"Yeah, she's going down, is what I'm saying!" joked Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) when asked about her chances against Katie Compton (Trek Cycling Collective) in Sunday's National Cyclo-cross Championship race being held in Verona, WI.
Gould, who won medals at the Olympics and World Mountain Bike Championships in 2012, rode a successful cyclo-cross season this past year, and her string of second and third places finishes earned her the overall victory in the major US series, the Trek US Grand Prix of Cyclo-cross.
Gould, whose cyclo-cross racing is often hampered by a slow start, a factor she attributes to her focus on longer mountain bike racing, brings a large following to each event she attends due to her Olympic success and #heckleme Twitter campaign.
With a legion of fans cheering and jeering her on at each race, Gould remains optimistic despite Compton's dominant season. "I think in these kind of conditions anything can happen to anybody. You never know so you can never count anybody out," said Gould after pre-riding the course on Friday. "Obviously Katie is the favorite, but anything can happen on the day. You just never know.
Gould's technical skills will be key to her success with course conditions changing every day, and sometimes after every race. "It was treacherous out there. There is some mud, and some ice, lots of ice, some frozen ruts, some not-frozen ruts," said Gould about her course reconnaissance. "It's just going to be about finesse, and a little bit of luck."
Gould was more circumspect on how her technique would vary given that forecasts are calling for temperatures to dive below freezing on Saturday night. "You just try to stay upright and make less mistakes than everyone else," said Gould about the mud, ice, and water lining the course. "Really, no one is making no mistakes, so it's just about keeping your...
Team owner picks Johnson, Trebon and Driscoll as potential winners
Stu Thorne's Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team is one of the best-known outfits on the US cyclo-cross circuit. The team boasts a cadre of current and former national champions, including riders Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, Jamey Driscoll, and Kaitlin Antonneau. The team benefits from Thorne's technical knowledge and level headed approach to racing.
Thorne's attention to detail will be a key factor in his riders' success on Sunday at US Cyclo-cross Nationals in Verona, Wisconsin. Shifting weather conditions will require multiple tire changes, which Thorne's Cyclocrossworld.com business is in a unique position to supply.
"We have every option there is," said Thorne when asked how he would set up his riders for Sunday's races. "We have Dugast, Small Birds, Typhoons, Pipistrellos, Pipsqualos, the whole thing, so we are all set. We are just ready for what ever we have to pull out of the truck."
While Thorne is competitive, and being on the top step is important to him, he has searched out riders who fit his management style and his team's character. Thorne brightened up when asked about Trebon, who is coming into nationals after a block of training in California. "He's super detailed, he's into his equipment, and knows everything about it," said Thorne on his relationship with Trebon over the last year. "He's in tune with it, and he's just a good guy. I've always worked with Ryan in the past, but not at this level, and I think it's been really good."
Thorne's even handed guidance is ideal for a young rider like Kaitlin Antonneau who at 21 is juggling an elite racing schedule and life as a full time student. Antonneau's workload, both on and off the bike, has meant her 2012 season was not as prolific as many expected after her second place at nationals in 2012. "She's so driven and she wants to excel at everything. That doesn't just include cycling,...
The weather forecast is calling for sunny skies but very cold temperatures, which will freeze the snowy, rutted course for Sunday's races. The singlespeed, masters and juniors will have thoroughly tested the Badger Prairie State Park circuit in the four days of racing leading up to the marquee events.
The elite women will go off at 1300 Central time (2000 CET), while the men start racing at 1415.
World Cup winner Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) will be vying for her ninth straight title against Olympic bronze medalist in mountain biking, Georgia Gould.
Defending champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) will face a strong challenge from Belgian resident Jonathan Page and a trio of Cannondale riders, Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon and Jamey Driscoll as well as mountain bikers Adam Craig and Todd Wells.
As added incentive, the winners of the two elite races, plus winners of the U23 men and junior 17-18 men's fields will be awarded automatic nomination to the USA team for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tune in to this page for the live streaming on Sunday on Cyclingnews.
The Belgian Cycling Federation announced today the riders who will contest the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. Twenty riders plus nine reserves will make up Belgium's squad for 'cross Worlds, taking place for the first time on U.S. soil in Louisville, Kentucky, February 2-3.
Six of the seven elite men's riders who dominated affairs in Koksijde return in 2013, including the podium of Niels Albert, Rob Peeters and Kevin Pauwels. Also returning from last year's squad include newly crowned national champion Klaas Vantornout, Sven Nys and Bart Aernouts. Tom Meeusen, recently questioned concerning his connection to Dr. Chris Mertens in an alleged blood doping scheme, finished fourth in 2012 but was not selected this year. Instead, former world champion Bart Wellens gets the nod to complete Belgium's seven-rider elite men's squad.
"For me, this was the easiest world championship squad in years," Belgium's coach Rude De Bie told Nieuwsblad.be. "The absence of Meeusen is particularly...
USA Cycling today announced its 22-rider team for the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, which take place in Louisville, Kentucky on February 2-3.
The main contenders had already earned automatic nominations: World Cup overall winner Katie Compton (Trek), who secured her ninth straight national title on Sunday, will lead the women’s team. Compton’s young protégé Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) also earned an automatic bid through a ninth place finish in the Tabor World Cup.
Earning discretionary bids were Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized), Amy Dombroski (Telenet-Fidea), and Jade Wilcoxson (Optum) who placed second in the national championships. Also included was Georgia Gould (Luna), who had the second most UCI points to Compton.
Not making the cut were Nicole Duke, whose heroic ride through crashes and mechanicals ended in a third place finish at nationals, Crystal Anthony and Maureen Bruno Roy, who were the next best UCI ranked riders in the USA.
In the elite men’s field, six Americans will try to nab a podium place against an imposing presence from Belgium. New US champion Jonathan Page (ENGVT) is the most familiar with the competition, making his home in Oudenaarde, Belgium during the season. He will head up the team with Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Foucs), Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Clement) and Tim Johnson (Canndondale/Cyclocrossworld).
Getting the two discretionary spots were Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Danny Summerhill (Unitedhealthcare), who were third and fourth at the national championships behind Page and Zach McDonald, who will lead the USA’s U23 team.
McDonald earned an automatic bid through his fourth place finish in the Tabor World Cup. He will be joined by four discretionary picks: Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross), Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant Berry...
When the cyclo-cross season started back in September, Jade Wilcoxson's name was not on anybody's list of possible candidates for the US team that will compete at the world championships next month in Louisville, Kentucky. Wilcoxson, a first-year road pro who had never before raced a full season of cyclo-cross, had not even submitted her own name to USA Cycling for Worlds consideration.
But a season of consistently improving 'cross results for the Optum Pro Cycling rider, capped by an improbable second-place finish in the Elite women's race at the US cyclo-cross national championships last weekend, earned the 34-year-old a coveted starting spot at the first-ever cyclo-cross world championships in the US.
"That was crazy," Wilcoxson said of the moment she found out she'd made the Worlds team. "It's unbelievable, really. I'm still pretty shocked about it and incredibly excited. Who knew that my first time wearing a USA Cycling kit would be at a world championship event."
It's a lot to take in for a rider who just one year ago was working as a physical therapist in the small Southern Oregon town where she lives. Earlier that summer Wilcoxson, who at the time had been racing in regional amateur events for a couple of years, earned a spot on the Nature Valley Pro Chase composite team and went on to win the best amateur rider prize at the 2011 Nature Valley Grand Prix. After the season she signed her first pro contract with Optum Pro Cycling.
Wilcoxson wasted little time piling up top-10 and podium finishes on the road in 2012. She was fourth overall at the SRAM Tour of the Gila and came in second on the difficult Stillwater Criterium stage of the
Meeusen's win in Zonnebeke is "more pain than pleasure"
The new Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout may not be on the start line in the final World Cup in Hoogerheide. The Sunweb-Napoleon Games rider crashed on the hard, frozen ruts in Saturday's UCI C2 race in Zonnebeke and says "the pain is enormous".
"As I feel now, I cannot start Sunday in Hoogerheide," Vantornout said, according to Sporza.
The race followed a winter storm that left much of Belgium covered in several inches of snow. The Kasteelcross course was rutted and icy as Vantornout chased his way to the front of the race, led by Tom Meeusen, Mariusz Gil, Swiss champion Julien Taramarcaz and Sven and Dieter Vanthourenhout.
Mid-way through the race, Vantornout overcame a slow start and joined the front group when he crashed on the icy ground, and limped away with severe pain in his left glute.
"There is a deep bruise, and I need to visit the emergency room to see if I broke anything."
In enormous pain and having difficulty even walking, Vantornout doubted a night's rest would be enough to recover sufficiently for the World Cup final.
Meeusen wins, but still not happy
After being left off Belgium's World Cup and World Championship team due to his involvement in a doping inquiry into his doctor, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) exacted his revenge in Zonnebeke. Taramarcaz thought he had the race won and raised his arms in victory, only to have the cagey Meeusen push past at the line to steal the win.
However, the victory was not vindication for Meeusen, who is still in the dark regarding the investigation.
"Initially I was not motivated to ride, so I wallowed in the back of the leading group," Meeusen said of the race.
"In the final round I scraped together all my motivation to participate in the sprint, but I'm not really happy with this win," he said, adding that it shows he should have been in the Belgian selection for Worlds. "It gives more pain than...
Yannick Eckmann won his first US Cyclo-cross Championship in Verona, Wisconsin last week, racing against the best U23 riders in the country, but he will not be able to fly the "Stars and Stripes" at the world championships in Louisville on February 2. After sorting through the myriad UCI eligibility rules, which both Eckmann and his father say were sometimes contradictory, Eckmann will race for Germany in Louisville.
"Since I switched in December, for my USA Cycling code, it means I have to race US Nationals now," said Eckmann on why he won't be representing the US in 2013 after winning the national championship. "This means I can't do German nationals anymore, and I can't race right away for the US National Team at World Cups and world championships."
"There came a lot of rules into play, nobody knew the exact rule, and that kind of stressed me out, because I wanted to race," said Eckmann about his roller coaster ride sorting out his eligibility rules. "I didn't want to not race. So I hoped for something good."
Eckmann received word several weeks ago that he could race at nationals, but did not know if he could race for the championship jersey until last Thursday when was informed by Jim Miller, of USA Cycling, that he was good to go. Despite Miller's help sorting through the UCI bureaucracy Eckmann was still working through issues the day before his race.
Eckmann recalled his last minute scrambling, "The next morning, or the same night, I got an email from the UCI, Jim Miller, and Shawn Farrell saying that I still need to state I'm leaving [the German Federation.] I already thought I did that, because when I applied for my new license, I wrote that I'm applying for the...