- Article published:
- April 19, 2013, 20:30
- 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 VeloNews.com 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.
- Article published:
- July 29, 2013, 22:00
- 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 the season at the world championships in late January in Hoogerheide, Netherlands.
2013 Cyclo-Cross Summer Camp Roster - Helena, Montana, July 21-26, 2013
Born in 1996
David Lombardo - Chicago, IL
Anders Nystrom - Boise, ID
Josey Weik - Wrenshall, MN
Maxx Chance - Boulder, CO
Nolan Brady - Steilacoom, WA
Garrett Gerchar - Boulder, CO
David O'Brien - Olympia, WA
Born in 1997
Cooper Willsey - Hinesburg, VT
Gavin Haley - Louisville, KY
Brannan Fix - Fort Collins, CO
Liam Dunn - Denver, CO
Sam Rosenberg - Eugene, OR
Lance Haidet - Bend, OR
Jake Thompson - Arlington, VA
Born in 1998
Spencer Petrov - Mason, OH
Cameron Beard - Bend, OR
Jordan Lewis - Jonesborough, TN
- Article published:
- August 6, 2013, 21:50
- 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.
- Article published:
- August 8, 2013, 05:25
- 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
- Article published:
- August 12, 2013, 05:10
- 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' with free time being a thing of the past for this time-crunched cyclist.
"My boyfriend, I haven't seen for probably two weeks! He's very understanding, it's pretty hectic I suppose," laughed Jacobs. "I've been doing a lot of ergo sessions in the morning. So a typical week would be, well, I work full-time, I'll do ergo in the mornings before work, after I'll either collapse or have a date night or some pilates. Then on weekends I do a couple of big rides with my road bunch ... yeah it's all about quality I guess because I don't have the time to do the quantity that I used to."
And it's this quality that Jacobs and her coach, Donna Rae-Szalinski, have emphasised to great success.
The Athletes Commission
Using her law background, Jacobs has recently taken on the role of Chair of the newly formed Cycling Australia Athletes Commission. Jacobs describes the formation of this new body as pivotal in providing support for Australian athletes.
"The role of the Athletes Commission is to be the representative body for athletes at a high performance level within the sport," said Jacobs. "So we act on issues that have either been brought to our attention by athletes or initiatives of our own. So there are several members of the commission including myself. Everyone comes from a diverse background, everyone's very passionate and motivated about bringing about some positive change. We've achieved some great things already but we've also got some chances to make some more positive changes towards the end of the year."
Other members of the commission include former track world champion Katherine Bates, former junior national representative Alexandra Carle, Paralympic gold medalist Carol Cooke, former Giro rider Tom Leaper, newly-crowned NSW State Road Race Champion Stuart Shaw and Olympic mountain biker Sid Taberlay.
2013 has so far been a turbulent year for Australian cycling with drug scandals being de rigueur. It is these sorts of dilemmas that Jacobs is hoping the Commission can help to avoid for future generations.
"Our major target or project at the moment is to work with Cycling Australia to introduce a holistic athlete welfare program," stated Jacobs. "Which introduces a proper mentoring framework for athletes as they transition through the high performance framework. And also provides support to athletes who are going through the anti-doping process, provides anti-doping education, works in conjunction with existing programs like ACE for career education and the result we hope is that athletes are better supported as they transition through the high performance program."
But it's not all doom, gloom and regulations for Jacobs. On the contrary, the self-proclaimed 'happy cyclist' is planning on riding happy whilst she breaks new ground for Australian cyclists. Although for Jacobs, time is of the essence as she attempts to keep her own cycling career afloat.
"Road racing requires a huge volume of training and at the moment it's kind of hard to get those hours in," Jacobs explained. "So racing like this [CX racing] only requires a limited schedule for training. I'm enjoying the cyclo-cross but I'd like to do a bit more mountain biking as well. But I guess mixing it up is what keeps me interested so that's the plan, just to keep it fun!"
- Article published:
- August 24, 2013, 18:49
- 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.”
- Article published:
- September 18, 2013, 17:15
- 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 title this season."
But if Powers wants to take home the lion's share of that $40,000 purse, he'll need to get by current men's leader Todd Wells (Specialized), who took the early series lead with back-to-back wins at the Nittany Lion Cross races in Pennsylvania. Wells currently leads Stephen Hyde (JAM Fund-NCC) by 11 points and Justin Lindine (Redline) by 24.
Former national champions Powers, Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and his teammate, Ryan Trebon, are also in the hunt. Johnson took first and second at the Green Mountain races last weekend in Vermont, while Powers won StarCrossed in Seattle ahead of Trebon, Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) and reigning US champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy).
Gabby Day (Rapha-Focus) currently leads the women's standings with consistent performances, including a win at StarCrossed and second at Nittany Lion. C3-Twenty20's Arley Kemmerer trails Day by 13 points. Kona's Helen Wyman, winner of both days at the Green Mountain races, is 18 back.
Euro stars fill CrossVegas field
Any men hoping to pad their points this week in Las Vegas will have to overcome an all-star field led by Nys, who also brought teammate Sven Vanthourenhout along for the ride. Fellow Belgian stars Bart Wellens, Wout van Aert and Quinten Hermans of the Telenet-Fidea team are also in Vegas, along with Luxembourg's Christian Helmig (Trisport-Echternach).
Wells, Powers, Trebon, Johnson and Page will all toe the start line as well, along with Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) and Canadian Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox racing). K-Edge/Felt's Danny Summerhill, the 2009 and 2010 U23 US champion and Junior silver medalist at the 2007 'cross world championships, will be in Vegas, as will Cal Giant-Specialized's Eckmann brothers, Yannick and Robin.
The US women will face the usual foreign suspects on the domestic circuit. Czech champion Katerina Nash will line up with the Luna Pro Team. Day will be on hand to defend her lead, with Raleigh-Clement's Caroline Mani also hoping to get in on the triple-points. Argentina's Carolina Gomez Villafane will round out the non-North American riders.
Although eight-time US champion Katie Compton won't be in Vegas, the US will have strong representation with Georgia Gould (Luna) and Amy Dombroski (Telenet-Fidea), who will be making her first appearance in the US this year. Other contenders include last year's CrossVegas runner-up Lea Davison (Specialized), Optum Pro Cycling's Crystal Anthony, as well as Meredith Miller (Cal Giant), Nicole Duke (Marin-Spy), and Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel).
- Article published:
- September 19, 2013, 01:41
- 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.
"Cyclo-cross is in a good place in the States, and I'm happy because I feel like I kind of helped contribute to that," he said. "It's going to be exciting to see how it goes with a new crop of riders. And it will be exciting to see where my road career goes. I'm excited about that, having never really focused on it. So it will be interesting to see what a real off-season does.
But Jones also said fans and other racers will still see him at some local races, which he'll do to keep the team sponsors happy.
"So I'll do Cross Crusade in Oregon and some of the other local stuff," he said. "But mostly I'm going to relax and chill out."