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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 19, 2013

Date published:
September 19, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • USGP of Cyclo-cross discontinued

    Elite Women’s start at the Trek USGP of Cyclocross Planet Bike Cup
    Article published:
    April 19, 2013, 20:30 BST
    Pat Malach

    Individual races return to local promoters

    The US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross will not return for its 10th run in 2013, organizers announced on the series website today. The four-weekend, eight-race series has been the premiere US cyclo-cross series since its first season in 2004.

    "It's with great sadness that we, the organizers of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross, announce that we have reached the hard decision to discontinue the Series," organizers Bruce Fina and Joan Hanscom announced on the website, although they added that each of the four separate weekend events – the Sun Prairie Gran Prix; the Fort Collins Cup; the Derby City Cup; and the Deschutes Brewery Cup – would continue separately under the ownership of the regional organizers.

    "While we are saddened by the conclusion of the series we invested so move love and passion into building, we are deeply gratified that the races will continue under the stewardship of the very talented teams of promoters who love the races as much as we do," Fina and Hanscom said in the statement.

    Organizers had initially canceled the 2012 series after title sponsor Exergy Development Group failed to meet its obligations from the previous year, but the series was saved when Trek, WD-40 Bike and Clif Bar stepped up to provide the necessary funds.

    Hansom was not immediately available for comment Friday, but she told that the sponsorship search for 2013 fell short. Series organizers decided to cancel the 2013 USGP now in order to avoid much of the last-minute concern that occurred last fall when the 2012 series was in doubt.

  • Gallery: Junior 'crossers learn skills at Development Camp

    Bunny hopping barriers is more important than ever these days.
    Article published:
    July 29, 2013, 22:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Montana hosts young cyclo-cross racers at USA Cycling camp

    Geoff Proctor, who is the organizer of the US 'cross camp that takes place in Belgium each winter, and USA Cycling teamed up for the third consecutive summer to give 17 aspiring athletes a chance to participate in a cyclo-cross-specific summer training camp in Helena, Montana in late July.

    "Living in a big country, a big challenge in athletics is talent dispersion. Part of the vision here is to bring together many of the top kids within an age category and provide them an opportunity to learn from each other," said Proctor. "And, once again the emphasis is on moving them forward with their training, their motivation, and their focus.

    "Two riders [David Lombardo and Maxx Chance] raced the junior Worlds race in Louisville. Four campers raced in Europe with me last December. Many of these riders witnessed first-hand the Louisville experience, so they know the power of this sport. And, it's important to keep looking at the younger riders coming up. I'm appreciative of USAC for the opportunity to direct this camp."

    The camp, spread over four days, included four sessions a day: early morning conditioning, late morning specific cyclo-cross training, afternoon rides up in the mountains, and evening classroom sessions with video analysis of European cyclo-cross races and segments of motivational footage as well.

    "By design, the camp is non-competitive in the sense that it's an out-of-season camp," said Proctor. "As a result, we really focus on, reinforce, and digest the multitude of skills required for cyclo-cross. I also like to tightly plan everything--maximize the experience with very little down-time. The riders go home pretty fatigued, but it's a good tired, a motivated tired. The seeds are planted and everything is positioned such that they can work towards having a super cyclo-cross season."

    Proctor will also continue the talent refinement process with his 11th Euro 'Cross Camp this December, building to the culmination of...

  • Fort Collins Cup 'cross race cancelled for 2013

    The Elite Men’'s start on a pretty day in Fort Collins
    Article published:
    August 06, 2013, 21:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Former USGP event unable to secure funding

    The organisers of the Fort Collins Cup cyclo-cross race announced today that the two-day, UCI-sanctioned event, scheduled for October 12-13, 2013 in Fort Collins, Colorado, has been cancelled due to a lack of funding.

    From 2010 through 2012 the event was part of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, whose four-weekend, eight-race series had been the premier US cyclo-cross series. The USGP series for 2013, however, was cancelled back in April of this year as the series organisers' search for sponsorship fell short.

    The 2012 edition itself of the USGP very nearly did not come to fruition following title sponsor Exergy Development Group failing to meet financial obligations, but industry members Trek, WD-40 BIke and Clif Bar stepped up to provide funding for the series.

    While there would be no overall USGP series for 2013, it was expected that each of the four individual weekend events - Sun Prairie Gran Prix (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin); Fort Collins Cup (Fort Collins, Colorado); Derby City Cup (Louisville, Kentucky); and the Deschutes Brewery Cup (Bend, Oregon) - would still be contested and run by the local organising committees.

    In Fort Collins, the Ciclismo Youth Foundation continued in its role as local organising committee and was seeking sponsorship to continue the UCI C1/C2 weekend in mid-October. The organisers, however, had not been able to secure the requisite funding.

    The 2012 edition of the Fort Collins Cup saw Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers sweep both days of their respective women's and men's events.

  • Australia to hold first ever cyclo-cross nationals

    Lewis Rattray gives chase.
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 5:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Strong field to contest for green and gold glory

    Australia will hold it's inaugural cyclo-cross national championships this Saturday in Melbourne.

    The championships will run on a new purpose-built course in Cranwell Park, Maribyrnong, with the elite male and female course including a number of technical sections.

    A strong field of 137 riders will contest the race, including all of the main players from the 2013 National Cyclo-Cross Series (NCXS) including Paul Van der Ploeg, Adrian Jackson, Peter Hatton and Sid Taberlay. While in the elite women's field headline stars such as Rowena Fry, Sarah Holmes, Lindsay Gorrell and Melissa Anset will take part.

    Also in attendance will be Lewis Rattray, the Australian representative at the World Cyclo-cross Championships in Belgium earlier this year. Lewis hasn't participated in any of the first four rounds of the NCXS due to being overseas on university exchange. Having recently returned to Australia and only just resumed full training, Rattray is playing down his chances.

    "I'll be there on the weekend to enjoy myself and soak in the atmosphere. I'm hoping to have some fitness later on in the season, around the time of Victorian State Champs," said Rattray. "Regardless I'm extremely excited to be lining up for the first CX nationals, and perhaps a little disappointed I won't be mixing it with the pointy end of the field!"

    The Schedule for the weekend is as follows

    12pm Masters women

    1pm Masters men

    2pm Elite, U19 and U23 women

    3pm Elite, U19 and U23 men

  • Cycling only part of the equation for Australian CX Champion Lisa Jacobs

    Lisa Jacobs had plenty of time to enjoy her win
    Article published:
    August 12, 2013, 5:10 BST
    Jono Lovelock

    Chair of Cycling Australia Athletes Commission targets improvements in rider welfare

    Lisa Jacobs made history at the Australian Cyclo-Cross Championships on Saturday, winning the inaugural women's title. Although the title came as a confirmation of her talent, Jacobs told Cyclingnews that she has other pursuits at the forefront of her mind and she only wants to continue racing for 'fun'.

    Jacobs came to the sport in 2007 through the National Talent ID and Development program run by the Australian Institute of sport (AIS). She was quickly whisked away from her weekend hobbies of duathlon and multisport and into the career of a full-time cyclist.

    Jacobs quickly progressed to a full European season with the Australian National Team in 2010 where she raced the women's Giro d'Italia and in her own words, "in women's racing it doesn't get any bigger."

    The recent story of Jo Hogan is a reminder of the difficulties of being a female cyclist, and for Jacobs she was happy to return to Australia and live a regular life. The time spent racing and training at a full-time level, though, has given Jacobs a new found confidence that is the key to her recent success.

    "I think it's probably more that having the experience of racing overseas has given me a bit of confidence," said Jacobs. "I mean the experience you get with the racing [in Europe] means that you can handle racing a bit better. But I've always responded better to lower volumes than higher volumes and I think probably I've just found a happy balance between working and training and racing which is probably the difference. That mental difference, I think I'm not someone who races a lot I guess. I need to be able to work and do other things as well."

    And Jacobs certainly does a lot of 'other things'...

  • Driscoll switches to Raleigh-Clement for 'cross season

    Jamey Driscoll will ride with Raleigh-Clement in the 2013-2014 'cross season
    Article published:
    August 24, 2013, 18:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Former junior champion exits Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld

    The Raleigh-Clement Cyclo-cross Team announced the signing of Jamey Driscoll for its 2013-2014 cyclo-cross campaign. The 26-year-old comes to the budding squad from the Cannondale-Cylocrossworld team, joining existing members Ben Berden, Allen Krughoff, Craig Etheridge, and Caroline Mani.

    "I'm really happy to join the team," Driscoll said. "Raleigh-Clement has turned a lot of heads since getting started last year, and I'm excited to help them shake up the sport a little bit. I'm looking forward to riding with Ben Berden at the front end of the race."

    Driscoll, a winner of the 2009 Cross Vegas and perennial contender nationally and internationally, is a strong addition to the second-year team.

    "We are thrilled to have Jamey on board," Clement general manager Donn Kellogg said. "He's a complete rider who'll really strengthen our program. Jamey is in the front group of almost every cyclocross race he enters, and he'll play a huge role in team tactics as well as individual results."

    Driscoll is currently racing the USA Pro Challenge with his road team Jamis-Hagens Berman, but thinks the stage racing he's done in the latter part of the road season will benefit his 'cross racing.

    "The start of this cross season will be completely different for me as I'll have just completed two major stage races, Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge. If it goes according to plan, I'll be going really good for 'cross. I appreciate the understanding by the team and sponsors of my road racing. We've got a schedule that allows me to take advantage of my current fitness, and then take a break and reset for Nationals which leads into the road season for next year.”

  • USAC Pro 'Cross Calendar kicks into high gear at CrossVegas

    Reigning world champion Sven Nys crosses the finish line
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 17:15 BST
    Pat Malach

    World champion Sven Nys headlines international field

    After two weekends of action, the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar grabs another gear Wednesday night with the first of six UCI Category 1 races on the 45-race schedule. The Clif Bar CrossVegas race under the bright lights of Nevada's Sin City will pit the top US riders against some of the world's best, including two-time and current world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony).

    With the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) folding up its tent after last season, the USA Cycling Pro CX Calendar has stepped up as the premiere national series, offering a $40,000 prize purse that will be split at the end of the season between the top 20 riders in each of the men's and women's standings. The calendar, which runs through January 5, has at least one event in 19 different states around the country. The UCI C1 events offer triple points for the competitors.

    After nine seasons of USGP-spurred momentum that culminated with the first-ever US cyclo-cross world championships last year in Louisville, Kentucky, many saw the national series' demise as a bad omen for 'cross in the states, but two-time US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) wrote recently that he believes US cyclo-cross is better than ever.

    "In a post USGP year, I feel cyclo-cross in the USA is in a better place then we've ever been," Powers wrote last week on his blog. "By the USGP falling away, it puts the independent organizers back in prime time and if one event falls away moving forward, our entire USA ‘calendar' isn't gone. … I see USAC's commitment to CX very clearly here, and I'm excited to try and win that Pro CX...

  • Jones to miss first 'cross season in seven years

    Chris Jones rode to a second place finish and secured a Rapha-Focus 1-2 for the day.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2013, 1:41 BST
    Pat Malach

    Wants to focus on road career with UnitedHealthcare team

    One familiar face that won't be on the line in Las Vegas this evening for the seventh edition of CrossVegas is Rapha-Focus rider Chris Jones. With his wife expecting their first child in October, the 34-year-old from Bend, Oregon, is taking his first year off from racing cyclo-cross in seven years. The time off the bike will also allow Jones to focus on his road racing career with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Continental team.

    "It's been something that I've been thinking about since the end of last year," Jones told Cyclingnews. "The more that the road team grows and the bigger races we do the more of a toll it takes on me. Now we split time with most of the year in Girona, [Spain], so by the end of the season I just want to go home and hang out in Bend, where I can be with my family.

    "So when I found out my wife was pregnant, it was about Nationals last year, I just decided that I wasn't going to race anymore," Jones said. "The final thing was that I extended with UnitedHealthcare, so it was just like, OK, it's time to take a break."

    Jones founded the Rapha-Focus team that has become a powerhouse in the States and overseas, with multiple national champions, including Jeremy Powers.

    "We went from a small team with just Zach McDonald and myself into this dominating force with Jeremy Powers, Julie [Krasniak], Gabby [Day] and Zach [McDonald]. And last year we had Sabrina [Schweizer]. We had the German champion and the Swiss national champion."

    Now Jones is just excited to see where the team and the discipline will go after the big build up for Worlds last year. And he's looking forward to finally experiencing a real off-season.