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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 29, 2011

Date published:
October 29, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Miller to contest Czech Cyclo-cross World Cup openers

    Miller keeping Compton and Nash within sight
    Article published:
    October 13, 2011, 23:55 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American preparing for World Championships in Koksijde

    Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized) has headed overseas to contest the two opening UCI Cyclo-cross World Cups in the Czech Republic. The first is in Plzen on October 16 followed by one in Tabor on October 23. The American is hoping to test her legs on the international stage earlier than usual in order to prepare for the world championships in Koksijde, Belgium.

    Cyclo-cross racers have a unique opportunity to preview the Worlds course at the Koksijde World Cup on November 26 before heading back for the championships on January 29.

    "I want to race in Czech to see where I am at and to try and get some points to help me qualify for the worlds team. I want to get over there and get my feet wet earlier this year," Miller told Cyclingnews, adding that she intends to return to Europe for the Koksijde World Cup to get some experience on the course.

    Between trips to Europe, Miller will continue to compete in the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP). Recently, she had two podium finishes at the Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie and New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins. The series events provide top-level racing where Miller has an opportunity to compete with the likes of Czech National Champion Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), who is leading the standings, and US National Champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Offroad), among others.

    In 2010, Miller was the highest placed American in 12th at the UCI World Championships held in Tabor, Czech Republic. This year, she placed a respectable 27th place behind other silver medalist Compton and Amy Dombroski, who placed 26th in St. Wendel, Germany.

    "I hope my chances of making the worlds team...

  • Dieter Vanthourenhout, Baestaens added to Tabor World Cup roster

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) is the first leader of the World Cup.
    Article published:
    October 17, 2011, 22:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgians add one after Nys victory in Plzen

    The Belgian elite men's team will line up in the second round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup with nine men thanks to Sven Nys's victory this weekend in Plzen. Nys now gets an automatic berth as leader of the series.

    Vincent Baestaens was added to the squad as its ninth man, while Sven Vanthourenhout (Landbouwkrediet), who was injured in a first lap crash in Plzen, will be replaced by his cousin Dieter Vanthourenhout of BKCP-Powerplus.

    Baestaens, in his first year as an elite, was the winner of two World Cups and two Superprestige races as an U23 last season, and while his countrymen were in Plzen, he won the Cyclo-cross de Villarcayo in Spain on Saturday.

    The team has yet to announce which riders would serve as reserves for the Tabor World Cup.

    Tabor marks the opening round of the Under 23 men and Junior World Cups. The Belgians named teams for all four fields.

    Belgian team for Tabor World Cup:

    Elite Men: Bart Aernouts, Niels Albert, Vincent Baestaens, Tom Meeusen, Sven Nys, Kevin Pauwels, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Klaas Vantornout and Bart Wellens;
    Women: Sanne Cant, Nancy Bober, Nicolle De Bie–Leyten, Hilde Quintens, Katrien Thijs, Joyce Vanderbeken, Ellen Van Loy.
    Under 23: Sven Beelen, Wietse Bosmans, Vinnie Braet, Tim Merlier, Laurens Sweeck and Gianni Vermeersch;
    Juniors: Quinten Hermans, Daan Hoeyberghs, Daan Soete, Wout Van Aert, Matthias Van de Velde, Yorben Van Tichelt;

  • Nys, Compton top season's first UCI 'cross rankings

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) gets his World Cup campaign off to a flying start.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2011, 17:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Change to ranking tabulation now in effect

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) picked up where they left off last 'cross season, at the top of the UCI rankings.

    The UCI released the first rankings of the 2011-2012 cyclo-cross season on Tuesday, and the tabulations represent one of the governing body's changes for this current season. Last year, every rider started the 'cross season with a clean slate of points and added them as they were earned throughout the season. Going forward points are good for one year and are then removed from a rider's tally after 365 days have passed.

    As a result, each rider started the 2011-2012 season with their points total from the final tabulation of last season. Any points earned in September through October 17 of 2010 have since been lost, while any points earned this season in the same time frame have been added. With relatively few races conducted so far, and only one World Cup, the overall results have remained mostly unchanged.

    On the men's side, Sven Nys tops the rankings with 2,170 points, 160 more than compatriot Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and 182 ahead of Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). Belgium dominates the upper echelons of the rankings with six of the top eight positions.

    The most important result for Nys thus far this season has been his victory in the season's first UCI World Cup in Plzen, Czech Republic. The points-heavy World Cups are extremely important for establishing a high grid position on the start line, and Nys actually put more daylight between himself and his competitors in the rankings as he finished eight places higher this year.

    On the women's side, 2010-2011 UCI rankings leader Katie Compton kept her spot atop the standings, albeit with a slender 60-point margin over second-placed Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash). Helen Wyman (Kona), buoyed by her...

  • Philadelphia Cyclocross School provides unique opportunity

    Eric Brüngger (Philadelphia Cyclocross School), with the green bar tape, in the thick of the action during the Shimano NEPCX - Gran Prix of Gloucester
    Article published:
    October 20, 2011, 16:00 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Swiss 'crossers experience "cultural exchange via cyclo-cross"

    Among the elite cyclo-cross teams competing in the Northeast is a Philadelphia-based squad with a unique moniker and mission: the Philadelphia Cyclocross School. The team's website banner provides a succinct purpose for the team, "cultural exchange via cyclo-cross", and for the past three seasons several talented, young Swiss cyclo-cross riders have raced the fall 'cross season in the northeast US while being hosted by families in the Philadelphia area.

    These aren't simply riders who venture to the US in search of UCI points, it's become an opportunity for the Swiss riders to spend 12 weeks hosted by a family and take an active, participatory role in the mentoring of American Junior riders on the team.

    The impetus for the team's creation came in the spring of 2009 from a seemingly innocuous email to the MAC (Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross) Series listserv, the gist of which was, "Swiss bike racer wants to come race in America and learn English". David Berson, the Philadelphia Cyclocross School directeur sportif, still had fond memories of a several-month stint spent racing in Europe in the early '90s - immersion in a foreign culture and friendships formed which still last to this day - and decided to reach out to the author of the email, Valentin Scherz.

    "Honestly, I had no idea of the quality or level of this rider," Berson told Cyclingnews. "I didn't know much about him. I contacted him to make sure he was a good guy and made the decision that if you want to come we'll put you up. I'm no longer racing but I still care about the sport, I'm enthusiastic about cycling, so it was a chance for me to kind of get back to the races with him and go from there.

    "Valentin Scherz came over and lived at my house, went to all the races, but was still part of his trade team in Europe. I had a lot of friends, people were very impressed and really liked him. He would help people at the local 'cross practices, offer advice, and was a very...

  • Pauwels, Nash take World Cup lead in Tabor

    Katerina Nash took over the World Cup lead in Tabor
    Article published:
    October 23, 2011, 21:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Van der Haar, Van der Poel lead youngsters

    Four new leaders emerged in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup after the second round for elite men and women, and the opening round for under 23 men and juniors.

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) claimed a dominant solo victory in Tabor, Czech Republic over world champion Zdenek Stybar and Klaas Vantornout to overtake Plzen winner Sven Nys in the standings.

    Nys and Stybar are now tied in the rankings, 15 points shy of Pauwels, who took third in the opening race in Plzen. Klaas Vantornout and French champion Francis Mourey are tied for fourth, a further 15 points in arrears.

    The elite women's rankings were turned on end with the absence of Plzen winner, Katie Compton. The American returned home for a family event, and gave up the white jersey to Katerina Nash, who scored a brilliant solo win only 20km from her home town.

    Compton slipped to seventh, while Dutch rider Sanne Van Paassen, second in Tabor, climbed into second ahead of Daphny Van Den Brand.

    Under 23 world champion Lars Van der Haar resumed his dominance in the first round for the espoirs. The Dutch rider soloed in ahead of Italian Elia Silvestri to take the World Cup lead, while his compatriot Mike Teunissen lies in third.

    First year junior Mathieu Van der Poel may have been a surprise name at the top of the junior men's race, but he showed his elite heritage as son of cyclo-cross champion Adrie Van der Poel and the grandson...

  • Nys, Compton remain atop UCI 'cross standings

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) is off to a good start.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 20:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Big shuffle in Junior men's standings after their first World Cup

    The UCI released its second cyclo-cross rankings of the season on Tuesday, following a weekend in which all categories - elite men, elite women, under 23 men and junior men - raced a World Cup round in Tabor, Czech Republic.

    While Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) relinquished his World Cup lead to compatriot Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), the 35-year-old Belgian continues to lead the UCI rankings with 2,170 points, 120 more than second-placed Pauwels. The top six overall remained unchanged, with Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step), Francis Mourey (FDJ) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) holding third through sixth respectively. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) moved into seventh position, flip-flopping with Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team), who now holds eighth. Dutchman Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) remains in ninth while Tom Meeusen (Telent-Fidea) makes his first appearance in the top-10 this season at 10th place.

    With seven riders ranked in the top-10, it's no surprise that Belgium continues to dominate the men's national standings with 6,124 points. France remains a distant second with 2,858 points, followed by the Czech Republic in third with 2,688 points.

    For the elite women, Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) continues her reign atop the standings with 1,670 points, despite skipping the Tabor, Czech Republic round of the World Cup. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), the winner in Tabor, moves into second overall, 120 points down on Compton, while Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) drops one spot to third, tied on points with Nash. British champion Helen Wyman (Kona) dropped one position to fourth with 1,442 points.

    The Netherlands continues to lead the women's nations ranking with 3,898...

  • Compton returns to US domestic ‘cross in Boulder

    Katherine Compton (Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team) takes the win.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 17:15 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Winter storm expected to pass before weekend racing

    After successful campaign at the UCI World Cup openers in the Czech Republic, American cyclo-cross talents have returned home to resume the domestic calendar at the Colorado Cross Classic and Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup, both held in Boulder Colorado this weekend. The elite women will showcase recent World Cup #1 winner and UCI world standings leader Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Offroad).

    "I am looking forward to the racing, it'll be nice to load up the car instead of pack a bike for flying," Compton told Cyclingnews. "It'll be good to get some sand practice in on Saturday and I'm excited to race Valmont Park on Sunday since I haven’t been able to ride there yet. I'm sure the courses will be very different and the racing hard. We'll also get to see some friends and have a relaxing weekend after the racing and that is always a good time."

    Compton, the US National Champion, won the opening World Cup held in Plzen two weeks ago and is currently leading the UCI world ranking with 1670 points, based on the newly instated 12-month rolling points system. Her nearest opponent, Czech National Champion Katerina Nash, is leading the World Cup ranking after her victory in the second World Cup in Tabor, and is currently ranked second in the UCI world ranking with a total of 1550 points.

    Nash dominated the early domestic calendar with a series of six consecutive victories, her winning streak was ended by Compton during day two of the Exergy Cyclo-cross US Gran Prix New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins. Nash is not currently registered to compete during the Boulder weekend. However, notable competitors in attendance are Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), Nicole Duke (Cannondale p/b, Caroline Mani (SRAM) and Sue Butler (River City Bicycles).

    "I'm not sure Katerina is racing in Boulder but if she is that will be great," Compton said. "I think all the US girls have stepped it up this year and gotten faster which...

  • Johnson focused on 'cross national title in Madison

    American Tim Johnson led the chase group early on
    Article published:
    October 29, 2011, 18:15 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American aims for stronger second half of the season

    Former multiple-time US cyclo-cross champion, Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b is aiming for stronger and more consistent performances during the second half of the domestic racing season. The New England native is hoping that his planned slow start will pay off with a win at the national championships held from January 4-8 in Madison, Wisconsin, and even further down the line at the 2013 UCI Elite World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

    "I will try to take Madison for what it is and try and win," Johnson told Cyclingnews. "Being the national champion is huge, and I've been lucky enough to do it a few times, but I know what I am missing. I need to try and pull it all together this year to try and get that jersey again.

    "I am trying to take advantage of the way our sport is now, with it growing and Worlds coming to the US, I want to get to Worlds in Louisville in the best possible position," he said. "I want to try to be more competitive at the bigger races now instead of showing up and treating them as an adventure, where trying to pull out a result was secondary. Now, I want more. I want to try and be better."

    Johnson attributed his mediocre performances during the start of the domestic cyclo-cross season to a major change of focus. He was well-known for his dedication to competing predominantly on the road during the spring and summer months and transitioning to a full-time cyclo-cross schedule during the autumn and winter months. This year, he took a step back from road racing and welcomed a lengthy recovery period before beginning his new 'cross-only training regimen.

    "The hardest part of the last six weeks has been being okay with things," Johnson said. "My season started slower because of what I did or didn't do during the summer. The hardest part was adjusting my expectations from what I was able to do the last few years, which was to go to a race, be competitive and go for the win....