Preliminary starters for the fourth edition of CrossVegas have been announced in what is shaping up to be the strongest ever field to take part in an American cyclo-cross race.
"The winners of the CrossVegas titles are going to come from the best field ever assembled in America," said CrossVegas organizer Brook Watts. "Whether you break it out by national champions attending where we've got eight nations covered, or if you look at the international rankings we've got three of the top 10 riders in both the elite men's and elite women's categories.
"If you look at it from another level, you've got the returning champions from the previous editions of CrossVegas. And then to really top it off you've got a dozen 'wild card' contenders and any one of those riders could draw an ace on race day."
The men's field features American champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Canadian champion Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Italian champion Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing), French champion Francis Mourey (Francaise des Jeux), Belgian elite champion Geert Wellens (Champion System), Danish champion Joachim Parbo (KCH Leopard Cycles) and Hungarian champion Zoltan Tisza (Tecnofilm Bentonexpressz 2000).
The women's event has a pair of national champions slated to start: American champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike) plus Czech champion Katerina Nash (Team Luna Chix).
In addition to the assortment of national champions scheduled to compete, a strong selection of riders in the top 20 of the UCI rankings will take part in CrossVegas. The men's field features fifth ranked Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank Continental Team), Francis Mouray (Francaise des Jeux) at seventh, Switzerland's Christian Heule (Rendementhypo Cycling Team) at ninth and American Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) at 18th.
The women's field will include fifth ranked Katie Compton (Planet Bike), Katerina Nash (Team LUNA Chix) at 7th and Nash's American teammate Amy Dombroski (Team LUNA Chix) at 16th.
Returning are 2009 CrossVegas champions Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Katie Compton (Planet Bike), who also won in 2008. Ryan Trebon (Kona), winner of the 2007 and 2008 editions of CrossVegas, will also be returning. Trebon and Compton are the only two-time winners at CrossVegas.
"Don't underestimate the other great riders who will be coming to CrossVegas," said Watts, who named men's contenders Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant), 2009 men's runner-up Chris Jones (Rapha-FOCUS), Italy's Davide Frattini (HUDZ- Subaru), Belgium's Tim Van Nuffel (Vangoethem-Prorace), Switzerland's Martin Grujan (Cannondale Factory Racing) plus women's contenders Georgia Gould (Team Luna Chix) and Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized).
"I've probably missed a half a dozen top guys and gals that are capable of turning CrossVegas upside down," said Watts.
Complete CrossVegas information is available at www.crossvegas.com.