The European 'cross peloton has undergone some changes over the summer. After spending his entire career with Rabobank, UCI #1 Sven Nys has decided to make a change and move over to the Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner beginning January 1. Nys focused the majority of his efforts on the Olympic Games mountain bike race this summer, where he took a surprising ninth place - his country's best finisher. He had to fight his way up from the third row on the start, and was encouraged by his result.
Nys will make his 'cross season debut in the GP van Neerpelt this weekend. He'll face off against the in-form Niels Albert, Klaas Vantornout, as well as Fidea's leaders Bart Wellens and Erwin Vervecken.
The Hofstade World Cup may have to move after a dispute erupted between the organiser and the venue's administrators over certain restrictions which have been imposed on access to parts of the facility which have previously been integral parts of the course. The organisers are considering moving the World Cup to Zolder, the site of the 2002 World Championships.
Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas) is currently racing the Vuelta a España, which he considers good preparation for the 'cross season. He'll switch back to the cantilever brakes and knobby tires for the October 11 race in Dottignies.
New teams: The Dutch AA Drink team will once again star former world champion Richard Groenendaal, who is in his last season of racing. The team, which officially begins January 1, 2009, will also feature Thijs Al, Stef Boden and Tijmen Eijsing. The new Rendementhypo Cycling Team, under manager Maro Lammens, will be led by Swiss champion Christian Heule and Camiel Van Den Bergh, with juniors Tom Van Den Bosch, Mike Thielemans and Laudelino Lammens.