The world's number-two ranked 'cross rider was relaxed on Saturday afternoon and looking forward to the next day's competition. Compton spoke to Cyclingnews about her build-up to Nationals, her impressions of the venue, who she thinks will provide her the stiffest competition as well as the demands of designing a training programme which will ensure peak condition for 'cross season as well as her bid to make the US Olympic Team for mountain biking for this summer's Games in London.
Watch Compton contest the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championships via live online coverage at Cyclingnews. Both the women's elite championship, starting at 12:00pm CST, and the men's elite championship, beginning at 2:15pm CST, will be available to Cyclingnews readers on Sunday.
Cyclo-cross star Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) was brought over to intensive care on Saturday night. Team manager Hans van Kasteren told the press during a press conference on Sunday morning that his rider had an acute fever attack on Saturday evening which caused major malfunctioning to his heart. Wellens was transported to the hospital in Geel nearby his hometown but when his situation worsened he was transferred to the intensive care unit at the University Hospital in Antwerp. His situation was at moments life-threatening but were said to be stable on Sunday morning.
On the eve of the Belgian national cyclo-cross championships in Hooglede-Gits outsider Wellens talked about great legs after a training ride. “Bart was riding very well this week and yesterday he said he felt super on training. Around 2pm we received an ominous text message: I’m afraid that I’m getting a bit ill, Bart told us. It started with a bit of fever but hour after hour his temperature increased,” Van Kasteren said.
“When his temperature reached about 40°C around 10pm we acknowledged how serious the situation was and transported Bart to the hospital in Geel. Around 3:30am his situation worsened and it got even more serious. His acute fever attack reached his heart zone and then it became very dangerous. Earlier heart troubles with one of our riders [Tim Pauwels, brother of Kevin, red.] caused drama in the past so we didn’t take any risk. That’s why we transferred him from Geel to the division intensive care of the hospital in Antwerp. For a brief moment we feared for Bart’s life but as of now his situation in stable and no longer life threatening. It’s more stable than expected but that can change every minute,” Van Kasteren warned.
The Telenet-Fidea team manager added that Lentl, the wife of Bart Wellens, was always by her husband’s side. The rest of the team including Bart's brother Geert...
Riding a wave of morale from two recent top-10 'cross race finishes in Belgium, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue) arrived Friday night in Madison, Wisconsin to contest Sunday's USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championship for elite men.
The vastly experienced European campaigner will line up against rivals such as Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers and hopes to return to his base in Oudenaarde, Belgium with the fourth elite men's stars-and-stripes jersey of his career.
The demanding parcours at Badger Prairie Park leaves little room for recovery, featuring two climbs per lap, and power-sapping stretches of mud for much of the circuit.
Page spoke to Cyclingnews on Saturday afternoon under bright sunshine and unseasonably balmy weather to discuss his European season, his quick trip back to the US, and his impressions of the 2012 'cross Nationals venue.
Watch Page contest the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championships via live online coverage at Cyclingnews. Both the women's elite championship, starting at 12:00pm CST, and the men's elite championship, beginning at 2:15pm CST, will be available to Cyclingnews readers on Sunday.
Watch the elite women's and men's action from Madison, Wisconsin
USA Cycling is broadcasting live video streaming coverage from the US Cyclo-cross National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday, January 8. Both the elite/U23 women's and elite men's national cyclo-cross championships will be covered at the Badger Prairie Park venue.
Tune in here to see if anyone can stop Katie Compton from claiming her eighth straight women's title or who among pre-race favourites Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson or Jonathan Page can capture the 2012 men's championship.
The women's race begins at 12:00pm CST followed at 2:15pm CST by the men's championship.
Cyclingnews will also have complete results, reports and photos from the championship action in Madison.
After grabbing his eighth Belgian cyclo-cross title in Hooglede-Gits Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was understandably emotional. He rode straight to his clan and the big hugs showed what hard work had been put into this performance. The ‘cannibal’ explained afterwards that the tears in his eyes were caused not so much by his performance as by his tumultuous day.
“I’ve never cried after a win but today it all came together. First I thought that I wouldn’t be able to start and a few hours later I won. I’ve never gone through something like that,” Nys said. “I try to enjoy top-level sport because I like it. Once in a while you’re surprised like this morning. I don’t think I need to prove anything to the outside world.”
His performance in Hooglede was a classic one, including a lacklustre start. During the second lap of the race he bridged up to leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and one lap later he left the defending champion behind to start a long solo ride. Between 20,000 and 25,000 spectators saw the man from Baal show off his class on the soaked course, in a display that belied the hectic hours that preceded it.
The week before the championships Nys opted to travel to Majorca where he could train, rest and spend time with his family. The day before the race, Nys flew back to Belgium. “Yesterday I had a long trip ahead of me. In Barcelona I had to wait three hours to get a connection to Brussels. It was already quite late and I wouldn’t be able to complete a normal training ride. I picked up a bike at the airport and quickly arrived home. All went according to plan from there. I received a good massage, which was important to me. This...
Telenet-Fidea teammate Peeters gets a podium as brother Geert reacts
While Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) was in the hospital contending with an emergency health situation, his team was present at the Belgian 'cross national championships in Hooglede-Gits on Sunday. Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) took over the role of team leader and his third place behind Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) was an achievement for the 26-year-old. Adding to the good news, Wellens' team announced that his health was improving as of Sunday night.
Peeters is becoming a somewhat regular podium visitor these days, always with his child in tow. When asked about Wellens' after the race, Peeters didn't know too much about it. "I think we were a bit protected in order not to bring us out of focus. It's good for the team to have somebody on the podium on such a tough course. Before the race, I wouldn't have guessed that I could crack the podium. I need to count on mistakes on some of the big four. Today there were two of them with an off-day. Every time they made a mistake I got a bit closer to the podium," Peeters said.
At the end of the day, the team sent through a statement about the current situation of the former cyclo-cross world champion.
"The day ends on a slightly positive note regarding Bart Wellens," read the team statement. "Bart is recovering slightly from his heart problems. The last few hours he was able to sleep well. The doctors are preaching prudence, but the worst seems behind us now. He slept a lot and is also able to talk now. His wife Lentl was with him all the time."
Team manager Hans van Kasteren said that according to Lentl, his situation can change at any moment, but things are evolving positively. "Bart's organs were not functioning properly, but are working again. What a difference from last night and this morning....
Defending champion admits Nys deserved his victory
Defending champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) has accepted his defeat at the hands of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) in the 2012 Belgian national cyclo-cross championships with good grace. Despite a good start in Hooglede, Albert was then blown backwards by veteran Nys, who outclassed the opposition on the 2007 world championships course. What remains for resigning Belgian champion Albert are the world championships in Koksijde at the end of January.
“Sven was the strongest today. That’s how it works in a race. The best would win today on a course like this and that was Sven today,” Albert said. “I soon realized that Sven was the best of us. Once he had a gap I could hang on for two laps. Then I cracked and I realized I was riding for second place.”
Before the race Albert hinted that Nys’ reported back problems would not have been serious. Nys had earlier criticized some riders for not taking part in the cross in Leuven due to minor illnesses, but after the race Albert paid tribute to Nys' medical team. “I’ve never said that I doubted his injuries. I’ve also had something in my back when picking up a stupid plastic bag. Credit to his team for getting him back in shape so fast because that’s not easy,” Albert said.
After a wrist injury halfway November Albert was out of competition for four weeks. Two weeks ago a lung infection bothered him and to fight that he took antibiotics. That might have effected Albert in his mud fight with Nys on Sunday afternoon. “I’ve been out for four weeks but today I came here to win the race. If you don’t do that then you’re beaten before the race starts. I knew what...
"I'm looking forward to seeing national champions Helen Wyman and Ian Field lead this team forward to the world championships," said Team Manager Phil Dixon.
"I think this year is the strongest the women's team in particular has been, and I believe they are in a good position to challenge for the podium. For the younger riders, this is the second year of British Cycling's Cyclo-Cross Development Plan and we've got four U23 and three junior men who will make the start line. I think these guys will put on a good show and I'm looking forward to seeing them push closer to a podium finish at these world championships."
British team for 2012 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships
Elite men Ian Field Jody Crawforth Paul Oldham
Elite women Helen Wyman Nikki Harris Annie Last Gabby Day
Under 23 men Steve James Kenta Gallagher Luke Gray Jack Clarkson