The UCI 2014-15 cyclo-cross calendar has kicked off at the second annual QianSen Trophy Cyclo-cross Yanqing Station held on August 30 in Beijing, China. The cyclo-cross scene headed back on American soil with the first set of races at the Nittany Lion Cross in Pennsylvania and will continue with CrossVegas this week, the first of eight UCI C1 events on the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar. Follow Cyclingnews' weekly round-up of news, race recaps and previews of what’s ahead during the cyclo-cross season.
North American ‘crossers stack the top 10 in Beijing
The International Cycling Union's (UCI) 2014-15 cyclo-cross calendar started with the second annual QianSen Trophy Cyclo-cross Yanqing Station on August 30 in the Yanqing District in Beijing, China.
Defending champion from the Netherlands Thijs Al won the C1 opener ahead of America’s Ryan Trebon and Frenchman Steve Chainel. There were a number of other North American riders who made the trip to the first UCI race including Carl Decker who placed fifth, Justin Lindine sixth, Sébastien Cadieux-Duval 10th, Zach McDonald 13th, Molly Cameron 14th and Ryan Knapp 16th.
Belgium’s Ellen van Loy won the women’s race ahead of Lisa Jacobs and last year’s winner from Denmark Margriet Kloppenburg. American riders stacked three in the top 10 with Andrianna Zolton in sixth, Jennifer Gaertner eighth and Christine Vardaros ninth.
It was a C2 event held in September and close to CrossVegas last year but organizers moved the race to the end of August and upgraded to C1.
Nittany Lion Cross kicks of cyclo-cross in the US
The Nittany Lion Cross doubleheader, started the season of UCI cyclo-cross racing in the US on September 6 and 7 in Pennsylvania.
On day one on Saturday, Jacob Lasley (Team Soundpony) took the opening win on Saturday ahead of Lukas Winterberg (MG-CyclingTeam) and Stephen Hyde (Jam Fund/NCC). The trio were a part of a five-man move that also included Dan Timmerman (House Industries/Simplehuman/Richard Sachs) and Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo). In the women’s race, Gabriella Durrin (Neon Velo) took the win ahead of Ellen Noble (Jam Fund/NCC) and Arley Kemmerer (Pb2 Pro Cycling).
After sliding out on the first day, Laura Van Gilder (Van Dessel p/b Mellow Mushroom) went on to win the elite women’s race during the second round. She reached the finish line a second ahead of Noble and 19 seconds ahead of Durrin.
CrossVegas attracts international field
Next up on the UCI calendar is CrossVegas, the first C1 event in the US, held on Sept 10 in Las Vegas, Navada. Dutch rider Lars Van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) and Belgium's Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink), the top two ranked cyclo-cross racers in the world at the end of the 2013-14 calendar year, will headline the elite men’s field. The events will once again be held on the grass fields at the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex and will feature a two-way sandpit, a flyover, barriers and off-camber sections.
Last year, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro) won the elite women’s race ahead of Lea Davison (Specialized) and Luna teammate and recently crowned world cross country champion Catharine Pendrel. Nys won the elite men’s race ahead of the current US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha) and Canadian champion Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing)
USA Cycling Pro CX offers 44 race days and $40,000 purse
The USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (ProCX) began at the Nittany Lion Cross over the weekend and will feature 44 race days, including eight UCI C1 category events, before concluding on January 4 at the Resolution Cross Cup in Dallas, Texas.
The series will offer a $40,000 prize purse that will be split among the top male and female riders in the final standings.
The eight UCI C1 events (two more than last year) include CrossVegas on September 10, Boulder Cup on September 14, Trek CXC Cup on September 20, Providence Cyclo-cross Festival on October 4, Ellison Park Cyclo-cross Festival on October 11, Cincy3 at Kings CX After Dark on November 1, Derby City Cup on November 8 and The 3 Day Carousel Volkswagen Jingle Cross on November 15.
GP Clark Natwick starts inaugural USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar
GP Clark Natwick held on September 21 in San Francisco is the first of three events so far that will make up the new USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar (CXNC). The other events are VeloCX on November 8 in Blaine, New Mexico, and Ruts 'N Guts from December 6-7 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
USA Cycling has revised its calendar of races that are vying for UCI status during the 2014-15 season. The CXNC will recognize top domestic events and provide them with the opportunity to achieve UCI recognition. Events that want to gain UCI status and join the Pro Cyclo-cross Calendar (ProCX) must be a part of the CXNC for one year.