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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 16, 2013

Date published:
December 16, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: 2013 through the lens of Dave McElwaine

    Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) leads out the Elite Women on a perfect autumn day at Harbin Park in Cincinnati, Ohio
    Article published:
    December 06, 2013, 20:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Best images from off-road racing

    Cyclingnews takes a look back through the colorful 2013 season with this gallery of images from our North American and off-road photographer, Dave McElwaine.

    "2013 has been the most exciting year ever to photograph cyclo-cross and mountain biking," McElwaine writes. "The American mountain biking scene has exploded with successful epic races such as the Whiskey 50, The Iceman Cometh, and the 24-Hours of Old Pueblo. Often these weekends are three-day festivals of racing, food, music, and amazing opportunities to capture images. When combined with our established pro cross-country series, and the emerging Enduro scene, there are more options than ever for racers to enjoy.

    "Cyclo-cross in the USA this season has been the best ever. Individual promoters in Las Vegas, Providence, Cincinnati, Iowa City and other cities have produced events that rival any in the world. With around 50 UCI races on the calendar, I often wish I could be in two places at once! It has been exciting to see a growing number of Europeans stay in the USA after CrossVegas to begin their seasons here. For a photographer, it is hard to beat cyclo-cross. There are brilliant colors, non-stop action, and big personalities to capture.

    "The World Cups races this year have been more competitive than ever. I am excited to see the progression of North American riders such as Katie Compton, Lea Davison, Stephen Ettinger, Logan Owen and others. I am looking forward to the World Cyclo-cross Championships in Holland. This could be the year that I photograph an American on the top step of the podium."

  • Van der Poel finishes 2nd in elite 'cross debut

    An elated Mathieu van der Poel (Enertherm-BKCP) placed second at Scheldecross, the first time the 18-year-old contested an elite race.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2013, 21:05 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    18-year-old Dutchman on the podium at Scheldecross

    Mathieu van der Poel has certainly taken the U23 ranks by storm as the 18-year-old Dutchman has already notched six victories in the opening months of his debut in his new age division. Van der Poel has won two U23 World Cups (and leads overall in the series), three U23 Superprestige events (and leads overall in the series) and also prevailed at the first round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series. He's placed second in the U23 European championship and third at both the opening U23 World Cup round as well as the U23 Koppenbergcross.

    The son of Adri van der Poel, a cyclo-cross world champion as well as winner of both the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and grandson of Raymond Poulidor, Vuelta a Espana champion and perennial Tour de France podium finisher, the young Dutchman had already shown his class with back-to-back junior cyclo-cross world championships (2012-2013) as well as a junior road race world championship (2013) just prior to his current 'cross season.

    With a seamless transition to U23 division well underway much attention was played on Van der Poel's elite-level debut today at the UCI C1-rated Scheldecross in Antwerp, Belgium, and the young Dutchman certainly rose to the occasion. Van der Poel, set to transition from the Enertherm-BKCP development squad to its professional team BKCP-Powerplus on January...

  • Johnson narrows gap to Pro CX leader Powers

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) biding his time before attacking
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 23:44 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Anderson continues to lead women's standings

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Elle Anderson (Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) continue to lead the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) standings, but their respective leads in the elite men's and elite women's categories were both reduced in this past weekend's racing. Austin Vincent (Race CF | @racecf) remains the junior men's leader.

    The top riders in the elite Pro CX standings opted to contest the points-rich Deschutes Brewery Cup in Bend, Oregon, on Saturday, the final UCI-rated C1 race in the US this season. Also on tap for the Pro CX was a pair of UCI C2 events in Warwick, Rhode Island, as the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross served as the final races for the Shimano NEPCX series.

    Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b endured frigid wintry conditions in Bend on Saturday to win the Deschutes Brewery Cup and the points earned kept him in second overall in the Pro CX standings with 936 points. Pro CX leader Jeremy Powers continues to lead overall with 945 points after his fourth place effort in Bend, but his advantage over Johnson was reduced to just nine points. Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement), ninth at the Deschutes Brewery Cup, retains his third place position with 866 points. Bend, Oregon's Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b remains in fourth overall at 711 points while the top five is completed by Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) at 530 points.

    Justin Lindine (Redline), seventh overall in the Pro CX, and

  • American 'cross promoters hit by USA Cycling fee increase

    Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) runs to victory
    Article published:
    December 11, 2013, 16:38 GMT
    Ted Burns

    Race Clean, other fees go up for Pro CX series

    Promoters of the top cyclo-cross races in the USA are scrambling to pull together the fees to USA Cycling to earn their spot on next year's calendar after the governing body increased the charges for permits and anti-doping programs that nearly doubled the costs over 2013.

    Shortly after the conclusion of the Jingle Cross Rock cyclo-cross event on November 17th, organizers of the Pro CX races received the updated payment schedule and race fees for the 2014 calendar. The new fees covered the 2014 permit fee and Race Clean anti-doping program, and were originally due on December 5th, but that deadline was extended to December 10.

    For the Race Director of the Jingle Cross Rock, John Meehan, it was a tough pill to swallow, since in previous years the inscription fee was only required 60 days in advance of the race. The fast-tracked timeline meant a portion of the money that was earmarked for their fundraising objectives - the race is organized in support of the University of Iowa Children's hospital - would be needed to guarantee the race for 2014

    "It won't affect the race, but it did affect our ability to pay this bill upon request since we got it right after our budget had been closed for the year," said Meehan. "If we had known about it in August, that would have been more helpful."

    In 2013 permit fees were 7 per cent of a races prize list, and the Race Clean payment was $800 for the entire weekend. For a race such as Jingle Cross Rock this amounted to a total of approximately $2400. In 2014, USA Cycling is converting to a flat fee of $1950 for a C1 event, and $950 for a C2 event. The Race Clean program fee also increases, and will now run $800 for the first day of racing, and $400 for each subsequent day of racing.

    Multi-day races are eligible for additional discounts if promoted under the same permit. After the multi-day discount this would...

  • Video: How the race was won, Deschutes Brewery Cup edition

    Tim Johnson celebrates his win with fans.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2013, 19:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Single-digit temps make for careful racing

    The Deschutes Brewery Cup in Bend, Oregon was held in weather that was on the extreme end of reasonable - with temperatures in the single digits Fahrenheit. With snow on the ground, the course was treacherous and riders had to gingerly pick their way around the corners to keep traction.

    Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) is a notably good rider in the ice and snow, and once he made his way to the front, overtaking Canadian mountain biker Geoff Kabush, he would never be seen again by second place, even with a crash.

    As usual, Cosmo Catalano picks out every dab and bobble, and every winning move in this edition of How the Race Was Won. You can find all this and more at Behind the Barriers TV.

  • Stybar lays out cyclo-cross programme

    Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) wins
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 17:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former world champion still on the fence for Worlds

    Former cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar will compete in six cyclo-cross races before deciding if he will compete in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands in February.

    The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has turned his main focus to road racing, giving up a lucrative offer from Telenet-Fidea, but will dabble in his former discipline in December, beginning with the bpost Bank Trofee race in Essen, Belgium on December 21 before lining up at his first World Cup of the season in Zolder on December 26.

    He will then race in the bpost Bank Trofee Azencross in Loenhout, the C2 race in Bredene and the Superprestige in Diegem ahead of the New Year's Day race in Baal.

    "For me, cyclo-cross will always be a big passion that is difficult to give up completely, even though my focus is now primarily on the road," Stybar said. "It's an environment that I like a lot and that allows me to be near the fans that have supported me since my career began."

    Stybar may feel a bit like he did at the Boonen & Friends charity race earlier this month where he was given a one minute handicap at the start, since he will be required to line up behind all of the other riders who have more UCI points.

    "This year I will start at the back of the field because of the cyclo-cross rankings, so it will be difficult to achieve as good of results as in the past," Stybar said. "In addition, I've based my training on the road season, in order to be competitive in the spring Classics, so I don't really know how I compare to the...

  • Former cyclo-cross world champion Arnaud Jouffroy ends career

    Arnaud Jouffroy (Telenet-Fidea)
    Article published:
    December 15, 2013, 15:50 GMT
    José Been

    Frenchman lacks motivation

    Arnaud Jouffroy has decided to end his career. The 23-year-old Frenchman of the Telenet-Fidea cyclo-cross team is lacking motivation.

    "I don't feel that spark anymore. I want to try something else because I am not as good any more on the bike. I still love cycling, but I won't do anything to be a pro cyclist," he told DirectVelo.

    Jouffroy dominated the junior ranks and became junior world champion cyclo-cross in 2008 in Treviso. In 2010, he finished third in the U23 category in Tábor but was crowned world champion after the Polish Szczepaniak brothers, who finished first and second, tested positive for EPO.

    He signed with BKCP Powerplus in 2010, but suffered from multiple injuries. In 2011, he joined Telenet-Fidea but Jouffroy never lived up to the expectations after his many victories in the junior and U23 ranks. His contract with the Belgian team ends this month, and Jouffroy struggled to find a place in a French team. His deal with the French Army team fell through at the last moment.

    "That was a blow to the morale," Jouffroy told Directvelo. "Every day it takes me more and more effort to go out on the bike. Cycling is a beautiful sport, but I get the impression that the harder I train, the results are getting worse. I have to be realistic. In cycling you have to give it 100% or quit. There is no compromise. If you want to be a pro cyclist, you have to sacrifice a lot. I don't want to give everything, both from a sports perspective and financially, without getting results anymore." 

    Jouffroy is not afraid he will regret his decision. "As a junior when my legs burned, I felt the adrenalin and the desire to pedal even faster. I don't have that sensation anymore. The thought of quitting crossed my mind more often but...

  • Nys, UCI aim to boost cyclo-cross

    Sven Nys (Crelan KDL Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    December 16, 2013, 19:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cyclo-cross commission meets with major race organisers

    The UCI Cyclo-cross commission members met this weekend to discuss the future of 'cross with representatives of the major race series - the UCI World Cup, bpost Bank Trofee and Superprestige - about how to expand the discipline around the globe.

    The commission includes British racer Helen Wyman, Beat Wabel, American 'cross mentor Geoff Proctor, president Mike Plant and athlete representative Sven Nys.

    Nys, who asked his Twitter followers for suggestions on how to internationalize the sport, was pleased with the discussions.

    "It's a good thing that we could carry out this debate along with the representatives of the three major classifications," Nys said to Sporza. "We can work together on the future of 'cross.

    "It was also considered to build something in America, which can only benefit from internationalization. Because the three major players came together, I have a good view that the change will come."