagel, on the other hand, has yet to show her form, but Compton knows the German cannot be discounted.
"Hanka has only raced a local race, but she is always strong and I don't expect that to be different on Sunday. Vos is riding really well this year and as World Champ will want to put on a good show. She is a smart and fast racer so she will also be a tough one to beat.
"We can't forget about Daphny either, she is a strong technical rider and has the ability to win this weekend, too."
Compton undoubtedly has a mental advantage on her competition. She remains undefeated in any contest so far this season and is looking to continue her streak in Nommay.
Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com rider Jamey Driscoll has taken the North American cyclo-cross scene by storm this season, becoming a regular face on the podium around the country. His frequent success has landed him in the leader’s jersey of the most prestigious series in the United States - US Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross (USGP).
His expertise on the bike is widely known. However, what most people don’t know about this young and modest athlete is how well he juggles professional racing with being a full-time student of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Vermont.
“It’s definitely a challenge to do it all,” said Driscoll. “Fortunately, I’m just racing on the weekends so that makes it slightly more doable than doing weeklong stage races on the road. It means that I have to plan ahead.”
Driscoll is committed to his studies from Monday to Friday and competes in a full schedule of UCI-ranked cyclo-cross events on weekends. The events locations span across the US and Canada thus, he typically misses Monday class to travel home from the races.
When asked how he balanced the two professions Driscoll said with a laugh, “I don’t know if my schedule is balanced in terms of the amount of effort that I put into each activity respectively.”
“I don’t want to brag or anything, but engineering is no slouch degree and I’m probably scraping along the bottom of where I should be,” he continued. “It’s hard but I’m struggling along. I’m having a good time racing my bike and having the USGP jersey is feeling pretty good.”
USGP dream heads to the Mercer Cup
The USGP series continues with rounds five and six next weekend at the Mercer Cup held in New Jersey. Driscoll aims to increase his lead however, he is confident that the leader’s jersey will stay amongst one of the three...