Cyclo-cross news & racing round-up for December 22
Edited by Laura Weislo
Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in cyclo-cross.
Feel free to send feedback, news and releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page in Morgan Blue-BSI colours
Jonathan Page (Cervelo)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
As of this Saturday, Jonathan Page will be seen racing in a blue-red
Morgan Blue-BSI outfit. The American, who was second last weekend at the
US Elite Men Cyclo-cross Championships, has signed a contract with the
Belgian team, according to cyclo-cross.info.
"It's not easy for a foreign rider, especially an American, to race professionally
in Belgium," commented Morgan Blue-BSI manager Kurt Tembuyser. "This was
the reason why Jonathan couldn't sign a contract with the Sunweb-Pro Jobteam
- the costs add up too much. But I, together with BSI, reached an agreement
with Page. He can count on us until February 2007. He will stay 'elite
without contract', but will receive an important compensation every month.
At the end of the season, we will evaluate our cooperation and see if
we extend our agreement."
For Page, the first race wearing the new jersey will be the C2 Wachtebeke
cross in Belgium this Saturday. The team has designed special gear for
the American, also featuring the inscription Page's personal sponsors,
Cervelo, Adidas, Mavic, Cyclocrossworld.com and Shimano on the jerseys
Page, who made his comeback from rotator cuff surgery at the US championships
last weekend, will race a full calendar through the end of February. "I'm
very excited about this and very thankful," said Page. "They are really
nice people at Morgan Blue. They are supportive of me and of cycling as
a whole. They have given me a good contract with the opportunity to re-negotiate
after the season. I think that's important for me right now since I am
just coming back from a major injury in what had started out to be my
best season yet."
Wellens criticises Nys
The #1 of Men Elite Cyclo-cross, Sven Nys, has received another prize
for his outstanding performances in the sport: On Sunday, December 17,
he was elected "Sports personality of the year" in his home country of
Belgium. Still, the "cannibal" is not exempt of some small character flaws
- at least not according to Bart Wellens, his direct rival in all the
European racing series.
"I've been jealous of Nys," admitted Wellens recently when talking to
Het Nieuwsblad. "Not of his professionalism or his perfectionism
- I live up to that - but of his results. If he wasn't there, I'd be the
superman. But I don't let that get to me anymore. If Nys is the best,
then so be it."
Meanwhile, Wellens expressed some concerns as to Nys' attitude within
the small world of top cyclo-crossers. "He has to be careful not to intimidate
our colleagues," Wellens continued. "Sven now has too much of what he
lacked previously: nerve. A lot of guys are disturbed by his comments.
Nys sometimes says that he wasn't even in the red. He's hyped and says
things for the camera. But he hurts others doing that. As if we raced
for nothing - while we give it all as well."
Although Nys seems untouchable yet again this season, the Fidea rider
hasn't given up attacking him. "I'm still fighting the duel," Wellens
added. "I don't like to be passive. I'm one of the few who still try to
US 'cross world's selections
Following the completion of the 2006 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National
Championships this past weekend in Providence, Rhode Island, five athletes
nominations to represent the United States at the 2007 UCI cyclo-cross
world championships in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium on January 27-28. USA Cycling
then announced twelve discretionary
nominations for the team . Discretionary nominations were made based on
petitions by athletes who met specific performance standards throughout
the 2006 season.
Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Spike)
Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho/Luna)
Christine Vardaros (Lotto-Belisol)
Kerry Barnholt (Tokyo Joe's-Maxiss)
Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella-Kona)
Rhonda Mazza (Team S&M-Vanilla Bicycles)
Jesse Anthony (Beverly Mass./Clif Bar)
Jamey Driscoll (Jericho, Vt./FiordiFrutta)
Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory Team)
Chance Noble (California Giant Strawberries-Specialized)
Nick Weighall (Alan Factory Team)
Dan Neyens (Hagens-Berman LLP)
Danny Summerhill (Centennial, Colo./TIAA CREF-Clif Bar)
Nicholas Keough (CL Noonan-Coast to Coast-KAM)
Sean Worsech (Rad Racing NW)
Jerome Townsend (Alan Factory Team)
Carson Miller (Fred Miller-Lakeside)
Automatic selections for the elite men's category will be announced
January 9th and discretionary picks January 10th.
'Cross Camp IV assembles in Europe
Fresh off some excellent performances at US Cyclocross Nationals, Euro
'Cross Camp IV riders have begun assembling in Belgium to tackle the busiest
stretch of the European cyclocross season. Started in 2003 by the US national
'cross coach Geoff Proctor, who uses his vacation time from his job teaching
high school in Montana to run the camp, this year marks the fourth season
for US riders to be given this unique opportunity to prepare for the world
championships in late January and to otherwise gain valuable race experience.
Sixteen riders will attend this year's camp based on their 2006 USGP
and Nationals performances. Elite National Champion Ryan Trebon (Kona),
Barry Wicks (Kona), Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly), Erik Tonkin (Kona), and
Troy Wells (TIAA-CREF) compose the elite men's group. USGP Espoir and
US Collegiate National Champion Jamey Driscoll (Fiordafrutta), Morgan
Schmitt (Hagens-Berman), Dan Neyens (Hagens-Berman), Bjorn Selander (Alan),
Chance Noble (California Giant Strawberries), and Nick Weighall (Alan)
form the U-23's.
Danny Summerhill (TIAA-CREF), Sean Worsech (Rad Racing), Jerome Townsend
(Alan), Jim Lennon (TIAA-CREF), and Steve Fisher (Rad Racing) will comprise
the juniors team. Due to the limited availability of women's races, no
elite women will be part of the program this year.
Race program (* Junior's race):
December 23: Wachtebeke*
December 26: Hofstade - World Cup #9
December 27: Sylvester Cyclo-cross, Torhout *
December 28: Loenhout - GvA trophy #5*
December 29: Middlekerke*
December 31: Diegem - SuperPrestige #5*
January 1: GP Sven Nys, Baal - GvA trophy #6*
January 2: GP De Ster, St Niklaas
January 3: Centrumcross Surhuisterveen
US National 'cross championship round-up
By Steve Medcroft in Providence
Elite men - Trebon makes it look easy
Photo ©: Russ & Nancy Wright
Ryan Trebon (Kona) surged off the front in the first lap of the men's
elite race at the California Giant Berry USA Cycling Cyclocross National
Championships and never looked back. Hunted by a chase group containing
three-time national champion Jonathan Page (Cervelo/Hot Tubes), two-time
national champion Todd Wells (GT/Hyundai), seven-time national champion
Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly)
and Barry Wicks (Kona), Trebon built his lead to more than 30 seconds
by the final lap and safely collected his second national championship
jersey of the season (Trebon earned the US
MTB National Championships in Sonoma, California earlier this year
in similar fashion).
Trebon led the 133 elite riders from the start. "The day was perfect,"
he said at the awards ceremony. "There were a lot of (spectators),
the weather was great, the course was in really good shape. I didn't think
I would get a gap that fast. I just kept seeing (the other riders) floating
See the full report, results and photos here.
Elite women - Compton flawless in Providence
On top of the podium Katie Compton
(Spike Shooter/Primus Mootry)
Photo ©: Mark Legg
Katie Compton (Spike/Primus Mootry) won her third consecutive cyclo-cross
national championship jersey after a dominating solo effort on Sunday.
Compton took an immediate lead of the women's California Giant Berry Farms
USA Cyclocross National Championships in Providence, Rhode Island and
left a string of talented, powerful women racers in her wake. Only 2006
US MTB national champion Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) had an answer for Compton's
pace, dangling thirty seconds behind the former track national champion
and Paralympics gold medalist on her own for most of the race.
Although the way she won mirrored her last two 'cross nationals efforts
Compton credits the mild weather and pristine course conditions for her
success. "I won't say (the course conditions) made it easy,"
she said at the finish, "but they made it less hard. It was nice
to have an open course. I was able to pick my lines and ride my pace."
Every woman in the field had to know Compton would apply immediate and
devastating pressure. Yet only Gould was able to stay on Compton's wheel
in the first lap of the race. "I had a good start," Gould said
at the podium presentation. "I got the hole shot. But I just didn't
have the legs I was hoping for."
See the full report, results and photos here.
U23 men - Anthony makes it six
Jessie Anthony (Clif Bar)
Photo ©: Dave McElwaine
Jesse Anthony (Team Clifbar) convincingly re-claimed the national championship
jersey he has worn six times previously in Saturday's California Giant
Berry Farms USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships U-23 Men's race.
In a tough, 51-rider field, Anthony, who had won a cyclo-cross national
championship jersey every year for six years in a row until Troy Wells
took it away from him in 2005, first broke away with former junior national
champion Jamey Driscoll (FiordiFrutta).
But Driscoll faded from the lead he built with Anthony, leaving the Beverly,
Massachusetts native alone for the win. Driscoll fell back with chasers
Morgan Schmitt (Hagens-Berman Cycling) and recently upgraded Elite Junior
Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory Team). "I just blew up," a disappointed Driscoll
said at the finish line. Unable to match Schmitt and Selander's aggression
in the closing laps, Driscoll settled for fourth on the day.
See the full report, results and photos here.
Elite junior men - Summerhill defends
Summerhill with the win.
Photo ©: Ed Collier
Danny Summerhill (TIAA-CREF/Clif Bar) successfully defended his Elite
Junior national championship jersey Saturday morning in Providence, Rhode
Island. After a strong first lap in the California Giant Berry Farms USA
Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships, only Ethan Gilmour (Coyote
Hill) was able to hold on to Summerhill's wheel. But the Boulder, Colorado
junior was able to drop even Gilmour and won the race after leading pole
In fact, the only threat to a Summerhill win was the rider's own mental
slip in the early going. "I had a pretty good bobble going in that first
lap," he said at the finish. Unable to clip out of a pedal while dismounting
for the first barrier, the rider went down. Summerhill says the bobble
unnerved him, reminding him of a late-race collision in the 2005 race
with now U23 rider Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory Team) that decided the
final outcome. So focused on gaining and holding the lead in the race,
Summerhill says he wasn't even aware of which rider was holding his wheel.
"I couldn't tell you (how I got away), I just remember looking back and
he wasn't there anymore."
See the full report, results and photos here.
Nys scores twice over 'relaxed' weekend
By Brecht Decaluwé
UCI-leader Sven Nys, in the middle of an intensive training week, including
nights in his high-altitude room, wasn't expecting to be 100% for the
races in Essen and Overijse. Indeed, the Belgian wasn't as dominant as
usual, but he managed to grab two important victories in the Gazet van
Antwerpen Trofee and the Vlaamse Druivenveldrit. Nys credited his wins
to a more conservative race approach. After the GvA race in Essen, he
said, "I rode defensively today as I didn't expect too much from this
weekend. I did want to be as strong as I could today, but that might have
turned out bad." Nys agreed his training gamble was worthwhile, saying
"it turned out great as I won the race, so I guess I made the right decisions."
The current leader in the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee, Bart Wellens, didn't
like Nys' tactics on Saturday; the Belgian was in sight all race long
but couldn't keep Nys from victory in Essen. "I went flat out all race
long but Nys was very passive. Then he surprised me with an attack and
took a hundred metres; it stayed a hundred metres..." said a disappointed
The Vlaamse Druivenveldrit is a major classic in the cyclo-cross world;
and even though the race is no longer included in a series like the World
Cup, Superprestige or GvA-trofee, it’s still a race all the big guns want
to win. Some big names were absent in Overijse, most due to illness; there
was no Richard Groenendaal at the start nor Fidea-riders Bart Wellens
and Klaas Vantornout.
Sven Nys added another big win on his already impressive list of seventeen
victories this season in Overijse. In contrary to his defensive racing
style in Essen,
Nys was already gone halfway through the race. Once gone, nobody got close
the UCI-leader again, although Nys suffered from some chain problems during
the last lap. “I knew my chain was damaged and realized I needed to climb
that hill with as little power as possible, eventually the chain was gone
halfway the climb,” Nys explained. A similar incident happened to Nys
earlier this season.
“For a moment I thought it was all over, but my luck was that I could
still use my bike in the descent. When I was in front on the top of the
hill I realized that I could still win the race,” Nys said. “I’m very
happy to win here with the same sensations from two years ago: dominating
in the sections where I needed to dominate, steering skillfully without
making errors on the descents, riding with slicks which allowed me to
maintain my speed on the climb and the road. Eventually my form allowed
me do everything that I wanted to do,” Nys explained.
How was he able to win in Overijse, netting two wins in a weekend where
he was expected to be off his top form? “That’s just the unpredictability
of such a weekend, sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes it doesn’t.
This year the ‘relaxed’ weekend wasn’t at all that bad,” Nys said smiling.
Johnson and Bessette top US rankings
The husband and wife team of Tim Johnson (Middleton, Mass./Cyclocrossworld.com)
and Canadian Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) ended the domestic cyclo-cross
season atop the overall standings of the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National
Racing Calendar. The 30-race calendar consisted of all 29 UCI-sanctioned
races in the US and concluded with the national championships in Providence
Johnson accumulated 790 points to win the elite men's division, while
Bessette collected 260 points to take the elite women's overall title.
Recently crowned national champions Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Katie Compton
(Spike) each finished second in their respective categories. East coasters
Matt White (Fiordifrutta) and Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella/Kona) of a calendar
that was heavily weighted on that side of the country to take third in
Men's Final Standings
1 Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld.com) 790 pts
2 Ryan Trebon (Kona) 610
3 Matt White (Fiordfrutta) 412
4 Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team) 359
5 Tristan Schouten (Trek/Volkswagon/Michelin) 300
6 Mark Mccormack (Clif Bar) 294
7 Todd Wells (Team GT) 281
8 Barry Wicks (Kona) 271
9 Michael Cody (Fiordfrutta) 230
10 Davide Frattini (Colavita Olive Oil/Sutter Home) 133
Women's Final Standings
1 Lyne Bessete (Cyclocrossworld.com) 260 pts
2 Katie Compton (Spike Professional/ Primus Moo) 248
3 Deidre Winfield (Velo-Bella/Kona) 209
4 Georgia Luna Gould (Women's MTB Team) 198
5 Maureen Bruno-Roy (Independent Fabrications) 159
6 Katerina Nash (Luna Women's MTB Team) 99
7 Kerry Barnholt (Tokyo Joes) 96
8 Mandy Lozano (Cheerwine) 87
9 Betsy Shogren (FORT-GPOA) 87
10 Amy Wallace (RGM Watches-Richard Sachs) 86
Global cyclo-cross roundup
Upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross races
- December 23: Wachtebeke, Wachtebeke (Bel) C2
- December 24: Int. Cyclo-cross Veghel-Eerde, Eerde (Veghel) (Ned) C2
- December 26: UCI World Cup, Hofstade (Bel) CDM
- December 26: G.P. Geba Sarl, Differdange (Lux) C2
- December 26: Int. Radquer Dagmersellen, Dagmersellen (Swi) C2
- December 27: Sylvester Cyclo-cross, Torhout (Bel) C2
- December 28: Azencross / Cross des as, Loenhout (Bel) C1
- December 29: Cyclo-cross Middelkerke, Middelkerke (Bel) C2
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