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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Date published:
November 27, 2013, 11:00
  • Powers, Anderson lead USAC Pro CX standings after Jingle Cross

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) wins it on the last lap
    Article published:
    November 21, 2013, 21:08
    Cycling News

    Vincent remains leader of junior men's standings

    Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Elle Anderson (Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) continue to lead the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) following a three-day stint in Iowa City, Iowa for the Jingle Cross Rock races on November 15-17.

    After winning the C2 events on Friday and Saturday and placing second in the C1 event on Sunday, Jeremy Powers collected 160 points over the weekend and increased his season tally to 811. Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) placed second on both Friday and Saturday followed by a third place finish on Sunday in Iowa to remain in second place overall at 769 points, but Powers has been steadily increasing his points advantage in recent weeks and now leads the Belgian by 42 points. Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b, winner of Sunday's C1 race in Iowa, earned 128 points this weekend and moved into third place with 712 points. Johnson's teammate Ryan Trebon dropped from third to fourth as he was sidelined by an illness this past weekend and was unable to add any points to his season tally of 606. The top five for the elite men is rounded out by Berden's teammate Jamey Driscoll who had a strong weekend in Iowa with third, fifth and sixth place finishes to boost his points total to 406.

    Katerina Nash swept all three elite women's races at Jingle Cross Rock and collected a total of 175 points for the weekend. With 580 points overall, she moved from fifth into third place in the rankings and is now within 90 points of Pro CX leader Elle Anderson who earned 116 points over the weekend after placing second in Sunday's C1 event and third in Saturday's C2 event. Anderson's total of 670 points kept her in the top spot ahead of teammate Meredith Miller who retained her second-place position in the standings after placing third on Friday and Sunday and fifth on Saturday. Fourth place is still occupied by Crystal Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) with 502 points while Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), who had travelled to Europe after sweeping the previous weekend's races in Louisville, Kentucky, will not contest any more Pro CX events this season and has dropped from third to fifth at 453 points.

    There were no UCI-sanctioned junior men's races over the weekend so their standings remain unchanged with Austin Vincent (Race CF | @racecf) on top at 345 points.

    Elite men's USAC Pro CX standings - Top 20
    1 Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus 811 pts
    2 Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement 769  
    3 Tim Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b 712  
    4 Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale p/b 606  
    5 James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh-Clement 406  
    6 Yannick Eckmann (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized 367  
    7 Justin Lindine (USA) Redline-NBX 315  
    8 Stephen Hyde (USA) JAM Fund-NCC 280  
    9 Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus 269  
    10 Allen Krughoff (USA) Raleigh-Clement 242  
    11 Cameron Dodge (USA) Team Skyline-Scott Bikes 214  
    12 Tristan Schouten (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 205  
    13 Anthony Clark (USA) JAM Fund-NCC 202  
    14 Daniel Summerhill (USA) K-Edge/Felt Bicycles 189  
    14 Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 189  
    16 Robert Marion (USA) American Classic Pro CX Team 178  
    17 Logan Owen (USA) California Giant-Specialized 174  
    18 Curtis White (USA) Cannondale p/b 172  
    19 Ryan Knapp (USA) Pony Shop Cyclocross 161  
    20 Cody Kaiser (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized 157  
    Elite women's USAC Pro CX standings - Top 20
    1 Elle Anderson (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized 670 pts
    2 Meredith Miller (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized 617  
    3 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 580  
    4 Crystal Anthony (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 502  
    5 Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective 453  
    6 Nicole Duke (USA) Marin-Spy 397  
    7 Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b 362  
    8 Laura Van Gilder (USA) Van Dessel p/b Mellow Mushroom 349  
    9 Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles 330  
    10 Courtenay McFadden (USA) Bicycle Blue Book-HRS-Rock Lobster 311  
    11 Gabriella Durrin (GBr) Rapha-Focus 290  
    12 Amanda Miller (USA) Team TIBCO 264  
    13 Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3-Twenty20 Cycling 263  
    14 Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing 261  
    15 Rebecca Blatt (USA) Van Dessel 188  
    16 Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF 167  
    16 Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Rare Vos Racing 167  
    18 Rebecca Gross (USA) Raleigh-Clement 158  
    19 Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra-Big Shark 150  
    20 Amanda Carey (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite 149  
    Junior men's USAC Pro CX standings - Top 20
    1 Austin Vincent (USA) Race CF | @racecf 345 pts
    2 Peter Goguen (USA) RACE CF | @racecf 254  
    3 Cooper Willsey (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld 250  
    4 David Lombardo (USA) WCJ Racing 236  
    5 Ian McShane (USA) Sophisticated Living/Bobs Red Mill 185  
    6 Garrett Gerchar (USA) Boulder Junior Cycling 159  
    7 Lance Haidet (USA) Bear Development Team 147  
    8 Maxx Chance (USA) Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team 127  
    9 Chris Key (USA) Boulder Junior Cycling 123  
    10 Ethan Reynolds (USA) Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team, Inc. 122  
    11 Brannan Fix (USA) Boo Bicycles-Training Peaks 109  
    12 Noah Granigan (USA) Race CF | @racecf 97  
    13 Nolan Brady (USA) Rad Racing NW 91  
    14 Raphael Auclair (Can) Subway-Sigma / Pivot Cycles 88  
    15 Grant Ellwood (USA) Boulder Cyclo Sport Devo p/b BJC 87  
    16 Jonathan Brown (USA) Hot Tubes Junior Development Team 77  
    17 Josey Weik (USA) Red Zone 66  
    18 Matthew Owens (USA) Race CF | @racecf 65  
    19 Nevin Whittemore (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport p/b BJC 60  
    20 Tanner Browne (USA) GS CycleLife 54  
  • Katie Compton ready for Koksijde World Cup

    Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) sweeping the Mud Fund Derby City weekend
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 14:21
    Ted Burns

    World Cup leader well rested and eager to race

    It can be hard getting ready for World Cup cyclo-cross racing in the U.S. but Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) has spent years dialing in a winning system. Compton recently raced her last U.S. event of the year at the Derby City Cup, in Louisville, Kentucky. Compton used the former World Championship course, replete with several sand sections, to help her prepare for the beaches of Koksijde, which she will attempt to win a fourth time.

    ‘That was really my goal for the race,” said Compton at Derby City. “I really wanted to push the sand traps and ride well through there, and hold the line. It was pretty good, I was smooth for the most part.”

    The lead up to her current season has been anything but smooth for Compton. The U.S. champion’s spring and summer was plagued with setbacks. Compton sprained her knee in April, suffered a recurrence of chronic leg pain in July, and then was off the bike for four weeks as a result of a cellulitis infection. The silver lining of a late start was that Compton came into the season well rested, and eager to race.

    After a several domestic races in October, Compton started to regain her form and placed second to Marianne Vos (Rabobank) at the opening World Cup round in Valkenburg. She followed up Valkenburg, her first European race of the year, with a win a week later at the World Cup in Tabor. Compton heads to Koksijde as the current World Cup leader, and without Vos scheduled to race, she is likely to extend her lead barring a mechanical or travel fatigue.

    Compton is pleased to have the Word Cup lead so early in her schedule, despite her off -season woes. “I'm surprised that I'm leading it now, just because I wasn't sure of the fitness coming in,” said Compton. “It wasn't great and it's getting better, I think I had just enough time to bump it up before the first two World Cups.”

    Vos has been the only woman on the cyclo-cross circuit to consistently win against a healthy Compton. Compton used to be able to eek out an advantage on technical courses, but Vos’ riding skill has improved each year. With almost a 10-year difference to Vos, Compton feels she’s running out of time to find new ways to beat the reigning World Champion.

    “I need to have a great perfect day, and she has to have some kind of mishap or to not be feeling good. She's so strong at so much, sprint, mud, technical, fast, she's a pretty hard rider to beat,” said Compton. “She's only gotten faster. She's only like 25 or 26. She's only going to get better. I'm 35, so I'm just trying to maintain, and get slightly faster, and she's getting a lot faster.”

    Compton has carved out a unique schedule for herself as the top American cyclo-cross export. She’s opted to live in the U.S. through most of the year, and only heads to Europe for a few months at a time. Though her time in Europe grows every year, she remains committed to living and racing in the U.S. “I may not always do it this way,” said Compton. “Next year I may stay over there a little longer, or start earlier over there, but I like U.S. racing. It’s fun, good competition here, good prize money, so I'm torn.”

    Compton’s American ties also go deep with her primary sponsor Trek Bicycles. Trek kicked off their involvement in cyclo-cross with Compton’s signing in 2012, and worked diligently with her on their cyclo-cross bike designs. Compton has been extremely happy with the Trek relationship over the last year, and her product testing work resulted in Trek’s flagship cross bike, the Crockett. Though her contract is up at the end of this season, Compton hopes to finish her career with Trek when the time comes, though that time is not likely to come soon.

    “I take it one or two years at a time. I like racing my bike, I like the lifestyle,” said Compton about retirement. “As long as I'm riding and getting results, I'm going to keep doing it until I can't.”

  • Van Amerongen signs with Telenet-Fidea

    Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink)
    Article published:
    November 23, 2013, 12:23
    Cycling News

    Dutch cyclo-crosser to join Dutch team in 2014

    Dutch cyclo-cross racer Thijs van Amerongen has signed a three-year deal with the Belgian powerhouse Telenet-Fidea team. The 27-year-old is currently number 9 in the UCI rankings after a strong year that included top 10 finishes in the UCI cyclo-cross world championships and, more recently, the Valkenburg World Cup.

    Currently racing alongside Bart Aernouts on the AA Drink team, van Amerongen has been at the head of the bpost Bank Trofee and Superprestige races all season. He sits in fifth place in the bpost series, and seventh in both the World Cup and Superprestige rankings.

    Van Amerongen will join top Telenet rider Tom Meeusen in the team starting on March 1, after the end of the cyclo-cross season.

  • Albert once again king of Koksijde

    Belgian Niels Albert celebrates his victory in Koksijde
    Article published:
    November 23, 2013, 19:30
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian celebrates special 'cross victory in style

    Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) captured the win in the 'cross World Cup in Koksijde on Saturday in style, steaming forward, setting a blistering pace and making it impossible for his rivals to make up ground after being dropped. During the fourth of nine laps, Albert was gone for good in the Koksijde dunes.

    It was the Belgian's third win in Koksijde. In 2010, he won the World Cup round, and in 2012, he grabbed his second world championship title there.

    "The trick here is not to blow up in the sand sections. If you exit them at 100 percent, then you've got nothing left to keep the pace high at the sections in between the sand," said Albert. "I kept some margin while running. I wasn't planning to ride myself to death in the deep sand."

    Albert was in a good mood on Saturday. It showed in the way he finished, copying the legendary finish of Paul Herijgers at the 1994 cyclo-cross world championships. He waved his hands and hopped on and off his bike.

    "That wasn't planned," said Albert of his finishing display. "Koksijde is a bit from Paul and a bit from me. He also showed his chest? The finish line isn't that long any more, there was no time."

    When asked about arch rival Sven Nys, who didn't fare well in Koksijde, Albert had a joke ready. "I haven't seen him today except at our car just a moment ago."

    Another joke was at the expense of his unlucky teammate, Wietse Bosmans, who crashed hard in the penultimate lap. "I hope he's well. He's very important for our training camp. A concussion? That seems very unlikely to me. Hey, he'll understand when he's better. I don't have a lot of brains either."

    Speaking of how important it is to him to race in Koksijde, Albert said, "To me, this race is like coming home. It's a special feeling to ride around here. It's a course that doesn't lie. Most of the times people refer to Asper-Gavere or the Koppenbergcross as the toughest of courses, but this one's special. It's different. It's better not to underestimate it."

    After his world championships win in 2012, Albert received honorary citizenship in Koksijde. Despite his love for the coastal town, Albert ran into trouble on Saturday morning. Before the race, Albert received a parking fine when he briefly visited the beach. "I've only been away for five minutes. Those people just do their jobs, but it's the way it happened. Maybe I can get a free parking ticket from the mayor?" Albert speculated.

    After some lackluster performances last month, Albert went through some hard times. A few weeks later, he was reborn with a good ride in Zonhoven, the win in Hamme-Zogge and now this demonstration in Koksijde.

    "My form's been good for awhile now. Without bad luck, I would've been a factor in Asper-Gavere, too, possibly helping out teammate Philipp Walsleben. It's great to head over to Spain with these sensations. After my... let's call it overtraining, I've been resting and scheduling trainings well. The upcoming two weeks are all important for the Belgian championships. During the Christmas races, there's only time for recovery."

    Not so long ago, Albert claimed that he was out of contention for the general classification in all cyclo-cross series, but things turned around in the World Cup. After his win in Koksijde, Albert is now fourth overall at only 32 points off leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team). "I've said that the classifications were over in the way that it's no longer in my hands. Now it depends on others how high I can place. As long as I can take points instead of losing some, it'll be alright. I can't fail anymore."

    His mission to do well in the series will continue on Sunday in Gieten. The Superprestige race in the north of Netherlands suits Albert well. "I've never lost a race in Gieten. It's a tough trip, and it'll be a matter of who recovers best."

  • Compton extends 'cross World Cup lead

    Katie Compton celebrates a win in round three of the 'cross World Cup in Koksijde
    Article published:
    November 23, 2013, 22:03
    Cycling News

    American wins in Koksijde on Saturday

    Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) extended her lead in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on Saturday when she again stood on the top step of the podium after racing to victory on the beaches of Koksijde in Belgium.

    Completing the event with a time of 43:42, the American crossed the finish line ahead of second- and third-place finishers Sanne Cant and Nikki Harris, who both finished over a minute behind Compton.

    Compton went into the race ranked number one in the World Cup standings after a gold medal performance in round two and her silver medal ride in round one. She now sits on top with 170 points compared to the 140 points held by second-ranked Harris. Cant is third with 111 points.

    Notably absent from the Koksijde World Cup were 'cross stars Katerina Nash and Marianne Vos. "In the US, Katerina Nash is giving me a hard time. She's making me work for it. Too bad she and Marianne Vos are not here," said Compton. "I like to chase."

    Compton's win came despite feeling jet-lagged following her travel to Europe and having to power through the infamous sand, often more by running than riding.

  • Mourey unhappy about not getting invited to Superprestige series

    French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ) powers the chase with Sunweb-Napoleon Games teammates Klaas Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels
    Article published:
    November 24, 2013, 09:35
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Post-Christmas World Cup timing no good for non-Belgians

    French cyclo-cross champion Francis Mourey ( complained about Belgian race organization after a good ride at the cyclo-cross World Cup round in Koksijde on Saturday. The 32-year-old also regretted that the French federation did not send its riders to Koksijde.

    Mourey improved on his third place from last year at the Koksijde dunes by placing second this year, finishing well after winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus).

    "If logic is respected, then the win is mine next year," Mourey joked. "No, I came here to finish on the podium. Once Niels was gone, the goal was second or third. It worked out, so I'm very happy with my second place."

    Despite some minor mistakes in the sand, Mourey managed to keep up with German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) when he accelerated and then set the pace himself in the final lap. Keeping up with Albert was no option. "He's crazy about the sand. The love for sand isn't that big with me," said Mourey.

    In spite of that, Mourey was feeling a bit down on Belgian 'cross race organization. Despite being one of the top riders in the cyclo-cross peloton for several years, the Frenchman doesn't appear in Belgium much even though Belgium is often considered the heart of cyclo-cross racing and a place where top 'cross riders can make a lot of money.

    "The Superprestige series didn't even bother to invite me. Why? Last year, it was because I wasn't the French champion, and this year it is because I'm too expensive. I'd love to race here, but I can't ride for free. I've got to drive 600 kilometres and spend the night somewhere. I've got a Belgian agent, but it's a circuit fermée."

    Mourey expanded on his concerns by claiming that the UCI was helping Belgian riders by organizing a World Cup round the day after Christmas in Belgium, thereby setting up non-Belgian riders for a tough decision. They will be forced to spend Christmas somewhere other than home if they want to attend the World Cup round.

    "I'm riding in Dottignies, Kalmthout and Sint-Niklaas. Then also the World Cup round in Namur. The Zolder World Cup? I'd like to stay home for Christmas. If you have kids, you'll understand. I'm away from home 200 days a year. Who gets it in his mind to schedule a World Cup round the day after Christmas," Mourey wondered.

    The Frenchman knows he will not be receiving a lot of support from the Belgian riders on that concern. "It's easy for them. They're home for Christmas and have a short drive ahead the day after. I wonder if they would be racing the day after Christmas if the race were in Nommay, France."

    The absence from the French riders in the youth categories also didn't go unnoticed. In the junior men's category, the French Dubau twins were well positioned in the World Cup standings after two rounds, but fell down the standings Saturday.

    "That's a problem at the French federation," said Mourey. "It's hard for everybody. They organize the transportation and they decided not to head over here. There's no budget for all of the World Cup rounds. Too bad because if you're not doing all these courses against the best riders, then you're missing out on a lot of experience. It's an alarming evolution."

    Mourey had one of his best seasons on the road in 2013. He won the fifth stage in the Circuit de la Sarthe and the Tro Bro Leon, a race that is similar to Paris-Roubaix. He also rode a strong Giro d'Italia, finishing 20th overall when the race ended in Brescia.

    "I've been combining cross and road all my life. I've been at the top in cyclo-cross for five or six years now. Now it's going well on the road too. Hopefully it'll go even better next year. Some teams don't like it when their riders do cyclo-cross, but that's different here. My team has been supporting me with the team bus for four years now. That shows a lot of respect."

    Mourey has a contract with until 2015.

  • Stybar kicks off 'cross season with Boonen and Friends

    Zdenek Stybar shows off his bike handling skills
    Article published:
    November 26, 2013, 17:09
    Cycling News

    Bakelants to donate maillot jaune to charity

    Two-time cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar will return to the charity cyclo-cross race "Boonen & Friends" this Saturday at the Zilvermeer in Mol, Belgium to defend his victory of last year. The race, started by Tom Boonen five years ago, has been increasingly successful in raising funds for the Move to Improve charity, which helps children with physical disabilities.

    Last year, Stybar was a last-minute substitution for Boonen, who had to abandon his eponymous race because of a severe intestinal infection. The Czech was given a one-minute handicap to help give his less experienced cyclo-cross competitors an advantage, but still managed to win with a healthy advantage over Maarten Wynants and Pieter Vanspeybroucke.

    This year, Stybar may get some competition from current 'cross pro Sven Vanthourenhout, and former U23 mountain bike world champion Jakob Fuglsang.

    Also among the stars will be Jan Bakelants, who will donate one of the yellow jersies he earned in this year's Tour de France for the charity auction in addition to competing in the race.

    "I only have five," he said of the jerseys, according to Sporza. "They have a great emotional value. But I would like to get one off the shelf for this purpose. Hopefully it brings a lot."

    Boonen is clearly proud of the growth of the event. "We have been working on this 'cross for five years. It is a very big event," Boonen said to Sporza. "There is a whole organization behind it. The VIP evening is sold out before you know it."

    "We have collected a huge amount of money to donate to Move to Improve over the years. We want to make something special of this anniversary edition."

    Saturday's events will begin at 14:15 local time with the Champion's 'cross. The line-up includes: Johan Museeuw, Paul Herygers, Davide Bramati, Rolf Aldag, Marc Wauters, Joël Smets, actor Jef De Smedt and television chef Jeroen Meus.

    The Boonen & Friends 'cross follows at 15:15 with Tom Boonen, Jan Bakelants, Jakob Fuglsang, Thomas De Gendt, Niki Terpstra, Wout Poels, Maarten Wynants, Gianni Meersman, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Kevin Hulsmans, Kurt Geysen, Stijn Vandenbergh, Frederique Robert, Nikolas Maes, Nick Wynants, Julien Vermote, James Vanlandschoot, Pieter Serry, Dennis Vanendert, Sean De Bie, Rob Ruijgh, Sven Vanthourenhout, Zdenek Stybar and Julien Alaphilippe.


  • Gallery: Telenet-Fidea trains in Mallorca

    The Telenet-Fidea squad swapped out 'cross tires for road tires as they enjoy a mid-season break on the island of Mallorca
    Article published:
    November 27, 2013, 10:33
    Peter Hymas

    Belgian 'cross team preps for busy December

    The Telenet-Fidea team has taken advantage of a brief lull in the cyclo-cross season schedule to escape wintry weather in Belgium and conduct a training camp on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

    With no 'cross races this coming weekend in either Belgium or the Netherlands it's the perfect time to get away. Following an intense weekend of competition, featuring the third World Cup round in Koksijde, Belgium this past Saturday and the Superprestige round in Gieten, the Netherlands, on Sunday (where the team's Tom Meeusen finished on the podium behind Niels Albert and Lars van der Haar), the squad has travelled to Mallorca where they will stay through December 5.

    Team manager Danny De Bie and 11 of the team's elite and U23 riders are based at a seaside hotel near the city of Palma and hope to both work on base fitness as well as enjoy a bit of relaxation and downtime prior to a period of intense competition later in December.

    Racing will resume for the Telenet-Fidea squad on Saturday, December 7 at the C1-rated Scheldecross race in Antwerp, Belgium.

    Click here to view the photo gallery.