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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Date published:
December 18, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Nys has eye on UCI 'Cross Worlds in Louisville

    Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) wins the fourth 'cross World Cup round, contested in Roubaix, France.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 9:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian wants rainbow jersey in final year of racing

    With a another World Cup victory inside the famous Roubaix velodrome at the weekend, Sven Nys edged closer to overtaking Niels Albert for leadership in the UCI World Cup standings. While the overall World Cup victory is a possibility, it's the opportunity to become world champion - during his final year of racing - in Louisville early next year that also motivates the Belgian.

    "Competing my last season wearing the rainbow would be something extraordinary, however we haven't done it yet," Nys told Het Nieuwsblad.

    Nys will be 36-years-old when he lines up in February for the Cyclo-cross World Championships in the state of Kentucky, USA but this isn't a concern for the Landbouwkrediet-Euphony rider who compared himself to Mario Cipollini who won the road world title in 2002.

    "Cipollini also won the championship at 35 years," he explained. "I do not know how, but I feel I have not lost any of my explosiveness. It's something I continue to work on."

    There are four more World Cup rounds to contest before the ‘Cross World Championships however, it would appear Nys is leaving nothing to chance ahead of what is said to be his final season in 2013. He's felt at ease in most of the races he's competed in and says that regardless of conditions, he is able to perform.

    If Nys is to win in Louisville, it would be only the second time in a long and prosperous career that he has taken the world championship title.

    "Usually only on the last lap am I on the limit. In Tabor and Hamme-Zogge I had to give it everything. I feel that I am good in all conditions, on all types of surfaces, I have won in...

  • New York's Supercross Cup re-scheduled for this weekend

    The start of the 2010 elite men's Supercross Cup in Eisenhower Park
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 22:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI-sanctioned 'cross event at same venue following Hurricane Sandy postponement

    The UCI-sanctioned Supercross Cup cyclo-cross races, originally scheduled for November 17 and 18 but postponed due to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort, will take place this coming weekend, December 8 and 9, at its original venue, Eisenhower Park on New York's Long Island.

    The Supercross Cup features UCI C2-ranked races for elite men and elite women on both Saturday and Sunday, plus a full schedule of amateur 'cross races.

    "The course is sited in a different portion of the park because Nassau County is using the old race site for staging," said the race organisation. "But the resulting course should be equally interesting: open, hilly, and fast and even better for spectating.

    "At the elite level, the men's and women's races are UCI C2 both days, so points are on the line that could make a difference in national and world selections. The women's and men's fields also have prize parity. Both features mean that top racers are coming out in search of points and cash.

    "For the rest of the races, there is a category for just about everyone, though the singlespeed and tandem races had to be canceled due to limited daylight hours."

    For more information, see the event website: www.supercrosscup.com.

  • Swiss Cycling announces 2013 'cross Worlds team

    Julien Taramarcaz had a good day.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 21:06 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    11-rider line-up set for Louisville

    The governing body for cycling in Switzerland, Swiss Cycling, today announced the country's 11-rider roster for the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, to be contested for the first time in the United States at Louisville, Kentucky, on February 2-3. The Swiss squad will be comprised of five elite men, one elite woman, four U23 men and one junior man.

    Switzerland has a strong history at the cyclo-cross world championships with 44 medals earned, including seven elite men's world titles and six junior men's championships. In 1976 Switzerland swept the elite men's podium, headlined by Albert Zweifel's first of five elite men's world titles. The nation hasn't won a world championship medal in any 'cross category since 2005, however, but the two medallists from that year have been having solid seasons thus far and will be contesting the elite men's world championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Julien Taramarcaz (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team), the reigning Swiss champion, was the revelation of the last World Cup round in Roubaix, France where the 26-year-old rode at the head of the race throughout and ultimately finished a close fourth behind the Belgian juggernaut of Sven Nys, Kevin Pauwels and Niels Albert. Taramarcaz, who won the silver medal in the 2005 junior men's cyclo-cross world championship, has been steadily moving up the 'cross rankings this season and currently stands at 18th overall.

    Simon Zahner also medalled at the 2005 cyclo-cross world championships, earning bronze behind Zdenek Stybar and Radomir Simunek in the U23 men's race. He's currently the highest ranked Swiss rider for elite men, currently at 13th overall, with multiple podium placings at Swiss events this season. He finished second to Taramarcaz at the Swiss elite championships and...

  • Craig considers 'cross Worlds after USGP podium finishes

    Adam Craig (Rabobank Giant) chasing the Cannondale men
    Article published:
    December 10, 2012, 20:41 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Is a discretionary selection in the cards for Louisville?

    Rabobank-Giant mountain bike pro Adam Craig's recent turn of success at the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Deschutes Brewery Cup, where he placed third both days, could prompt a run at the cyclo-cross world championship team the US sends to Kentucky in February.

    Craig told Cyclingnews earlier this year that he planned to stop his season after the Bend races unless he hit the podium "for some strange reason," and in that case he would consider postponing his ski season to race nationals in Wisconsin and then try for Worlds.

    Well, strange things happened last weekend in Bend, and now Craig, who took on some extra work this 'cross season for his sponsor after eight-time US national champion and current UCI World Cup leader Katie Compton moved from Rabobank to Trek, may be signing up for a little more extra curricular activity.

    "I'm trying to fill Katie Compton's shoes out there since she's not riding the Giant bicycles anymore," Craig said earlier this year. "I like racing ‘cross, so it's a good excuse. They wanted to have someone out there, and I'm happy to do it."

    Although the 2008 Olympian hoped to be hitting the ski slopes near his hometown of Bend by this time, the idea of keeping the podium finishes "rolling" has a strong appeal for the 2010 singlespeed national champion.

    Craig, the reigning USAC super D champion, would have to be one of the discretionary choices for the US Worlds team, and a top result at nationals could help pave the way to Kentucky.

    "I'll talk to [USA Cycling cyclo-cross director Marc] Gullickson and see what he has to say," Craig said. "I'm still not super agreeing that February is a good...

  • 2012 Reader Poll: Nys wins cyclo-cross rider of the year

    Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) wins the fourth 'cross World Cup round, contested in Roubaix, France.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 19:55 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    The Cannibal from Baal prevails for 11th time

    Another year, another accolade for Belgium's Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) as one of cyclo-cross's most successful stars ever was voted Cyclingnews' cyclo-cross rider of the year for the ninth straight year and 11th time in the 12-year history of our poll, earning 5,495 votes (19.50%). Reigning US champion Jeremy Powers finished second overall with 11.30% of the vote, followed by reigning elite women's 'cross world champion and Cyclingnews' Female Road Rider of the Year Marianne Vos (9.78%).

    In the early part of 2012, Nys soloed to his eighth elite national title, an emotional victory that left him in tears at the finish line after overcoming a last-second back injury that made his participation in doubt. At the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season Nys claimed his 11th Superprestige title but was left bitterly disappointed at his world championship performance where he finished as the seventh and final Belgian in his country's extraordinary sweep of the top seven places at the legendary sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium.

    "It might have been the last one I rode. Maybe I'm not made for this. I pulled it off one time and it'll remain the only one," Nys told Sporza following the race.

    2012, an Olympic year, was particularly busy for Nys as he jumped into the fray of World Cup mountain bike races just three weeks after concluding his 2011-2012 'cross...

  • Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies cyclo-cross experiment deemed a success

    The Optum team was riding well today
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 22:13 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Wilcoxson and Sherer among road team's top 'cross racers

    Despite failing to achieve the level of high-profile wins its accustomed to earning on the road, the Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies cyclo-cross experiment has been a smashing success, team owner Charles Aaron told Cyclingnews last week at the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross finalè in Bend.

    The UCI Continental road team fielded a seven-rider men's and women's squad for the first time during the North American 'cross season with the goal of giving the team's sponsors a few more months of exposure.

    "It's just great," Aaron said. "Our media numbers are phenomenal, and for our clients, which are our sponsors, we're giving them 12 months of activity. When you look at all of the sponsors associated with our program, we're getting great coverage for them, and no one else is doing it."

    Road pros Carmen Small (who has since moved on to Specialized-lulemon), Amanda Miller, Jade Wilcoxson, Jesse Anthony, Alex Candelario and Mike Sherer volunteered to continue their seasons and compete on the fledgling 'cross program. The team also brought specialist Tristan Schouten on board to join the men. Team director Eric Wohlberg said he's already seen the payoff.

    "For a road team to come out and do a full 'cross program, I think we're one of the pioneers to do that with a fully supported program," Wohlberg said. "We didn't know how it was going to play out for us, but I think it's turned out pretty good. We've had great feedback from Optum, and we've had a great VIP presence at these events, and so it's been a very good situation for us."

    Aside from providing more mileage for title sponsors like Optum and Kelly Benefits, the extended season also provides equipment sponsors with another platform to market products that the road team would normally not...

  • Nys on track for second 'cross world title, says coach

    Sven Nys wins in Roubaix.
    Article published:
    December 15, 2012, 17:22 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian benefitting from summer of mountain biking

    In previous cyclo-cross seasons, there has been at least three riders swapping victories throughout the season, but this year only one rider has proven dominant: Sven Nys.

    The Belgian champion has amassed 11 victories to date, and five podium finishes, with only the first two World Cups in the Czech Republic sullied by misfortune. Compared with his previous three seasons, with 14 or 15 total wins, it is clear that Nys is currently the hot favourite to take the World Championship title come February in Louisville, Kentucky.

    To what does Nys owe his current good form, which is nearly on par with his peak between 2004 and 2007? According to his coach the secret lies in his summer spent mountain bike racing in preparation for the Olympic Games.

    According to Sporza.be, Paul Van den Bosch told Radio 1 that Nys is fresher for the 'cross season due to the foundations laid during the summer.

    "Sven races cyclo-cross with an average heart rate of 181. In the mountain bike races he held the same high heart rate, but 45 minutes longer."

    For that reason, Nys is able to consistently turn out his fastest laps when his competitors are fading. The result is wins in the past two World Cups in Koksijde and Roubaix, and the lead in the Superprestige series with four of five race wins - only a narrow defeat to Klaas Vantornout in Gieten is a blemish on his record.

    Van den Bosch remains optimistic that Nys can hold his form through Louisville and take his second world title.

    "Last season we were very disappointed...

  • No 'cross Worlds for Stybar

    Zdenek Stybar runs through the sand.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2012, 8:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Shorter than usual winter 'cross season for Czech rider

    After a road training camp in Mallorca with the rest of the Omega Pharma Quick Step Team, Zdenek Stybar will return to his first love, cyclo-cross, for a brief period of time. It will be a short but very intense interlude for the Czech champion, who will not compete in the 2013 'cross Worlds.

    Stybar will race in Essen on December 22. After Christmas, his 'cross schedule will get busier with the Zolder World Cup on December 26, Loenhout on December 28, Bredene on December 29 and Diegem on December 30.

    Stybar will toast the new year on January 1 at the 'cross event in Baal, and his last competitive challenge will be at the Czech National Championship on January 12, in his native city, Stribro.

    "It's in my nature to take these events very seriously. It won't be easy because I will have to measure up against the best specialists in the world but I'm going to try to do my best for me and my fans, to whom I promise to give it my all in hopes of obtaining worthy results," said Stybar.

    "I'm convinced that re-embracing the world of cyclo-cross and its supporters, if only for a few races, will be magical. Normally, considering my current UCI ranking in cyclo-cross, I should manage to stay on the front lines for the starts, and this is without a doubt an advantage."

    Stybar will return from Mallorca on December 19, and as of the following day he will be undergoing specific training in the area of Essen, where he usually resides.

    "My detour into cyclo-cross this year will be shorter than usual, but this doesn't make it any less interesting," said Stybar. "For example, for the first time in my career I will take on three races in a row, a new experience for me. I want to try to do as many races as possible to test myself, even in the framework of a national championship."

    "After...