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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 13, 2011

Date published:
October 13, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Stybar back to light training after knee injury

    World champion Zdenek Stybar at the front.
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 5:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Cyclo-cross world champion aims to race again in Ruddervoorde

    Cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar has finally returned to training, after suffering a knee injury at the Stribro cyclo-cross race on September 24. Stybar was forced to sit out last weekend's Vlaamse Industrieprijs Bosduin, and has been off the bike for 10 days while the swelling on his right knee came down.

    In agreement with the team's medical staff, Stybar yesterday restarted gradual low intensity efforts in order to prepare for the upcoming Superprestige Ruddervoorde.

    "The problem seems to be getting better," said Stybar, who flew to Mallorca this morning for a brief training camp. "Yesterday, I trained carefully and I hope to then increase my workload over the next few days.

    "If my knee doesn't start hurting again I'll be back to racing on Sunday in Ruddervoorde."

    Stybar's injury comes off the back of comments from the 25-year-old that he is considering the prospect of focusing solely on the road in 2012, citing the fatigue from a long road season likely to affect his cyclo-cross performances.

    "I can not continue to combine these two sports."

    The Category 1 Superprestige Ruddervoorde is on October 9.

  • Field finishes US 'cross stint flush with UCI points

    Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles), smooth on the beach
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 21:45 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Six straight podium appearances augur well for Euro campaign

    British 'cross rider Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) has concluded a three and a half week block of cyclo-cross racing in the northeast of the United States and the 25-year-old Briton definitely made his presence felt at the seven UCI 'cross races he attended.

    Field opened his American campaign on September 10 at Nittany Lion 'Cross where he finished second to Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus). The next weekend he contested both days of Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland and came away with a victory on Saturday and a second place finish to Belgium's Tom Van Den Bosch (AA on Sunday.

    The following weekend, September 24 and 25, Field won again at Burlington, Vermont's Nor’easter ‘Cross and claimed second place on Sunday at Rochester, New York's Rohrbach's Ellison Park Cyclocross to Frenchman Nicolas Bazin (Team Big Mat-Auber 93).

    His final weekend included his first UCI C1-ranked event of the season, Saturday's Gran Prix of Gloucester, where Field continued his podium streak with a third place finish behind Swiss champion Christian Heule (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) and Powers.

    The only hiccup to Field's debut experience in America came on the second day of racing at the Gran Prix of Gloucester, the Briton's final race and final day in the US, when...

  • Powers regains USICX lead

    Elite men's winner Jeremy Powers had plenty of time to show off the sponsors
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 4:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Wyman unbeaten on US soil to take women's lead

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) recorded a pair of wins (Gateway Cross Cup and the second day of the Gran Prix of Gloucester) along with second and third-place finishes over the last two weeks to re-take the lead in the United States International Cyclo-cross Calendar (USICX) men's standings. Powers has a 57-point cushion on the previous leader Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles), who earned a win at Nor'Easter Cross as well as a second and third-place result in the previous two weeks.

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team), who sits in third place, 93 points behind Powers, won the second round of the Exergy USGP of Cyclocross in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Tom Van den Bosch (Team AA dropped to fourth place after finishing second at Nor'Easter 'Cross and third at Rohrbach's Ellison Park Cyclocross in Rochester, NY. Nicolas Bazin (Big-Mat Auber 93) won in Rochester last week to move into fifth place.

    On the women's side, British 'cross champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) won four times in the previous two weeks, including both days of the Gran Prix of Gloucester, to assume sole possession of first overall. The previous co-leader, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) registered wins at both days of Sun Prairie to hold onto second place, 120...

  • Nys presents expanded Landbouwkrediet-KDL team

    Racer winner Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 17:57 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian aims for world title, Olympic Games

    Sven Nys headlined the presentation for a small audience of the cyclo-cross team Landbouwkrediet-KDL on Wednesday afternoon at the Landbouwkrediet headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

    Nys is the top gun of the team next to Sven Vanthourenhout and neo-professional Vincent Baestaens. The team also has an amateur wing which contains Robert Gavenda, Martin Zlamalik and Bart Verschueren but mostly riders from the youth categories. The new structure was formed during the summer, and Nys was proud of this achievement. "I'm proud to be sitting here with the whole team."

    The 35 year-old Belgian has played a part in mentoring the newer riders in all aspects of the sport, perhaps testing out the job for his retirement which is planned for 2014. "It's a complete turnaround for me to be training in a playful way. Also, it's closing the gap between being a professional athlete and a retired athlete," Nys said.

    Before he hangs up his racing wheels, Nys has two more goals to fulfill - first, winning another cyclo-cross world title and second, to make the Belgian team for the London Olympics in 2012 on the mountain bike.

    Nys finished ninth in the cross country race in 2008, but his qualification for next year's Games was impacted by a torn muscle in his knee this summer. Kevin Van Hoovels has already qualified one of the two spots after taking 15th in the world championships in Champerey this summer, and Nys knows he has to change his schedule to have the form to earn points toward taking the second spot.

    "Paul [Van Den Bosch] and I are creating a plan to get me at the Olympics in the most energy-efficient way. I will not put my money on being good in one or two races because I have to be at my best during the Olympic race. Every point is a point closer to the total amount of needed points. How? I'll give away one hint: if...

  • Stybar returns for Superprestige opener

    Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) celebrates his victory.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 20:30 BST
    Cycling News

    World champ's injured knee back to normal for Ruddervoorde

    World cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar has nursed his banged up knee back to health and will compete in the Superprestige opener in Ruddervoorde, Belgium on Sunday.

    The QuickStep rider has returned from a short training camp in Mallorca where he was able to test out the knee he injured in an accident in his first 'cross race of the year, and said it's back to full strength.

    "Fortunately, these last few days in Mallorca I managed to put in some good workouts without my knee hurting me," said Stybar. "My goal for Sunday is to try and put in a good trial after a period of having stopped. I'm not in the best shape due to the injury and at this time I don't know how well prepared I am compared to my main rivals. As always, though, I'm going to try to do my best."

    Stybar won the Ruddervoorde round last year over Bart Aernouts and Sven Nys. He will start with bib number 1, ahead of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and eight-time Ruddervoorde winner Nys.

  • Albert responds to criticism with Superprestige victory

    Superprestige Ruddervoorde winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2011, 20:22 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian 'cross champion wins in Ruddervoorde for first time

    During the past two weeks Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) was the focus of criticism in his native Belgium. First it was Roger De Vlaeminck who hit out at Albert during the presentation of the Superprestige series. The former cyclo-cross world champion and 4-time winner of Paris-Roubaix felt Albert didn't quite dedicate himself to the sport like living cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) did.

    One week later during the presentation of the Landbouwkrediet team Nys hinted that Albert was less of a specialist as him when it came down to technical skills and power. Nys also said it wasn't a good idea for Albert to put all his attention on the world championships.

    Albert answered the criticism with his pedals by winning the first major cyclo-cross clash of the season during the first round of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde, Belgium.

    "I've never won here and despite being considered by some as technically weaker I proved myself today," Albert said. The course in Ruddervoorde was a demanding one with multiple muddy stretches, short steep climbs, a pavé-section and a long sand section.

    Right after the race De Vlaeminck was on the phone with tv-channel VT4. "I admit that I made a mistake and apologize to Niels," said De Vlaeminck. "I do think that I motivated him. I want to see duels in cyclo-cross and in Ruddervoorde we saw a great race. With Niels the best rider has won."

    Albert couldn't be bothered by the whole situation. "I'm not losing any sleep lately. I'm not riding for Roger," Albert said.

    Concerning the remark from Nys about the focus on the world championships Albert didn't agree. "I've never said...

  • Pedals and chains cause problems in Ruddervoorde

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) shoulders his bike.
    Article published:
    October 10, 2011, 3:48 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Nerves fray while Vantornout hits out

    It's not that often that a cyclo-cross race creates as many mechanical problems for riders as occurred during the first round of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde on Sunday afternoon. Several riders felt that their bike let them down when it mattered most. Although Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) felt riders shouldn't complain.

    During the post-race chats with riders at the finish in Ruddervoorde, it was hard not to find one who talked about the mechanical problems he encountered. Here's a round-up...

    Winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus): "My pedals were still set quite tight from Saturday's race where we didn't have to get off the bikes much. It was my own mistake and it took a lot of time before it was re-adjusted because first I had to inform the mechanics and then wait one more lap to get a good bike. I was really mad at myself."

    World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step-Innergetic): "My chain dropped twice. It was my own fault because I changed gears before taking the corner."

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea): "I clicked out of my pedals twice. I'm using a new type of pedals and they are quite tight so I told my mechanics to open them up a little during the first two laps. It didn't help at all and tomorrow I'll fit back the old pedals on my bike."

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet): "Every time I shifted back to the small ring on the descents ahead those steep climbs my chain dropped. The first couple of times I bounced back, but after about six times I cracked. It never happened during training and today it happened with all three of my bikes, certainly four or five times. After a while I had to ride much more carefully."

    All these complaints sounded weary to Vantornout who lived up to his straight-talking reputation.

    "Nys should shift in the descent instead of...

  • Compton looking for a podium place in Plzen

    Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) in action.
    Article published:
    October 13, 2011, 19:33 BST
    Laura Weislo

    US cyclo-cross champion not targeting World Cup overall

    American Katie Compton is on her way to the Czech Republic for the first UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup of the season in Plzen, but instead of coming into the race on top form, she told Cyclingnews she still has "room to improve" and will be happy with a podium finish.

    "I'm happy with where I am at this point in the season," Compton said in the midst of hurriedly finishing up her final tasks before heading to Europe. "I'll be happy with a podium this weekend. I'm not going to race all the World Cups this year so I'm not going for the overall, but I still like to win races so I'm going to try and have good rides at the World Cups I race and set myself up to have a good Worlds again."

    Compton is still seeking her first rainbow jersey after being twice second and once third in her 'cross career. After several seasons of great early season form which faded come time for Worlds, the seven-time US 'cross champion is taking a slower start to the year.

    She skipped CrossVegas and the USGP opener in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and only started racing last weekend at the USGP in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she took second to Czech champion Katerina Nash on day one and then scored her first win of the year on the second day.

    Although fellow American Amy Dombroski relocated to Belgium for a full European calendar, Compton doesn't see herself taking such a leap in order to fulfill her goal of becoming world champion - at least not yet.

    "I like being in the States too much and enjoy Colorado in the winter. That doesn't mean it won't happen though," Compton said. "I take one season at a time and see where I am and what I want to accomplish, and...