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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 18, 2011

Date published:
November 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Antonneau impresses at Louisville's USGP weekend

    Young Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.coom) takes second place by a hair
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 18:25 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Back-to-back podium finishes for talented 19-year-old

    Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b uncorked her best-ever weekend of elite-level cyclo-cross at Saturday and Sunday's Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Derby City Cup, notching a third place finish on Saturday behind the top-two ranked 'cross riders in the world, Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant-Off-Road Team) and Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), followed on Sunday by an even better performance in which she outsprinted Nash for second.

    The podium celebrations were even more poignant for Antonneau and Compton as the talented 19-year-old is coached by Compton. The Rabobank-Giant star soloed to victory each day in Louisville, Kentucky, and was beaming as she awaited the finish of her pupil on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Compton was modest in her assessment of the role she played in Antonneau's performance.

    "I give her guidance, but it's all her," said Compton. "She's the one that's putting the hard work into it, doing everything she needs to and she has the talent to be here. It's kind of like my guidance but she's pedalling the bike."

    Antonneau was ecstatic with her podium finishes at the Eva Bandman Park venue in Louisville which will host the cyclo-cross world championships in 2013.

    "I'm so excited. Having Worlds here in 2013 makes it extra-motivating," said Antonneau.

    Antonneau showed remarkable tenacity on both days as she rode herself into contention after missing the initial selections.

    "I made a few mistakes on the first lap that separated me from the lead group," Antonneau said regarding Saturday's race. "I kept chasing, except I kept...

  • Belgian cyclo-cross rivalry mounts in Zogge

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb Revor) was quicker to the line than Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 21:00 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Riders blame each other for a lack of initiative

    After the third round of the Superprestige Series in Zogge, Belgium, the rivalry in the Belgian cyclo-cross scene is mounting. Veteran Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) blamed the Sunweb-Revor camp for a lack of initiative in their home race.

    World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Cycling Team) opened the debates halfway through the race and none of the Belgians ended up chasing the Czech down. Belgian media will surely heat up the debate as a similar feat at the world championships in January would be unacceptable for the Belgian camp.

    The controversy brings back memories to the rivalry between Belgians Nys and Mario De Clercq during the world championships in the year 2000, which was exploited by Dutchman Richard Groenendaal. More than a decade later De Clercq - a triple cyclo-cross world champion - is currently team director at the Sunweb-Revor team from Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout while Nys is still among the best riders of the cyclo-cross scene.

    "I had the impression that Mario De Clercq told his boys not to lead too much because that would be costly in the final laps. I know him for 20 years, so I know his tactics by now," Nys said.

    When Stybar accelerated, he was with by Nys, Albert and Pauwels, but none of them reacted and in one single lap on an extremely fast course, Stybar collected a lead of more than 20 seconds. The gap proved to be unbridgeable and the world champion won his first big race of the season ahead of respectively Pauwels, Nys and Albert. The latter remains overall leader in the Superprestige series.

    Nys was already fuming before the race had even started as he felt race organizer and Sunweb-Revor manager Jurgen Mettepenningen adapted...

  • Video: Powers, Compton, and Dillman sweep Exergy USGP weekend

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) declares victory
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 17:51 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    'Crossers preview Louisville's 2013 world championship venue

    The best cyclo-cross racers in the country contested rounds five and six of the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross this past weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus), Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) and Andrew Dillman (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) made it a clean sweep of their respective elite men's, elite women's and junior men's categories with victories both Saturday and Sunday.

    In addition to the accumulation of all-important UCI points and Exergy USGP series points, riders were able to compete at the Eva Bandman Park venue which will host the 2013 UCI cyclo-cross world championships.

    Powers and Compton spoke at their press conferences following Sunday's races, while Cyclingnews caught up with Dillman, a Louisville, Kentucky resident, immediately after his victory on Sunday.


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  • Albert struck by car while training

    Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) chased valiantly.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 19:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    'Cross star could be out for weeks

    Belgian cyclo-cross champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) was struck by a car while training, Het Nieuwsblad reported today. According to his team, Albert tried to avoid the car, collided with the rearview mirror and crashed.

    Albert came away with the incident with a fractured bone in his hand, and according to his team will have to wear a cast for two weeks and it isn't known yet when he can resume training and competing.

    Albert is currently the leader of the Superprestige series after winning rounds in Ruddervoorde and Zonhoven.

    Don't count the Belgian star out of his quest for a second world championship title in January, however. In November 2008, Albert crashed during the warm-up of the Superprestige race in Gavere and suffered a torn spleen. He spent several days in intensive care, but came back after two weeks off the bike and won the rainbow jersey two months later.

  • Video: Berden finds success during US 'cross campaign

    Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) at the start
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 20:55 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Veteran Belgian 'crosser first to race full US schedule

    Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) has been a consistent performer on the US cyclo-cross circuit this season, the first time a Belgian has contested a full schedule in the States.

    Berden notched his best result to date in the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series on Sunday, the second day of racing at Louisville, Kentucky's Derby City Cup held at Eva Bandman Park, the site of the 2013 cyclo-cross world championship. Berden outsprinted Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) for fourth place, consolation for flatting out of Saturday's UCI C1-ranked race when he was in the lead group with eventual race winner Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and runner-up Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt).

    Additionally, on both days Berden rocketed off the start line in Louisville to claim the hole shot prime.

    Berden has claimed one victory this season at the C1-rated Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup, two weeks prior to his Louisville weekend, and he has finished on the podium four additional times.

    Cyclingnews spoke with Berden on Sunday in Louisville, prior to his fourth place performance. Berden discusses the difference between US and European 'cross courses, he makes an assessment of the Eva Bandman Park venue as a cyclo-cross world championship course in 2013, details his remaining race schedule and talks about whether he'll return to the US for another 'cross campaign next year.

  • Albert looks to Belgian and World Championships to save season

    Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus)
    Article published:
    November 16, 2011, 12:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian 'crosser to miss at least several weeks with broken wrist

    Niels Albert knew right away something was wrong when his wrist hurt badly and he could hardly move it. Right in the midst of the busiest part of the cyclo-cross season, the Belgian champion was hit by a car whilst training, and will now miss several weeks of competition.

    Albert was training on the road with teammae Radomir Simunek when he collided with a moving car.  “Through an evasive manoeuver, I bumped against the mirror,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “I fell and immediately it was clear that something was wrong. My left wrist was very painful and I could hardly move it.”

    The diagnosis was a crack in the trapezium bone, requiring at least two weeks of a plaster cast.

    It was not immediately clear how long he might be out of racing. “This can sometimes be a very nasty injury," said his manager Christoph Roodhooft. “You need a wrist during 'cross. You have to steer, turn, absorb. He will probably have the cast for two weeks.  The key question is: how long until he can race again? We have no idea.” He estimated that Albert would not be able to start riding again for four weeks.

    “Of course this is misery,” said Albert. “I had already said in September that I first wanted to peak in late November.”

    The injury couldn't have come at worse time. Albert had been leading the Superprestige series, but stands to lose that ranking. He will miss at least two double weekends of racing in the various series, Hasselt-Gavere (November 19-20) and Koksijde-Gieten (November 26-27).

    That leaves him to concentrate on both the Belgian and World Championships, both of which will be held in January.  “It seems logical to me more than ever to focus on the championships.”

  • Vos to start 'cross season at Koksijde World Cup

    Marianne Vos (Netherlands) takes her fourth world cyclo-cross world title
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 20:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    'Cross world champion building for title defense in January

    Reigning women's cyclo-cross world champion Marianne Vos will make her first start of the 'cross season at the third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup at Koksijde, Belgium on November 26, according to

    As she has done in previous years, Vos has skipped the early season's 'cross competition while she recovers from a full season on the road, highlighted by overall victory at the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, three World Cup wins and her fifth straight silver medal in the world championships. Proving her all-around versatility, Vos also claimed a world title on the track in the scratch race at the Apeldoorn, Netherlands-hosted world championships.

    With the new rolling points system enacted this 'cross season, however, Vos will still find herself with a front-row start as she's ranked fifth overall on the latest UCI 'cross rankings.

    The Koksijde venue will be of particular interest to Vos as it will also serve as the upcoming world championship course in late January. Vos skipped the Koksijde World Cup in 2010, won resoundingly by Katie Compton, but won the 2009 edition with a sprint victory over compatriot Daphny van den Brand.

    Vos outlined other races in this season's 'cross campaign including the Superprestige Gieten in her native Netherlands the day after the Koksijde...

  • Trebon recovering from knee injury

    Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) was well off the leaders pace due to a pre-race knee injury
    Article published:
    November 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Lost USGP lead in Louisville, hopes to secure overall victory in Bend

    Ryan Trebon hasn't ridden his bike since finishing 10th on day two of the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Derby City Cup on Sunday, but the LTS-Felt rider is optimistic that the knee injury he sustained while pre-riding the course on Sunday won't have any lasting effects. Trebon, who surrendered his USGP lead on Sunday, is hoping to regain the leader's jersey at the series' finale in December.

    "I was able to get some physical therapy this morning," Trebon told Cyclingnews on Thursday, while in the midst of a 10-day stint in Florida. "Nothing's broken and I didn't tear any ligaments, it's just a lot of swelling and bruising. I'm bruised pretty much from the middle of my calf all the way up to my crotch.

    "I haven't been able to ride yet. I'm going back [to physical therapy] tomorrow morning to get some more treatment on it and hopefully I'll be able to ride in the afternoon for a couple of hours to see how it feels. Right now it's the swelling which isn't giving me any kind of range of motion."

    Trebon had already planned the trip to Florida for a respite from the harsher weather in his hometown of Bend, Oregon prior to injuring himself on Sunday.

    "I was going to come down here to do some training because the weather's really good. It's warm and sunny versus cold and snowy back in Oregon. It didn't really pan out as well as I hoped, but at least it's someplace nice to sit around and do nothing which is pretty much what I've been doing all week so far."

    Trebon entered last weekend's Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross's Derby City Cup with a commanding 42-point overall lead on Jeremy Powers, but events on both Saturday and Sunday contributed to Trebon surrendering the leader's jersey to the Rapha Focus rider.