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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, April 18, 2013

Date published:
April 18, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Lechner finishes within seconds of medal at 'cross Worlds

    Eva Lechner (Italy) in action at 'cross Worlds
    Article published:
    February 04, 2013, 18:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Short off-season for Italian mountain biker and 'cross national champ

    Mountain bike World Cup pro Eva Lechner (Colnago-Südtirol) put in a strong showing at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday. She finished within seconds of making the elite women's podium.

    Lechner wrapped up her mountain bike season at the Langkawi International Challenge in Malaysia at the end of October. Then, she started her 'cross season at round 4 of the UCI World Cup in Roubaix, France, where she finished ninth. Her form improved as she logged two more top 10 finishes at the World Cups in Namur and Rome, and she defended her national 'cross title again, collecting what was her fourth Italian jersey.

    Returning to the World Cup in Hoogerheide, Netherlands one week later, Lechner proved her abilities by finishing off the podium on fourth place and she won the pre-Worlds tune-up 'cross race at the Gran Premio Guerciotti in Milan, where she distanced the rest of the field. On top of the podium there, she left Milan highly motivated for the big day in Louisville.

    At 'cross Worlds, Lechner started in the second row, but managed to position herself, together with Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France), right behind the World Cup leader and favourite Marianne Vos (The Netherlands). Vos distanced everyone on lap one after Chainel-Lefevre made a mistake. Unfortunately for Lechner, she did not get around the French woman and found herself riding also with Sanne Van Paassen (The Netherlands) in a chase group of three.

    Two laps before the finish, World Cup winner Katie Compton (United States) caught and passed Lechner and her group. Czech's Katerina Nash also joined from behind, which left four riders battling for the final podium spot and bronze medal.

    On a slippery track,...

  • New world ‘cross champion Nys arrives home

    The new Crelan rainbow jersey
    Article published:
    February 05, 2013, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Emotional homecoming in Belgium

    After a long overnight flight from Louisville, Kentucky, the new world cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys was given an emotion-filled homecoming in Zaventem airport in Brussels.

    Before leaving the baggage claim area, Nys was given his new Crelan-team rainbow jersey by his manager, and exited into the waiting arms of his wife, son and supporters.

    “It is very intense to be back to see my wife and son,” Nys told Sporza. “You share emotions with them all year long, so you want to have them with you again as soon as possible. I have been waiting for two days.”

    “I am going to enjoy this to the fullest and still feel miraculously fresh after an overnight flight in which I slept very little.”

    Even though Nys is scheduled to compete in the C2-ranked Augustijn Parkcross Maldegem on Wednesday, he will still summon up enough energy to celebrate his second world championship title with his fans in Baal tonight.

    "It might be a good thing now that I am now back to get into the daily routine and not hang my bike on the rack. But Tuesday night I'm going to Baal first and must celebrate with the fans."

  • Nys takes on first race as 'cross world champion

    Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL)
    Article published:
    February 06, 2013, 21:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Wellens beats Nys in sprint

    Jet lag, a night spent celebrating his world championship title and an early morning doping control may have taken the edge off the sprint of Sven Nys, who lost out in the Augustijn Parkcross Maldegem today to Bart Wellens in their first race back from the USA.

    Wellens was excited to take his first victory in over a year after putting in a fine performance at the world championships in Louisville, Kentucky where he overcame a bad start to finish fourth. In Maldegem today, he said it was tactics that won him the race.

    "I cut the last turn sharp in order to reduce the speed. I cannot beat Nys at full speed, but thanks to an explosive acceleration out of the last corner I could," he said.

    A close second place wasn't a bad result for Nys, considering he had only arrived in Belgium the previous morning and had spent much of the day celebrating with his family and hometown fans.

    "I partied until half past twelve with my fans in Baal," Nys said. "Then at 6am a doping inspector was at my door. Maybe it was my own fault. I could have changed my whereabouts for something better later in the day, but I didn't think to do it."

    The new world champion said he was racing on euphoria. "I could immediately take the initiative, because I felt was much better than expected. That must have been the euphoria, it cannot be otherwise."

    In other race notes, confusion at the start of the race led to some riders getting a poor start. Niels Albert fought his way back from missing the whistle thanks to loud music, and took third. Klaas Vantornout, the worlds silver medalist, suffered drivetrain problems and did not finish.

  • Exclusive: UCI hoping for US, British ‘cross World Cup in 2014

    Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the overall World Cup
    Article published:
    February 08, 2013, 21:00 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Only seven rounds for next season

    Following the success of the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky this month, the UCI has expressed its hopes that the USA and Great Britain will host World Cup rounds in the 2014-2015 season.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews upon the release of the World Cup calendar for 2013, UCI ‘cross coordinator Peter van den Abeele explained why there are only seven rounds next season rather than eight as in past years.

    “We had some options but nobody could organize [a race] on the 1st of December. Although we were very close to having an event in Great Britain next season, unfortunately it didn't happen but we will try to make it happen for the 2014-2015 season, as we will do for an American World Cup round for '14-'15 season.”

    The Worlds in Kentucky demonstrated to the Europeans that it is possible to travel the long distance across the Atlantic to compete, and still race at a high level. After the race, there was talk of starting the World Cup in the USA.

    It is not the first time the concept has been put forth: in 2008 Providence, Rhode Island had the support of the UCI to become a World Cup but the designation fell through.

    CrossVegas was discussed as a possible World Cup for 2009, but once again the designation never materialized.

    CrossVegas promoter Brook Watts confirmed to Cyclingnews that he is “engaged in a period of investigation and due diligence” to host the World Cup there, but said, “A commitment like that has to be a sound business decision, not a rash ego move.”

    “[CrossVegas] has the biggest crowd of any non-Euro race,” Watts said. “No other event could attract that scale of crowd...

  • Gallery: Powers wins in Tokyo

    Jeremy Powers hops the barriers in Tokyo
    Article published:
    February 14, 2013, 21:01 GMT
    Chandler Delinks

    Japanese event attracts big crowds, exciting racing

    Two days of cyclo-cross kicked off Saturday, February 9th at the second annual CX Tokyo on the small, man-made island of Daiba’s Daiba Park. Race promoter Ryoji Abeki built off last year's successful event that drew close to 5,000 fans by adding a second day of racing for amateur categories, a larger expo area, and features such as a fly-over and a second section of beach.

    The added features and invitees such as Americans Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson, Australian rider Lewis Rattray, and three Kona Cyclo-cross riders, Spencer Paxson, Barry Wicks, and Eric Tonkin, drew close to 13,000 spectators from the Tokyo area to the sandy venue.

    In the elite men's event, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was able to escape on the last lap to take the win from the current Japanese Champion, Yu Takenouchi (Koruba/Speranohamu), and Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld's Tim Johnson for the win.

    As he did the previous year, Takenouchi attacked from the gun with Powers, Johnson, Hikaru Kosaka (Utsunomiya-Blitzen Cyclocross Team), Paxson and Tonkin in tow, but after just a few laps, mistakes in the race’s two long sections of sand took their toll and Takenouchi, Powers, and Johnson separated themselves front the rest of the field.

    Mistakes in the deep sand were costly during the 13-lap event and Johnson was the first of the three leaders to pay when he crashed in one of the tight, sandy corners at the halfway point of the race, losing touch with Powers and Takenouchi for the last time.

    Takenouchi drew hope from the crowd of an upset over the American favorite Powers as he continued to ride cleanly through the technical course, maintaining a 10 to 15-second gap over the American until he started to tire with just three laps remaining. Takenouchi was forced to dismount and run sections of the sand he had previously ridden, and Powers capitalized by closing the gap to the leader, connecting with only two laps to go.

    The two leaders...

  • Shimano Di2 hydraulic road disc brakes spotted

    Shimano Di2 Dura-Ace hydraulic levers with disc brakes spotted on Michiel van der Heijden's Giant 'cross bike.
    Article published:
    February 20, 2013, 23:58 GMT
    James Huang

    Electronic Dura-Ace shifters accommodate master cylinder

    This article originally published on BikeRadar

    Whether authorized or not, Dutch Rabobank pro rider Michiel van der Heijden recently posted on his Twitter account an image of his new Giant TCX Advanced SL cyclo-cross bike – complete with a first look at Shimano's upcoming Dura-Ace Di2 hydraulic disc brakes. If you're among the skeptics who still doubt the coming of disc brakes in road and 'cross, you'd best start preparing your concession speeches.

    While we have no official details to accompany the image, several features are plainly visible. As with SRAM's upcoming Red hydraulic levers, Shimano looks to have tucked the master cylinder inside an enlarged hump atop the current Di2 STI Dual Control levers. With no mechanical shifter bits to accommodate as well, though, Shimano's version appears more elegantly executed.

    The two-piston calipers utilize bolted two-piece construction and are almost certainly made of forged aluminum. Rotating banjos tidy up the routing, too.

    The 140mm rotors look to be current Ice Tech models although it's unclear to what wheels they're attached. Simply badged "Shimano", the 28-hole carbon fiber tubular rims could easily be current models redrilled and custom built to existing XTR mountain bike hubs. Dedicated disc-only Dura-Ace carbon wheelsets in both clincher and tubular varieties and with lower spoke counts are almost guaranteed come the official release, though.

    New Giant TCX Advanced SL, too?

    It also shouldn't be ignored the Giant TCX Advanced SL frameset to which the parts are bolted as well. Giant's current cyclo-cross flagship is only compatible with rim brakes currently and is due for a redesign so this bike is either a custom prototype or...

  • Nys to race until 2015

    Sven Nys (Crelan)
    Article published:
    February 24, 2013, 15:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    World cyclo-cross champion confirms his career plans

    Sven Nys will be 37 in June, but after racing successfully at the highest level since 1998 and recently winning his second world title, the veteran Belgian rider has confirmed that he will race on until at least March 2015, with an option for a third year.

    Nys had worried Belgian 'cross fans by tweeting about selling the camper van he uses at races. However he confirmed he would race on until 2015 before the final 'cross race of the season in Oostmalle. Nys is considered one of the greatest cross riders of all time. He has won the UCI World Cup series six times, the Superprestige 12 times and has been Belgian cyclo-cross champion eight times. He won his first world title in 2005 and was also under 23 world champion in 1997 and 1998. Nys beat fellow Belgian Klaas Vantornout to win this year's world title in the mud in Louisville.

    Although Crelan will end its sponsorship of its team in 2013, it will stay on as Nys' personal sponsor.

    "When you win the world title, lead the UCI rankings, win 18 races and the final overall standings in the Superprestige, it's difficult to suddenly say it's time to call it a day next season," Nys said when he announced his decision.

    "I still feel very good, I'm able to enjoy training, I'm still motivated to win the races and my family fully supports my decision. I didn't attempt to lighten my schedule this year, and I will continue to contest all the important 'cross races in Belgium."

    Nys finished ninth in the Oostmalle race, well down on winner Niels Albert but was able to celebrate the start of his off-season on a high, knowing he will race on until he close to 40 years old. 

  • Caroline Mani renews with Raleigh-Clement

    Caroline Mani (Raleigh Clement) working her way up in the field
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 17:41 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Frenchwoman to open season at Sea Otter Classic

    Frenchwoman Caroline Mani has extended her contract with the Raleigh-Clement Cyclocross Team for two years, and will open her season at the Sea Otter Classic this weekend where she'll race the short-track, cross country, and cyclocross events. The 26-year-old emerged onto the U.S. scene in 2011 with an aggressive style and she quickly became popular with American fans.

    "I was super happy to race for Raleigh-Clement last year. It was the best support I've ever had. I’m proud to be part of this team and racing in the U.S. The women's fields are so strong and the events are first class. I really want to win some races for the team this year.”

    The commitment by Raleigh and Clement show the two companies are optimistic about the cyclocross marketplace. "Raleigh and Clement are really doing great things for cyclocross. They have great products and it's fantastic to have them supporting the sport," said Mani.

    Mani recently arrived in Colorado Springs, her training base for this summer. "I'll do some mountain bike races, some gravel races, a little road, but the main objective will remain the cyclocross season," said Mani. Her summer schedule includes some of the Pro XCT series, local events in Colorado, the Gravel Metric in Illinois, and the Midsummer Nights Cyclocross Race at Dealer Camp in Park City, Utah, an event sponsored by Raleigh.

    The 2012/13 cyclocross season started slowly for Mani as she juggled full-time work with the demands of racing. She was living in Laguna Beach and completing her university degree by interning in the marketing department at Crank Brothers. "My training and my day-to-day life was not ideal to race at a high level, but I didn't have choice. I'm trying to be a professional bike racer but I also want to be a business woman in the future so I needed to finish my degree."

    Mani continued, "The...