Great Britain's Nikki Harris, the number five rider in the world cyclo-cross rankings, will not take part in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky because of a knee injury.
Harris, the British national champion and winner of four Belgian races this season suffered the injury in a crash in December, and has not been able to rehabilitate it in time for Worlds.
“I've had some issues with my knee over the past few weeks after I hit it on the handlebars at the Zolder World Cup. I managed to mask the pain for a few weeks and hoped it would recover and I could finish my season strongly as I had planned," said Harris. "After an appointment with the specialist today we learned that the injury has now worsened and I have an acute tear in some tissue on my patella. Due to this I will unfortunately have to draw a close to my season immediately and take some rest. After a few weeks we can re evaluate how things are going and decide If surgery is necessary or not."
Team GB will not be replacing Harris, and the country will be represented by Helen Wyman, Gabriella Day and Annie Last in the elite women's field.
“It's obviously a huge disappointment to me, my team and British Cycling that I won't be able to take part in the up-and-coming world championships in Louisville and the remainder of the cyclo-cross season. However, I have to take the positives from my season so far. I finished third in the World Cup overall standings, I won five races had 14 podium places and of course my biggest goal of the year in winning the nationals. So I guess it could be a lot worse. Time is on my side and I have the time now to let my body recover.”
Medal contenders to contest tune-up event one weekend before Worlds
With the final round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in the books last Sunday, members of various European national teams for the upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships have begun to arrive in the United States in preparation for the historic event taking place in Louisville, Kentucky on February 2-3.
And with Cincinnati, Ohio located just 90 minutes north of Louisville, several stars of the European 'cross peloton, most notably Belgium's Niels Albert, have opted to join many from the US national team to contest a final tune-up race on Saturday, January 26, at Cincinnati Kings International Cyclo-cross.
"It is a rare opportunity to witness our US elite up against European elites in a non-Worlds environment," said race director Corey Green. "It is also a rare opportunity to race as an amateur on the same course, on the same day as the reigning world champion."
Already confirmed for the elite men's race are riders from Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Denmark including outgoing world champion and recently crowned World Cup champion Niels Albert (competing in the rainbow-striped jersey for the final team prior to Worlds), U23 men's World Cup winner Wietse Bosmans, Swiss national champion Julien Taramarcaz and compatriot Simon Zahner (a podium finisher at last weekend's World Cup in Hoogerheide), the Czech Republic's Radomir Simunek and Vojtech Nipl plus Denmark's Joachim Parbo.
Joining the European contingent in Cincinnati from the world championship's host nation are five members of the US elite men's Worlds team including newly crowned national champion Jonathan Page, Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll. Two of the US U23 Worlds team members, Andrew Dillman and Josh Johnson, are also slated to compete. Canada, too, will be...
Vantornout, the newly crowned Belgian 'cross champions, injured his left buttock in Zonnebeke and was unable to finish the race. His injuries also prevented him from contesting the final round of the World Cup the following day in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, Vantornout was pleased to get the green light to make the trip to the United States where the elite men's world championship will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on February 3. What was thought to be a single, major tear was found to be multiple, smaller tears which should heal quickly.
"They had thought there was a tear of four centimetres, but the image was distorted by the bleeding around the wound," said Vantornout. "Now it's clear there is a series of small tears. The doctors confirmed that I can quicky recover.
"The pain does not go away with this diagnosis, but now I know that sport is not harmful. [Wednesday] I will try to ride the rollers for the first time then I want to increase the intensity day by day. Not much has happened to my condition, I think. My super form has not gone after three days without cycling."
Vantornout was part of last year's Belgian domination at the world championships where the seven-man squad swept the first seven places in the elite men's event. Vantornout placed sixth last...
The powerhouse Belgian national team has arrived in the United States for the upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships and has proceeded to settle into the Louisville, Kentucky area.
Mechanics have been hard at work assembling the sizable number of team bikes while the riders have been brushing off the jet lag with training rides both indoors and outdoors. While not officially open for course recon yet, nonetheless the Belgian squad hopped on the Worlds parcours in Eva Bandman Park for a preview.
When not occupied with training, the riders have been involved in the usual litany of off-the-bike activities such as speaking to the media and passing the time on a couch, either watching television or playing video games.
Stay tuned for Cyclingnews' complete coverage of this weekend's historic world championship, the first time 'cross Worlds have been hosted outside of Europe. The junior men and U23 men compete on Saturday followed by the elite women and men on Sunday.
Geoff Proctor is a man of many hats - first and foremost a husband and father who teaches high school English in Helena, Montana, but someone for whom competitive cycling, specifically cyclo-cross, has been a life passion as well. He's raced on the US national team at 'cross Worlds in the 1990s, but these days he's best know for his directorship of the Euro 'Cross Camp in Belgium (which just completed its 10th edition), for being US National Junior/U23 Cyclo-cross Coach and for his membership at the sport's highest level in the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission.
Proctor is a fan of the sport, has been engaged with it as a promoter, official, technical director - and now as a writer. The Montana high school teach is the author of "Behind the Stare", the culmination of 25 years of cycling experience told through the lens of the 2007-2008 'cross season. Proctor was granted a one-year sabbatical from work in which he stood as eyewitness both in Europe and the United States to an entire 'cross season.
The subtitle of the book is "The pulse and character of professional European cyclo-cross" and that is the primary focus of Proctor's tale, featuring unprecedented access to the sport's Belgian kings: Sven Nys, Erwin Vervecken and Bart Wellens. While those familiar with the sport will know the outcomes to races throughout the season, culminating with Lars Boom's world title in Treviso, Italy, the reader is provided insight into what makes riders like Nys and Vervecken tick on a day-to-day basis throughout the winter - whether it's details of their training plans, their psyches of the routine ups and downs that constitute a season.
As one might expect, Proctor's inner English teacher is on display as woven through his work are references to literati as James Joyce, Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell, Richard Ford, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Carlyle, Joseph Heller and Sherman Alexie. Also woven through the fabric of the season...
It is the first time the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will be held on American soil, and although Katie Compton has been a perennial contender for the rainbow jersey and is the season’s World Cup overall winner, she’s feeling remarkably relaxed and excited about racing in Louisville, Kentucky for Sunday’s elite women’s title.
Compton, 34, has struggled over the past few years with a variety of health issues, but says that since discovering that low thyroid function was behind many of her problems and getting her treatment dialed in, her sporting life has become much smoother.
Also contributing to her positive energy levels has been her new sponsorship from the Trek Bicycle company. “The equipment has been great, the support has been great – it has made this year go much smoother,” Compton said.
The result was a season on par with 2010-2011, when she was narrowly defeated in the World Cup overall after winning five rounds, and came second in the World Championships.
Speaking to Cyclingnews from her home in Colorado, Compton said it feels strange to be sleeping in her own bed just a few days before the race. “Normally we would be traveling for two days just to get there, but on Wednesday I fly for a couple hours and I’m there. It has been really nice – the weather here has been great for training and I feel rested and relaxed. Mostly I’m just happy and excited to race.”
Compton’s main competition comes from defending champion Marianne Vos, who got the better of her on the fast World Cup course in Rome, Italy. But Compton learned something that day by racing in second position – what it was, she would not let on before race day – but is something...
Hopes American team can make history this weekend in Louisville
Top-ranked US cyclo-cross rider Jeremy Powers expressed confidence this week heading into Sunday's UCI World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. The Rapha-Focus rider told Cyclingnews he hopes familiarity with the North American-style course combined with the benefits of racing at home will help lift himself or one of his fellow countrymen to an historic result during the first-ever elite cyclo-cross world championships on American soil.
"Speaking strictly from an American standpoint, I think we have the best chance we've ever had with Katie [Compton] in the women's race and Zach [McDonald] in the Under 23s," Powers said Wednesday before heading out on a training ride. "We've also got Logan Owen and Curtis White, so we've got some really strong juniors."
Although the best chance for American medals may come in those other races, Powers said he believes the US elite men are well positioned for a podium run, and he drew confidence from last weekend's result at Cincinnati's Kings International race, won by 2012 world champion Niels Albert. Powers placed third, followed by Jonathan Page and Ryan Trebon.
"If you look at the results from Cincy, Ryan, Jonathan and I were all within 30 seconds," Powers said. "So I think we've all brought a strong level to this, and we're just gonna go put it out there. I hope that someone has a day that's just incredible, that just really shines through, but I don't honestly know what's going to happen."
Powers and his fellow teammates have had their eyes on this race since the UCI announced in early 2010 that the event would take place in Louisville. Now, with the big day fast approaching, Powers said he's primed.
"Things are good," he said. "Things are positive, exciting and fun. My legs are good, so I'm really...
The UCI will be live streaming coverage of its Cyclo-cross World Championships from Louisville, Kentucky in the USA this weekend, on Saturday, February 2. You can watch it right here on Cyclingnews at the following times.
It is the first time the UCI is providing free, live broadcasts of 'cross Worlds The UCI is also planning to provide live coverage of its world championships and World Cup events in the road, track, BMX and cyclo-cross disciplines. Mountain bike and trials will also be live, with the outlet announced shortly - last year such coverage was provided via Redbull.tv.
The UCI's live broadcasts will be available all around the world with the exception of those countries in which TV channels already offer the option to view the UCI events live.
The UCI channel will also provide highlights during the live coverage, offering freeze-frame images of the most spectacular action and most skilled performers. These highlights will be accessible to all internet users, free of charge and without restriction on location.
Coverage and times are below.
Junior men's race - Saturday, February 2 at 9:45 US EST (15:45 CET)
Elite women's race - Saturday, February 2 at 11:00 US EST (17:00 CET)
Under 23 men's race - Saturday February 2 at 12:30 US EST (18:30 CET)
Elite men's race - Saturday, February 2 at 14:30 US EST (20:30 CET)