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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 3, 2012

Date published:
December 03, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Compton's Koksijde victory another step towards first World Cup title

    A beaming Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) on the podium after winning the third round of the World Cup.
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 21:03 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    US champion hopes to skip final World Cup round

    The dominant win by Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) in the third World Cup round of the season was a big step towards clinching the overall title in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Compton leads the series with 170 points, 40 more than her nearest rivals Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank Women Team), Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Helen Wyman (Kona) who are all tied with 130 points.

    After flying in from the USA on Thursday, the US champion was still in the throes of jet-lag on Saturday for the World Cup round in Koksijde, Belgium. Despite the comfortable win Compton was spotted making some mistakes during her foray in the sand dunes and she referred to the jet lag as main reason. "It's still only five o'clock in the morning for me so I'm still asleep. I'm clumsy when I'm sleepy," Compton smiled.

    During the next World Cup rounds Compton doesn't expect to have the same problem as she's staying in Europe. "We're staying in Europe until January. In between I'm doing a training camp in Majorca and after the World Cup round in Rome I'm heading back to the USA for nationals in Madison. If I need to come back for Hoogerheide (the final World Cup round on January 20) I will but If I can skip it I would like to."

    There's a chance Compton might stay in the USA and the return to competition of world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women) plays an important role in this. Vos' return to competition benefits Compton's ambitions for the World Cup in two ways. First, having missed the first three rounds due to the later start of her 'cross season Vos is too far behind to contend for the overall World Cup win, as earlier seasons have showed. Second, there's little chance for Compton's other rivals to earn maximum points on a given occasion.

    With some good results in the next World Cup rounds Compton hopes to extend her lead even further,...

  • The Belgians aren't unbeatable, says Mourey

    Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) rides to a 3rd place finish.
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 22:01 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    French 'crosser finishes on podium at Koksijde World Cup

    At this year's cyclo-cross world championships, contested in January at Koksijde, Belgium, the home Belgian team utterly dominated the race in the elite men's category by placing all seven team members in a sweep of the top seven places. Czech rider Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) was the first non-Belgian in the results, finishing eighth, more than two minutes behind his trade teammate Niels Albert.

    On Saturday afternoon the cyclo-cross peloton once again landed in the dunes of Koksijde for the third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. And while Belgian riders yet again made their presence felt by placing six riders in the top seven, French rider Francis Mourey (FDJ-Big Mat) countered the home country's show of force by finishing on the podium in third place, 19 seconds behind winner Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-KDL) and just five seconds in arrears of runner-up Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), the reigning world champion crowned on the sand dunes of Koksijde in January.

    So far this season there have been only three races in which all the world's best riders were present and those were the World Cup rounds. In the two previous World Cup rounds Mourey finished fourteenth and eighth place but in Koksijde he claimed a surprising third place result.

    "It wasn't a surprise to me," Mourey said, when asked by the gathered media at the post-race press conference in the military base next to the sand course in Koksijde. "The...

  • Van der Poel faster than Elite riders in Koksijde World Cup race

    Mathieu van der Poel soloed to victory in the 2012 Junior men's Koppenbergcross
    Article published:
    November 25, 2012, 9:54 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Junior winner confirms his family pedigree

    During the Junior Men’s race at the cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium, Mathieu van der Poel not only demolished his contemporaries but also made the elite riders blush.

    The official results from the UCI show that his opening lap on the demanding sand course through the dunes in Koksijde was faster than any other rider in all the race categories.

    Van der Poel clocked 7:08 in his opening lap while the fastest lap of an Elite Men was 7:10; cyclo-cross star Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) needed four more seconds to complete his fastest lap. Though the circumstances were obviously different –the rain was not as heavy – it does highlight the abilities of the 17 year-old Dutchman.

    The current cyclo-cross Junior Men World champion is the son of former pro rider and cyclo-cross champion Adrie van der Poel, is still unbeaten this season, racking up thirteen wins.

    At the finish line of yet another victory, Cyclingnews talked with Van der Poel and asked him if he was challenged enough in the Junior Men category.

    “The challenge is to be up there every race,” Van der Poel said. “I do know that with my lap times I can be with the best in the Men Under 23 category. That’s all hypothetical of course. Everything at the right time.”


  • Compton becomes new leader of UCI 'cross rankings

    World Cup leader Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) soloed to victory in Koksijde, Belgium, the World Cup's third round.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 19:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pauwels holds slim lead over Nys on men's standings

    The UCI released its latest cyclo-cross rankings today, highlighted by Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) overtaking Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women Team) to become the new leader of the elite women's standings. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) retained a slim lead over Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) for elite men, while junior men's superstar Mathieu van der Poel remains comfortably atop his category's standings having gone undefeated thus far this season.

    Despite not starting her 'cross season until this past Sunday at Superprestige Gieten, reigning world champion Marianne Vos had led the women's UCI rankings since the start of the season due to the rolling 12-month points tabulation format. Compton has been steadily chipping away at Vos's lead, however, and having won her second World Cup round of the season in Koksijde on Saturday plus taking two victories at US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Derby City Cup weekend earlier in November, Compton edged ahead of Vos 1,980 points to 1,940 to take over the lead.

    European champion Helen Wyman (Kona), Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Veldritacademie Enertherm - BKCP) and Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) each moved up a position to third, fourth and fifth respectively as Daphny van den Brand, who retired at the end of the 2011-2012 'cross season, dropped from third to seventh on her steady descent down the rankings.

    While Wyman missed the podium for the first time at a 'cross World Cup this season at Koksijde, where she finished fifth, the 31-year-old Briton had a morale-boosting...

  • Young US riders selected for Euro 'cross camp

    Thumbs up from Andrew Dillman on the start line.
    Article published:
    November 28, 2012, 12:59 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New location selected for Belgian racing experience

    Young American cyclo-crossers will head across the Atlantic in mid-December for the 10th annual edition of the Euro 'Cross Camp run by Geoff Proctor. Nine juniors, six U23s and one elite rider have been selected for this year's camp in Belgium.

    "It started in 2003, and we've kept the same vision and goals," said Proctor, who balances the duties of coordinating the camp with teaching at a public school in Montana. "It's changed a little bit here and there."

    What's new for this year is the location of the Euro 'Cross Camp, which will be in Vorselaar, Belgium. "This year, the Isegem base of operation is being renovated. So I have found a different facility on the other side of Belgium," said Proctor to Cyclingnews. The logistics of new staff and location are challenging to work out, but it's all coming together."

    The more eastern location should work out well. "Most 'crossers live on the east side of Belgium. We're nearer to the home of Erwin Vervecken and what was the long-time home of Bart Wellens, who now lives closer to Brussels. Being on the east side of Belgium means we'll be closer to more of the races during that Christmas week. I think it's 1.5 hours driving to the farthest race, and the rest are within an hour."

    Proctor says the camp is targeting five races, and a small group will also travel separately after the camp to do the World Cup race in Rome. The World Cups are important because its standings are used to determine starting spots at the world championships in early 2013.

    "For the juniors and U23, the start grid is based on World Cup, not on UCI points for the world championships in Louisville," said Proctor. "We have two juniors and one U23 racer who we are trying to get into those front two rows. I'll take those guys down to Rome and do that World Cup on January 7, and then they'll fly straight to Madison, Wisconsin for US nationals."

    Euro Cross Camp brings together a collection of...

  • Gallery: Stybar wins Boonen and Friends charity race

    Zdenek Stybar wins the race
    Article published:
    December 01, 2012, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pros race in the sand

    Former 'cross world champion Zdenek Stybar won the Tom Boonen and Friends Charity Cyclo-cross on Saturday afternoon in Belgium. Maarten Wynants and Pieter Vanspeybrouck rounded out the top three while Matteo Trentin was fourth and Peter Sagan rode to fifth.

    "That was fun! thanks to all supporters!" tweeted Stybar after his victory, "...have to say that it was not easy. I've enjoyed [it] a lot!"

    Held for the fourth time, the race benefitted the charity Move to Improve, which helps children with neuromotor problems.

    The race's namesake, Tom Boonen, had to sit out the race. He is continuing to recover from the stomach illness that kept him out of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team camp earlier this week.

  • Van Paassen dispels doubts in Roubaix

    Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank Women Team)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2012, 21:53 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Dutch woman happy with second place finish

    After finishing on a distant sixth place in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round of sandy Koksijde last week, Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank Women Cycling Team) removed any doubts about how she was riding by putting in a solid performance during the fourth round of the World Cup in Roubaix, France on Sunday. Despite leading most of the race, Van Paassen eventually fell just short of the win at the vélodrome after Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) made a late race comeback.

    "I lost out on the victory, but I feel like I won second place," Van Paassen said. "Of course it's my ambition to win, but I'm also happy with second place."

    The usually competitive rider seemed to be more than pleased with her podium place. While talking about her race in Roubaix, she thought back on her miserable race in the dunes of Koksijde, one week earlier. After finishing that race, the 24-year-old left the finish area as soon as possible, avoiding the awaiting media.

    "Last weekend, I had problems with my pedals," she said. "I was so angry, but in the sand that doesn't help you. Not being able to clip in the pedal makes it impossible to keep up. It was a disappointing race."

    "Afterwards I started having doubts. Finishing sixth was far below par and after a while you no longer know what it was. Was it just a mechanical issue or also physical? Would I still be able to get on the podium? Today I showed myself that I can still do it. The fast course was my thing, too."

    After the third round of the World Cup in Koksijde, the Dutch rider shared second place in the World Cup standings with British riders Helen Wyman (Kona) and Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team). By finishing as runner-up behind overall leader Compton in Roubaix today, Van Paassen kept...

  • Nys tells rivals to respect contracts

    World champion Niels Albert leads the group
    Article published:
    December 03, 2012, 9:15 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Albert switches focus to UCI 'Cross World Championships

    After clinching yet another cyclo-cross victory in the World Cup round of Roubaix, veteran Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) warned his rivals that they shouldn't try to walk a different path when trying to beat him later this season. The 34 year-old Belgian champion is dominating the big races this season and already grabbed his tenth win of the season on the vélodrome in Roubaix.

    The next few weeks there are some races on the program which are not part of any series and Nys sensed that some of his rivals were planning to skip some of these races in order to become fresher than himself.

    "Often I'm told that I can't deal with the pressure at the world championships. You can also look at it as me being the one who's respecting the contracts throughout the season," Nys stated.

    Nys did it before and he did it again in Roubaix: warning the younger generation that they kill their sport by neglecting the smaller races. "The strength of these small races is that they feature the big names in a real battle. That's why so many people come to these races but they'll disappear if they're not respected. It's no longer my concern but it is that from the younger riders. Before the season they're all signing contracts for all races. They feature on the race posters. When you're getting tired because of all the races it's tempting to skip some of these. To me, if you sign a contract with an organizer it's a matter of respect that you take part in the race. It's important that everybody is riding the same program. Moi, je roule," Nys told French journalists in Roubaix that he's respecting all his contracts.

    "It's a fact that your form goes backwards by the end of the season. The problem for me is that not everybody arrives at that race with the same program. It's not always intended, like Niels Albert who was confronted with an...