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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Date published:
July 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • USA Cycling awards cyclo-cross nationals venues

    The new Valmont Bike Park in Boulder Colorado promises to be the site of racing events for many years to come.
    Article published:
    February 29, 2012, 18:57 GMT
    By:
    Neil Browne

    Boulder, Austin and Asheville get one year each

    USA Cycling announced today the host cities of future cyclo-cross national championships, awarding one year each to Boulder, Colorado, to Austin, Texas and to Asheville, North Carolina for 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

    Due to the high quality of bids each city will host the national championships for just one year instead of the proposed two year contract. In a press release USA Cycling's Managing Director of National Events Micah Rice explained why each city was awarded just one year.

    “The decision to award one-year contracts for the championships will also help foster cyclo-cross racing in three distinctively different parts of the country.”

    USA Cycling states that Boulder's Valmont Bike Park, with its permanent cyclo-cross course and facilities, was an obvious choice. Michael Eubank, the City of Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park director described the 2014 national championships as the Super Bowl of cycling.

    “Valmont Bike Park was specifically designed and built to accommodate daily recreation users as well as USA Cycling racing events,” said Eubank, “and we can't wait to bring this event to Colorado."

    The 2015 championships will be contested in Austin's Zilker Park, located near downtown Austin. Matthew Payne, executive director of the Austin Sports Commission told USA Cycling, “This event will be another chance to showcase our dynamic city to cyclo-cross athletes all over the country.”

    The cyclo-cross championships in 2016 are going to be held on the Biltmore Estates, in Asheville, North Carolina. Built in 1895, the Biltmore Estates sits on 8,000 acres which includes a vineyard and an equestrian center.

    Tim Hopkin, one of the race promoters, describes the 2016 championship venue.

    “The infrastructure (at the Biltmore Estates) is all right there in a confined area,” says Hopkin. “It’s on a beautiful piece of...

  • Van der Haar to compete with elite men in World Cups, Worlds next 'cross season

    World champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team)
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 0:52 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI allows 20-year-old Dutchman to skip U23 races at 'cross's marquee events

    Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) has been given permission by the UCI to compete in the elite men's category at all eight World Cups plus the world championships in the upcoming 2012-2013 cyclo-cross season, his team announced today.

    The 20-year-old Dutchman dominated U23 competition this past season, winning a total of 14 races in the category. Highlights include victories in three of four World Cup races en route to the overall title, three race victories in each of the Superprestige and GVA Trofee series en route to overall titles for both, the Dutch U23 national championship, the European U23 championship, all capped off by his second-straight U23 world championship.

    "Lars spent the past season winning pretty much everything there is in the [U23] category. He's going to take a step higher," said team manager Jan ten Tusscher.

    Van der Haar, currently on vacation in Egypt, was pleased to find out the news about being granted dispensation to race with the elite men, rather than the U23s, at cyclo-cross's marquee events.

    "It's a nice new challenge," said Van der Haar. "I have just sat in suspense for the UCI to agree, but I could not think of any reason why they would not give permission. For cyclo-cross it is good to show other riders at the front among the Belgians."

    Van der Haar did compete head-to-head with elite 'cross professionals at several events throughout the season where there wasn't a separate U23 category, and he has already found success. Van der Haar won his first race of the season at

  • Report: Hair and blood samples clear Wellens

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) runs with his bike
    Article published:
    March 07, 2012, 9:50 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Accused cyclo-cross star says it's proof of his honesty

    Following persistent rumours of doping, a Belgian court took hair and blood samples from Bart Wellens which according to Gazet Van Antwerpen have returned in the cyclo-cross star's favour.

    Wellens was taken to hospital with a high fever and heart and other organ problems the night before the Belgian cyclo-cross championships. He was in intensive care for a number of days. His personal physician Peter T. Seyen said while Wellens was hospitalised that the heart muscle inflammation was clearly due to a bacterial viral infection, denying that doping played a role.

    "This allows us to now say with confidence that it is absolutely impossible that bad things have happened here, as has unfortunately been suggested. There is no indication so we strongly refute it. A virus is the cause of all misery."

    Wellens’ house was also searched as part of a court-ordered doping investigation centred on Luc Van den Broeck, who produces the dietary supplement CONCAP.

    The court began taking samples from Wellens on February 2 with the details released to the newspaper.

    "This is proof that I had nothing to do and that I had always been honest", said Wellens.

    Wellens' brother Geert and another rider Kevin Cant were also tested by the court. Their results were negative for doping products.

     

  • Albert completes post-world title pilgrimage

    After 23.5km of walking, even Niels Albert deserves from frites
    Article published:
    March 24, 2012, 20:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cyclo-cross world champ walks 23.5km across Belgium

    After a season of set-backs, Niels Albert promised that, if he won the 2012 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Koksijde, he would make the pilgrimage from Tremelo, where he lives, to the Scherpenheuvel basilica, one of Belgium's most holy sites.

    True to his word, the new world champion set off on the 23.5km hike along with Christophe and Philip Roodhooft, the owners of the BKCP-Powerplus team and about 65 supporters.

    After a stop halfway in Aarschot, the entourage and Albert arrived at the basilica at 2pm and were greeted by commentator Michel Wuyts and more fans. Albert treated his fans to free frites and lit candles in the church following the successful hike.

    "It turned out better than expected," Albert said according to Cyclo-cross.info. "Quite good. I'm not that tired, but you feel like you have a sturdy walk in your legs. In the end it was a fun and sporting day, socializing with the fans.

    "I don't think I will become a fanatical hiker, though ... I'd gladly have another world title on my palmares, but that doesn't mean I'm going to repeat this pilgrimage to Scherpenheuvel every time."

     

  • Ryan Trebon signs with Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com for 2012-13 'cross season

    Big Ryan Trebon (LTS Felt) on a climb during lap two
    Article published:
    April 19, 2012, 20:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two-time US 'cross champion joins Johnson, Driscoll and Antonneau

    Two-time US elite cyclo-cross champion Ryan Trebon has signed with the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com for the upcoming 2012-13 cyclo-cross season, the team announced today. The 31-year-old Trebon joins fellow Americans Tim Johnson, Jamey Driscoll and Kaitlin Antonneau on the roster.

    "Stu [Thorne] asked me if I wanted to race for the team, and I asked him ‘why do you want me to race for you?' He said ‘because we want to win races' and that's pretty much all it took to convince me," said Trebon via team press release. "It was kind of an offer I couldn't refuse to pass up. I'm really looking forward to not having to worry about anything else besides just racing. I know those guys will take care of it all and it's a good opportunity for me to just concentrate 100 percent on what happens in the races."

    In the past 'cross season Trebon was the highest placed American at the world championships in Koksijde, Belgium (18th place) and he finished the season ranked 15th on the UCI 'cross standings, with only Jeremy Powers ranked higher among Americans in 12th.

    Trebon won eight UCI races in the US during the 2011-2012 season despite missing six weeks of racing due to a knee injury sustained at the Louisville, Kentucky-hosted round of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) in mid-November. After winning six races prior to his injury he returned to competition over New Year's weekend where he won both races, followed by a silver-medal performance at 'cross Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin one week later on January 8.

    Trebon raced on the LTS-Felt squad the previous season, which was a...

  • Compton and Rabobank-Giant part ways

    Katherine Compton (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team)
    Article published:
    June 01, 2012, 21:07 BST
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    American pulls plug on international MTB season and focuses on 'cross

    Katie Compton is no longer a member of the Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team. The American, who has been juggling racing both the international cyclo-cross and mountain bike seasons, has decided to stop doing international mountain bike races and will focus her efforts on the 2012-2013 cyclo-cross season.

    Earlier in the week, Rabobank-Giant had announced in a press release that Compton was no longer a member of the squad.

    "The team and I decided it would be best to part ways early since I was struggling to ride well on both the mountain bike and the 'cross bike and simply realized I can't do both as well as I liked," said Compton to Cyclingnews.

    "The Off-Road team is more focused on MTB, and I am a better 'cross racer so we decided that I need to focus my energies on 'cross and move on from World Cup mountain bike racing. I don't plan to race mountain bike World Cups anymore, but will do some domestic mountain bike racing and choose races that fit in with my preparation for 'cross."

    Compton added that she will skip US Mountain Bike Nationals this year in Sun Valley, Idaho, and that she and her partner Mark have plans to travel to New Zealand for a few 'cross races and 'cross clinics in an effort to grow the discipline in New Zealand.

    "Right now I am taking some much needed down time and getting some rest and recovery after a few super hectic and busy seasons," said Compton.

    She will race a full 'cross season with a to-be-determined team. "Right now I haven't signed with a new team but am working on it and confident something will develop soon."

    Compton was named to the US Olympic Long Team last November and had planned to race the spring MTB World Cups,...

  • Compton brings Trek into cyclo-cross fray

    Katie Compton (USA) is one of the pre-race favorites
    Article published:
    June 18, 2012, 20:40 BST
    By:
    Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com

    World Championship silver medalist back on solo program headed by Trek, SRAM

    After a year with Rabobank's established off-road program, American Katie Compton is back on her own, custom, cyclo-cross focused racing program. The move puts Compton together with brands Trek and SRAM to race the World Cup circuit and focus on the 2013 World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky USA.

    Compton's World Cup program marks Trek Bicycle's first real step into the European dominated discipline of 'cross. And with Compton, it's clear the American manufacturer looks to make their presence known internationally. Trek are calling their sponsorship part of the 'Trek Cyclo-cross Race team'. In addition to their sponsorship of Compton, Trek plan to announce a national domestic regional and grassroots cyclo-cross sponsorship program in August.

    For Compton, the move puts her back on her own program, and with sponsors she's hand selected. "It's been our secret desire for years to ride for Trek, and finally the opportunity arrived," said Mark Legg, Compton's manager, mechanic and husband. "Basically the connection came through Alex [Wassman] at SRAM. Katie came to a mutual agreement with Rabobank to exit out of her last year in the contract."

    "She's really looking for strong race support to help her achieve her goals," Michael Mayer, Trek's road brand manager told BikeRadar. "She'll be our only racer at the World Cup level this year; we're going to grow that in year two.

    "She'll have full support from Trek's in-house race department and full access to the race technology that comes out of there."

    Compton is known for her particularity regarding component choice and set up, which has previously served as a point of contention with team managers and sponsors. Legg says they brought those needs to the table when negotiating with Trek and SRAM. "Trek has a dedicated race department the functions only for their teams and sponsored athletes," Legg wrote to...

  • Australian national cyclo-cross circuit announced

    Zdnek Stybar (Czech Republic) could only manage 13th place
    Article published:
    July 10, 2012, 2:09 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Six race series begins in Melbourne

    Cyclo-cross has historically been a European winter sport, often used by the pros to remain in shape over the cooler and likely snowing months. Cross has a huge following in the United States and of course Europe, but it’s taken a while for a designated series to be held in Australia. The Champion System SRAM National Cyclo-cross series offer both the elite and amateurs a chance to race in nationally recognised events.

    There are six races divided over three weekends of racing. Each of the three cities; Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney will play host to two races, one on Saturday and another on Sunday. This means less travelling for those wanting to race the entire series and will hopefully lead to sell-out entries.

    Melbourne will hold the opening two races on the weekend of 14-15 July. Saturday’s event will be in Port Melbourne while the Sunday will be played out in the Darebin Parklands. Categories for elite, B-grade, junior and mountain bike will be available at each of the six races. Prize money will be awarded down to 10th place with an even split across men’s and women’s events.

    Race 1 - Melbourne (Port Melbourne) - 14 July
    Race 2 - Melbourne (Darebin Parklands) - 15 July
    Race 3 - Adelaide (Adelaide Park Lands) - 11 August
    Race 4 - Adelaide (Adelaide Park Lands) - 12 August
    Race 5 - Sydney (JJ Melbourne Hills Memorial Reserve Terry Hills) - 29 September
    Race 6 - Sydney (JJ Melbourne Hills Memorial Reserve Terry Hills) - 30 September

    Entries for Melbourne’s round have already closed but Adelaide and Sydney are still open. Head to cycling.org.au/cyclocross for more information.