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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 8, 2012

Date published:
October 08, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Nys primed to defend Superprestige title

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) powers through the sand
    Article published:
    October 01, 2012, 2:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Victorious weekend brings added confidence ahead of series

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) took two wins at the weekend when he bested current cyclo-cross world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) on both occasions in Saturday’s Fidea GP Neerpelt and Sunday’s Vlaamse Industrieprijs Bosduin. Nys is preparing to defend last year’s Superprestige title with the opening race just a week away at Ruddervoorde.

    Nys has recently returned from a short vacation following his Olympic cross country mountain bike participation for Belgium and despite his doubts following a long year racing cyclo-cross, road and cross country, the 36-year-old has shown he's ready to enter the next phase of the year.

    The Belgian used his experience in Sunday’s race at Kalmthout and timed his efforts to perfection. The winning margin was closer than the previous day but according to Nys, knowing the course and its characteristics played a huge role in capturing his second win of the weekend.

    "In a fast race as Kalmthout it is necessary to use your experience. I knew that starting early like in Neerpelt is impossible, you have to wait till the right time to strike," Nys told Nieuwsblad.

    "Obviously this is unexpectedly become a fantastic weekend in anticipation of the start of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde. Not that I’m thinking about the overall standings yet, but winning in Ruddervoorde would surely do. After two heavy training weeks in Majorca the next week I won’t go too...

  • Women's podium at Providence Cyclo-cross Festival to receive equal payout as men

    Mountain bikers Lea Davison (Specialized), left, and Kelli Emmett (Giant)
    Article published:
    October 06, 2012, 14:35 BST
    Peter Hymas

    G-Form steps up to close the gap

    While the UCI points up for grabs for the elite men's and women's fields at Saturday's C1-ranked Providence Cyclo-cross Festival are equal, the prize money originally slated for their respective podiums was not. However, Providence, Rhode Island-based company G-Form, a manufacturer of protective athletic gear and electronic accessories, has signed on to ensure that the women's podium will receive equal prize money as the men - $3,945 in total with $2,121 going to the winner.

    Lea Davison, an Olympic mountain biker as well as runner-up at this year's CrossVegas cyclo-cross race, and Joanna Petterson, professional downhill mountain bike racer and bike product line manager at G-Form, were integral in solidifying the last minute deal for the Shimano-NEPCX series event.

    "I was looking at the prize list and was disappointed in the discrepancy between the men's and women's podium," Davison said, "I spoke with [race promoter] Richard Fries and was able to contact my friends at G-Form to even out the podium payouts."

    "We're not specifically a high-need product in cyclo-cross, but we are big in the bike world," Petterson told Cyclingnews. "Unequal prize lists are a common issue in all sports, not just cycling. It's so important to make a statement as to what women are making in comparison to the men. So many people feel that way, but people don't do anything about it. I approached our committee with the idea and as a local business and as athletes, we felt it was a perfect opportunity to do something tangible."

    Fries added, "It's easy to complain about problems, but it's more difficult to find solutions. With the help of Lea Davison, Joanna Petterson and all the folks at G-Form, we've taken a necessary step toward prize equity."

  • Cyclo-cross season ramps up with start of Superprestige

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) was not on song in Laarne, but has bigger fish to fry in the Superprestige tomorrow
    Article published:
    October 06, 2012, 18:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Top champion Nys won't retire until 2014

    The cyclo-cross season is getting into full swing with the first race in the Belgian Superprestige series. The 31st edition of the series gets underway in Ruddervoorde on Sunday, and the top favourites took part in a non-UCI classified event in Laarne today as a tune up. There, they found deep puddles of muck and mud in what veteran Bart Wellens called "old school".

    While world 'cross champion Niels Albert may have been at the top of the results sheet in Laarne, the Superprestige races have historically been the domain of his compatriot and rival Sven Nys.

    Nys already has two victories to his name this season, and will head into the opening round in Ruddervoorde as the overwhelming favourite after last weekend's performances in Neerpelt and Kalmthout.

    Nys is the most successful rider in the series, which began in 1982. He has amassed 55 race wins and 11 overall titles in his years of racing at the elite level. Now in his 15th year, he is still hungry for victory and committed to continuing through the end of the 2014 'cross season.

    Although he's seen every manner of course in his career and knows the fields of mud and dunes of sand in Belgium by heart, Nys still never tires of racing 'cross.

    "It's always different," Nys said on the Superprestige series website. "First, the opponents. In the beginning, I was competing against riders who were older than me. Then came a time when I was as old as my opponents. Now, I am about the oldest and I have to hold off the youngsters. I'm already on my third generation of cycling."

    "The evolution of the courses also helps to allay the boredom. In the beginning of my career, cyclo-cross was all mud, running and jumping barriers. Then came a...

  • World champion Albert finding form ahead of Superprestige

    World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won in a muddy 'cross in Laarn
    Article published:
    October 07, 2012, 0:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian ready to repeat win at Ruddervoorde

    Sven Nys (Landboukrediet-Euphony) is undoubtedly the master of the Superprestige series. He’s won the overall title for the past three seasons and has an impressive tally of 11 titles that extends back to his first win in 1999 however, the young reigning world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) is ready to challenge his older rival once again.

    Albert took his fourth win of the year which is his second for the season when he won Saturday’s warm-up race ahead of the opening round of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde. Albert won the muddy race ahead of Bart Wellens and and Rob Peeters.

    “This was the heaviest cross until now,” said Albert to Nieuwsblad after finishing the race that tested the riders skills in the difficult conditions.

    It’s Sunday’s race that will really determine where Albert’s form lies. Nys finished in fourth place on the day but his credentials in the Superprestige series insist that he’ll be ready come race day.

    “I rode my own fast pace imposed and apparently it went too fast for the others," Albert said jokingly.

    “It was a heavy cross, the worst of the season so far but I had a good feeling. I'm ready for Ruddervoorde. The full circles that I have driven, will not change. If Saturday is good then I hope to be the same on Sunday.”


  • Video: Wyman and Powers on top in Providence

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) chasing Berden early in the race
    Article published:
    October 07, 2012, 17:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Day one race reaction from the riders

    The first day of the 2012 Providence Cyclo-cross festival ended with Helen Wyman (Kona) and Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) coming out on top in the Rhode Island UCI C1 race.

    While Wyman's win was pure dominance over Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) and Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld), the men's race was a two-man battle between Powers and Ryan Trebon that came down to the final lap. In third place, Belgian Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) was more than a minute behind after a week of being a little under the weather.

    Cyclingnews Chandler Delinks was in Providence for the Shimano NEPCX series race and captured the reactions of the top riders following the race on Saturday.

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  • Van der Haar confirms high expectations in Ruddervoorde

    Lars van der Haar (Rabo-Giant) rides the sand of Ruddervoorde
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 0:19 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Under 23 world champion foiled by mechanical

    The most surprising performance of the cyclo-cross Superprestige series opener in Ruddervoorde, Belgium came from youngster Lars van der Haar (Rabobank). The 21-year-old Dutchman, a two-time U23 'cross world champion, grabbed the hole shot and managed to join world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) in the decisive breakaway. Van der Haar ultimately finished seventh in Ruddervoorde, blaming a pedal problem for his slide down the ranks by the finish.

    Also present in Ruddervoorde was his British partner Lucy Garner, the new junior road world champion from Valkenburg.

    The duo forms a cycling world champion couple. "I've never been to a cyclo-cross race from him so I'm probably more excited than him," Garner told Cyclingnews. Her first appearance at a cyclo-cross race from Van der Haar might explain his blast at the start.

    "Hmm, maybe," Van der Haar smiled, "but it was mainly to get in the best position on the course. It hurt a lot because it was so long and after the first corner I allowed some guys to pass me."

    Eventually he moved forward when the decisive move occurred but he eventually faded due to a mechanical. "It's a shame. I was very good but lost out because of a pedal problem. It's a new one and suddenly I was no longer able to click into them. I had to switch bikes," Van der Haar told Cyclingnews. "I'm very proud of what I did though as I'm still an under 23 rider."

    Van der Haar might become the new foreigner who - once in a while - disturbs the Belgian hegemony in the cyclo-cross world. "I'll be happy to fulfill that role," Van der Haar told Cyclingnews after the race in Ruddervoorde. The last rider to claim that role was Zdenek Stybar but before him...

  • Harris shows off 'cross form in Superprestige opener

    Nikki Harris rides to the win in Ruddervoorde
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 17:10 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Briton eyes European Championships

    With a convincing win in Ruddervoorde it is clear that British rider Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) is ready for the new cyclo-cross season. The British MTB champion blew away the opposition in the Superprestige opener although she considers the upcoming World Cup round to be the first true indicator of her form.

    "The World Cup round in the Czech Republic in two weeks will be the first real test. I hope I moved up. Last year was already good but I hope I can keep improving," Harris told Cyclingnews after her win in Ruddervoorde.

    "My goal this season is the European Championships as they are held in my home country," Harris said. In November 2012 the European championships - a competition for the women and youth categories - will be contested in the Chantry Park of Ipswich. "Also the world championships [in Louisville, USA] and the national championships [in Bradford] are on my list," Harris added.

    Teammate Sophie de Boer warned Harris for being in form too early as there's still almost four months before the world championships. Current world champion Marianne Vos even opts out of the first part of the cyclo-cross season. "Nikki is much fitter than me right now which explains the big gap she had today. I hope to close that gap during the upcoming weeks. The season is long, though, and some riders tend to show less form later in the season when the championships are held," De Boer told Cyclingnews in Ruddervoorde.

    Harris knew what she was doing, though, as she explained that she now plans to do a training camp in Italy ahead of the first World Cup round in Tabor, Czech Republic on October 21.


  • Video: Wyman, McDonald prevail on day two in Providence

    U-23 Champion Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) taking the win in Providence
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 20:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Reactions from riders regarding muddy 'cross venue

    The second day of the 2012 Providence Cyclo-cross Festival featured a change in course conditions as rain transformed Providence, Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park into a slick, muddy parcours which placed a premium on bike handling skills.

    British champion Helen Wyman (Kona) closed out her stint in the US with a victory in the C2-ranked elite women's contest, the Briton's ninth win thus far this season. Wyman topped compatriot Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus) by 18 seconds while 42-year-old Mary McConneloug (Team Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) rounded out the podium in third, utilizing her technical skills to ride sections of the course others had to run.

    In the elite men's C2-ranked event, reigning US U23 'cross champion Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) earned his first UCI victory with a masterful performance in the mud. Belgium's Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) again finished on the podium in Providence, improving Saturday's result by one position with a second place finish, five seconds behind McDonald, while Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) bounced back from a crash-induced DNF the previous day to finish third, 11 seconds after Berden.

    Cyclingnews' Chandler Delinks was in Providence for the Shimano NEPCX series race and captured the reactions of the top riders following the race on Sunday.


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