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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Date published:
January 29, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • USA Cycling names team for cyclo-cross Worlds

    Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) is going for her tenth championship
    Article published:
    January 14, 2014, 17:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers to lead the way

    Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers will headline the USA Cycling team at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands next month.

    USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Program Director Marc Gullickson believes 2014 could be a good year for the Americans. "With a number of outright medal contenders being joined by a mix of accomplished veterans and future stars, I expect the team to be very competitive at the Championships in Hoogerheide this year.”

    Of the riders named, Compton looks like the United States’ best chance for a medal. She has dominated the World Cup series with five out of six victories, only being beaten by Marianne Vos in the opening weekend. Compton has already secured the overall series victory, with over 100 points separating herself and second place.

    The 35-year-old, who was recently crowned national champion for the 10th time, rode into silver behind Vos at last year’s World Championships in Louisville. She will be joined by U23 US champion Kaitlin Antonneau and Elle Anderson, who finished second to Compton at the nationals. Completing the six-woman team will be Meredith Miller, Crystal Anthony and Arley Kemmerer.

    Powers also earned himself a national title last weekend, his second in three years. He finished the year as the top ranked American and won the USA Cycling Pro Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX). Tim Johnson and Ryan Trebon also earned automatic selections.

    Jonathan Page, Allen Krughoff and Zach McDonald will join the team as discretionary picks. McDonald will be riding in the elite category for the first time, after competing in the Under 23 race last year. Krughoff, while not well-placed in the UCI rankings, was...

  • Does USA Cycling need to pare down elite fields at cyclo-cross nationals?

    Article published:
    January 16, 2014, 18:50 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Boulder event most successful in recent years

    The contrast could not have been more stark: in Belgium, 14 professional men set off from the gun to battle for their national championship, having been given the luxury of racing unmolested, a minute ahead of a somewhat larger elite-without-contract field. In the USA, by contrast, 105 elite men, and before them 111 elite women, hit out from the gun with a cacaphony of clicking pedals and shifting gears to battle for their national title in Boulder, Colorado, the pelotons as large as most of the UCI road races in this country.

    While 100 riders is not the most the 'cross nationals has seen - there were 160 starters in Bend, Oregon in 2009 - the large number of riders has caused issues in the past. The course can get chewed up with so many racers, pits can be overcrowded, and lapped riders may not be pulled in time and get in the way of the leaders. But there are benefits, too - a big field gives the fans someone to cheer for almost the entire time the race is going on, adding to the excitement. It also gives all elite riders the chance to race in front of some of the biggest crowds they'll ever see.

    While race winner Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) saw little except daylight ahead of him as he hurtled solo around the Valmont Bike Park last Sunday, Micah Rice, the USA Cycling Vice President of National Events, admitted that having well over a hundred riders chasing him might have contributed to Powers' strategy.

    "It's exciting to see 100 guys waiting to take the start, but I'm sure Powers was...

  • British Cycling announces team for cyclo-cross Worlds

    European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) would finish 10th in the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round
    Article published:
    January 18, 2014, 19:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Field and Wyman to lead 14-rider squad

    British Cycling named the riders who will represent Great Britain at the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships taking place in Hoogerheide, Netherlands on February 1-2.

    Current elite national champions Ian Field and Helen Wyman will lead the team of 14 British riders which also includes recently crowned junior national champion Thomas Craig.

    Team manager Phil Dixon said, "We're heading out to Hoogerheide with a squad of riders, the majority of whom have raced cyclo-cross internationally this season - in the younger categories, this is something we have introduced this year for the Great Britain Cyclo-Cross Development Programme, and it will be interesting to see how this sets them up at the Worlds.

    "We have some real experience in the riders selected for the elite races, and the elite women remain at the top of the world ranking for the second year running. In particular Helen Wyman is coming into form after her early season win in the European season.

    "Overall, I believe we have some exciting prospects for this year's world championships and the team are looking forward to racing at the event."

    Elite men
    Ian Field
    Dave Fletcher

    Elite women
    Gabriella Durrin
    Nikki Harris
    Hannah Payton
    Helen Wyman

    U23 men
    Jack Clarkson
    Steven James
    Adam Martin
    Ben Sumner

    Junior men
    Thomas Craig
    Sean Dunlea
    Dylan Keerfoot-Robson
    Jack Ravenscroft

  • Pauwels extends with Sunweb-Napoleon Games

    Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    January 19, 2014, 17:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian to remain with team until 2017

    Kevin Pauwels has extended his contract with the Sunweb-Napoleon Games team until the end of 2017.

    "I'm obviously very happy," said team manager Jurgen Mettepenningen. "Our faith in the ability of Kevin remains very large indeed."

    Pauwels has been with the team since 2011, after leaving the Telenet-Fidea team at the end of the 2010-2011 season. His first season with the team was his best, with overall victory in the World Cup and finishing the year as the number one ranked rider. He looked close to a podium finish at the world championships, but it went awry when he dropped his chain and lost touch with the field.

    He had a slow start to the 2013-2014 season with no victories until December. He finally won two races in the space of a week at Superprestige Vlaamse Industrieprijs and bpost Bank GP Essen, where he beat Sven Nys in a weather battered race. The Belgian is currently ranked fourth in the World Cup standings and eighth in the Superprestige.

    Pauwels finished second to Nys at the Soudal Cyclocross Leuven on Sunday. The next round of the 'cross World Cup will be in Nommay, France on January 26.

  • Final spot for Belgian cyclo-cross Worlds team up for grabs

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    January 20, 2014, 16:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Aernouts, Bosmans or Wellens to be chosen after Nommay

    The competition for selection to the Belgian elite men's team at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships is always fierce, and this year is no exception. While defending champion Sven Nys, and the top-ranked Belgians Niels Albert, Klaas Vantornout, Kevin Pauwels, Tom Meeusen and Rob Peeters have earned their places, the final spot on the 7-man team is still up for grabs.

    Belgian national coach Rudy De Bie will decide after the Nommay World Cup this weekend which of three riders will complete the team: former world champion Bart Wellens (16th in the UCI rankings), who has been sidelined part of the year with a back injury, the always-competitive Bart Aernouts (14th), or 19th-ranked newcomer Wietse Bosmans.

    In the elite women's race, Belgium will not fill out its complete allocation of six riders, choosing only to send four: Sanne Cant, Githa Michiels, Loes Sels and Ellen Van Loy.

    "That was done on the basis of a thorough analysis," said De Bie. "If you look at the results in various competitions at the international level, then you can really only take four women to the World Championships. To take other Belgian riders who place 30th or 35th in regular competition to a World Championship makes little sense.

    "It's not about money, but about quality. They need to make the selection. Other criteria do not apply."

    For the U23 race, Jens Adams, Toon Aerts, Laurens Sweeck, Wout Van Aert, Michael Vanthournhout and Gianni Vermeersch have earned selections, while Tim Merlier, Daan Soete and Jens Vandekinderen are reserves.

    Juniors Thijs Aerts, Kobe Goossens, Eli Iserbyt, Thomas Joseph, Yannick Peeters and Jelle Schuermans will be backed up by reserves Stijn Caluwé, Gianni Van Martine and Elias Van Hecke.

  • Stybar still unconfirmed for cyclo-cross Worlds

    Zdenek Stybar
    Article published:
    January 25, 2014, 17:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider training in Mallorca

    Whether or not former cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar will take part in the upcoming 2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships still remains to be seen, but Hoogerheide organiser Paul Herygers is praying for the attendance of the Czech star.

    "I pray with my two hands that Zdenek is in Hoogerheide," Herygers said on the cycling show Velofollies, according to

    Stybar is in Mallorca training for his upcoming road season with the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, but he is taking care to do some high-intensity motorpacing behind the Vespa he won by claiming the cyclo-cross in Bredene in December.

    "The Vespa he received in Bredene was a 50 cc. With that, Zdenek would be back at the novice or junior level, but he is past that point," Herygers said. "He needs one that can go 60kph now. Therefore, Zdenek requested and received a larger 125cc model. Now he can make himself ready for the world championships in Mallorca."

    Stybar has stated he will only do the world championships if the weather forecast is good. The current prediction is for temperatures above freezing during the day, with some possible rain or snow on Saturday, but clear skies and warmer temperatures for the men's race next Sunday.

  • Compton recuperating from allergies ahead of cyclo-cross Worlds

    Katie Compton (Trek) takes home another national title
    Article published:
    January 28, 2014, 20:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    American looking forward to battle with Vos

    Having won her 10th US cyclo-cross title and secured her second consecutive world cup overall, Katie Compton has been on track for the strongest challenge to the coveted rainbow jersey of world champion of her career, but her preparation suffered a setback when she had to drop out of the Nommay World Cup last Sunday because of an allergy attack.

    Currently staying in her European base in Kalmthout, Belgium, Compton is feeling optimistic about being back to fighting form by Saturday for the world championships, when she will face the daunting task of unseating defending champion Marianne Vos on her home turf in the Netherlands.

    "I'm feeling better now, still really tired though," Compton told Cyclingnews. "It always takes me a few days to recover from an allergic response like that. I should be OK by the weekend. A little rest right now is good anyway."

    Before heading to Europe, Compton said that she was hoping for a rainy race, not too cold but not too warm. "40-45 degrees (Farenheit) is comfortable, the warm up is easier, you can wear shorts. I like that temperature." The forecast is calling for those exact conditions.

    "The weather really dictates how the course rides," she said of Hoogerheide. "If it's frozen, it's fast, if it is muddy, it's heavy and hard."

    Compton has not visited the course yet, but plans to head up to Hoogerheide on Friday to preview the course. She expects conditions to suit her. "There are some changes this year and I think they are good. I also know it will be heavy since rain is in the forecast and it doesn't look like the ground will be frozen."

    Compton knows that it will...

  • Nys completes Worlds homework in Mallorca

    Sven Nys wins the Soudal Cyclo-cross race.
    Article published:
    January 29, 2014, 19:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    "Better preparation would be impossible"

    Defending world cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys has already shown he was on top form during January, but after completing his preparation in Mallorca for the Hoogerheide UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, the Belgian is confident. "Better preparation would be impossible," Nys told Het Nieuwsblad. "I am ready for the world championships."

    Nys chose to skip the final World Cup round in Nommay in order to train for Worlds in Mallorca, where the weather is good and there are climbs of 15-20 minutes in length to train on.

    "I have done a lot of quality training here over the years," Nys said. "That work pays off. If you are older like me, you need to push very hard on the flat to obtain the same result."

    Nys is the sole top favorite for the Hoogerheide elite men's race on Sunday, but acknowledged the rising form of his French rival Francis Mourey. "He only lost in Nommay because he has less skills than Tom Meeusen," Nys said of Mourey, calling him the number one rival.

    After topping off his training and pushing out favorable power numbers in Mallorca, Nys is calm and confident heading into Sunday's race. "The second [world title] last year in Louisville changed a lot," he said. "But a third world title will not make or break my career. That makes me feel very relaxed. I estimate my chances high based on my last two months, and it's a pretty tricky course in Hoogerheide."

    The question on everyone's mind is whether or not former world champion Zdenek Stybar will be on the start line, but Nys thinks he will be there after seeing the Czech rider training in Mallorca, too. "He was doing hill intervals. You don't do that if you have no secret plans."

    Nys will head back to Belgium tonight, but will not...