Cyclocross news & racing round-up for November 12,
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in cyclocross.
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By Steve Medcroft
Besides the fact that it is comprised of a set of cyclocross races, what
do the Georgia, USA and World Cup Cyclocross series have in common? Both
have unsponsored Czech riders named Dlask tearing up the top of the standings.
In World Cup, Petr Dlask gave Bart Wellens and Sven Nys a run for their
money in Tabor, Czech Republic at World Cup stop number one. Dlask teamed
up early with countryman and previous Tabor winner Kamil Ausbuher to set
a pace so aggressive Nys said, "I won't be good for a few hours after
this," at the end of the race.
In the US, Dlask's younger brother Ondrej is giving 2004 Georgia
Cyclocross series winner Jed Schneider a challenge; the pair have
traded wins in the first two races of the series. Dlask took the second
race, held in Macon.
"The racing here is different here," Ondrej Dlask said on Thursday. "Much
different than the UCI races in the Czech Republic or Belgium." The terrain
is different for sure but Dlask also says that absent the intensity of
the pressures of World Cup competition, the approach a racer can take
to competing is different in the U.S. "Here, you can ride just for fun,"
he says. "I'm working during the week and I don't have the time to train
to ride as much as I want so it's not so serious."
Dlask says he's in the U.S. on a vacation that never ended. "I just came
for a few weeks with my friends at first. I liked it so I stayed one more
week. Then a month. Then more." So long, Dlask, who has settled with a
girlfriend and works full time in the States, says that he was surprised
to look at his original return ticket and see that he's five years late
for the flight.
As for racing, Dlask says that we shouldn't be surprised that both he
and his brother are competitive riders. "Petr is my older brother. He
was born in 1976; he's two years older than me. "When we were kids, we
rode every day together. We'd wake up at 7 or 8 and would meet a group
of people in the middle of town who would ride together all day."
The two brothers chose different paths as they reached maturity though.
"We are different. He has always had just the bike. When I was still thinking
about parties and beers and friends, his mind was totally on the bike.
He doesn't care about anything else but his training." As for what is
the key to brother Petr's success in World Cup ‘cross this year, Ondrej
says "He is training and he has been patient and he's having a really
Ondrej Dlask says that although he sees how privileged the life of a
professional cyclist is, he is realistic in knowing that although he will
"ride the bike forever" he'll probably remain an amateur. Dlask says he
plans to remain in the U.S. at least one more year.
Four races have been completed in the Georgia
Cyclocross Series. The remaining races are:
- 11-06-05 #4 Augusta
- 11-13-05 #5 Marietta
- 11-19-05 #6 Hendersonville, NC UCI Race
- 11-20-05 #7 Hendersonville, NC UCI Race
- 11-27-05 #8 Covington
- 12-03-05 #9 Monroe State Championships
- 12-04-05 #10 Athens Series Finale
Nys closes the gap: Superprestige #2 wrap-up
Sven Nys (Rabobank) has regained some ground over Bart Wellens (Fidea)
in the Superprestige series, winning today's third round, the "Bollekescross"
in Hamme-Zogge. The World Champion finished with a six second advantage
over Wellens, and is now just one point behind him in the Superprestige
standings. Third place today went to Tom Vannoppen (Mrbookmaker - Sports
Coming into the final laps, the three leaders, Nys, Wellens and Vannoppen,
had a half a minute advantage over a chase group containing Petr Dlask
(Cze), Sven Vanthourenhout (Rabobank), Enrico Franzoi (Lampre), and Gerben
de Knegt (AA Drink-Bejan). Nys was the main aggressor and was able to
gap Wellens and Vannoppen over the barricades on each lap. On the final
lap, he made sure that the gap remained open, and crossed the line with
several seconds to spare. In the sprint for second, Wellens easily beat
Vannoppen, while Dlask was the best of the rest in fourth.
For full results, click here.
Canadian National Champs wrap-up
Lyne Bessette (Cyclocross World/Louis
Photo ©: Rob Jones
One of the major goals of Lyne Bessette's comeback season in cyclocross
was to carry the maple leaf Canadian National Champion's jersey with her
over to European World Cups. Chalk up another success for North America's
best female ‘cross racer. Sporting her familiar red-and-black Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis
Garneau kit for the last time this season – she'll get a spanking new
maple leaf kit for the rest of the 2005-06 season - Lyne overcame a tentative
first lap to win her second Canadian National Cyclocross Championship,
Saturday in Ontario.
Faced with one of the best women's fields ever to race a Canadian Nationals,
Lyne was unable to shake a tenacious Wendy Simms (Kona) for the opening
lap of the rugged course. It was the first time all season Lyne had had
company at the end of the first lap of a race, but she quickly buckled
down and started flashing the form that had brought her eight consecutive
wins going into the weekend.
"I was pretty nervous before the race," admitted Lyne. "Once I started
the race I had to think about why Wendy was staying with me. She's really
strong this year, but I'd been able to drop her at every race in the States.
I had to remind myself to go as hard as I have been all year. I went super
hard on the long run-up and got a little gap, once I got that I just stayed
on it 100 percent through the next run-up. I went as hard as I could and
it worked out."
Lyne added win number 10 to her consecutive win streak on Sunday with
a convincing victory in the Aurora ‘Cross, the first non-championship
UCI race in Canadian ‘cross history. She also won Canadian ‘cross nationals
For complete race report, results and pictures, click here.
Tour de Pittsburgh: the Barbara Howe diary
Photo ©: Barbara Howe
November 11, 2005 - This past weekend (Lower
Allen Classic and Highland
Park cyclo-cross) was fun and all, but most of you have probably already
know how the races went. Instead of a race report, this is a short story
of the cool bike culture in Pittsburgh. Several years ago, during my first
brief bout of road racing, I took part a few Wednesday evening training
races held in the Pittsburgh Zoo parking lot. The races cost five or ten
dollars (it was cheaper if you brought your own number) and I once won
a Furtado Race Day saddle as a prime. It was about as comfortable as sitting
on a brick but that prize was worth more than my entry fee so I spent
over a year waiting for my butt to become used to it. (I never did get
used to it; I eventually put it on an old mountain bike and sold it.)
The zoo extended their business hours into the night and the training
races had to find a new venue. Then the city built the Pseudodrome, a
half mile long oval track (called the Washington Boulevard Bike Oval)
with oddly banked corners and hump in the middle. The Oval was built on
the site where I took my driver's license test. You can still see the
markings on the road where you had two chances to parallel park.
In Pittsburgh , most of rides were down scary roads rubbing elbows with
heavy traffic. Until this trip; while waiting for Josh to drink his coffee
at a local shop, I noticed a trail on a local map connecting a quiet road
to the Oval. The trail was a short walk and we completely avoided the
busy, glass-covered road. This was the perfect place to train in a controlled
environment so we did. The Oval even has its
own collection of venue records.
Read the entire Barbara
Howe diary here.
British 'crossers do well in European Cyclocross Championships
Team Fat Birds United Kingdom
Pontchateau, France, hosted the European Cyclo-Cross Championships Sunday.
Great Britain had 5 riders in the event with 2 women and 3 juniors. Helen
Wyman, Team FBUK, still with the memories of a last lap double puncture
in the same event last year when leading going into the final lap, was
out to try to better her position of 4th, while Sue Thomas was entering
into the unknown in her first cyclo-cross European championships and her
first cross race in Europe this season. With the 2 riders exchanging wins
in the UK National Trophy Series, expectations were rightfully high.
The course was very fast, with little rain leading up to the event and
high winds, the course was very dry. As expected the race was quick from
the gun and Helen Wyman, starting on the second row, managed to get into
a group of 8 riders which formed during the first lap. There were 2 Dutch
riders, 2 German riders and 3 French riders along with Helen in the first
group including 3 current or former world champions. Despite most riders
attacking during the race, with Helen making a good effort off the front
on the 2nd lap, the fast conditions played into the hands of the chasing
With all of the riders staying together until the finish, it was 2004
World Champion, Laurence Leboucher who made her move first with 500 metres
to go. She was however swamped by the other riders before the finish with
the Dutch duo of Daphne van den Brand and Marianne Vos who contested the
final sprint with the 18 year old, Vos, winning her first major Senior
title. Helen, having been outnumbered by the other 3 nations represented
in the break finished in 8th place.
Helen was very happy with the result and it looks good for the coming
rounds of the world cup in Holland and Belgium, where Helen spends most
of the year. Sue Thomas finished an excellent 12th place and was at time
lapping faster than the leaders. Having missed the front group on the
first lap, it was very hard for Sue to regain contact with them, but finishing
only 1 minute 20 seconds down.
In the junior race, Tom Last started in fantastic style taking the lead
on the first lap, however by the end of the first lap the race had settled
into groups, with Tom taking him place in the second group. Stephen Adams
finished in 39th place and David Fletcher in 25th, while Tom raced superbly
to finish 13th.
For complete European Cyclocross Championships results, click here.
Global Cyclocross round-up
- FIAC National Championships, USA (NE), November 6: Full
results & photos
- Cyclo-cross international de Marle (C2), November 1: Top
- Aurora Cross, Can (C2), November 6: Full
results, report & photos
- Highland Park CX/Verge MACCS #6, USA (C1), November 6: Full
results, report & photos
- Superprestige #3 - Hamme-Zogge, Bel (C2), November 6: Full
results & report
- Intern. Radquer Steinmaur, Swi (C2), November 6: Full
results & photos
- European Championships, Fra (EC), November 6: Results
- Oostkamp, Bel (C3), November 6: Full
- Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships, Can (CN), November 5: Full
results, report & photos
- Lower Allen Classic/Verge MACCS #5, USA (C2), November 5: Full
results & report
- Puurs, Bel (C3), November 5: Full
- Zelgelsem, Bel (C3), November 5: Full
- Stichtingsprijs Eernegem, Bel (C2), November 5 - Results
Felt and Greyhound Juice support Verge NECCS
The Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series, presented by Cycle-Smart,
has announced two new sponsors in Felt Bicycles and Greyhound Juice.
Although the company is based in based in Southern California, Felt has
been a big supporter of cyclocross in New England. Last year it sponsored
Verge NECCS champion Mark McCormack and in 2005 with the added under-23
national champion Jesse Anthony to the roster. Their feedback has helped
develop Felt's F1X 'cross bike.
With that successful association under its belt, "It was a no-brainer
for us to say a resounding 'yes' to the opportunity to sponsor the Verge
Series," said Felt marketing manager Beverly Lucas. "The Verge Series
is the epitome of what cross racing is all about - we learn from it and,
most importantly, we bloody love it!"
Greyhound Juice is a maker of skincare products including a pre-race
warming balm. It was founded in Seattle by two bike racers, Greg and Sirikit
Valentin; Greg Valentin got into cycling through Cyclocross so has an
affinity with the wet and muddy branch of cycling.
Remaining Verge NECCS races
October 15 - Downeast Cyclo-Cross, New Gloucester, ME
November 12 - ChainBiter 7.0 Cyclo-Cross, Farmington, CT
November 13 - Cycle-Smart International Cyclo-Cross, Northampton, MA
November 26 - Gearworks Bay State Cyclo-Cross, Sterling, MA
December 3 - W. E. Stedman Co. Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross, S. Kingstown,
December 4 - Castor's Grand Prix, Warwick, RI
Northampton Verge NECCS double preview
As the season's temperatures hover near freezing through fall's ever
shortening days, the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series,
presented by Cycle-Smart, enters the heart of its ultra-competitive schedule.
In the first of the Series' two "double dip weekends" the Verge NECCS
makes stops in Farmington, Conn. and Northampton, Mass. November 12-13.
Saturday's Chainbiter 7.0 at Farmington's Winding Trails Park offers
one of the most challenging courses in the Verge NECCS. With a combination
of wooded trails, open fields, paved sections, several small climbs and
dips, and one massive sand pit the Chainbiter never fails to sort out
the strong riders. Last year's race went off under a blanket of snow that
quickly turned the races into mud baths, the only muddy race of the 2004
One of the national ‘cross circuit's "must attend" events, Sunday's 15
Going into the Farmington/Northampton double dip Verge NECCS leaders
are as follows: Elite Men, Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar); Elite Women,
Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau); Under-23 Men, Jesse
Anthony (Team Clif Bar); Masters 35+, Jonny Bold (Corner Cycle); Masters
45+, Chris Long (Independent Fabrication-Gotham); Junior Men, Jerome Townsend
(Bicycle Alley); B Men, Pascal Bussibres (Abbrsuz LA GoeLiche); Cub Juniors,
Jared Reuta (44Velo); Masters 55+, Phil Bannister (Putney-West Hill).
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