The top cyclo-cross racers in the US visited Fort Collins, Colorado for the third weekend of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) series, and the new venue was a huge hit with racers and spectators alike. After weeks of warm, dry races, a bit of wintry weather helped transform the barren field into a technically and aerobically challenging, muddy course.
Many of the riders commented that the weekend was the first "real 'cross" of the season, while both US champion Katie Compton and USGP series leader Georgia Gould, hailed the level of competition as being the toughest outside of Europe.
Although no official announcement has been made, word has it that Fort Collins will continue as a host for the USGP next season.
U23 US 'cross champion Danny Summerhill was spotted on the sidelines in Fort Collins. While the Team Holowesko Partners/Felt rider was registered for the event, a mishap the previous weekend put him temporarily out of competition.
Summerhill was pre-riding the course for a local race last week when he misjudged a bunny-hop over a log and landed on his shoulder. Fortunately, nothing was broken, but Summerhill confirmed a third-degree separation in the shoulder - just one degree shy of needing surgery.
"I'm not off the bike," Summerhill said. "I was going to race this weekend, but I actually woke up with a sore throat and took it as a sign that I shouldn't race. When I saw the condition of the course I knew it was too risky - I don't want to crash on the shoulder again and make it worse."
Summerhill will travel to Europe this week with a strong US contingent of riders set to take on the Superprestige in Gavere and the World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.
Another mis-timed bunny-hop put Specialized's Todd Wells out of action on Sunday. Wells was chasing second place in the men's elite race when he tried to hop the barriers and crashed. He re-mounted, but stopped shortly thereafter and was taken off the course on a stretcher, somewhat dazed and complaining of pain in his leg.
He announced via Twitter later that nothing was broken.
Whitmore’s Super Cross Cup moved
Due to construction, a late change of venue has been announced for the Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup. It will no longer take place in Southampton, New York, but will move closer to New York City to Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, Long Island, a venue accessible from the city via the Westbury train station.
As part of the MAC series, the race offers equal prize purses for men and women.
For more information visit the race website. http://www.hamptonvelo.com/
US National Championships news
The registration for the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships is already underway, but prices are set to increase just before midnight on November 17.
USA Cycling has added a new Singlespeed championship title. The race, previously run as a non-championship event, will be run with no category restrictions. "Riders must have a freewheel, one cog, and drop bars. Mountain bikes and straight bars will not be allowed," the announcement stated.
The organization also clarified that the UCI's tire width restriction, which limits 'cross tires to 33mm or narrower, will only be applied to the elite men, elite women and juniors. Masters, Singlespeed and Collegiate classes will have to adhere to the previous 35mm width restriction.
The USA 'cross championships take place in Bend, Oregon from December 8-12.