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 UCI codes explained

Cyclo-cross news & racing roundup for November 6

Edited by Les Clarke

Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in cyclo-cross. Feel free to send feedback, news and releases to mtb@cyclingnews.com.

Cyclo-cross UCI and World Cup rankings demystified

By Peter Hymas

Niels Albert (Palmans-Cras) leads the World Cup
Photo ©: Photopress.be
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The UCI ceased its experiment of a unified, solitary UCI points classification governing start order for the 2008-2009 cyclo-cross season in favor of the previous system in which the World Cup events have their own separate classification determining a rider's position on the start line.

For the 2008-2009 season start order in World Cup events is granted according to World Cup points ranking first, then by overall UCI ranking once all of the ranked World Cup riders have been lined up. For all other UCI sanctioned events outside of the World Cup, overall UCI points accumulation determines the starting order.

"This separate points system gives the World Cup value, you have to support the whole series", said Adam Myerson, professional cyclist, UCI Cyclo-cross Commissioner and AIOC-Cross member to Cyclingnews. "In the second round of the World Cup at Tabor I lined up on the back row since I failed to score any points in the first World Cup at Kalmthout. Enrico Franzoi and Sven Vanthourenhout skipped the first round and lined up at Tabor besides me in the back row, too, since they didn’t have any World Cup points either."

World Cups still award valuable UCI points to a rider's overall points total in addition to a separate classification of World Cup-specific points. Under the prior unified UCI points system, start order was determined by a rider's overall UCI points total, even in World Cup events.

UCI points still factor into World Cup events independent of start order involving this season’s contentious topic of start money. At World Cups there are no negotiation between riders and promoters involving start money, it's the same amount at every World Cup and the payout is determined by UCI points ranking.

Another change for the 2008-2009 cyclo-cross season is sartorial in nature. The overall UCI points leader no longer wears any jersey denoting leadership in that classification (in previous seasons the UCI points leader wore a solid blue jersey) while the World Cup leader is now entitled to wear a solid white leader's jersey but only for World Cup events.

Myerson's schedule in Europe during those World Cups was perhaps more hectic than other riders since he has responsibilities as a cyclo-cross promoter and UCI commissioner to juggle alongside his obligations as a professional cyclist. In addition to competing in two World Cup events, Myerson attended the semi-annual AICO-Cross meeting held near the Kalmthout venue the day prior to the opening World Cup event and the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission meeting in Prague the day after the Tabor World Cup.

One of the topics of conversation at the AIOC-Cross meeting involved promoters' reactions to the UCI and World Cup points series in effect for the current season. AIOC-Cross is a private organization open to all cyclo-cross promoters and primarily acts as an advocacy group. Myerson is the only American on the management committee and is usually the only American who regularly attends the semi-annual meetings.

Myerson is also the only American on the five-member UCI Cyclo-cross Commission whose responsibility involves the world-wide management of Cyclo-cross primarily via the establishment of the UCI rules governing the sport and the World Cup schedule.

North American 'cross battles continue in Boulder

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Boulder, Colorado

Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) had a hard fight
Photo ©: Jon Devich
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This past weekend's North American Cyclo-cross Trophy races in Boulder, Colorado, the third of the four weekend series, further solidified the contenders for the overall series titles - and the $7,000 that is on the line for the top three finishers. On the men's side, Ryan Trebon (Kona) still holds a narrow 10-point lead over Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld-Cannondale), while in the women's race Georgia Gould (Luna) closed the distance to series leader Amy Dombrowski (Velo Bella-Kona) with back-to-back wins.

Trebon suffered through the weekend with a nasty cold, limiting Johnson's gains by beating him by one place on Saturday and finishing third to him on Sunday. For Johnson, the overall prize was more of a second thought until he realized recently that there is actual cash money involved. "I would love to get it, especially now that I found out about the overall prize list!" he told Cyclingnews.

Dombrowski still holds a commanding lead, and had to suffer in similar fashion to Trebon while still recovering from an illness. "My goal going in was to stay on Georgia or Rachel because they are riding really fast," she said. "I did that... for about 500 metres and then I was blown! But I was sick a few weeks ago so there are still some residual effects."

The other series in North America, the US Grand Prix of Cyclo-cross, had its first weekend last week in Louisville - with the overall title still close and up for grabs. The second of the three USGP events is two weeks away in New Jersey, followed by the last NACT race in Southampton. While there is a weekend of UCI racing this weekend near Toronto, many racers are taking the weekend off from travel to rest and train - or merely get healthy again

Albert continues winning ways

Albert already scored season win number five
Photo ©: Isosport
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Belgian sensation Niels Albert continued his hot streak in Eerde-Veghel, The Netherlands, with a win in the second race of the Superprestige Series on Sunday. After finishing third in the previous day's Koppenbergcross, Albert soloed into the finish to record another solid win following his triumph in the second round of the world cup in Tabor, Czech Republic, on October 26.

Albert beat world champion Lars Boom and winner of the Koppenbergcross event, Sven Nys, who complained of a sore back and a dislocated finger suffered during his win in Oudenaarde. "I knew I had to make the gap early on in the race as many riders would need some laps to get going after the hard race on the Koppenberg yesterday," said Albert. "Today I was feeling good and I know that with the right form I'm able to ride constantly at a fast speed; today that proved to be enough for the victory."

Albert's victory moved him into the overall classification in the Superprestige Series, tied on points with Nys. "Nys was my age when he won the Superprestige Series for the first time and my goal is to repeat that feat," said Albert after his latest win.

For full coverage from Eerde-Veghel, click here.

Nys remains emperor of the Koppenberg

By Brecht Decaluwé in Oudenaarde, Belgium

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner)
Photo ©: Isosport
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Belgian champion Sven Nys, 32, once again dominated the Koppenbergcross. It was his fifth win in a row on the famed Koppenberg and this time, he did it in extremely foul weather conditions. World Champion Lars Boom finished a close second.

"This is real 'cross, once in a while it's fun to ride a race like this. Afterwards it's not as fun when you start to feel the pain and the coldness, but during the race you're just thinking about making it to the finish line," Nys said.

Nys had to accept the presence of Boom for most of the race. The two riders entered the final lap of the Koppenbergcross only to have their duel decided on the last part of the climb. Nys powered away from his younger rival. Though both riders crashed on the slippery descent of the Koppenberg, Nys kept his gap to capture the win and first race of the GvA-trophy.

"I felt I was the best rider today. I had already noticed that I distanced Boom a couple of metres when jumping back on the bike when I wasn't even trying," Nys said. "So when I accelerated in the last lap I wasn't surprised that Boom got distanced. It feels good to win against the world champion in a direct duel," Nys said.

For full coverage of the Koppenbergcross, click here.

Kupfernagel crowned in France

Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) wins
Photo ©: Fabrice Lambert
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Current cyclo-cross world champion Hanka Kupfernagel added another title to her palmares when she was crowned women's European champion in Lievin, France, last Sunday. Pitted against the likes of Czech rider Katerina Nash and in-form French rider Maryline Salvetat, Kupfernagel took a comfortable three-second win to cement her place at the top of the tree in women's cyclo-cross.

In the espoirs championship race, Germany's Philip Walsleben took the win by almost a minute ahead of local rider Aurélien Duval and Belgium's Kenneth Van Compernolle. It was a dominant performance from Germany's best U23 rider and added another to the country's tally for the day. With current world cup protagonist Niels Albert and world champion Lars Boom former winners of the espoirs category at these championships, those who take the U23 crown are riders to watch in the future.

It was a slightly closer affair in the junior men's race, with Dutch duo Tijmen Eising and Lars Van Der Haar battling it out for the win ahead of Belgian rider Sean De Bie. Eising held on to win by 11 seconds as orange jerseys filled the top two steps of the podium.

For full results from Lieven, click here.

Stars head to Toronto International 'Cross

The Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale duo of Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers will headline the UCI C1 Toronto International Cyclocross races at Centennial Park, Toronto, Ontario on November 8 and 9.

Johnson will be making his return to the Canadian cyclo-cross scene, where he last won in 2005. In the meantime, cyclo-cross has grown immensely in the province. Ontario now hosts two of the largest cyclo-cross race series in Canada with a combined total of 27 races from September to the end of November. The crown jewel is the Toronto International Cyclo-Cross at Centennial Park.

Johnson’s teammate Jeremy Powers may prove to be his biggest competition in the two UCI C1 events in Toronto. Powers, the leader in USA Cycling’s cyclo-cross standings, has regularly appeared on the podium this season. Up to the challenge are local favorites including the 2007 Canadian national champion Mike Garrigan (la Bicicletta/Jet Power), Derrick St John (Steven’s Cross) and last year’s Toronto International winner and Southern Ontario Cyclocross series leader Andrew Watson (Norco Evolution team).

A host of highly-ranked North American and international riders will be on hand to challenge for their share of the weekend’s $21,000 in cash. The women’s field is still wide open with last year’s winner and current national champion Wendy Simms (Kona) away racing in Europe. Last year’s silver medallist Natasha Elliott (Steven’s Cross) from Ottawa, Ontario, may be the class of the field, but with registration open until the end of the week, Elliott may still have her work cut out for her.

North American 'Cross Briefs

This weekend's BikeReg.com MABRAcross Series goes downtown for some industrial strength cyclo-cross in Charlottesville Virginia; unlike many cyclo-cross races that are held in remote areas or on the outskirts of town, the third annual 'Urban Cross at IX' will be held in the middle of Charlottesville. For more information on the Urban Cross at IX, see BikeReg.com

The MAC Powered by SRAM Cyclo-cross Series makes its annual swing through the state of New Jersey this weekend, November 8 and 9. The two races will encompass two distinct areas of "the Garden State". The weekend starts with one of the iconic course features of American cyclo-cross racing, the "Amphitheater of Pain", at the Beacon Cyclo-cross in the South Jersey town of Bridgeton. Then the series moves north along New Jersey's famed turnpike to Jamesburg for the 10th annual HPCX. More information and pre-registration for both races is available on BikeReg.com

The SAVE FERRIS cyclo-cross race will be coming to Northbrook November 9, 2008 at Wood Oaks Green Park as part of the Chicago Cyclo-cross Cup series. Riders from around IL and WI will line up for a full day of racing in 10 categories. Learn more about the Chicago Cyclo-cross Cup and the other races in the area at www.chicrosscup.com.

Recent UCI race results

Upcoming UCI races

  • November 8: Centennial Park Cross, Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario (Can) C1 ME/WE
  • November 8: Vlaamse Houtlandcross, Eernegem (Bel) C2 ME
  • November 9: Centennial Park Cross, Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario (Can) C1 ME/WE
  • November 9: Internationales Radquer Frenkendorf, Frenkendorf (Swi) C2 ME
  • November 9: Dam Cross, Los Angeles (USA) C2 ME/WE
  • November 9: Coupe du Monde UCI / UCI World Cup, Pijnacker (Ned) CDM ME/MU/MJ/WE
  • November 9: HPCX, New Jersey (USA) NE

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