Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Wiggle Honda team bike of two-time World Champion
Industry sponsors step up to ensure US's premier 'cross series takes place
While the 2012 edition of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP), the United States' premier cyclo-cross series, had been in doubt due to financial shortfalls associated with its previous title sponsor, various companies involved with the cycling industry have stepped to the plate not more than two weeks in advance of the first event to ensure the complete eight-race series once again takes place.
Trek Bicycle has become the new title sponsor of the USGP, while RadioShack, WD-40 Bike, Clif Bar and SRAM have also pledged their support.
"The series is going on as planned," USGP President Joan Hanscom told Cyclingnews. "I've already got all the pros committed to come and race. The competition will look as it has always looked with Ryan [Trebon], Tim [Johnson] and Jeremy [Powers], Chris Jones, Zach McDonald, Katie Compton, the Luna girls. We're going to look like the USGP on the playing field for sure."
The first stop of the 2012 USGP, to be held September 22-23 in Sun Prairie, WI, in close proximity to new title sponsor Trek's Waterloo, WI-based global headquarters, will see the debut of the Trek Cyclocross Collective, a new racing program headlined by American ‘cross superstar Katie Compton.
"Trek is full of big ‘cross fans and racers and there has been a huge swell of internal support around the sport, so when the opportunity presented itself, we rallied, passed the hat around and asked who could help," said Trek's Road Bike Brand Manager and Lead Skinsuit Advocate Michael Mayer. "Plus, the first race is in our backyard and we couldn't pass up the chance to throw a really good party...
US to host 53 UCI 'cross races for 2012-2013
International cyclo-cross commences on Saturday with the first UCI race of the new season at Rohrbach’s Ellison Park Cyclocross, a two-day UCI C2 event in Rochester, New York.
Jonathan Page will headline this year's Elite men's field, which includes 2011 winner Nicolas Bazin from the French Pro Continental Team Big-Mat Auber. Bazin's teammate, Flavien Dassonville, is scheduled to race this year as well. Redline's Justin Lindine, the only other winner of the race since it achieved UCI status in 2010, is also scheduled for the start line both days. Seven-time British national champion Helen Wyman (Kona), the 2010 and 2011 Elite women's winner in Rochester, will return this year to try and make it three consecutive wins.
Bazin beat British rider Ian Field (Hargrove Cycles) and Belgian Tom Van den Bosch (AA Drink-leontien.nl) to win last year's race. Lindine was the top US finisher last year in fourth. Wyman rode away with the 2011 women's race, beating Belgian Joyce Vanderbeken by 43 seconds. Carolyn Popovic was the top US finisher in third, 45 seconds behind Wyman.
Rohrbach’s Ellison Park Cyclocross began in 2008 as an amateur event and expanded to a one-day UCI pro and amateur race for 2010 and 2011. This year the race has expanded to a two-day UCI event for both pros and amateurs on Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday, Sept. 9.
UCI cyclo-cross in the US travels to Breiningsville, Pennsylvania, and Williston, Vermont, the following weekend for two separate UCI C2 two-day races on Sept. 15 and 16. CrossVegas, three days later on Wednesday, Sept. 19, marks the first UCI C1 event in the US. The high-profile Interbike interruption in Vegas is quickly followed by the two-day Planet Bike Cup in Sun...
UCI series back on calendar after one-year ban
After a one-year hiatus imposed by the UCI, the Verge New England Cyclo-cross Series will return to the USA calendar, bringing to three the number of professional 'cross series in North America.
The six-race NECX series joins the eight-race US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross and the eight-race Shimano New England Pro Cyclocross Series in obtaining the official UCI series designation.
The NECX organisers found out late in 2010 that they had fallen afoul of a UCI regulation which required any series to obtain certification from the sport's governing body, and were given a one-year suspension from running the races as a series. The races were run in 2011 as stand-alone UCI events.
This year's series begins on September 15-16 with the Green Mountain Cyclo-cross Weekend at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vermont.
The next two races take place in New Gloucester, Maine at the Downeast Cyclo-cross on October 20-21, and the closing weekend will again be in Sterline, Massachusetts for the Bay State Cyclo-cross.
The opening weekend is expected to attract a strong field, including Frenchman Nicolas Bazin, who this weekend won both of the Rohrbach Ellison 'cross races in Rochester, New York. Ted King of Liquigas-Cannondale is slated to do his annual dabble in the off-road side of the sport, while former US champions Tim Johnson, and Jonathan Page will battle for victory.
The Verge series will also hold amateur races with series points in 10 categories.
Belgian champion experiencing doubt after long year
Belgian cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys has had little time for recovery this year. His London Olympic Games participation has meant his season, which began at this time last year, has not really stopped. Once last season’s ‘cross World Cup circuit was complete he was off to a mountain World Cup, searching for qualification points, in order to be selected for the Belgian cross country mountain bike team at the London Games.
With the World Cup ‘cross season next on the agenda, beginning in Tabor on October 21, the former 'cross world champion wonders if he’s asking too much of himself to be able to perform at a high level for such a long period.
"Since the end of the previous cyclo-cross season I was silent for a moment. Three weeks after the last ‘cross in Hasselt, I was already in South Africa for the World Cup mountain bike. Physically, I had no rest, but also mentally. In my head it was constantly busy: I cannot let myself go, I must maintain my condition, I have to qualify for the Olympics. That lasted throughout the spring and summer to 12 August, The day of the Olympic cross country race," said Nys to Het Nieuwsblad.
Like many of the ‘cross riders, Nys uses the road circuit to remain fit for his real passion. His Landbouwkrediet-Euphony team holds a Professional Continental license and appears in most of the big Belgian spring classics. Nys is frequently racing on the road, having ridden in Paris-Bruxelles but his road season has been lighter this year as he concentrated on preparing for the Games.
Even on his...
Banking takeover leads to name change for Belgian team
Sven Nys' Landboukrediet-Euphony team will change names at the beginning of 2013, as a consequence of the bank's takeover of another Belgian bank, Centea. The team, which will remain the same as regards riders and staff, will be named Crelan, the new name of the bank following Landbouwkrediet's takeover of Centea.
"Landbouwkrediet and Centea will be joining together next year and the unified bank will be called Crelan. The values of Landbouwkrediet will remain unchanged, as will our commitment to cyclo-cross. The name of our cycling team will also be Crelan as of 2013. The well-known logo will continue on in a modernized form," Landbouwkrediet CEO Luc Versele told La Dernière Heure.
Three riders will carry the colours of Landbouwkrediet on the cyclo-cross circuit this season: Sven Nys, Sven Vanthourenhout and Vincent Baestaens. "Our objective is that these three riders place themselves in the top ten as much as possible. With these three riders, we will have a great opportunity to make our new name - Crelan - known by the general public as of January 2013. I hope that Sven Nys will once again take a classification jersey and win another overall series," Versele added.
Although he already has the greatest palmarès in Belgian cyclo-cross to his name, once again Nys is determined to give his very best this upcoming season. But the 36-year-old also stated that he will put an end to his career after the 2013-2014 season at the latest. "In March 2014, it will irrevocably be over. That's...
US 'cross champ cross-trains in Los Angeles
As most of the US cyclo-cross community descends Massachusetts, for the Grand Prix of Gloucester, there will be one conspicuous absence, National Champion Katie Compton (Trek Cyclo-cross Coalition). Compton, who also skipped Cross Vegas, will be on her way to Los Angeles for the US Elite Track Nationals on Sunday September 30. Compton is scheduled to ride the Madison with fellow Colorado rider and multiple track national champion Cari Higgins (Exergy-Twenty12). In 2010, Higgins partnered with Olympic medalist, Jennie Reed, to win the first US Women's Madison Championship.
Compton is no stranger to the track, having raced competitively as a junior on the east coast, and as a pilot for a blind partner at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. At the Athens Games, Compton and her partner won multiple medals at the track, including a gold in the pursuit, where they set the world record.
"I grew up racing on the track, the Madison is one of my favorite events," said Compton after winning Day 2 of the Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie Wisconsin. "It actually complements 'cross racing pretty well. I've never suffered like I have in a Madison, realizing I have 40 laps to go and thinking 'Oh my god, I'm never going to make it.'"
The biggest threat to Compton's upcoming cyclo-cross World Cup campaign is likely to come from current World Cyclo-cross and Road Race Champion, Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women's Cycling Team). Vos is no stranger to the track herself having won both Olympic and World titles in the points race in 2008. "She's so strong, and talented, and she works amazingly hard. She's probably the best women's bike racer we are going to see in a long time and it's unfortunate I'm going to be racing her the...
Seasoned 'crosser puts roots down in US before departing for Belgium
Jonathan Page has had a busy year setting up a new house in Utah and managing an ongoing search for a new title sponsor, which he has yet to land. "My secondary sponsors are supporting me again: Lazer Helmets, Verge Clothing, Spy sunglasses have been really helpful. Clement tires will be back in now, I've picked up some smaller sponsors but I've just missed the big one," said Page before the start of racing at Day 2 of the Trek USGP of Cyclocross Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. "I've said it before, but that was due to me not saying anything about Planet Bike not being a sponsor. It became too late, and now I don't have a major sponsor."
Page has had to juggle a lot as he searched for a new sponsor and worked on the house but it hasn't been without some reward. "It's been fairly stressful for me, but that is not all due to bike racing and things like that. What’s really great is that we have a house in Utah. It's the first time we've ever had a house in the United States," said Page who is heading to Boston for the upcoming New England races in Gloucester and Providence before heading back to Belgium.
For the 36-year-old Page, who was a competitive skier in New Hampshire before picking up 'cross, the dry weather and mountains of Utah are a welcome contrast to the Belgian weather he has dealt with the last several years. "I went there (Utah) for a Blue Bicycle dealer and press camp, it was in Deer Valley and Park City. I said this might be the place we can settle down, check it out, and go skiing."
To keep things going Page has to enlist the help of friends and family, which is a mixed blessing. At the Planet Bike Cup he was supported by a full network of old friends which included Bob Downs, founder of Planet Bike, Dave Kohli, a former ProTour mechanic that resides in Madison, and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), who drove Page from Chicago to...
Top domestic riders assemble in Massachusetts
This weekend marks, to many, the official start of the Cyclo-cross season in New England with the Gran Prix of Gloucester's UCI C1 and C2 events on September 29th and 30th at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The area is set to offer up "true 'cross conditions" with rain in the forecast.
The races are the first two in the eight-race Shimano NEPCX series.
Both the UCI Men's and UCI Women's fields are stacked with both domestic and international talent, promising some of the best racing America will see until the imminent World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky this coming January.
In the men's events, both of the domestic power houses, Rapha – Focus and Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com, will be fully represented this weekend. The Rapha-Focus team brings current US National Champion Jeremy Powers, current U23 National Champion Zach McDonald, and Chris Jones. The Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com team brings recent acquisition Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson, and Jamey Driscoll.
According to Powers, "It's been said Gloucester's the New England World Championships and I'd have to agree with that statement. If there's one race I look forward to every year, it's Gloucester. No one leaves anything in the tank there."
Trebon said, "I'm stoked to be back in New England for Gloucester. I've been fortunate enough to win this race a few times in the past and I'm really hoping to add a few more to my tally this weekend."
Looking to spoil any chances of victory for the two aforementioned teams are Green Mountain and Charm City winner Nicolas Bazin (Team Auber – 93), recent Gateway Cross Cup winner, Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement), Ian Field (Hargrove Cycles – Specialized), and Jonathan Page.
In the women's events, many familiar faces, both domestic and international, will be returning to Gloucester this weekend.
Last year's winner on both days, Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing), is back...