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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 27, 2011

Date published:
November 27, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • British Cycling BMX academy to open

    British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford
    Article published:
    November 19, 2011, 9:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Brailsford targetting talent for 2016 and 2020 Olympics

    British Cycling supremo David Brailsford has revealed that a residential BMX academy will open for business next month. The academy, designed to help find and development the best BMX riders with a view to competing and the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, will be hosted at the new £24 million National Indoor BMX Centre in Manchester.

    "Now that we benefit from a world-class facility it makes sense to ensure we have the right structure in place within the BMX programme to effectively identify and develop future talent," Brailsford said.

    "The academy will enable us to do so and generate a stream of riders hopefully with the quality to succeed at the highest level, meaning we can look ahead to 2016, 2020 and beyond with optimism."

  • Pauwels confirms as top favorite with fifth victory

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) has been in fine form recently.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2011, 20:55 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Nys on the ropes but hoping for GvA Trofee comeback

    Week after week Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) has racked up top results during the biggest races of the cyclo-cross season. With a third Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee win in Hasselt, Belgium, the latest scalp on his palmarès gives Pauwels a clean sweep in the series so far.

    This season Pauwels has stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight as a top favorite. With five victories and five podiums out of 12 starts Pauwels holds a 12 point lead on world champion Zdenek Stybar and 21 on third placed Sven Nys in the eight-race series.

    "It's looking good for me as it's quite a lead already," Pauwels said.

    Nys, the winner of seven of the past nine GvA Trofees overall is hoping that Pauwels will fade in the second half of the season. "It's getting harder each week to win but I'll keep trying to gain points when the others let the points slip away," Nys said. "It's a massive lead but was it different last year? I think I only started gaining back ground on Pauwels after Hasselt."

    At this time last year, Stybar led the GvA Trofee by 4 points over Pauwels and 21 on Nys, but in the end Nys won the overall by 6 points. While Nys is on the ropes once again, the battle for the overall win is far from over.

    The elite cyclo-crossers head to Gavere tomorrow for the fourth round of the Superprestige series, inn which Pauwels is largely out of contention after a devastating 13th place in Ruddervoorde. However, Pauwels is brimming with confidence after his latest exploit.

    "I can win there. The course suits me and I've been a runner-up already. Today I felt that Stybar was the strongest man in the lead group and that became obvious in the final lap," Pauwels said after narrowly defeating Stybar in the sprint in Hasselt.

    So far the dry weather and the resulting fast courses benefitted Pauwels but Nys didn't want to use that as an excuse. "I've said it too much before and I don't want to sound like a sorehead. It seems...

  • Meeusen proud of Superprestige Gavere podium finish

    Superprestige Gavere podium (l-r): Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    November 20, 2011, 20:55 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Young Belgian secures best result of season

    After the fourth round of the Superprestige Series the proudest rider on the podium in Gavere, Belgium wasn't winner Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), but 23-year-old Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea). After a tactical race the young Belgian was the best of the rest behind the unbeatable Pauwels.

    One day earlier, during the third round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy in Hasselt, the explosive rider took a lot of initiative but he fell just off the podium. After winning his first big race last season in the Superprestige round in Gieten, Meeusen clearly has taken another step forward this season. Not taking the unimportant first races in October into account Meeusen hasn't finished outside the top-10, punctuated by today's second place result.

    "I knew I was going well and that one day it would turn out fine but every time there was some minor mishap that pushed me back," said Meeusen. "I've been chasing this podium result in a big race for so long and now it finally happens.

    "I love the kick of winning but if you don't win often it probably makes it even more special and you chase it even harder. The level has risen and if you look at today's podium everybody was riding for Telenet-Fidea last year. It's doesn't make it easier for our team to ride on the podium nowadays.

    "I'm enormously proud that I can offer our sponsors a podium result. It's not totally fair to claim second place because Sven [Nys] and Zdenek [Stybar] took much more initiative today but I'm very pleased with this."

    It seems like focusing on the podium is the most realistic option if a man like Kevin Pauwels is amongst the starters of a 'cross race this season. "If there's a serious climb in the course like we had today, but also in Ronse and at the Koppenberg, then Kevin is favored by...

  • Jones and Krasniak top single speed cyclo-cross championships

    Julie Krasniak's finest moment.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 2:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    San Francisco's Golden Gate Park hosts world titles

    The Rapha Focus duo Chris Jones and Julie Krasniak took out the unofficial titles at the 2011 Single Speed Cyclo-cross World Championships, held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Sunday.

    Costumed competitors took to the 2km circuit which had been thoroughly soaked by overnight storms to compete for the overall prize: not a gold medal, not a rainbow jersey, but a world championship tattoo.

    The single speed cyclo-cross discipline has been growing in popularity through the grass-roots efforts of local 'cross promoters, and the first "world championships" were held in 2007 in Portland, Oregon.

    The 2011 event whittled down the hundreds of entrants to 150 starters in the men's race through qualifying "feats of strenght" on Saturday which included several challenges scattered around San Francisco: a sprint up California Street's knee-breaking grades, a run up the Lyon Street steps 40% grade, a dollar grab, wheel change and a sand dune challenge at Ocean Beach.

    On race day, riders were lined up on the grid and then surprised with a Le Mans-style start which sent them up a steep run up back to the grid in search of their machines to start the race.

    Rapha Focus riders Chris Jones and Julie Krasniak, dressed in "I love wieners" costumes, each secured early leads which they never relinquished, inspired perhaps to ride faster while being chased by a shark, chicken, gorilla and crocodile, among other "creatures".

    You can view the full video interview with Julie Krasniak here.

    Full video interview with Chris Jones.

    Use this on all articles. The player is narrow enough to fit next to the article gallery images box on the right.
  • Unbeatable Pauwels faces first real test in Koksijde

    It's been quite a season thus far for Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor)
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 16:03 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian earns praise from Wellens, Stybar as Nys waits for next week

    After picking up his first ever Superprestige victory of his career in Gavere on Sunday, and win number six for the year Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) clearly proved again that he is the man to beat in 2011. But in a season characterized by dry courses fast speeds his rivals hope that things may change when different weather conditions and more demanding courses present themselves.

    "Right now he’s just playing around with us," world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Cycling) said. "Every moment of the race Kevin was capable of dropping us," Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) added.

    Teammate Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) said the current circumstances favor Pauwels. "It’s dry and he’s in top form. The one who beats Kevin wins. He’s a lot stronger than the rest. After him we’re with about five riders who match each other," Vantornout said.

    At the finish line in Gavere an often heard question was focused on the courses and whether they influence Pauwels’ performances. Nobody knows the answer for sure but Pauwels himself expects the best.

    "I don’t mind these conditions and to me it can stay this way. I think that I’ll be better than previous years in the mud although it shouldn’t be like in Zogge last year. Back then I was third and I would be pleased with that again," Pauwels referred to the extreme mudbath in Zogge one year ago.

    Former teammate Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) expects Pauwels to excel even more above the rest of the cyclo-cross peloton.

    "Before the start I predicted that he would win by one minute. It was less in the end but if he attacked earlier I would’ve been correct. He’s simply the best and if it starts raining he’ll win by even bigger margins. Now it’s possible to stay on the wheels but in the mud you can’t...

  • Gadret back in cyclo-cross action

    John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has a busy cyclo-cross schedule this winter.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 19:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman happy to balance winter campaign with road season

    Fresh from a busy 2011 road season capped by a fourth-place finish at the Giro d’Italia, John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has thrown himself into the cyclo-cross campaign with gusto in recent weeks.

    The Frenchman placed 3rd in round two of France’s Challenge National in Rodez on Sunday, after making his seasonal debut in Lignières two weeks ago. As well as competing in every leg of the domestic competition, Gadret will ride all bar one of the World Cup events as he builds towards the French national championships in January.

    “I have every round of the Challenge National in my programme, as well as all of the World Cup events, except for the Spanish round,” Gadret told Velochrono. “I’m trying to score UCI points and have a good place on the starting grid if I go to the Worlds. But my main objective is the French championships.

    “It’s a very physical course [at Quelneuc – ed], and what I like is that there is a good bit of road as well as a slightly uphill wooded section. That will hurt a lot and it suits me well.”

    Gadret acknowledged that the Worlds circuit in Koksijde is not best suited to his characteristics, however, and the 32-year-old insisted that he will work for Steve Chainel and Francis Mourey if selected.

    “There are a lot of up-and-coming youngsters, so I must earn my place,” he said. “But if I go, it’s not to do something personal, it’s to help Steve and Francis get a medal. We’ve been waiting for that for years on the French team. We’re getting...

  • Australian BMX star Dane Searls dies after hotel accident

    Dane Searls plunged to his death in a Gold Coast hotel
    Article published:
    November 25, 2011, 13:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rider tried to jump from balcony into swimming pool

    This story orginally appeared on BikeRadar

    Australian BMX star Dane Searls has died in hospital this morning from injuries sustained in a fall from a hotel balcony last weekend.

    Searls, 23, fell from the first floor of Billy’s Beach House in Queensland’s Gold Coast last Sunday night and had been in a coma ever since. Sydney Morning Herald reported that he’d been attempting to jump into the hotel pool below but missed, landing on the concrete and suffering critical head and back injuries. He was rushed to hospital at around 8.30pm on Sunday evening but succumbed to his injuries this morning.

    Just two days earlier he had set a new world record during a series of dirt jumps near Boonah, successfully landing an 18-metre gap jump.

  • Debate rages over Nys and Pauwels sprint at Koksijde World Cup

    Sven Nys races to victory while Kevin Pauwels raises his arms in protest
    Article published:
    November 27, 2011, 15:51 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    De Clerq and Sunweb-Revor rail against commissaires

    Debate continues to rage in Belgium after the tumultuous sprint finish between Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) at the end of the third round of the World Cup in Koksijde on Saturday.

    Neither Nys nor Pauwels succeeded in getting away alone during a thrilling battle, and it all came down to the final sprint. Pauwels is regarded as the faster man, but in Koksijde it was Nys who crossed the line first after leaving no room for Pauwels to pass him on the inside.

    Pauwels’ angry gesticulation towards Nys afterward made clear that he didn’t appreciate his rival’s tactics in the sprint. Had this happened in a small event, the clash would scarcely have caused a ripple, but with the Worlds set to be held on the very same course in two months, Belgian nerves were strained after the race.

    Immediately afterwards, Nys admitted to closing the door in sprint, but said it was done within the rules and was a tactic he had learned from racing against Pauwels’ current directeur sportif, Mario De Clerq.

    “I felt that I had to start the sprint and I don’t think I made a mistake, I rode my own line before Kevin moved up,” Nys said afterward. “I closed the door regularly before Kevin was next to me. I’ve learned these tricks from somebody who’s now coaching Kevin. It’s up to the jury to decide. I rode where I expected Kevin to come from, but I would never put somebody else in danger.”

    Pauwels’ Sunweb-Revor team lodged an official complaint after the race, with De Clerq offering an explanation. “It’s not about the movement to the right but about Nys touching Kevin’s handlebars twice with his knee. That’s over the top.” Pauwels, too, voiced his frustration to...