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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 1, 2011

Date published:
December 01, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Stybar feeling fatigued from road season

    World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep) hops the log barrier
    Article published:
    November 28, 2011, 21:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    'Cross world champion underestimated effects

    Reigning cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) finished off the podium on both races this past weekend and he's attributed his performance in recent weeks to the effects of a taxing road campaign leading into 'cross season. The 25-year-old Czech finished fourth on Saturday in the Koksijde, Belgium-hosted third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, also the venue for the upcoming world championships in January. Stybar followed that result with a 6th place finish on Sunday at the Superprestige Gieten.

    "I'm missing freshness," Stybar told Het Laatste Nieuws. "During the race I feel pretty good but in the last quarter there has been no acceleration in recent weeks. I'm starting to realize that the heavy summer has cost me more than expected, mentally and physically."

    Stybar officially joined Quick Step on March 1 of this year and started his road season in early May with a third place overall finish in his first race: the Four Days of Dunkirk. Stybar continued his road campaign through the end of August with such races as the Tour de Suisse, Eneco Tour, Tour of Belgium and Tour de Picardie.

    Stybar started his 'cross season on September 24 with the first round of the Toi Toi Cup in his native Czech Republic, where he rode to a resounding victory, but then suffered a knee injury in a freak post-race crash which put him off the bike for 10 days. Stybar returned to racing for the opening Superprestige round in Ruddervoorde on October 9 and has competed every weekend since.

    "Maybe I made the mistake of hard training. Normally I do nothing...

  • Peeters replaces Adams on Belgium's roster for Igorre 'cross World Cup

    Rob Peeters celebrates his finish
    Article published:
    November 28, 2011, 22:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Recent Superprestige performance by Peeters gives him the nod

    Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) has earned a selection to Belgium's roster for the upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Igorre, Spain on December 4. The 26-year-old will make his first World Cup appearance for Belgium this season in the series' fourth round at the expense of teammate Joeri Adams, who was selected for his season's first World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium this past Saturday.

    While Belgians swept the podium and put eight riders into the top 15 on Koksijde's sandy parcours, Adams rounded out the team's results with a 39th place performance.

    The next day, at Superprestige Gieten, Peeters finished on the podium with winner Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and runner-up Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), also the top two at the Koksijde World Cup.

    Peeters, a regular World Cup starter the previous season, was outraged at his non-selection for Koksijde. He's ranked 16th overall on the UCI's most recent cyclo-cross standings, the eight-best Belgian, while Adams holds 33rd overall.

    Peeters also felt his true form hasn't been noted, due to mechanical incidents. "In the previous selections the many mechanical breakdowns were not taken into account," Peeters told

    The Igorre World Cup is for elite men only and Belgium will be sending a full complement of nine riders, headed by World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor). Eight of the nine riders also started the Koksijde World Cup, joined by Peeters in his first World Cup start this season

    Belgium's starters for UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup #4 in Igorre, Spain:
    Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea), Dieter Vanthourenhout...

  • Nys, Compton continue to lead UCI 'cross rankings

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) leads Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor)
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 20:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pauwels poised to pounce, just 10 points behind Nys

    The UCI released its fourth cyclo-cross rankings of the year on Tuesday, following a weekend in which all categories - elite men, elite women, under 23 men and junior men - raced the third round of the World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.

    Nys remains atop the men's elite UCI standings for the fourth straight time this season with 2,210 points, with Pauwels continuing as the second-ranked rider.

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) outsprinted Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) to win both Saturday's World Cup in Koksijde (in a controversial finale) as well as Sunday's Superprestige round in Gieten, The Netherlands.

    Pauwels, however, has been steadily chipping away at Nys's lead which stood at 160 points in the season's first rankings but has now been reduced to a tenuous 10 points. In addition to finishing as runner-up in both races this past weekend, Pauwels has also scored points with wins at Superprestige Gavere and the GP Hasselt (round 3 of the GvA Trofee), races in which Nys failed to score any points with the year-round rolling points system.

    The riders ranked third through sixth overall remained unchanged with Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step), Francis Mourey (FDJ) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) holding third through sixth respectively.

    Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) moved into seventh overall, followed by teammate Lars van der...

  • Get ready for Euro 'Cross Camp IX

    EuroCrossCamp VIII
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 18:30 GMT
    Mark Robinson

    Amercia's best young cyclo-cross riders set to hit Europe

    Euro 'Cross Camp is about to enter its 9th year and continues to go from strength to strength. Its vision is to offer European race experience to young, developing American cyclo-cross riders and to prepare them for the world championships in late January. Founded in 2003, it utilises the same infrastructure as the USA U23 road programme. This year there will be 20 riders involved and a staff of 12 will be on hand to cater for their every need at the base in Izegem, Belgium.

    Throughout the camp riders will be updating Cyclingnews users on a daily basis, offering them a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the ins and outs of life in a residential training camp and the progress that they are making. The riders will do between 6-10 races over the two-week camp under the watchful eye of Euro 'Cross Camp founder and director Geoff Proctor, who also serves as National U23/Junior Team Coach for the USA at the world championships and is a member of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission.

    "More and more, with each year of the camp, I see the overall gains a rider can make," said Proctor. "It's about celebration, indoctrination and unification. Celebration of where we have come from and where we are as a cyclo-cross nation; indoctrination into the Belgian scene, where the sport is revered; and unification via the coming together of individual riders to take on the best that Europe has to offer.

    "Many of America's top cyclo-cross, road and MTB riders got their first international race experience at the camp over the years including Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Jamie Driscoll, Barry Wicks and Danny Summerhill. This year's group is a real mixture of the old and the new. Ryan Trebon knows the camp experience from his past years here (he's a four-time camp member) and having him rejoin is huge for us and a real vote of confidence. It will be great for the youngsters to be able to share time with one of America's best cyclo-cross riders. I'm also pleased to...

  • Boonen returns for charity cyclo-cross race

    Tom Boonen and friends go off-road for charity's sake
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 22:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian's wrist nearly healed

    Tom Boonen will once again host the charity cyclo-cross race "Boonen & Friends" at the Zilvermeer in Mol, Belgium this Saturday. The event benefits "Move to Improve", a charity for children with movement disorders. Joining the Quick Step sprinter will be former cyclo-cross world champion Lars Boom who will be given a one-minute handicap to the star-studded field of road professionals.

    Boom will be up against a field of 48 riders which includes, among others, former winners Maarten Wynants and Pieter Vanspeybrouck as well as current professionals André Greipel, Jelle Vanendert, Giovanni Visconti, Carlos Barredo, Björn Leukemans, Marco Bandiera and Christian Knees.

    In the race for retired pros, another former world champion, Erwin Vervecken, will try to defend his title of last year against the likes of Johan Museeuw, Davide Bramati, Eric Vanderaerden, Jo Planckaert and Marc Wauters.

    The race is sure to provide even Boom and Vervecken with challenges on a course which Boonen called one of the hardest yet. "Even for a cyclo-crosser the circuit is technically challenging."

    Boonen is looking forward to racing for the first time since he crashed out of the Vuelta a España with a broken wrist. ""My wrist is almost healed. I only suffer when I have to ride a long descent."

    After a series of community races, the ex-professionals will take to the start at 2pm, with Boonen and friends going off at 3:15.

  • 2011 Reader Poll: Compton makes it five in a row

    Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) extended her streak of wins in the USA
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 12:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    US champion wins best cyclo-cross female category

    American Katie Compton was nearly undefeated in the 2010-2011 season, and hasn't finished a race off the podium in any race in recent memory. While her small handful of second place finishes unfortunately included the 2011 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, where she was beaten by Marianne Vos, the seven-time US champion is first in the minds of Cyclingnews' readers.

    It is the fifth straight year Compton has won our poll, and this year she crushed Vos, exacting her revenge for Sankt Wendel with a 1,614-vote advantage over Vos out of more than 21,000 entries.

    "I'm excited to win the poll and glad to know I'm still number one in the hearts of Cyclingnews readers!" Compton said.

    While the rainbow bands may have eluded her, Compton finished the season as overall UCI rankings leader and just 10 points shy of the overall World Cup despite skipping two of the seven rounds.

    On home soil, the Colorado resident was nearly flawless, missing only one win, the USGP round in Fort Collins, where she was beaten by Katarina Nash.

    Vos, despite being world champion in the discipline, fell shy of the win, but earned the respect of our readers with a strong second place showing. She beat Nash by 2256 points to take the runner-up spot, while Nash once again stepped onto the podium thanks to her numerous wins which included several USGP rounds and the Czech national championship.

    2011 best cyclo-cross female:

    1 Katie Compton 6163 (28.5%)
    2 Marianne Vos 4549 (21.0%)
    3 Katerina Nash 2293 (10.6%)
    4 Hanka Kupfernagel 1943 (9.0%)
    5 Meredith Miller 1868 (8.6%)
    6 Georgia Gould 1368 (6.3%)
    7 Helen Wyman 1110 (5.1%)
    8 Daphny van den...

  • 2011 Reader Poll: Nys takes title number 10

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) is off to a good start.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 17:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian tops Stybar, Powers as best cyclo-crosser

    With more than 300 victories on his palmares, there is no disputing the fact that Sven Nys is one of, if not the most successful cyclo-cross racers of all time, and Cyclingnews' astute readers acknowledged his accomplishments by voting him best male cyclo-cross racer for the eighth straight year, and the 10th time in the 11-year history of our poll.

    Nys soundly defeated the 'cross world champion Zdenek Stybar for the honor, raking in 31.3% of the vote. American Jeremy Powers took the final podium spot, edging out Belgian champion Niels Albert by 568 votes.

    In the 2010-2011 season, Nys claimed his 10th Superprestige and 8th GvA Trophy overall wins, and finished the season as the UCI's number one rider, however the world title eluded him once again.

    It's shocking that a rider who has been so dominant in his career has won only a single rainbow jersey at the elite level and two as an under 23. Yet the Belgian superstar is more than just a podium ornament for another world champion - he's one of the few riders who wins from September to February, but his focus on the season-long series has meant he is less fresh than his competitors when Worlds roll around.

    He's admitted as such, even criticizing his fellow Belgian Niels Albert for his singular focus on the world title. Yet this season might be different. He's taken a slower start, had stronger challenges from Albert and Kevin Pauwels, and while he remains UCI leader, it's more due to his previous season results than his current list of just five victories.

    While Stybar was runner-up for the second year in a row, his strong performance in the 2010-2011 season and his brilliant world championship ride earned him the vote of 4281 readers, 479 more than last year, while...

  • Compton hopes Koksijde mistakes are out of the way

    Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) on the steepest climb with one lap to go
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 20:58 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    US champion unfazed by poor start in Worlds dress rehearsal

    While most riders would be thrilled with a third place finish in a cyclo-cross World Cup, such a result was a poor finish for American Katie Compton in last weekend's race in Koksijde, Belgium. But the seven-time US champion isn't worried that the outcome may portend another failed quest for the elusive rainbow jersey when she contests the same course at the 2012 World Championships.

    It's a course on which Compton utterly dominated in 2010, but on Sunday she was slow to start, losing the advantage of her front row position and having to ride through traffic to chase after eventual winner Daphny Van den Brand and world champion Marianne Vos.

    "Over the last 5 years I've raced Koksijde, I've had good and bad days," Compton told Cyclingnews. "Bad days are the worst because the sand only gets deeper and harder the slower and weaker you get. I had a great day last year since my skills were on and my legs were strong, however this year I was just tired and I couldn't get out of my own way.

    "I made a lot of mistakes from the start when I was slow off the line then missed my pedal. I can make more excuses, but I just had an off day and usually my strength can make up for it but not this time."

    Compton has a challenge that most of the rest of her competitors lack, the fact that she steadfastly holds to her Colorado home base and has to endure long flights and jet lag to compete in the world's top events.

    "I'm slowly figuring out the jet lag and training fatigue and rest I need in between the two and sometimes I don't always get it right," she said.

    However, like all top competitors, Compton quickly shakes off the embarrassment...