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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 22, 2011

Date published:
September 22, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • CrossVegas kicks off Cross After Dark series

    The Cross After Dark leader's jersey
    Article published:
    September 06, 2011, 1:57 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Cyclo-cross stars confirmed for twilight events

    The inaugural Cross After Dark will begin its four-weekend series at the 5th annual UCI C1-ranked Clif Bar CrossVegas and Crank Brothers Lady Lucx held on September 14 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in conjunction with the industry trade show Interbike. Series promoter Brook Watts confirmed top-level men and women to contest the twilight cyclo-cross series including US National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized).

    "This is a new series and the inspiration was the growing number of ‘cross after dark," said series promoter Brook Watts. "A number of us like-minded promoters felt like it was a spectacle and we wanted to take advantage of it as a trend that we want to continue. We want to grow this into the future. We go cautiously by starting with four races and we want to expand to other parts of the country in the future."

    CrossVegas will likely be the most well attended event of the series as well as offering the highest number of UCI points and prize money. The series will continue with round two at UCI C2 StarCrossed held on September 17 in Seattle, Washington. Top notch ‘cross specialists will head east to contest round three's UCI C2 Gateway Cup held on September 21 in St. Louis, Missouri. The series will conclude on the west coast at UCI C2 SpookyCross held on October 15 in Irvine, California.

    "CrossVegas is just never ending," Watts said. "Clif Bar being the title sponsor gave it real stability and has a heritage of supporting ‘cross races and that has allowed us to improve in some areas and infrastructure. I think we will have some really good racing as a result of some of the rivalries that are developing among the teams. It will be a really fun event and every year it continues to stand on its own feet."

    The series will include an overall leaders jersey and prize list for both men and women. Watts is also promoting equal prize money for both men and...

  • Compton skips CrossVegas

    Katie Compton (Rabobank Giant) riding the cobbles
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 5:48 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    American 'crosser to focus on World Cup and GvA Trophee

    Seven-time US National Champion Katie Compton will not participate in the 5th annual UCI C1 Clif Bar CrossVegas held on September 14 in Las Vegas.

    Rabobank Giant Offroad’s newest member will begin her season at the first US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) New Belgium Cup on October 8-9 in Fort Collins, Colorado followed by a season focused on the US National Championships, Gazet van Antwerpen (GvA) Trophee events, UCI World Cup series and the world championships.

    "I won't be racing Vegas this year," Compton told Cyclingnews. "My 'cross season won't start until the first USGP races in October and then I'll head to Czech Republic for the first World Cup. I decided to start racing a little later this year so I can have a mental and physical break after the mountain bike season."

    Compton recently concluded a lengthy mountain bike season at the UCI Elite Women’s World Championships where she placed 40th, and a lap down, behind title winner Catherine Pendrel. She noted disappointment with regard to her performances during the mountain bike World Cup season, but will now take a short break before embarking on what she hopes is a more successful 2011-12 cyclo-cross season.

    "I feel unsatisfied with my mountain bike season, I had some good and bad days but never felt like I pulled it together and had a great day, so that was disappointing," Compton said. "My last race was mountain bike Worlds and that was a fairly forgettable experience. I liked racing a full World Cup season and learned a lot so that is a bonus and I'm eager to ride better and give it another go next season."

    Compton will target the UCI World Cup cyclo-cross series that begins at Plzen and move on to Tabor, Koksijde, Namur, Heusden-Zolder, Lievin and...

  • Live coverage of CrossVegas on Cyclingnews

    Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) with a 15-second lead with one lap to go.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 23:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Follow all the action from the Elite men's and women's races

    You don't have to be in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday evening to follow all the cyclo-cross action from CrossVegas, the opening round of the Cross After Dark series and home to one of the most frenzied race atmospheres in American 'cross.

    Cyclingnews will provide live text coverage of both the elite women's and men's events taking place this evening, Wednesday, September 14. The racing begins as current Czech champion and 2011 Worlds bronze medalist Katerina Nash plus French champion Caroline Mani vie for top honours against a deep women's field featuring Sue Butler, Meredith Miller, Georgia Gould and Amy Dombroski. Shortly thereafter, the Elite men's event kicks off as the cream of the American 'cross scene, including reigning national champion Todd Wells as well as Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Jonathan Page and Jamey Driscoll take on Euro talent under the lights in Vegas.

    Staging for the Elite women's race begins at 8:00pm PDT with the race scheduled for 8:20pm - 9:00pm PDT. The Elite men's field will begin staging at 9:10pm PDT with the race taking place from 9:30pm - 10:30pm PDT.

    It's also possible that the latter part of the Wheelers & Dealers race, featuring members of the cycling industry in attendance at Interbike, will be covered as well. That event takes place from 7:00pm - 7:40pm PDT.

    Following the race look for full results, reports and photos from the race action on Cyclingnews.

  • Powers targets ‘cross stars-and-stripes in 2012

    Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus) racing with the lead group.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2011, 21:47 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    American heads second-year Rapha-Focus squad

    Rapha-Focus's newest addition Jeremy Powers is well on his way to a strong season having recently placed fourth to a trio of Europeans at the UCI C1-ranked CrossVegas in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The 28-year-old American is hoping to put forth an all-round strong season of cyclo-cross with his full attention placed on winning the US national championships held in January in Madison, Wisconsin.

    "I don't want to retire without winning a national title," Powers told Cyclingnews. "But if I only win one, I would be happy with that, just to win one time. It is strong on the radar and it is something that I work for every year."

    Powers is not retiring from cyclo-cross anytime soon. He signed a two-year contract with Rapha-Focus, having raced the three previous seasons competing for another top US-based team, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com, where he counted other top US riders Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll as teammates.

    Powers was well on his way to a potential US title last year, racing to the finish line against the eventual winner Todd Wells (Specialized Racing). An untimely crash, however, forced him off his bike in the closing laps and he ended up settling for third place.

    "The national championship is a race that so many people remember because it is a jersey and a title," Powers said. "Last year I said I would be happy with winning what I had won before nationals because it took the pressure off. I can constantly refine what I have done. But realistically I crashed two years in a row, and it wasn't my time to win nationals.

    "I am one of the youngest guys that is racing at the front of these races," he said. "I doesn't seem like it's been my time yet. I've gone into them in good position to win, in good fitness to win,...

  • Dombroski takes advantage of UCI cyclo-cross gender equality

    Amy Dombroski spent most of the race alone off the front.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2011, 3:21 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    American will take in full European calendar

    American Amy Dombroski will set off for Begijnendijk, Belgium next week to launch into her first full European cyclo-cross calendar. Racing for CrankBrothers, the 24-year-old is taking advantage of changes to the UCI cyclo-cross regulations that require organisers of men's C1 events to also hold a women's race.

    The rule change resulted in a European calendar packed with C1 women's races - 21 in total between Belgium, the Netherlands and one in France, up from 9 last year. For the first time in several years, Europe now has more C1 women's races than North America. The C1 races offer double the points of the more common C2 events, although the competition overseas is fierce, and points are crucial toward starting positions at World Cups and the world championships.

    Dombroski has shown herself capable of riding well against the Europeans, scoring a 9th in the Hoogerheide World Cup in her first trip overseas in 2010, and has an aggressive schedule planned out for the season.

    "I have 35 races in my cyclo-cross season, so I have a lot of races coming up," Dombroski told Cyclingnews after CrossVegas last week. "It will be drastically different than any other season I've ever done, I've only ever done quick trips to Europe. I'm really excited to be there full time."

    Although there are 10 C1 races in the USA this season, Dombroski will not return for any of those events, but may return for the US championships in January.

    After a difficult summer, plagued with crashes and knee problems that kept her from competition for part of the mountain bike season, Dombroski is happy to be back to top form. She fought her way to the first chasing group behind CrossVegas winner Katarina Nash and then out-paced an elite group to claim second.

    "CrossVegas was a big focus for me because I had an off summer - I kept crashing and...

  • Top pros to contest inaugural Gateway Cross Cup

    Reigning US 'cross champion Todd Wells (Specialized) will contest the inaugural Gateway Cross Cup.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2011, 20:52 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    St. Louis hosts third round of Cross After Dark series

    Following the launch of the international professional cyclo-cross season at CrossVegas one week ago, many of the sport's top stars are preparing to compete at the inaugural Gateway Cross Cup on Wednesday, September 21 at Heman Park in University City, Missouri. A first for the region, 'crossers from across the United States and Europe will be competing for coveted ranking points that are up for grabs at this UCI C2-ranked event.

    The field for the elite men's race at the Gateway Cross Cup will feature key American riders such as current US national champion and Olympian Todd Wells (Specialized), former national champions Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles) and Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) as well last season's Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross and North American Cyclo-cross Trophy series champion Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus).

    Top European riders confirmed for the event are Swiss national champion Christian Heule (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), former Belgian U23 champion Ben Berden (Stoemper) and former Hungarian champion Zoltan Tisza.

    The elite women’s field features former US national road champion Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry-Specialized), former collegiate national 'cross champion Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant Berry-Specialized), former Belgian national champion Joyce Vanderbeken (Cycling Team Vermeeren) as well as local favorite and professional triathlete Sunny Gilbert (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark Racing).

    The UCI-sanctioned races kick off at 7:50 pm with the 40-minute elite women's race followed at 9:00 pm for the 60-minute elite men's race. Both the women's and men's events are the third stop on the inaugural Cross After Dark series, which concludes on Saturday, October 15 in Irvine, California, with Spooky Cross. The series began with CrossVegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, followed by last Saturday's

  • Wellens regains lost form in America

    Bart Wellens (Telnet-Fidea) at the finish.
    Article published:
    September 21, 2011, 8:03 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Belgian cyclo-cross star looking for more in 2012

    Two-time cyclo-cross world champion Bart Wellens has had it tough over the past few years, but is hoping to turn his bad luck around with a fresh start to the season in the USA. The change has already resulted in two victories in Washington state this past week, but Wellens has his sights on something bigger: his first World Cup win in five seasons.

    Plagued by illness and injury as well as a fresh young crop of super-talented 'cross racers, the Belgian has in recent seasons not lived up to the stellar reputation which includes two Belgian championships (2004, 2007), the World Cup overall in 2003 and the overall Superprestige and GvA Trofee in 2004.

    Wellens, 33, made some changes to his build-up to cyclo-cross season in hopes of reviving a career that has seen a steadily declining number of victories since his peak in 2004.

    "The last three years I had lots of injuries, lots of problems. Every year you get older and older and it gets harder to come back," Wellens told Cyclingnews at last week's CrossVegas. "This year I hope to be back with the best in Belgium."

    For the first time in five years, Wellens is back working with a trainer - Marc Lamberts, the same man responsible for Omega Pharma-Lotto's Jurgen Van den Broeck's fine performances. He's been with Lamberts for three months, and already Wellens can see the difference.

    "It's completely different, and for me it's better. I hope I can see the difference this winter."

    Wellens missed half of the 2010-2011 season due to cytomegalovirus, and...

  • Field moves into USICX lead

    Ian Field came across the pond to race the Nittany Lion 'Cross
    Article published:
    September 22, 2011, 2:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Nash and Wyman tied atop women's standings

    The United States International Cyclo-cross Calendar (USICX) concluded its second week with Great Britain's Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) moving into the men's lead while Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) are tied atop the women's standings.

    Field overtook Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) to assume the lead in the men's USICX standings after posting a win and a second-place finish at Saturday's and Sunday's respective races at Baltimore's Charm City Cross. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) moved into second place, just six points behind Field, after winning both StarCrossed and the Rapha-Focus Gran Prix.

    Belgium's Tom Van den Bosch (AA Drink-Leontien.NL) earned a win and a runner-up at the Charm City races to move into a tie with Powers, who placed fourth at CrossVegas before placing second at the Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend in Vermont. Van den Bosch and Powers each have 125 points, nine points fewer than Wellens and 35 points more than the fifth-place rider, Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea). Peeters totaled 90 points this week after placing third at CrossVegas, fifth at StarCrossed and second at Rapha-Focus.

    In the women's standings, Nash won three races this week - CrossVegas, StarCrossed and the