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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 1, 2011

Date published:
October 01, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross kicks off at Planet Bike Cup

    Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus) racing with the lead group.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2011, 10:48 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    National series to offer equal prize money for top five men and women

    The Exergy Cyclo-cross US Gran Prix p/b Greenware (USGP) series will begin this weekend at the Planet Bike Cup held on September 25 and 26 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Event organizers have committed to offering equal prize money for the top five places of the men and women elite categories where defending overall champions Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) are expected to participate.

    Planet Bike Cup will open with a C1 event on Saturday and will follow with a C2 event on Sunday. Former teammates Powers and Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b won the respective events last year. On the women’s side, US National Champion Katie Compton (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team) won back-to-back events, however, she will not be in attendance this year and will instead start her season at the second weekend of USGP racing in Fort Collins.

    The USGP series will continue at the New Belgium Cup on October 8 and 9 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Last year, Johnson and Powers went on to secure a second win each while Gould pulled off her first set of double victories.

    "We have great partnerships in these communities," said promoter Joan Hanscom. Great local volunteerism. Fun venues. I think the racers who come to the USGP really enjoy the courses and the race day experience. An enthusiastic community goes a long way towards making the events fun for everyone, so we are looking forward to more great racing everywhere this season. I mean beer service on golf carts in Sun Prairie and New Belgium Brewing bringing the "fun" element in Fort Collins. What's not to love."

    The penultimate weekend of racing will take place at the Derby City Cup on November 12 and 13 in Louisville, Kentucky. Last year, Canadian Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) pulled off the win on the opening day and Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) won the women’s race. On day two, it was Johnson and Compton who secured their third series wins...

  • Anthony rides single season ‘cross race at Gran Prix of Gloucester

    Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) salutes as he crosses the line in Ogden
    Article published:
    September 24, 2011, 3:09 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    New Englander raises funds for World Bicycle Relief

    Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) is hoping to improve his professional road cycling career by limiting his cyclo-cross season to just one event at the UCI Gran Prix of Gloucester held on October 1 and 2 in his home town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. In addition, he is committed to raising $6700 for World Bicycle Relief's Bicycle for Education Empowerment Program (BEEP).

    "I decided not to race 'cross this spring," Anthony told Cyclingnews. "I set an ultimatum for myself last 'cross season. If I did really well I would keep going but if not I wasn't going to keep flailing and riding 80 per cent for another 'cross season."

    Anthony had a break out mid-summer when he won the overall title at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. He ended his road season on a high note winning a stage at the Tour of Utah and the Univest Grand Prix criterium, the sprinter's jersey and the overall weekend event.

    "I've already seen some physical improvements this year," he said. "I've been racing well all year and I don't have a ton of results to show for it but I have been in the mix at a lot of races. Not having the stress planning the cross schedule, getting all my equipment together and traveling, this time of year has always been super stressful for me. So, not even having to think about that has allowed me to focus on road racing more. I think the big benefit is going to pay off next year after I take a real break this fall."

    Anthony is not only a formidable road racer but a competitive cyclo-crosser that has a history of strong results with seven national titles including wins at the Under 23 US National Cyclo-cross Championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006. As an Elite rider he has won Cycle-Smart...

  • Louisville in danger of losing 2013 'Cross Worlds

    The elite men's start with the city of Louisville in the background.
    Article published:
    September 26, 2011, 21:00 BST
    Cycling News

    USA city with apparent financial and structural problems

    Louisville, Kentucky, USA, may be on the verge of losing the 2013 Cyclo-Cross world championships. It must provide financial and organizational guarantees to the International Cycling Union by the end of this week, or the UCI will  award the championships to another location.

    According to the Gazet van Antwerpen, the event has no commercial sponsors, which would indicate financial difficulties. 

    In addition, 'cross riders Bart Wellens and Rob Peeters were in Louisville last week to see the course, which is to be ridden February 2-3, 2013.  However, the newspaper reported, they saw “nothing which in any way appeared to be a cyclo-cross course.”

    The matter was discussed at last weeks UCI meetings in Copenhagen, with the UCI giving Louisville organisers until the end of this week to clarify the financials and meet the timing requirements for work on the course. However, “promoters remain deaf to the UCI's hints that Louisville might lose the rights to organise the world championships.”

    France or Luxembourg as fallback

    Both France and Luxembourg are mentioned as possible candidates to take over the championships, with the smaller country appearing to have the edge. “Luxembourg City has long flirted with the idea of organising a cyclo-cross world championship on the Kirchberg plateau,” the GVA said.

    Belgium is scheduled to host the Worlds in 2012 and 2016, and is not interested in 2013 as well.

  • Fina says 2013 UCI Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships is not in jeopardy

    Action from the 2009 US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Louisville, Kentucky.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2011, 3:41 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Race organizers await television contract from sport governing body

    Rumors that the inaugural 2013 Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships set to take place in Louisville, Kentucky, is under financial and organizational strain were put to rest by event promoter Bruce Fina who stated that the event has neither been audited or reported by the International Cycling Union (UCI). Fina confirmed that the organization has several financial backers lined up however, contracts are pending until the UCI announces its television agreements.

    "This is news to Louisville 2013," Fina told Cyclingnews. "I find it hard to imagine that the UCI would tell something like this to the press without informing us first. As far as our financial status goes, I am not sure who is speaking here, but we have not been audited or reported our finances to the UCI or any other organization so I have no idea where they get it from."

    According to the Belgian newspaper, Gazet van Antwerpen, the organization has no commercial sponsors lined up indicating financial difficulty. However, Fina assured that the organization has several sponsors lined up, both endemic and non-endemic and many of those sponsors are waiting to sign contractual agreements, until the UCI has a television contract in place for the US market.

    "As we all know not only is the Worlds in the US unprecedented, but the Cyclocross World Championship has never before been shown on television in the US," Fina said. "The UCI holds all television broadcast rights and, although we have been involved in some conversations and even meetings with the UCI and some television channels, as of yet we have not been informed by the UCI about which channel will broadcast the races live on television in the USA. Until we have that information it is very difficult to put a valuation on...

  • Stybar withdraws from Sunday's 'cross race in Kalmthout

    Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) celebrates his victory.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2011, 18:32 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion sidelined by knee injury

    World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) has withdrawn from Sunday's Vlaamse Industrieprijs Bosduin cyclo-cross race in Kalmthout, Belgium, the first UCI C1-ranked event of the season on the European calendar, in order to recover from an injury to his right knee.

    The 25-year-old Czech injured his knee following victory in his 'cross season debut on Saturday at the Toi Toi Cup event in his hometown of Stribro, Czech Republic.

    "After the arrival I was heading back to the tent behind the podium when all of a sudden I hit my right knee against a delimitation barrier for the athletes' access route to the tent," said Stybar. "It didn't seem like anything too serious at the time, but on Sunday during a race in Baden, Switzerland, my knee started persistently bothering me."

    Despite feeling bothered by his knee, Stybar nonetheless won Süpercross Baden on Sunday in a tight finish against French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ) and Switzerland's Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing Team).

    As a precautionary measure, however, Stybar and his team's medical staff have decided he would not compete in his first scheduled race in Belgium on Sunday, October 1 - Vlaamse Industrieprijs Bosduin - and take a week of rest before resuming training.

    "I'm really bummed I won't be able to race on Sunday but I think it's only right that I should recover before returning to the races," said Stybar. "We're at the beginning of the season and I don't want to run the risk of the problem coming up again during the course of the season and compromising my performance."

    A decision will be made about when Stybar returns to 'cross racing once he begins training again in a week's time.

  • De Vlaeminck needles Albert during Superprestige presentation

    Niels Albert at the Belgian team's pre-race press conference.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 20:45 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    30th anniversary of cyclo-cross series celebrated in Sint-Laureins

    Belgian road and cyclo-cross legend Roger De Vlaeminck made the presentation of the 30th Superprestige a night to remember, making blunt statements criticizing former world champion Niels Albert and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

    The event in Sint-Laureins, Belgium on Wednesday preceded the opening Superprestige round in Ruddervoorde, Belgium on October 8.

    De Vlaeminck, the 64-year-old former cyclo-cross world champion and quadruple winner of Paris-Roubaix, gave his respect to Sven Nys, the defending series champion and 10-time overall winner and the dedication of his life to the sport. "Compare that with a rider like Niels Albert, who doesn't quite take care of himself the same way," De Vlaeminck said.

    'Monsieur Paris-Roubaix' also hit out Omega Pharma's Van den Broeck, saying he didn't understand why young riders don't pay respect to somebody like him. "They should have more respect for their elders. Van den Broeck didn't bother to say hello to a man like me but he's good enough to drive around in a 6M [1.5m euro] car. Back in my days I drove a nice car too but that was one that I had won, now they're buying those cars themselves."

    A little later Albert was interviewed by host Philippe Maertens and he reacted to De Vlaeminck's statements by saying, "I think what De Vlaeminck said was rather inappropriate."

    During the dinner that followed the presentation De Vlaeminck explained to Cyclingnews that he doesn't want to keep his mouth shut. "I can't be a hypocrite like everybody else. I think my statement will help Niels to work even harder and become even better. He just brought me a bottle of champagne to say I was right. Well, it was Paul Herijgers [former cyclo-cross world champion] who brought it but it came with a message," De Vlaeminck said.

    Other accounts indicate the "message" from Albert was "I can't drink this, I have to live for my job".

    The current cyclo-cross stars tweeted out their support to...

  • Nash looks for podiums in early season 'cross World Cups

    Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) takes her fourth consecutive victory
    Article published:
    October 01, 2011, 10:10 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Czech champion opens World Cup campaign on home soil

    Reigning Czech Republic national cyclo-cross champion Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) is hoping to finish on the podium in the first two UCI Cyclo-cross World Cups, held in her home country on October 16 in Plzen and on October 23 in Tabor.

    She will arrive at the World Cups in top form having already won five consecutive US events.

    "It is exciting and I know both of the places where we will be competing," Nash told Cyclingnews. "Both the races being in the Czech Republic makes it really easy travel. I will be staying with my family for the week in between.

    "We just had a mountain bike World Cup in the Czech Republic this summer and it was amazing as far a spectators and support," she said. "I feel like the Czech fans are really into cycling right now. It is really exciting to race at home and I am looking forward to having the hometown advantage and support."

    Nash opened the season with her first victory at CrossVegas in Las Vegas. She went on to win StarCrossed p/b Stanley and the Rapha-Focus Gran Prix held in Washington. She then won both days of racing at the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Planet Bike Cup in Wisconsin last weekend.

    "Every race you win is great and I felt like there have been quite a few during the last two weeks," Nash said. "I also had good fitness coming into the ‘cross season from the mountain bike season. That is why I want to do as many ‘cross races as I can now in the early season. After the two World Cups...

  • Stybar may choose road over cyclo-cross

    Zdenek Stybar in his new Quick Step kit
    Article published:
    October 01, 2011, 19:56 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion waiting to see road potential before deciding

    World cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar may have to make a tough choice between his road career with Quick Step and his winter pursuits in the mud in the future, but is planning on a full off-road season this year and the defense of his rainbow jersey in Koksijde in January.

    The Czech rider is unsure, however, whether a heavy road season has left him with enough freshness to compete at the top level in 'cross.

    According to, Stybar, who is sitting out the weekend's race in Kalmthout because of a banged up knee, said, "there is a chance that at some point I will not race 'cross".

    He still has goals for the discipline, and will be competing for the World Cup, Superprestige and GvA Trofee. But, he said, "If I do not perform well in the rankings, then I might not do a few races."

    "I've done a heavy road season, but I have no idea how my body will react. In November, it may be clear that I am not fresh, and must rest. I will have to curtail my calendar to return in top, also in view of the road season in 2012."

    A focus on a more lucrative road career already took Dutchman Lars Boom from the cyclo-cross peloton, but Stybar isn't quite ready to end his off-road career. 

    "In late 2013, when my contract expires at Quick Step, I will make a final choice between the riding 'cross and road. I can not continue to combine these two sports. 

    "By 2013 I want to feel that I can win races on the road. Otherwise it is better to keep riding 'cross. "