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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Date published:
January 18, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Nys regains lead of elite men's UCI 'cross rankings

    Sven Nys on his way to winning the 2012 Belgian cyclo-cross nationals
    Article published:
    January 11, 2012, 21:23 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Vos continues as elite women's leader

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) regained his position atop the elite men's UCI cyclo-cross standings while Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women's Team) remains in command of the elite women's ranking.

    Nys' victory in the Belgian 'cross championships, as well as wins in his eponymous G.P. Sven Nys and Fidea Cyclo-cross Leuven, moved the Landbouwkrediet back into the overall lead with 2,410 points. Previous leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) had no answer for Nys in the block of racing since the previous standings were tabulated and dropped to second at 2,343 points.

    World champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) successfully defended his Czech national title and held onto third in the standings with 1,940 points, followed by Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor).

    Recently crowned US 'cross champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) remains the highest-ranked North American rider at 11th overall with 984 points.

    As they have all season, Belgium holds a commanding lead in the elite men's nations standings with 6,207 points. The Czech Republic moved from third to second, at 2,991 points, with France dropping from second to third with 2,878 points. The Netherlands and United States remained unchanged in the standings at fourth and fifth overall respectively.

    In the elite women's standings, Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women's Team) continues as the overall leader with 1,960 points, having won four races since the previous standings were...

  • McDonald hopes to carry form through Worlds

    Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) taking the U-23 Men’s race with an astounding margin of victory.
    Article published:
    January 12, 2012, 15:41 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    U23 champion impressive in US elite 'cross championship

    It's an exceptionally rare occasion for U23 riders to also finish on the podium in the US elite title race during the same championship. For U23 men, it was a feat last accomplished by Tim Johnson at the 1999 national 'cross championships in San Francisco's Presidio where he finished third in the elite men's championship and claimed the U23 title in races that were run concurrently.

    Likewise, Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) etched his name into the record books this past weekend at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Wisconsin where he was crowned U23 national champion on Saturday and finished fourth in the elite race on Sunday. The occurrence was even sweeter with who stood atop the elite men's podium: the 20-year-old McDonald joined teammate and first-time national champion Jeremy Powers.

    While UCI rules specify that U23 riders can only compete within their category at world championships and in World Cups where a separate U23 category is offered, for national championships there is some leeway and U23 riders can also compete in the elite category at the discretion of the national federation, an option which McDonald as well as fellow U23 rider Cody Kaiser exercised this past weekend.

    Entering Sunday's elite men's championship in Verona, Wisconsin's Badger Prairie Park, near the state capital of Madison, McDonald wasn't sure how much he had left in the tank after a runaway victory the previous afternoon in the U23 title race, McDonald's first in the event. At the previous national championships, at Bend, Oregon in December, 2010, McDonald also was well ahead of this competitors in the race lead when he struck a spectator, ultimately resulting in a second place finish to Danny Summerhill. This time around the incident was...

  • Canadian and Swiss teams selected for Cyclo-cross Worlds

    Craig Ritchey (Renner Custom CX)
    Article published:
    January 12, 2012, 23:04 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two nations name riders headed to Belgium

    Both Switzerland and Canada announced their teams for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships on January 28-29 in Koksijde, Belgium.

    Canada's team at the 2012 Worlds has two riders with previous such experience. Both Craig Richey and Yohan Patry participated at the 2011 UCI World Championships held in St-Wendel, Germany. Richey finished 46th in the elite men's race, while Patry finished 21st in the junior men's race.

    Richey is looking forward to the challenges the course on the west coast of Belgium will provide. "The Koksijde course can be summed up in one word: sand. Koksijde is like nothing we have in North America with deep sand rut riding, lots of running, and at least six dismounts a lap."

    In the under 23 men's race, Félix Bouvette will be attending his first Worlds. Bouvette, along with Richey and Patry, will be competing in the final two World Cup rounds to prepare for the event.

    In the junior men's race, Canada will have two riders expected to take the start: Patry will be joined by Samuel Beaudoin of Edmonton. Beaudoin, who was fourth at Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships, will be competing in his first world championships.

    "My experience from last year helped me a lot in my preparations for this year, I know exactly what I need to do in order to be ready for these Worlds," said Patry. "I'm feeling really strong now, both technically and physically and I don't think that the level I have now would have been possible to reach without the experience I acquired last year."

    Canada's top ranked rider in the world is Geoff Kabush in 63rd place. Kabush will not participate at the world championships in Belgium.

    Switzerland wills end four elite men, three elite women, four under 23 men and two junior men to the start line...

  • Wellens leaving hospital

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) celebrates victory
    Article published:
    January 13, 2012, 15:04 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian 'crosser to recover at home

    Bart Wellens will leave the hospital and return home to continue his recovery. The Telenet Fidea 'cross rider spent nearly a week in hospital with heart, kidney and liver problems.

    Wellens was taken to hospital during the night before the Belgian national championships, and was in intensive care through Tuesday. It is not yet known when he will ride again, but it has been indicated that he will not race again this season.

    On its website, the team said that Wellens would hold a press conference next Tuesday.

    The 33-year-old will thus be home in time for his daughter's birthday, much to his family's delight. His wife Lentel is expecting their second child next July.

  • USA Cycling names cyclo-cross world championships team

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) running the barriers
    Article published:
    January 13, 2012, 18:17 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    18 riders selected to head to Belgium

    USA Cycling announced on Friday the roster of elite, U23 and junior athletes that will represent the United States at the 2012 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium on January 28-29.

    Elite men

    Due to a fifth-place ranking at the 2011 world championships, the United States qualified six starters for the race. The 2012 national champion Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), who was the second-ranked American rider in the rankings (17th), were automatic qualifiers for the team. In addition to his 2012 national championship, Powers is the top-ranked rider (11th) in the UCI's rankings with 984 points and has registered a pair of top-15 finishes at UCI World Cup races.

    Joining Powers and Johnson as discretionary selections to the team are Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) and Christopher Jones (Team Rapha-Focus). Trebon, who is one slot behind Johnson in the UCI rankings, has accumulated 365 points in 10 American UCI category-1 races while Driscoll has amassed 244 points and is 30th in the UCI rankings. Page finished 12th at the 2011 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships and has registered three top-25 finishes at World Cups this season. Jones has accrued 55 ranking points and is ranked 68th by the UCI.

    Elite women

    Each of five women comprising the American elite women's team are automatic qualifiers. Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) rides in on the heels of collecting the eighth national championship of her career. After placing second in the 2011 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, Compton has collected three top-five finishes at UCI World Cup events, including winning the first race in Plzen, Czech Republic on October 16, 2011. Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race...

  • Powers debuts stars-and-stripes jersey at Liévin World Cup

    Newly crowned US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) races in the stars-and-stries jersey for the first time.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2012, 22:58 GMT
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    US champion seeks top-10 at next Sunday's World Cup finale

    One week after capturing his first ever US cyclo-cross national championship, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) lined up for the penultimate cyclo-cross World Cup round in Liévin, France today. The 28-year-old already showed off his brand new team kit through various social media this week, but on Sunday afternoon he planned to honour the jersey in the star-studded field of a World Cup race.

    The post-championships activities took its toll, though, and Powers lacked the punch to claim a best-ever result. His 14th place is a solid base to build on for his last two races of the season: the final World Cup round in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands next week and the cyclo-cross world championships in Koksijde, Belgium in two weeks.

    The recently crowned American champion has mixed emotions regarding his performance in the north of France. "It wasn't bad after a week of celebrating, no sleep for a couple of days and then flying in to Europe. To be honest, I felt like crap and thought about maybe not racing Liévin," Powers said.

    "In the last few days I told myself to focus like I've never done before. I must do honour to the jersey. Yesterday I rode on this course for three hours. I've got to keep riding," Powers said.

    On Sunday afternoon, shortly after the 60-minute race, Powers realized that he had just missed a golden opportunity to turn his good form from the national championships into a massive result.

    "It stinks because this course suits me really well. There were probably about 50 people at my house to celebrate and I can't disappoint them. Then again, I lacked the percentage that was needed here. I'm aiming to improve on my...

  • Jones proud to be on USA's cyclo-cross Worlds team

    Chris Jones (Rapha Focus) joined the leaders for a couple of laps
    Article published:
    January 18, 2012, 2:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Relative "newbie" ramps up for road season in Koksijde

    Despite having already attended his UnitedHealthcare road team's season training camp, American Chris Jones will still find time to deploy his alter-ego when he lines up with Rapha-Focus at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Koksijde, Belgium at the end of the month.

    A solid mountain domestique on the road, Jones is only in his fourth year of racing cyclo-cross, but this season his performances have earned him a discretionary nod for the six-member elite men's Worlds team, despite him being only tenth American on the UCI's rankings.

    "It is a complement to me as a rider to have Marc Gullikson use a discretionary pick on me," Jones said. "I started the season with the goal of going to Koksijde, but injuries from Tour of Britain forced me to skip the first part of the season."

    Jones was one of the main protagonists in the USA Cycling elite men's national cyclo-cross championship race, racing elbow to elbow with Rapha-Focus teammate and eventual winner Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), who will be his teammates in Koksijde.

    "Compared to the other guys on this year's team, I am the newbie to the sport, with just four years under my belt and look forward to learning from them."

    Other riders have been forced to choose between their road careers and cyclo-cross in recent years: two-time world champion Lars Boom chose the road, reigning world champion Zdenek Stybar is undecided, and closer to home,

  • Nys, Vos continue to lead UCI 'cross standings

    Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) finished fourth in Liévin.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2012, 18:07 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Van der Poel retains position as top junior

    While Belgian national champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) failed to land on the podium in last Sunday's penultimate World Cup round in Liévin, France, his fourth place finish was good enough to maintain his position atop the latest UCI cyclo-cross standings, released on Tuesday.

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), runner-up in Liévin after a fall on the stairs during the final lap ended his duel for victory against Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), maintains his second-place position in the rankings with 2,313 points, 77 behind Nys.

    Stybar, who won his first World Cup race of the season in Liévin, remains in third overall with 2,140 points.

    The penultimate World Cup round accounted for two riders' jumps into the top-20 overall, as third-placed Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) moved from 23rd to 14th and Polish champion Mariusz Gil (Baboco), 13th on Sunday, moved up from 28th to 19th.

    US national 'cross champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus), 14th in Liévin, continues as the highest-ranked North America rider on the standings, holding 11th place with 994 points.

    The top of the elite men's nations standings remains unchanged, as Belgium dominates with 6,096 points. The Czech Republic continues in second place with 3,306 points while France remains in third at 2,828 points.

    World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women's Team), winner of the women's World Cup race in Liévin, maintains her lead atop the elite women's standings, although US champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) closed the gap considerably. Vos's points total remained unchanged at 1,960, as she duplicated her win from last year in the penultimate World Cup round. Compton finished third at Sunday's...