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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 7, 2011

Date published:
November 07, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Video: Rapha Super Cross Series 2011

    It didn't pay to take yourself too seriously at the Rapha Super Cross Series
    Article published:
    October 30, 2011, 18:33 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Highlights from London

    Here are the video highlights from the third and final leg of the Rapha Super Cross Series, held for the first time this year and inspired by the speed and atmosphere of the US and Belgian cyclo-cross scenes.

    The event at Alexandra Palace in London attracted riders of all abilities, from top-level pros to guys in fancy dress. Cowbells, Belgian beer and frites, riders pelted with marshmallows and some seriously gruelling racing – it looks like it was quite a weekend. Check out the video below for a closer look:

     

  • Tough week for cyclo-cross peloton kicks off in Zonhoven

    Niels Albert on the run-up.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2011, 20:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Albert, Nys and Stybar to battle again at Koppenberg on Tuesday

    The Belgian cyclo-cross season is off to the start of a grueling week. The week kicked off with the demanding, sandy cross in Zonhoven on Sunday. The cyclo-cross classic up and around the legendary Koppenberg will follow on Tuesday, and the week will conclude with a race in Ronse, which last year was notoriously rainy.

    Zonhoven winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) realized that his efforts in the sand quarry could take their toll on Tuesday. "It's a demanding week and actually I'm also riding in Dottignies next Saturday. Anyway, the Koppenbergcross will not be easy, but first I'll try to enjoy this win and then hopefully be up to the task on Tuesday," said Albert.

    "Sven Nys is the man to beat there as he's dominated the race in the past decade," said Albert. "I heard the course is dry, so the circumstances might be different than other years. This was an extremely tough race, so tomorrow will surely not include a thorough training."

    When asked whether the sandy race in Zonhoven had been a good rehearsal for the world championships on what will be a sandy course in Koksijde, Albert didn't want to make a connection. "Koksijde is slightly similar but this wasn't a test for the world championships. It does boost my confidence that I can ride well in the sand even though I knew that already," he said.

    Cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) figured that multiple tough races in a short period of time was an advantage for him as he is known to have a high basic level of form on which to build. On Sunday in Zonhoven, he finished as runner-up behind Albert but in the Koppenbergcross, he has been virtually unbeatable in recent years. He knows how to handle a...

  • Belgium seeking new venue for 2013 cyclo-cross championships

    Niels Albert (BKCP – Powerplus) is Belgian cyclo-cross champion.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 18:23 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Gent drops out after test event cancelled

    The Belgian Cycling Federation needs to find a new venue for its 2013 cyclo-cross national championship after the city of Gent dropped its plan to host the race.

    Gent was supposed to host a test event, the Grote Prijs De Gentenaar, at the Blaarmeersen recreation park last Saturday, but the event was cancelled after city officials declared several sections of the park as ecologically sensitive.

    Organisers decided that it would be impossible to design a course around these areas, and were forced to cancel the race.
     

  • Registration opens for Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships

    The men head out onto the course
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 20:32 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Details of qualifying heats for Louisville released

    Organisers of the 2012 UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky announced the opening of online registration, which begins November 2 at 8AM EDT.

    Riders can register on BikeReg.com for one of 18 age groups of five-year increments from 30 to 75+. Pre-registration allows riders to be assigned to qualifying heats for any field with more than 80 riders entered.

    The qualifying heats will run January 12-13, 2012 with a limit of 60-70 riders per heat, a maximum of eight heats per field. 80 riders will move onto the championship final, with five coming from a repechage event consisting of riders who failed to make the final in the qualifying heats.

    Riders will be lined up by random draw for the qualifying heats, and called up by their order of finish in the qualifying heats for the championship final. A consolation final will be held to determine finishing places 81-onward.

    Registration costs $75 per rider through December 15th. On December 16th the entry fee rises to $100 per rider and closes on January 8th. On-site registration will be available for $125.

    To be eligible, riders must have a race age of 30 or older and hold an international racing license. Riders are not able to compete if they have participated in the UCI elite cyclo-cross world championships, continental cyclo-cross championships or any UCI World Cup during the 2011-2012 season, have been a member of a UCI-registered team in any discipline during the 2011-2012 season, or have appeared in the UCI elite rankings or have earned UCI points during the 2011-2012 season.

    2012 UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships schedule:

    Thursday, January 12th:
    Qualifying Heats for: Men 50-54; Men 30-34; Men 40-44; Men 55-59; and Women 30-34
    Repechage: Men 50-54; Men 30-34; Men 40-44; and Men 55-59

    Friday, January 13th:
    Qualifying Heats: Men 35-39; Men 45-49; Women 35-39; and Women 40-44;
    ...

  • Flat tyre ends Koppenbergcross run for Nys

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) would be denied an eighth straight win.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2011, 7:47 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Pauwels denies Nys his eighth straight win

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) has taken eight wins in the Koppenbergcross, seven of them consecutively, but his historic run in the race ended today as Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) ran away with the victory in Melden. Nys came second, half a minute off the lead, while world champion Zdenek Stybar (QuickStep) took third.

    Nys blamed part of his misfortune on a flat tyre which came halfway through the race as the rain began to fall on the men's elite field. "I don't know whether I caused it or not but when I rode out of the pit I noticed the tire was slowly flatting," Nys said. "In the descent I tried as hard as possible to reduce the gap and I noticed Stybar didn't have control over his bike either. We both lost contact with Kevin. Afterwards the gap remained the same and even if I would've bridged back up to him I would've lost the race because I used too much energy. In the pit I lost the race."

    The 35-year-old Belgian further explained how he planned out to beat Pauwels in an effort to add an eighth consecutive win on the Koppenberg to his impressive cyclo-cross palmarès. "I would've switched bikes a few more times to get the perfect setting. I'm a bit disappointed because I lose the race because of the circumstances that were out of my control. I would've loved to enter the last lap together with Kevin because I was ready to battle for the victory. In the descent Kevin would've had a hard time to stay upright to follow me," Nys said.

    During the seventh lap of the race, as the rain started to drizzle down on the course and the cobbles of the steep Flemish hill, the decision to enter the pits would turn into a crucial moment in the battle for the cobbled trophy. While both Nys and Stybar took to the pits as the rain...

  • Dutch favorites for European cyclo-cross championships

    Koppenbergcross elite women's podium (l-r): Helen Wyman (Kona), Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) and Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2011, 22:00 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Van der Poel, Van der Haar and Van Paassen tipped for gold

    As the European cyclo-cross championships in Lucca, Italy approach, it is clear that the Dutch have the top favorites in all three categories which will race on Sunday: elite women, and espoir and junior men.

    Mathieu van der Poel and his compatriot Lars van der Haar (Rabobank - Giant-Offroad) currently lead the junior and under 23 World Cup after claiming victories in Tabor, and the reigning espoir world champion Van der Haar has shown himself to be a level above the rest with an elite win in Las Vegas and a sprint victory in the Koppenbergcross.

    Van der Poel, too, has so far dominated the international races, taking four wins of six starts in the UCI circuit, with a fourth in Koppenbergcross his lowest finish of the year.

    For the women's race, Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) is the top favorite since the 23-year-old Dutch rider showed great form, racking up two wins in only three days. She won the Superprestige round in Zonhoven on Sunday and then the Koppenbergcross on Tuesday.

    Outsiders are Helen Wyman (Kona) and veteran Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink/Leontien.nl) since German Hanka Kupfernagel (Stevens) has dropped out with illness.

    Third in the past two European championships, Wyman hopes to repeat or improve these results. "Sanne [Van Paassen] has a bit more speed at the minute. I did hear that the course in Lucca is flat and it might become a bit muddy so I'm all up for that," Wyman said after the Koppenbergcross on Tuesday.

    ...
  • Pauwels hopes to claim at least one of cyclo-cross's season competitions

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) wins round two of the GVA Trophy in Ronse.
    Article published:
    November 06, 2011, 20:31 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian on spectacular form, currently leads World Cup and GVA Trophy

    Over the past several weeks Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) has maneuvered himself into the forefront of the European cyclo-cross scene. Pauwels currently leads two of the three major competitions and the quiet Belgian has won the last two major races in Belgium: the Koppenbergcross on Tuesday and today on the Hotondberg, the highest point in East Flanders, in the Gazet van Antwerpen (GVA) Trophy-Ronse.

    After his win in Ronse, Belgium the 27-year-old stated he hopes to win at least one of the competitions while expecting that his form would stay at least as high as its current level.

    Never one to boast, Pauwels is cautious about his chances to prevail in the GVA Trophy even though he currently has a 10-point lead over Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet). "Last year I was well classified in the GVA, too, but in the end I was only third," Pauwels said. "I'm leading the World Cup, too, and I'm well positioned in the Superprestige series.

    "I hope to win at least one of the three competitions. It doesn't matter which one but if I have to choose the World Cup is the one because it's more prestigious, it has a more international esteem with for example the French riders competing in it," Pauwels said.

    Until this year Pauwels' racing style was as spectacular as his quiet demeanor when off the bike. This year, however, things have changed. Whereas Pauwels used to sit at the back of a group during a race to await the sprint he now puts his rivals under pressure with long accelerations.

    "Not much has changed. I'm a bit stronger this year," Pauwels said.

    Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) felt it was only logical that Pauwels has stepped up this year. "Hats off for Kevin, but he's 28 [sic, actually 27-ed.] and it was to be expected that he...

  • Wellens suffering from infection

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) is urged on by the crowd.
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 22:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian out of action for Niel race

    Former world cyclo-cross champion Bart Wellens was hoping to regain his top form and target a major victory this season, but an infection has put those plans temporarily on hold.

    Wellens told Nieuwsblad.be that he has been suffering from a stomach and intestinal ailment, and now that he has found the source of his problems he has to take some time off the bike.

    Wellens will forfeit his participation in Friday's Jaarmarktcross, but a return to the Superprestige in Hamme-Zogge could be possible.

    "I'm just glad I know what's wrong," Wellens said. "I was going downhill in Zonhoven and was at an absolute low point in the the race in Ronse. I couldn't go anymore. I will now rest for a few days and not train. I'm ready to let my body recover."

    The 33-year-old put in focused training in the summer toward improving his fate in the 2011-2012 cyclo-cross season, and started strong with a US campaign that yielded three victories.

    He carried his good form into the first races in Belgium, taking second in Kalmthout to Niels Albert and fifth in the opening Superprestige in Ruddervoorde.