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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 15, 2012

Date published:
November 15, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Meeusen out of Superprestige Hamme-Zogge

    Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) was momentarily dazed after a heavy crash
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 19:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lingering pain from crash in Zonhoven

    Telenet-Fidea rider Tom Meeusen will skip Sunday's Superprestige race in Hamme-Zogge. The Belgian is still suffering from injuries sustained in a dramatic crash on a sandy descent in Zonhoven last weekend.

    The 24-year-old injured his ribs when his front wheel got caught up in a deep rut in the sand, sending him over the bars in last weekend's Superprestige race. He had intended to start today's Jaarmarktcross in Niel, but was in too much pain during the warm-up laps.

    "I tried a lap. When I hit the section where your bike was ten centimeters deep in mud, I immediately knew," Meeusen said to Het Nieuwsblad. "When I dismounted I had some severe stabbing pain in the back and the ribs, which I had wisely taped up. Even though I was taped up, the pain was unbearable. Starting would have been stupid and wrong."

    He quickly decided that starting in Hamme-Zogge could not happen. "I need to rest from the bike, anything more is not possible. I don't dare take any risks. I'm beginning to think that the rib is broken and not bruised, because I have a lot of pain. I will in any case go to the doctor on Monday for a scan."


  • Albert tips Van der Haar as man to beat in Louisville

    Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) with rainbow stripes on his helmet and glasses
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 18:40 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Current world champion talks about US course

    After his second place in Hamme-Zogge world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) surprised by showing off a lot of knowledge about the future world championships course in Louisville, Kentucky. It turned out the Belgian rider already checked out video footage from last weekend's racing, and already has his travel plans set. That's in stark contrast with other top cyclo-cross riders who have their focus on the action at the old continent.

    "I've seen the race and have been studying the course. I checked photos on the internet. If it's going to be dry there's only one man that I think about," Albert answered when Cyclingnews asked him about the racing action at the Eva Bandman Park. The attending journalists suggested Jeremy Powers as man to beat, but the current world champion waved that away.

    "If the course is dry then Lars van der Haar is the big favourite," Albert stated. "If the weather turns foul then it's different."

    "I plan to leave twelve days ahead, right after the last World Cup round in Hoogerheide, on Monday. The week ahead of the world championships I'll try to take part in a race over there too. I've got this title and I intend to keep it," Albert said.

    For the 21 year-old Dutchman it was a surprise to hear from the current world champion he was the top favourite for the world championships title in the Elite Men category.

    "Oh jee..., oh jee," he showed his surprise. "It would be great if I could do it. But sure you've got to take into account Nys and Pauwels as well. Albert too of course. Even on a dry course. He's got so much power. He points at me because of my sprint," Van der Haar said.

    The Dutchman didn't plan to leave...

  • UCI points sharing on agenda in athletes commission

    Sven Nys in the lead
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 20:40 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Nys takes break to argue for sharing across disciplines

    In the midst of the cyclo-cross season Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) is forced to include a resting week in his program in order to attend the UCI athletes commission meeting at the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.

    The Belgian will once again try to defend the proposal which shares the UCI-points gained in all of cycling's disciplines.

    "It would be good to share the points gained in cyclo-cross with those on the road. It would motivated road teams to attract riders who do cyclo-cross. It can lift the sport to a higher level," Nys said after winning the Bollekescross in Hamme-Zogge on Sunday.

    While the timing for the UCI rider's commission is good for road riders who end their vacation and are kicking off their build-up for the new road season, it's a bad-timed meeting for Nys.

    "I will only be able to train a little on Tuesday morning. On Monday, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday we're having our meetings. Maybe it'll have an influence on my racing next weekend in Hasselt."

    "Maybe it'll be good though because I'm on high form. I've been good since Neerpelt and only three races were bad due to circumstances, like what happened in Tabor," Nys said, referring to his mechanical issue during the first cyclo-cross World Cup round of the season. "If you see how I'm performing then things can only turn bad from here. If I'm good I tend to try to get better and now I have to make the unintended choice to build in recovery," Nys said.

    Next weekend there's the third round of the Bpost Bank Trophy series in Hasselt, Belgium on Saturday where Nys is in second place at 54 seconds from leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). On Sunday there's the fourth round of the Hansgrohe Superprestige series in Gavere, Belgium where Nys is leading by three points over world champion Albert.

  • Sunweb-Revor riders disappoint manager at his Bollekescross

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor)
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 0:06 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Cross peloton turns against Sunweb-tactics

    With another cyclo-cross weekend behind, it's clear that the elite men's scene in Europe is currently dominated by two riders: world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). Sunweb-Revor riders Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout have repeatedly fallen short in their battle against the protagonists and at the team's home race in Hamme-Zogge things turned awkward when neither made the podium.

    For years team manager Mettepenningen has been hoping that one of his riders would claim the win in his race but once again he stepped up to the podium congratulating another rider. It was a disappointed man who spoke with the press at the finish line.

    "I have no problem with the win from Sven Nys. He was the best today. It's the fifth place which tastes sour. I'm disappointed because Kevin is only fifth despite finding a course that suits him well. I also expected that Klaas could stand by him much longer. I don't blame them though," Mettepenningen said.

    After strong performances last year, Pauwels was tipped to challenge Nys and Albert this season, but the quiet Belgian hasn't really been able to live up to those high expectations. Since his win at the World Cup in Tabor his victory list has been blank. Both Pauwels and Vantornout skipped the Jaarmarktcross in Niel on Saturday, hoping they would be more fresh for the race organized by Mettepenningen on Sunday.

    Things didn't quite turn out the way they expected. The 'cross peloton raised their shields against the Sunweb-Revor riders who collapsed under the pressure. Nys won and claimed he gained strength from the Sunweb tactics. Pauwels and Vantornout finished a distant fifth and sixth in...

  • Supercross Cup postponed due to hurricane aftermath

    Nassau County's September 11th Memorial was the perfect setting for this final race of the MAC Series.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 22:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    New date in December possible for New York race

    The UCI cyclo-cross event scheduled for November 17 and 18 on New York's Long Island will be postponed due to the clean up of Hurricane Sandy.

    Eisenhower Park, where the Supercross Cup was due to be held is currently being used as a staging area for relief crews and is unavailable for the race, the organizers announced today.

    "We regret to announce that the 2012 edition of the Supercross Cup UCI C2 races will have to be postponed. The exact details are still in the works, but we are hoping to host the race on December 8-9th," the race's Facebook page stated.

    "In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we inspected Eisenhower Park and met with Nassau County Parks officials. The park was in good condition and we were assured the race would be able to take place. We continued moving forward with race planning with the expectation that the race would take place as scheduled.

    "This weekend we returned to the park to begin course preparations. We discovered that disaster relief agencies including FEMA and National Grid had begun using the park as a staging area for out of state line crews who were brought in to help deal with the electricity crisis. Over 350 workers are sleeping, eating, and showering in temporary housing built in the park. Nassau County Parks officials have decided to close the park to prevent any accidents with the massive amounts of equipment being driven in and out of the park."

    The race was given a preliminary new date in December, which will go ahead pending park availability. Any riders not able to attend at that date can choose to donate their entry fee toward the relief efforts in the area, or receive a refund.

    The crews will also be organizing a volunteer work day on November 17 to help residents of the Rockaways, a peninsula south of Brooklyn, where many homes were severely damaged due to the storm surge and high winds that occurred on October 29.

    Volunteers can meet at Ride...

  • Pauwels concealed injury at Hamme-Zogge, says coach Herremans

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) picks himself up after a spectacular crash on the sand descent
    Article published:
    November 14, 2012, 8:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sunweb-Revor management disappointed with season’s results

    Having struggled to make an impact in the Superprestige series against the dominant Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Kevin Pauwels has experienced further difficulties, revealing his racing has been affected by an injury sustained in Zonhoven. Pauwels admitted an injured knee was the primary reason for his poor performance at Hamme-Zogge - where he failed to make the podium.

    The race was won by Nys, with Albert and Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) sprinting for the second spot on the podium. Pauwels struggled with the pace set by the current world champion Albert and Belgian champion Nys, eventually coming in fifth with teammate Klaas Vantornout a distant sixth.

    "Kevin has a whole week bothered by a sore knee, but he kept it secret because he did not want to use it as an excuse," coach Marc Herremans disclosed to Nieuwsblad.

    Pauwels begun the 2012 Cyclo-cross World Cup season in fine style by winning the opening round in Tabor and is currently leading the UCI standings. However, he has struggled for results in the most recent races. Last year’s World Cup winner had been unable to train properly in the lead-up to Hamme-Zogge but the "fear of making an excuse" was enough for the Belgian to keep his pain hidden.

    "Kevin has not talked about it himself because he was scared to to make excuses," said...

  • Racers assess 2013 'cross Worlds venue

    Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) riding the long sand pit ahead of Nash
    Article published:
    November 14, 2012, 16:30 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    USGP Derby City Cup provided preview of course

    This past weekend's races at the US Gran Prix of Cyclocoss Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky's Eva Bandman Park provided racers, spectators and UCI personnel a dry run at what will be the course and venue for the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships on February 2-3. "Dry" was the operative word for Saturday's and Sunday's events as sunshine and warm weather created a lightning-fast circuit devoid of a single drop of moisture to soften the course and provide additional technical challenges.

    Of course, the following Monday morning Louisville was ensconced in a heavy, soaking rain as many of the weekend's racers were making their way to the airport, but if the Masters world championships held this past January are anything to go by, then the elite Worlds competitors should have plenty of moisture to contend with, likely in the form of snow and ice.

    With that in mind, there were still plenty of opinions regarding the Eva Bandman Park venue with the general consensus that the first-ever 'cross Worlds to be hosted outside of Europe will be contested on a well-constructed, challenging circuit.

    Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) - reigning US elite women's 'cross champion, winner both days at USGP Derby City Cup
    "I think it's a good course. They made the most out of the terrain and used a lot of off-camber and up-and-down sections. It's a good mix of technical stuff and pedalling sections. It's fast and it's hard. There's definitely...

  • Thieves steal barriers from Hasselt cyclo-cross course

    Tom Meeusen has plenty of clearance over the logs
    Article published:
    November 14, 2012, 23:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Meeusen remains on sidelines for weekend

    The organizers of the Bpost Bank Trofee cyclo-cross race in Hasselt discovered that sometime on Monday evening, vandals had run off with one of the course's main features: three logs of four meters in length and 40cm thick that were to serve as barriers to force riders off their bikes.

    The race is set to take place on Saturday at the Kapermolenpark in Hasselt, but all that is left of the tree trunks is debris.

    "The only thing that remained was a lot of sawdust," said Charly Lenaerts, a Hasselt representative, according to "It is very sad that people start removing even things for an event. For that reason, we have complained to the police and they are investigating."

    Meanwhile, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), who last year made quite a show of bunny-hopping the logs, will remain sidelined with severe pain in his ribs.

    Meeusen was injured in the Superprestige Zonhoven, when he flipped over the bars on a sandy descent.

    Sven Vanthourenhout, who injured his thigh in a crash with some dogs while out training last week, will return to competition in Hasselt.