Cyclo-cross news & racing roundup for October 25
Edited by Paul Verkuylen
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Czech riders ready for World Cup on home soil
By Brecht Decaluwé
Zdenek Stybar of Fidea
Photo ©: Isosport
With Italy's Giro di Lombardia bringing the European road season to a
close, the cyclo-cross circus is ready to take centre stage this weekend
as the action moves from Flanders to the Czech Republic for the second
World Cup event in Tabor. Last Sunday heralded the season's first World
Cup in Kalmthout, Belgium and from now on the important 'crosses follow
one after another at a ferocious pace.
After a tremendous effort in Kalmthout, there's no doubt Fidea's Zdenek
Stybar will be the man to watch. The young Czech professional, a surprise
winner of last weekend's World Cup, expects to have significant boost
in motivation this weekend when racing at home.
"I lived in Kalmthout for two years so that's a special race for
me," said Stybar. "Racing in Tabor is very special too because
it's one of the few imes that the Czech people who follow me can actually
see me racing. There is also the national championships, but that is different.
Motivation is everything, so you can expect all the Czech riders near
the front on Saturday."
Given his current form Stybar is expected to be the best Czech rider
come Saturday, despite being cautious about his own chances. "For
now, I don't know [what] the course will be like," he said. "I
heard it is currently covered with snow but it should become warmer during
the week. Last year [Czech rider Radomír] Simunek won and that
was very nice for him, I hope to follow in his footsteps."
The 21 year-old Stybar is a two-time U23 world champion and this year
decided to move to Belgium and turn professional. "I decided to live
here all year long," he said. "In the past I stayed here with
[Petr] Dlask during the winter only, but you should be here in the summer
as well to find your way, to meet people. Right now I'm doing Dutch language
"I try," he laughed, when asked how his Dutch was progressing.
"It's fun, you're between people although I must admit that I'm skipping
lessons quite often these days, with the busy program we have."
Another motivation to become a flandrien is Flemish girlfriend
Ine. "We decided to live together, although we didn't have anything
to start with," he explained. "We just had the apartment in
Essen, near Kalmthout. It's good to be on our own, we can do what we want."
The 21 year-old doesn't have any problems with the responsibilities that
come with living away from home at a young age. "When I was 15 I
was already travelling on my own between the races, it isn't something
new for me."
Considering the manner of his victory last weekend, riding clear of the
field on lap two and not being seen again, Stybar is likely to be a marked
man in Tabor. "It was a fast course and that was to my advantage,"
admitted Stybar of the Kalmthout circuit. "Still, every race is different
and we will see what happens. Right now I'm good in fast races but I hope
to develop into a rider with more power so I can do well in the tougher
Fellow Czech Petr Dlask turned 31 on Saturday and is thus a full 10 years
older than his young compatriot. The five-time Czech champion has always
promised a great future in international cyclo-cross, but injuries have
plagued him throughout his career and it has been a while since Dlask
captured a major win. This year his build-up was hampered again by a knee
problem, but Dlask says things are progressing well. "My knee is
getting better all the time," said Dlask. "There's no more oil
between the bones and an injection should help me with that."
Last weekend in Kalmthout, Dlask didn't fare well, riding to an anonymous
27th place in the woods near Antwerp. Nevertheless the Czech giant is
expected to ride near the front in Tabor, especially given that the rider
has marked his home World Cup as a special event. "Next week is very
important for me. The Belgians are always riding in front of their home
crowds; we only have one big race," said Dlask, mindful that besides
the Tabor World Cup, there are no major UCI cross events in the Czech
Last year's winner Radomir Simunek Jr is another local boy whose dream
came true after winning his first World Cup race in front of friends in
Tabor. "It's at home, so that's why it is my favourite race,"
he said. Home isn't exactly the right word since Simunek grew up in Bergen,
near the Czech capital Prague, but nevertheless there's a connection with
Tabor for the 24 year-old who currently resides in Rotselaar, Belgium
during the cross season. "Before I turned pro I was riding for the
Tabor cycling team, so I know the course very well."
Compared to last year, the son of 1991 world champion Radomir Simunek
Sr isn't going as hard as he would like. "In September I crashed
in a criterium, I was out for a week and that's why my form isn't like
it should be," he explained. "Since my top form still has to
come the world championships are the big target of this season. I want
to do well in Treviso, that means I want to ride in the picture, hopefully
the result can be a medal."
Perennial World Cup favourite and current world number two Sven Nys (Rabobank)
was clearly strong in Kalmthout, but doesn't fancy his chances for Tabor.
"Just like Kalmthout it is extremely fast so you can't make any mistakes,"
said the Belgian. "If I'm right, there's not even a corner on that
course. Does it snow there? Well, I hope it stays like that because I
prefer snow instead of a hard and fast subsoil."
There are no junior, women, or Under 23 races in Tabor this weekend,
but Cyclingnews will provide full coverage from Saturday's action
in the men's race which kicks off at 2pm local time.
Trebon and Compton headline Boulder Cup weekend
Ryan Trebon leads world champion
Photo ©: cyclingnews
US national champions Ryan Trebon (Kona-YourKey) and Katie Compton (Spike
Shooter) will be among the main protagonists at the second annual Boulder
Cup weekend from November 3-4 in Boulder, Colorado, with both riders returning
from early season trips to the European 'cross circuit. The 2007 edition
has been extended to include an additional day of racing after the resounding
success of last year when thousands of spectators converged on Boulder
to see the best US riders first hand.
With Saturday's C2-ranked Redline Cup at the Boulder Reservoir followed
by the weekend's highlight, the category 1 Boulder Cup at Harlow Platts
Park on Sunday, valuable UCI points are at stake.
Other top contenders in the men's field include 1999 US champion Tim
Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), 2006 Boulder Cup winner Barry
Wicks (Kona-YourKey) and Predictor-Lotto road professional Chris Horner.
The women's event will feature Georgia Gould (Luna Chicks), US national
under 23 champion Amy Dombrowski (Velo Bella) and local rider Melissa
Thomas (Team Maxxis) all trying to challenge Compton after her impressive
second place at the opening UCI World Cup in Kalmthout.
Saturday's elite race kicks of at 1.25pm for women, followed by the men's
event at 2.15pm. On Sunday the elite women start at 1.30pm, followed by
the elite men at 2.30pm. For more information on both events visit: www.dbcevents.com
Stybar leads Nys in rankings
A Belgian is not leading the UCI standings in cyclo-cross, for the first
time in what seems like forever. After winning the first round of the
World Cup last weekend in Kalmthout, Zdenek Stybar has leap-froged the
Belgian Sven Nys to take over the lead in the UCI classification, albeit
by only three points. Third place in the rankings is held by Frenchman
Francis Mourey, who was also third in Kalmthout.
A consolation for Belgium is that Niels Albert is leading the Under 23
classification who has 60 points, 10 more than the Swiss rider, Julien
Taramarcaz with Slovenian, Robert Gavenda.
Rankings as at October 23
1 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 434 pts
2 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank Continental Team 431
3 Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux 270
4 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 255
5 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing Team 240
6 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob 226
7 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Cras 225
8 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 222
9 Barry Wicks (USA) Kona-YourKey 190
10 Jonathan Page (USA) Sunweb Projob 176
1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Cras 60 pts
2 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) 50
3 Robert Gavenda (Slo) 45
4 Jonathan Lopez (Fra) 40
5 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 35
6 Aurelien Duval (Fra) 30
7 Lukes Kloucek (Cze) 28
8 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) 26
9 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) 24
10 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) 22
UCI cyclo-cross complete
Belgian selection for Tabor and European Championships
After some confusion earlier in the week over the amount of riders it
was allowed to take to the World Cup round in the Czech Republic's Tabor,
Belgium's national coach Rudy De Bie has announced the nation's complete
line up for the event. The Belgians thought they were only allowed to
bring nine riders to the event after the Czech Republic's Zdenek Stybar
won the series' opening round, and took the lead in the UCI standings,
but were later told that they were allowed 10 as they won the individual
overall standing last season.
Following the first round of the World Cup on Sunday, De Bie calculated
that he could select nine riders for the second round in Tabor, as the
UCI was yet to release the updated points table. "If I tabulate the points
from the race yesterday, I come to the conclusion that Zdenek Stybar has
a few more points than Sven Nys," he told Sport.be. "Yesterday
10 riders were allowed to start, as the leader of the UCI ranking and
the World Champion are automatically allowed to start."
Prior to the first World Cup round, where Stybar took the cyclo-cross
points lead, Belgian Sven Nys (Rabobank) was leading the UCI rankings
while compatriot Erwin Vervecken (Fidea) is the current world champion,
allowing De Bie 10 entrants for Tabor. Since De Bie's decision to field
nine riders on Monday, the UCI announced that the winner of last year's
UCI World Cup was also an automatic start for all series' rounds in the
following year, which allowed the re-instatement of Rob Peters to the
line-up, meaning the team is unchanged since the last round.
De Bie also announced his selection for the up coming European championships
being held in Hittnau, Switzerland. The team will be spearheaded by Under
23 World Cup leader and last year's winner Niels Albert.
Albert has expressed his disappointment with his selection for the event,
as he originally decided that he would skip it in order to concentrate
on the Super Prestige series. "The letter from the BK (the Belgian federation)
was clear. No Euros means no selection for the Worlds," the Palmans rider
told Gazet van Antwerpen. "Do you know what that will cost me?
Because of my selection for the European champs I can't ride in Hamme-Zogge
and that means I won't be able to achieve a good overall result in the
super prestige series."
On November 4, De Bie will descend on the Swiss town with 19 riders,
eight juniors, three women and eight under 23 riders.
Belgian team for Tabor World Cup: Erwin Vervecken (Fidea), Sven
Nys (Rabobank), Bart Wellens (Fidea), Bart Aernouts (Rabobank), Klaas
Vantornout (Fidea), Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb Pro Job), Kevin Pauwels
(Fidea), Dieter Vanthourenhout (Easypay), Jan Verstraeten (Sunweb Pro
Job), Rob Peeters (Landbouwkrediet - Tonissteiner)
Belgian squad for European championships:
Juniors: Stef Boden, Ruben Veestraeten, Wietse Bosmans, Vinnie
Braet, Matthias Bossuyt, Gerry Druyts, Sven Beelen, Dany Lacroix
Under 23: Niels Albert, Tom Meeusen, Maxim De Busschere, Wim Leemans,
Vincent Baestaens, Kenneth Van Compernolle, Stijn Huys, Quentin Bertholet
Women: Sanne Cant, Veerle Ingels, Katrien Pauwels
Dutch and Czech selections for Tabor
Dutch champion Lars Boom lines
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
The Netherlands and the Czech Republic have also announced their squads
for this Saturday's World Cup in Tabor, with the Czech Republic allowed
to have one extra starter for their home event due to Stybars first round
win and subsequent lead in the competition.
After Richard Groenendaal once again delivered the best result for the
Dutch squad in Kalmthout (ninth), national coach Johan Lammerts opted
to send an experienced team of riders to Tabor. Lammerts is hoping their
experience and knowledge will see the riders finish higher than last week
when four riders, Thijs Al, Gerben De Knegt, Lars Boom and Wilant Van
Gils, finished together in 16th-19th places. Notably missing from the
start sheet this weekend is the American squad.
The Dutch and Czech squads for the Tabor World Cup are:
The Netherlands: Gerben De Knegt, Thijs Al, Richard Groenendaal,
Maarten Nijland, Lars Boom, Wilant Van Gils, Camiel Van Den Bergh, Jean-Pierre
Czech Republic: Petr Dlask, Kamil Ausbuher, Zdenek Stybar, Radomir
Simunek, Zdenek Mlynar, Lukas Kloucek, Ondrej Bambula, Vladimir Kyzivat
Safety Jogger announced as World Cup sponsor
The UCI announced this week that Belgian safety and outdoor shoe manufacturer
Safety Jogger will be the new presenting sponsor of the UCI Cyclo-cross
World Cup. The new agreement between the UCI and Safety Jogger will cover
the next Cyclo-cross World Cup season.
"We are very happy to have Safety Jogger on board as presenting sponsor
for the upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup season. This will bring additional
support to cyclo-cross, a sport with a magnificent history, and will help
develop cyclo-cross outside the countries, where it has been traditionally
popular" said UCI President Pat McQuaid.
The first leg of the 2007-2008 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, was be held
in Belgium in October. The Netherlands will host the ninth and final leg
of the 2007-2008 season in January.
US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross kicks off this weekend
With a world class field of athletes scheduled to race and rain falling
in Louisville this week, the excitement could not be greater for the first
weekend of the US Gran Prix of cyclo-cross presented by Crank Brothers
- Papa John's Derby City Cup presented by Toyota. "We have been completely
blown away by the tremendous support and excitement shown by Papa John's,
the local cycling community and the Greater Louisville Sports Commission
in kicking-off the USGP series in Kentucky," said Bruce Fina, Executive
Director, US Gran Prix of cyclo-cross. "We can't wait to bring some
of the cyclo-cross athletes in the world to Louisville this weekend."
With rain interspersed throughout the week, spectators and athletes alike
should anticipate a soft and muddy course which will definitely favor
the more technical riders and should make for an exiting & spectator-friendly
weekend of 'cross action.
The Elite men's races will feature two-time and defending USGP champion
Ryan Trebon returning from a recent European swing to defend his title.
Also lining up will be former USGP champ Barry Wicks - currently the top
ranked US rider in the latest UCI ranking (ninth), Jeremy Powers, Jesse
Anthony, Troy Wells and Tim Johnson. Joachim Parbo, the reigning Danish
National Champion, will also race this weekend in Louisville.
In the Elite Women's field, the USGP will feature number one UCI ranked
rider in the world and reigning world championship silver medalist Katie
Compton who has been riding well in the early part of the season. Defending
USGP champion Lynne Bessette will be back to defend her title in a strong
women's field which also includes perennial contenders Kerry Barnholt,
newly crowned Canadian Champ Wendy Simms, Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash.
The weekend kicks off with the Friday afternoon Clif Bar Kids' Cross
Clinic with world championship silver medalist Danny Summerhill, Team
Clif Bar's Ben Turner and USGP Technical Director Geoff Proctor at the
Race Venue - registration is free and limited to the first 30 kids ages
10-16 on BikeReg.com.
For more information on the USGP, visit www.usgpcyclocross.com.
Upcoming UCI Cyclo-cross races
- October 27: Coupe du Monde UCI / UCI World Cup, Tabor (Cze) CDM
- October 27: USGP of Cyclocross - Louisville, Louisville (USA) C2
- October 28: G.P. Commune Niederanven et GP Comat, Contern (Lux) C2
- October 28: Herdenkingscross Etienne Bleukx, Zonhoven (Bel) C2
- October 28: Intern. Radquer Steinmaur, Steinmaur (Swi) C2
- October 28: National Trophy Series 2, Chantry Park, Ipswich (GBr)
- October 28: Sint-Michielsgestel, Sint-Michielsgestel (Ned) NE
- October 28: USGP of Cyclocross - Louisville, Louisville (USA) C2
- November 1: Cyclo-cross international de Marle, Marle (Fra) C2
- November 1: Internationales Radcross, Magstadt (Ger) C2
- November 1: Koppenbergcross, Oudenaarde (Bel) C1
- November 3: Chainbiter 9.0, Farmington (USA) C2
- November 3: Vlaamse Houtlandcross, Eernegem (Bel) C2
- November 3: Redline North American Cross, Colorado (USA) C2
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