Cyclo-cross shorts: Vos returns to cyclo-cross at Namur World Cup

Pauwels reduces gap to Nys, USAC accepts petitions for nationals

Vos starts cyclo-cross season at World Cup in Namur

World champion Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv) will begin her cyclo-cross season at the fourth World Cup round in Namur, Belgium on December 21, according to a report in Cyclingquotes. The Dutchwoman took some time off after a lengthy road season before travelling to South Africa, where she won the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge in mid-November. She also recently attended a national team training camp for two weeks.

Last year, Vos started her cyclo-cross season in Namur, where she placed second to American rider Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing). She went on to place second at the World Cups in Heusden-Zolder and Roma, but then won the final World Cup in Nommay and the rainbow jersey at the World Championships in Hoogerheide.

Vos will also compete in the fifth World Cup in Heusden-Zolder on December 26, followed by the Superprestige Diegem on December 28, Bpost Bank Trofee series’ Azencross Loenhout on December 30, Internationale Centrumcross van Surhuisterveen on January 2 and the Dutch National Championships on January 10, according to the Cyclingquotes report.

The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will be held from January 29 to February 1 in Tabor, Czech Republic.

Pauwels reduces gap to Nys in Bpost Bank Trofee series standings

Belgium champion Sven Nys (Crelan- AA Drink) continues to lead the elite men’s overall standings in the Bpost Bank Trofee series, but runner-up Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) is making strides toward closing the gap. 

Pauwels won the fourth round at the GP Hasselt on December 6 and took back 31 seconds from Nys in the overall, and he now sits 1:07 back. Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team) is in third place, 1:31 back.

Nys finished in fourth place at the GP Hasselt and noted the seconds that he was forced to give up to Pauwels in the overall series. “I tried to lose as little time as possible. It was impossible to close the gap. You can go faster for 100 metres but not all the time. In the final lap, they’re fighting for the win and I realized I was losing 10 more seconds. In the end, it was half a minute and that’s too much. I didn’t expect to lose that much time. If it happens here, then it can surely happen twice as much in Baal. It’s a fair competition. The strongest rider will win,” Nys told Sporza. 

Elite women’s series leader, Sophie De Boer (Kalas-NNOF), placed third in GP Hasselt behind Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo-Liv Woman Cycling Team). She leads the standings by 1:33 head of Ellen Van Loy (VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) and 3:08 ahead of Cant.

Stultiens breaks Cant’s winning streak in Mol

Rabo Liv’s Sabrina Stultiens secured her first win of the season in the elite women’s category at Zilvermeercross on December 14 in Mol, Belgium. She won the race ahead of Ellen Van Loy (VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) and Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP).

Even more remarkably, she successfully broke Cant’s recent winning streak. This season, the Belgium and European cyclo-cross champion has dominated elite women’s cyclo-cross with 15 victories and more recently had five consecutive wins. 

Previous to her win in Zilvermeercross, Stultiens won the under-23 title at the European cyclo-cross championships and was second to Cant at the UCI World Cup in Koksijde.

USA Cycling accepts elite rider petitions to compete in 2015 Cyclo-cross National Championships

USA Cycling is accepting petitions from elite men and women riders who want to register for the upcoming 2015 cyclo-cross championships but who have not made the final cut. Only the top 90 riders in the overall ProCX standings, and any rider with one or more UCI points, are eligible to pre-register for the championship events. 

The national sport governing body, however, has made a new eligibility rule and is accepting elite rider petitions to register. The decision will be based on past national championship and UCI cyclo-cross race results. The deadline to file a petition is December 20 and the accepted riders will be notified on December 22.

The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championships will be held from January 7 to 11 in Austin, Texas.

Driscoll and Mani lead USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross series

US cyclo-cross champions Jeremy Powers’ (Rapha-Focus) and Katie Compton’s (Trek Factory Racing) World Cup targets overseas have left the door wide open for top cyclo-crossers competing domestically to accumulate points toward the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross series standings. Raleigh-Clement riders James Driscoll and Caroline Mani are now leading the ProCX series with three races to go.

Driscoll has moved ahead of Powers in the elite men’s category and now has 971 points. The bulk of those points were secured through wins at C2-level events Waves for Water Cyclocross, CXLA Weekend, Jingle Cross Rock, Cincy3 Cyclo-Stampede and Gateway Cross Cup. He also had a series of top 10s in C1-level races at Cincy3 Kings CX After Dark, Full Moon Vista Cyclocross, The Derby City Cup, Jingle Cross Rock, Boulder Cup, KMC Cycle Cyclocross Festival and the Trek Cyclocross Collective Cup. 

Mani has moved back into the women’s series lead with a total of 808 points that have been accumulated largely through wins at the C1-level Full Moon Vista Cyclocross and top-five finishes at Jingle Cross Rock, Trek Cyclocross Collective, Boulder Cup and at The Derby City Cup. She also won two C2 events at Rapha Super Cross Gloucester and Full Moon Vista Cyclocross. Runner-up in the women’s series, Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital/American Classic), has moved up the ranks after her win at Jingle Cross Rock’s C2 event and a podium finish in the C1 race. She has also had a series of podium places in C1 races at The Derby City Cup and Full Moon Vista Cyclocross. She has stood on the podium at 10 of the ProCX events this season.

The 2014 ProCX series is coming to an end with only three races left. Those race will take place at the Kingsport Cyclo-cross Cup in Tennessee on January 3 and the Resolution Cross Cup on January 3 and 4 in Dallas, Texas.

USA Cycling ProCX standings:

Men
1James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh-Clement971 pts
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus938 
3Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement840 
4Cameron Dodge (USA) Pure Energy517 
5Dan Timmerman (USA) House Industries466 
Women
1Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh-Clement808 pts
2Courtenay McFadden (USA) GE Capital/American Classic801 
3Meredith Miller (USA) Noosa705 
4Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team610 
5Gabby Durrin (GBr) Neon Velo530 

 

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