Van Aert, Cant set for CrossVegas return
Reigning UCI world champion Wout Van Aert and fellow 2015-16 cyclo-cross World Cup overall winner Sanne Cant will return to the US next month to start their latest World Cup campaigns at CrossVegas, the opening round of the 2016-17 series.
Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) started last season with a win at CrossVegas, which will open the World Cup series for the second consecutive year. Cant finished third in last year's Vegas race.
"It may sound a bit weird to some people, but I always love coming back to CrossVegas," Van Aert said. "My first CrossVegas was in 2013, when I traveled with Bart Wellens and Quinten Hermans. It was just so much fun. First, there was the race itself, but, also, we explored the city and were pretty impressed. I will never forget that trip. Of course, last year was different, because it was the first World Cup in the States, so I was more focused. And it turned out very well with the victory. It was the start of a brilliant season, so I only have good memories."
Cant echoed her Belgian compatriot's impressions of the race.
"It was a very nice experience last year. The course was spectacular, as was the crowd atmosphere. It was a hard but fun race. If we need to go to the US for racing, it's good that CrossVegas is again one of the main races for us."
CrossVegas will take place September 21, with JingleCross Iowa City making its World Cup debut three days later on September 24. The series then takes a month break before starting up again with races in Valkenburg, Netherlands, on October 23, Koksijde, Belgium, on November 20, Zeven, Germany, on November 26, Namur, Belgium, on December 18, and Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, on December 26. The series moves into the new year with a race in Fiuggi Regione Lazio, Italy, on January 15 and finally in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, on January 22.
The 2017 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will take place January 28-19 in Bieles, Luxembourg.
Van Aert said he has two big goals for the upcoming cyclo-cross season.
"First I want to let shine my rainbow jersey as much as possible, perhaps with some nice victories in some great races," he said. "Another goal is even more important: I want to spoil the fans with nice duels between Mathieu van der Poel and myself. Now that Sven Nys quit racing, I am convinced that Mathieu and I have a big role in keeping our sport attractive."
Cant said she wants to better or equal her results last year, with earning her first rainbow jersey a main focus for the new season.
"I will be trying to do better or the same as last year, but I know that every year is different," she said. "It will not be easy to win the same as last year, but the only thing I can do is try. I've trained very hard this summer, so I think I'm ready. And the World Championship title remains an important challenge because it's the only jersey I've never won."
Van der Poel will miss CrossVegas and JingleCross
Former world champion Mathieu Van der Poel (Beoban-Corendon) will miss the first two rounds of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup series in Las Vegas and Iowa City as he continues to recover from surgery on both knees in July. The 21-year-old 2015 Elite World Champion last raced on the road in June at the Dutch national championships, but he was out of action soon after.
After successful surgeries, Van der Poel required three week of recovery. Dutch media reported that he was able to ride rollers this week, but he won't be ready to race for next month.
"I hope I can be ready for the Superprestige opening round," he told HLN.be. "Both the race in Geraardsbergen (Belgium) and the US World Cup races I did not make it." Van der Poel said that he hopes to be able to train outdoors on the road very soon.
Two-time US cyclo-cross champion Ryan Trebon retires from pro racing
Two-time US cyclo-cross national champion Ryan Trebon announced his retirement from professional racing on Twitter on Wednesday night.
The 35-year-old suffered two fractured vertebrae in a crash in 2014, and then struggled last season with a herniated disc in his back.
Trebon has been a fixture in the pro cyclo-cross scene in the US for well over a decade, and in addition to his pair of national titles, he was six times second and once third in the national championships.