VeloNews.com » Cyclocross http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:57:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 No more Meaux: Mo Bruno Roy retires from pro cyclocross http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/no-more-meaux-mo-bruno-roy-retires-from-pro-cyclocross_364256 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/no-more-meaux-mo-bruno-roy-retires-from-pro-cyclocross_364256#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:27:14 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=364256

Mo Bruno Roy and Matt Roy were all smiles after Mo locked up another single-speed championship in Austin at nationals. Photo: Wil Matthews | www. wilmatthewsphoto.com

Mo Bruno Roy is bowing out of elite-level cyclocross after 12 years, hundreds of races, and two appearances at worlds on the U.S. team

The post No more Meaux: Mo Bruno Roy retires from pro cyclocross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Mo Bruno Roy and Matt Roy were all smiles after Mo locked up another single-speed championship in Austin at nationals. Photo: Wil Matthews | www. wilmatthewsphoto.com

A pair of distinctive, Pippi-like braids poke out from beneath a flipped-up cycling cap, announcing Mo Bruno Roy’s presence at the front of yet another elite cyclocross race. Fans urge the cyclocrosser through New England’s autumn mud. “Geaux Meaux,” they yell, cowbells in hand, waving signs with the same catchphrase.

Next year, there will be no more Meaux — Bruno Roy’s nickname — in elite American cyclocross. No more “Geaux Meaux” signs, no more Pippi braids on UCI podiums. The New England native announced her retirement last week, ending a 12-year career as a professional cyclocross racer.

“It’s been a few years coming,” she told VeloNews of her retirement. “I feel positive about it. I don’t feel sadness about not being able to do it.”

Bruno Roy’s career spanned 301 races, 106 podiums, five national titles, and two world championship appearances, each stop peppered by those “Geaux Meaux” signs and cheers, lining course tape from her native New England to the muddy slopes of Namur, Belgium. Along with her husband, manager, mechanic, and “partner in all things,” Matt Roy, she established a loyal following at home and elsewhere, celebrated for an endlessly positive outlook, humble interaction with fans, and undeniable work ethic — through it all, she was working full-time or near full-time as a muscular therapist.

Her path through the sport was somewhat unconventional. Bruno Roy entered the sport late, toeing her first elite start line at age 28, following a track-and-field career at UMass Dartmouth, where she still holds the outdoor 400 meter hurdles record. She’s mostly ridden without the support of a major team, fostering individual sponsorships with SRAM and Mavic, and later, Seven Cycles and Bob’s Red Mill. She built racing programs and sponsorships around her own strengths and goals with the help of Roy.

Bruno Roy still can’t quite believe the last 12 years. Incredulity, she said, is the overriding emotion as she steps away from top-level racing.

“I can’t believe I got to do all this. This person got to be a world championship bike racer? It seems a little absurd to me,” she said. “People care about what I did?”

They do, of course.

The former runner quickly announced her presence at the top of American cyclocross 10 years ago, when she placed third at U.S. nationals in Providence, Rhode Island in her second full season of racing. That race is still the highlight of her entire career, she said.

“It was a shock,” she said of the race and result. “It was my second real season. I had some sponsorship, I was doing pretty well, and all of a sudden I got third and got sent to worlds. Just the podium presentation at nationals was amazing, everyone I knew, all my friends. They were screaming so loud that they couldn’t announce first and second. I could never replicate that experience.”

Retirement was a few years in the making, a gradual slowdown following a big, ultimately unsuccessful, push to make the U.S. team in 2013 for world championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I was certainly seeing the limits of my physicality, but also my emotional attachment to racing and training year-round,” she said of that season.

The 2014/2015 season was, unbeknownst to fans and competitors, something of a goodbye tour.

“I made a conscious decision at each race to make note: Would I miss this? I wanted to be present with the decision I was making,” she said. “I exceeded my [career] expectations tenfold. Doing the same race you’ve done 22 times, you’re not going to wish you could do it again. It was nice to say a private goodbye to each race, and be ready to approach it as a spectator.”

Bruno Roy won’t hang up the bike completely. Her Seven Cycles singlespeed will likely see a bit of mud at local races next year. But UCI racing, she insisted, is no longer in the cards.

“It’s so easy to get to just throw one more [UCI race]. ‘I’ll just do one more, I’ll see how I feel.’ But I really think for the physical and mental preparation of a professional-level cyclocross season … to take the weight off early, I think I can really enjoy what’s ahead for the summer and for the fall next year,” she said.

“If Matt and I say, ‘Let’s grab the bikes and to Vermont,’ we can do that without ruining a training plan,” she said. “That’s what I’m really looking forward to.”

The post No more Meaux: Mo Bruno Roy retires from pro cyclocross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/no-more-meaux-mo-bruno-roy-retires-from-pro-cyclocross_364256/feed 0
In the News: Wellens retires from professional cyclocross racing http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/news-wellens-retires-professional-cyclocross-racing_362072 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/news-wellens-retires-professional-cyclocross-racing_362072#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:51:14 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=362072

Bart Wellens announced his retirement from professional cyclocross on Tuesday. Photo: TDWSport.com (File).

Two-time world cyclocross champion Bart Wellens ends his 15-year career after a season of disappointing results and back pain

The post In the News: Wellens retires from professional cyclocross racing appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Bart Wellens announced his retirement from professional cyclocross on Tuesday. Photo: TDWSport.com (File).

Sporza reports that two-time world cyclocross champion Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) announced his retirement on Tuesday. He told Sporza that he made the decision after an underwhelming 2014-15 season that was hampered by back pain.

Wellens is also implicated in the ongoing investigation into Belgian doctor Chris Mertens, who is accused of providing ozone therapy to top athletes.

The 34-year-old Belgian won the rainbow jersey in 2003 at Monopoli, Italy and a year later in Pont-Château, France. He also won the cyclocross World Cup in 2003 and the Superprestige series in 2004.

Read more >>

The post In the News: Wellens retires from professional cyclocross racing appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/03/news/news-wellens-retires-professional-cyclocross-racing_362072/feed 0
In the News: Vaminolact infusions discovered in Meeusen’s camper http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-vaminolact-infusions-discovered-meeusens-camper_361807 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-vaminolact-infusions-discovered-meeusens-camper_361807#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:47:30 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361807

In addition to his suspicious links to Dr. Chris Mertens, Tom Meeusen is now accused of taking infusions of infant medication. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com (File).

Cyclocross pro Tom Meeusen is suspected of taking infusions of infant medication, which could land him a two-year ban if confirmed

The post In the News: Vaminolact infusions discovered in Meeusen’s camper appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

In addition to his suspicious links to Dr. Chris Mertens, Tom Meeusen is now accused of taking infusions of infant medication. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com (File).

Het Nieuwsblad reports that Belgian cyclocross star Tom Meeusen is suspected of taking injections of Vaminolact, an infant medication. According to reports, doping investigators found the infusion materiel in his camper.

Like fellow countryman Laurens Sweeck, Meeusen would face a two-year ban if the allegations are confirmed. Although Vaminolact is not a banned substance, injections are. On Thursday, Meeusen’s lawyer, Stijn Debaene, denied that his client had taken infusions. Meeusen is also linked to Dr. Chris Mertens, who is being investigated in Belgium for allegedly providing ozone therapy to top athletes.

Read more >>

The post In the News: Vaminolact infusions discovered in Meeusen’s camper appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-vaminolact-infusions-discovered-meeusens-camper_361807/feed 0
In the News: Sweeck may face two-year suspension http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-sweeck-may-face-two-year-suspension_361640 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-sweeck-may-face-two-year-suspension_361640#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:12:14 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361640

Laurens Sweeck won the under-23 World Cup in Zolder. He went on to win U-23 nationals and place second at world championships. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com (File).

Laurens Sweeck, the Belgian under-23 national cyclocross champion, is accused of injecting baby medicine to improve recovery

The post In the News: Sweeck may face two-year suspension appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Laurens Sweeck won the under-23 World Cup in Zolder. He went on to win U-23 nationals and place second at world championships. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com (File).

Het Nieuwsblad reports that Laurens Sweeck, the reigning Belgian under-23 national cyclocross champion, may be suspended for two years following revelations that he purchased five doses of Vaminolact, a medicine for infants that contains amino acids.

The controversy surrounding Sweeck, who finished second at U-23 worlds in Tabor in February, is rooted in how the medicine is administered. Although Vaminolact is not a prohibited substance, Sweeck would run afoul of Belgian anti-doping rules if he had injected the medicine. He claims he only took it orally.

Sweeck has also been linked to Dr. Chris Mertens, who is currently under investigation in Belgium for allegedly administering ozone therapy to top athletes.

Read more >>

The post In the News: Sweeck may face two-year suspension appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-sweeck-may-face-two-year-suspension_361640/feed 0
Gallery: Santa Cruz Stigmata CC cyclocross bike http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/gallery-santa-cruz-stigmata-cc-cyclocross-bike_361001 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/gallery-santa-cruz-stigmata-cc-cyclocross-bike_361001#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 08:01:28 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=361001

The Stigmata CC is a new, carbon fiber, disc brake-equipped, incarnation of Santa Cruz's 'cross bike, which was on hiatus for three years.

The post Gallery: Santa Cruz Stigmata CC cyclocross bike appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The post Gallery: Santa Cruz Stigmata CC cyclocross bike appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/gallery-santa-cruz-stigmata-cc-cyclocross-bike_361001/feed 0
Santa Cruz re-launches Stigmata ’cross bike http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/santa-cruz-re-launches-stigmata-cross-bike_360828 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/santa-cruz-re-launches-stigmata-cross-bike_360828#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 08:01:23 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=360828

The Santa Cruz Stigmata CC takes the name of the old aluminum bike, and brings it to a modern race machine. Front and rear thru-axles are a welcome feature, though unfortunately Santa Cruz snubbed its standard threaded bottom brackets and went PressFit. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

Prominent California mountain bike brand has a redesigned carbon frame to appeal to 'cross purists with front and rear thru-axles and more

The post Santa Cruz re-launches Stigmata ’cross bike appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The Santa Cruz Stigmata CC takes the name of the old aluminum bike, and brings it to a modern race machine. Front and rear thru-axles are a welcome feature, though unfortunately Santa Cruz snubbed its standard threaded bottom brackets and went PressFit. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com

“What’s old is new again” is not a cliché that applies to the Santa Cruz Stigmata CC. Well, except for its name.

“Naming bikes is a process. Seriously, it takes months of circular emails being sent. It’s so much easier to name a new bike after an old one,” said Santa Cruz’s COO, Joe Graney.

The new Santa Cruz Stigmata CC, is a rekindled name for the California brand, and it’s in the same genre of bikes, though when the Stigmata cyclocross bike was cut from the Santa Cruz line-up in 2012, it had Easton EA6X aluminum tubes, handmade in Portland, Oregon, and was only available with cantilever brakes. It was on the verge of being an obsolete bike, with carbon ’cross bikes becoming commonplace, and the debate over discs reaching a head.

Photo gallery >>

“A no-holds-barred race machine”

Too often, a manufacturer will bring a new bike to market — especially in cyclocross — that blurs the lines of too many disciplines. The term “gravel grinder,” nauseatingly, comes to mind. Rack mounts, in-betweener bottom brackets, dropper posts, all these “features” take what could have been a cyclocross bike and turn it into something different. Something slower, in regards to pure cyclocross performance.

“No fender mounts. No rack mounts. It’s meant to be a no-holds-barred race bike,” said Josh Kissner, the Santa Cruz product manager.

The Stigmata CC will only be available in Santa Cruz’s top-of-the-line CC carbon. In the eyes of some, quite the upgrade from the aluminum model of four seasons ago, though the “made in the USA” tag that the previous Stigmata sported, is lost with the switch. “The goal was to make a high-end race bike. We do dip down a bit, offering a SRAM Rival build kit,” said Kissner.

The geometry is loosely based on the old aluminum Stigmata. Though the angles are a bit slacker and the chain stays are shorter than the old Stigmata, but overall, the Stigmata CC is on par with other mainstream cyclocross race bikes. The head tube angle is 72.5 degrees, which isn’t overly aggressive, like some 73-degree head tubes on the market, but it still feels agile. The geometry feels like a race bike, not a stretched-out adventure bike.

Santa Cruz claims that the Stigmata CC can accommodate up to 41mm tire, though we were unable to test that, the Stigmata looked to have plenty of tire clearance. We welcome the wider tires for training, of course, but for racing too. For those riders not toeing the line in a UCI event, the extra traction is likely to be just as beneficial as a narrower tread’s lower rolling resistance.

Stigmata builds

Santa Cruz went with completely internal cable routing, including the fork, which they designed. “When you’ve built frames, building forks is pretty straightforward,” said Graney.

To keep things quiet inside of the frame, Santa Cruz engineered a carbon sheath inside the down tube, to keep the hydraulic brake hose from slapping against the large, hollow carbon tube. The brake line sheath runs into the chain stay and out the exit port, near the caliper. So all a mechanic needs to do when changing brake lines is feed the line into the port on the left of the head tube, and it will exit at the brake caliper.

Santa Cruz sought to make the shift cables easy to maintain as well. There is an exceptionally large hole at the bottom bracket for them to exit, and the cable guide and cover are simple to install.

SRAM hydraulic brakes and drivetrains are used on all three of the complete bikes. The SRAM Red 22 model will retail for $6,600; Force CX1 will be $4,700; the Rival 22 model runs $3,700. Every model will be spec’d with Zipp Service Course SL bars, stem, and seatpost, and WTB Asym i19 rims, though each model will be laced to a different level of DT Swiss hub. For an extra $2,000 buyers can order a set of Enve M50 tubeless rims laced to DT Swiss 240 hubs. Frames will retail for $2,300.

Santa Cruz went with thru-axles front and rear, which we have to applaud, and choosing a proven thru-axle design like the RockShox MaxleLite only sweetens the deal.

Also a first for Santa Cruz, the Stigmata uses a Pressfit30 bottom bracket. The California brand has long been a proponent of the threaded bottom bracket, a feature we at VeloNews are fans of as well.

Kissner explained that with mountain bikes, thicker carbon is used at the bottom bracket in part to reinforce the frame as the bottom bracket junction on the down tube is prone to rock-strikes, and this also stiffens up the bottom bracket. On a cyclocross bike, the extra protection isn’t needed, so the Stigmata uses a thin carbon bottom bracket shell that is stiffened thanks to its sheer size and the BB30 spindle.

The Stigmata CC was set to be available in stores now, but due to port strikes, it will be delayed. We have to tip our hat to Santa Cruz for its effort to make the bike available well in advance of the race season.

However, we wish it were arriving with a threaded bottom bracket.

First ride

I only spent two short rides on the Stigmata CC, neither of which was on a proper cyclocross course, but the quality trails showed how the Stigmata performed over rough terrain. The Stigmata’s two water bottle bosses might be its only feature that isn’t reminiscent of a true ‘cross race bike, though we do welcome them, as rides like this are part of the fun of owning a cyclocross bike — it can be used for more than just racing.

The Stigmata’s compliance was noticeable, especially since I rode it with about 50 PSI in the tubeless Maxxis Mudwrestlers. I rode the Stigmata over abandoned mining railways outside Westport, New Zealand. A ride that would normally wear down on my lower back, but the Stigmata absorbed the large bumps better than I anticipated, even at speed when seated and pedaling.

The tube shapes are extremely square. For shouldering and suit-casing, it’s a nice touch, as the top tube rests on the shoulder comfortably but isn’t too big, so people with smaller hands will have no problem wrapping their fingers around it for a firm grip when suit-casing. The squareness on the underside of the down tube, will likely collect mud, however, as the large, flat area behind the front wheel is a good target for slop flying off the front tire. It’s a design that is not unique to Santa Cruz, as the large square tube shapes are supposed to be stiffer.

I look forward to testing the Stigmata CC at length this summer and fall. How much longer until CrossVegas?

Editor’s note: Santa Cruz Bicycles provided travel and accommodations for this product launch.

The post Santa Cruz re-launches Stigmata ’cross bike appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/santa-cruz-re-launches-stigmata-cross-bike_360828/feed 0
Gallery: 2015 Superprestige-Middelkerke http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/gallery-2015-superprestige-middelkerke_360873 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/gallery-2015-superprestige-middelkerke_360873#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 22:26:40 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=360873

Kevin Pauwels drives through the sand en route to winning the Superprestige finale. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Photos from the final round of the 2014-15 Superprestige series in Middelkerke

The post Gallery: 2015 Superprestige-Middelkerke appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Kevin Pauwels drives through the sand en route to winning the Superprestige finale. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The post Gallery: 2015 Superprestige-Middelkerke appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/gallery-2015-superprestige-middelkerke_360873/feed 0
Mathieu van der Poel clinches Superprestige; Kevin Pauwels takes finale http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-clinches-superprestige-kevin-pauwels-takes-finale_360848 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-clinches-superprestige-kevin-pauwels-takes-finale_360848#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 17:18:48 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=360848

The final Superprestige podium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Kevin Pauwels wins the final round of the Superprestige, but Mathieu van der Poel takes second to clinch the series title

The post Mathieu van der Poel clinches Superprestige; Kevin Pauwels takes finale appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The final Superprestige podium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) saved his best for last on Saturday, winning the Noordzeecross at Middelkerke.

But his best wasn’t good enough to take the Superprestige series title from world champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus), who finished second on the day to clinch the overall by one point over Pauwels.

After a daylong battle with a powerful lead group Pauwels laid down a powerful acceleration going into the bell lap to leave the rainbow jersey and Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) in his dust.

Series leader van der Poel, who led Pauwels by just two points coming into the finale, chased hard, but couldn’t close the gap, and the Sunweb man hit the finishing straight alone, soloing to his third victory in the eight-race series. But the Dutch rider hung on for second, assuring his overall victory, with Van Aert third.

Va-va-Van Aert

Van Aert led them off the line but Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) quickly took over, leading Van Aert and van der Poel, trailed by Pauwels and Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin), who was sitting third on the overall, five points down on the leader.

Van Aert took over again, only to see Meeusen bunny-hop the barriers and onto the front once again. He took a slight advantage into lap two.

The pace forged a lead group containing Meeusen, van der Poel, Van Aert, van der Haar and Pauwels. And soon it was the world champion on point, driving through a long sandy section. Van der Haar locked onto his wheel, with Pauwels third, and Van Aert and Meeusen bringing up the rear.

Van der Poel got a gap when van der Haar struggled with a short drop into a sand pit, in turn slowing the others. Van der Haar led Pauwels in pursuit, but Van Aert and Meeusen were distanced.

With seven to go van der Poel led the Pauwels-van der Haar chase by six seconds, with Van Aert and Meeusen fighting to get back on terms.

Sailing through the sand

Going through the sand van der Haar rocketed away from Pauwels, up to van der Poel and onto the front. Pauwels followed suit, but gradually.

Van der Haar accelerated again and into the lead. But again the drop into the sand pit gave him trouble and the others caught back on. Van Aert and Meeusen were closing in, too.

As they hit six to go the group was back together — and then Meeusen attacked on the paved finishing straight. Van Aert led the chase this time, and they retrieved him early in the lap.

Meeusen kept the pressure on, though, and Pauwels was either having trouble matching his pace or saving his matches; in any case, he slipped to the rear of the group.

Again the Telenet rider took advantage of his barrier-hopping skills, opening a gap over the boards, extending it with a wheelie through a short ditch leading to the pavement, and leading the way into five to go. Van der Poel followed, but the others were gapped.

Then van der Poel gave it some stick. But he couldn’t ride the sand and the others caught back on.

The rainbow races away

Van Aert was next to have a go, but he made no headway, and van der Poel resumed control of the five-man lead group. After hopping the barriers he punched it and took a solid five-second lead into four to go.

Van der Haar led Van Aert and Pauwels in pursuit; Meeusen seemed to have finally run out of gas. Then Van Aert came forward to lend a hand. But going into three laps remaining van der Poel still had five seconds over the pursuit, now fronted by Pauwels.

The Sunweb rider put in a big acceleration just ahead of the sand, but struggled once in it, and both van der Haar and Van Aert got past him as van der Poel rode it cleanly.

Over the bars

And then van der Poel took a header, doing a nose-wheelie into the sand pit, and just that quickly the quartet was back together.

Van der Haar shot to the front going up the flyover and had a quick look behind to see where the world champ was. Then he punched it, leading van Aert, Pauwels and van der Poel into two to go.

Van Aert attacked as the foursome hit the pavement, but the others marked him. He accelerated again and pried open a few bike lengths, chased by Pauwels. This time it was van der Haar who struggled in the sand, and as Pauwels and van der Poel chased Van Aert the Giant rider lost contact.

Pauwels dragged himself back up to Van Aert, then took the lead riding over the barriers, leaving van der Poel to chase alone in third.

Pauwels punches it

Bell lap: Pauwels lit it up going into the final lap, leaving Van Aert and van der Poel a half dozen seconds behind as he shot across the finish line.

Pauwels rode the sandy straight cleanly, but so did the world champion, who gapped Van Aert and took control of second place on the course.

Then Pauwels had his own problem with the sandy drop-in, having to dismount as van der Poel rode it cleanly. The gap abruptly narrowed, to perhaps four seconds.

But Pauwels stayed calm, popping over the barriers and keeping his pace high. He hit the pavement first, and as van der Poel botched the ditch crossing for the first time, the Sunweb rider powered off to the victory. Van der Poel hung on for second with Van Aert third.

Van der Haar crossed fourth with Meeusen fifth.

When the final points were tallied, van der Poel had the overall title with 106 points. Pauwels wound up second with 105, while van der Haar finished third with 99.

The post Mathieu van der Poel clinches Superprestige; Kevin Pauwels takes finale appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-clinches-superprestige-kevin-pauwels-takes-finale_360848/feed 0
Mathieu van der Poel wins Superprestige round in Hoogstraten http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-wins-superprestige-final-hoogstraten_360363 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-wins-superprestige-final-hoogstraten_360363#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 15:53:46 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=360363

Mathieu van der Poel adds another title to his collection. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) soloed to victory in the penultimate Superprestige round on Sunday in Hoogstraten

The post Mathieu van der Poel wins Superprestige round in Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Mathieu van der Poel adds another title to his collection. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) won the penultimate round of the 2014-15 Superprestige series at Hoogstraten in Belgium.

The freshly anointed world champion got off to his usual swift start, chased by Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin).

Van der Poel began the day with a one-point edge over Pauwels and two over van der Haar, and he set about defending his series lead from the front, quickly building an advantage on the very first lap.

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) had something of a rough start to the day, crashing on a muddy straight but quickly remounting.

As the laps ticked down van der Poel held onto his advantage, with Pauwels and van der Haar unable to make up any ground on the rainbow jersey, sitting eight and 16 seconds down, respectively.

With five to go van der Haar had slipped to a half minute down as Pauwels pressed a solo chase.

A lap later Pauwels remained 17 seconds in arrears with van der Haar losing ground.

With two to go Pauwels was a half-minute down and resigned to second, stretching as he rolled over the finish line. Van der Haar was nearly a minute down, with Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) closing.

He caught the Giant rider, and dropped him, and as van der Poel took the victory, followed by Pauwels in second, Van Aert galloped to the final step on the podium.

The post Mathieu van der Poel wins Superprestige round in Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-wins-superprestige-final-hoogstraten_360363/feed 0
Mathieu van der Poel, Sanne Cant win Bpost Bank Trofee finale in Lille http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-sanne-cant-win-bpost-bank-trofee-finale-lille_360307 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-sanne-cant-win-bpost-bank-trofee-finale-lille_360307#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 17:06:26 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=360307

Mathieu van der Poel wins one wearing the rainbow. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com

Mathieu van der Poel and Sanne Cant win the finale in Lille as Wout Van Aert and Ellen Van Loy take the Bpost Bank Trofee titles

The post Mathieu van der Poel, Sanne Cant win Bpost Bank Trofee finale in Lille appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Mathieu van der Poel wins one wearing the rainbow. Photo: Dan Seaton | VeloNews.com

Newly crowned world champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) won the eighth and final round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series in Lille on Saturday.

Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) finished second with Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) third.

“I got to race in new kit and that was very motivating,” said van der Poel, who hopes to hold onto his lead in the Superprestige series following Sunday’s race in Hoogstraten. He has a one-point edge over Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and two over Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin).

“In the beginning I was not so good, but then I came to the front and could open a gap right away. I have very good form now — so I went for the win even though tomorrow is important. At the end of the race I was a minute ahead, so I slowed down a little bit to save something for tomorrow.”

Van Aert, who clinched the overall Bpost Bank Trofee title with his runner-up finish, said he had hoped to battle for the victory on Saturday, but couldn’t match the rainbow jersey’s power.

“I’m more happy with [second] than I was last week,” he said. “Today Mathieu was really stronger than me and I just gave everything for my home crowd. But, simply, it was too difficult to beat him today. he was really stronger. Then you have to be happy with second.

“The last lap I took the lead. My plan was to stay on the first place and then I can ride my own sprint, I can choose when I start my sprint. And, yeah, that worked out perfectly.”

Nys was likewise happy to make the podium.

“I’m really happy with this result, because it’s been a hard period, and I’ve been suffering a lot,” he said.

“Mentally, it’s really important to have a good result in the last part of the season. Definitely it’s getting better and better since the Christmas period. But it’s with ups and downs. My worst month was December, but I tried to focus on my shape, to focus on staying on the podium again, and at the end of the season I’m there. And that’s mentally really important to have a good start of the season next year.”

In women’s racing, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) took the victory ahead of Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) and British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing).

At midrace the Belgian champion already had 10 seconds on her rivals and she went on to claim her 20th victory of the season.

Cant said the win helped erase the frustration of losing the world championships in Tabor.

“It doesn’t make sense to dwell on the world championships, but today I cycled out my frustrations. I needed that.” she said. “But it motivates me to work even harder this summer and next year to win.”

As for Loy, she was proud to have collected the overall series title.

“It’s fantastic,” she said. “I’m really proud of all of this. I have to work really hard for it. It’s not that I could just take it. I had to work for it.

“It’s like, all things are happening this season. Second in the in the World Cup also. It’s important. Now I think I’m like third in the UCI rankings? It’s unbelievable when I — all the things are really good for me.”

Wyman had to fight off Loes Sels (Telenet) to claim the final spot on the podium.

“It was fast, crazy fast. It was not really my thing, but I tried really hard,” she said.

“Loes came back to me, she’s really good on sand, and it was starting to get sandier [as the frozen course softened]. So she was using her technique to try to come back. And I was like, I’m still having this, so the last lap I attacked and she never closed the gap.”

Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report from Lille.

The post Mathieu van der Poel, Sanne Cant win Bpost Bank Trofee finale in Lille appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-sanne-cant-win-bpost-bank-trofee-finale-lille_360307/feed 0
In the News: Van Aert defends bike choice after worlds http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-van-aert-defends-bike-choice-worlds_360082 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-van-aert-defends-bike-choice-worlds_360082#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 22:14:32 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=360082

After the first lap of racing in Tabor at cyclocross worlds, Wout Van Aert found himself dead in the water with a dropped chain, ceding 12 seconds to leader and eventual winner Mathieu van der Poel. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

A dropped chain may have derailed Wout Van Aert's shot at a world championship title, but he insists the bike is not to blame

The post In the News: Van Aert defends bike choice after worlds appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

After the first lap of racing in Tabor at cyclocross worlds, Wout Van Aert found himself dead in the water with a dropped chain, ceding 12 seconds to leader and eventual winner Mathieu van der Poel. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

A dropped chain early in the elite world cyclocross championship race may have derailed Wout Van Aert’s chance to ride for a rainbow jersey on Saturday. On Wednesday at the Park Cross race in Maldegem, Belgium, the 20-year-old Belgian told Sporza, “There is nothing wrong with my bike.”

Despite having switched to a SRAM CX1 single-chainring drivetrain only a few weeks before worlds, Van Aert said, “I had really bad luck and that’s the last say on that bike.”

A fellow young star, Matheiu van der Poel of the Netherlands, put on a dominant performance at worlds, riding alone to become the youngest-ever winner of the title. Behind, Van Aert overcame the dropped chain and a crash to ride all the way back to second place, 15 seconds behind the winner. At one point, he was nearly one minute behind van der Poel.

After the race, Van Aert told VeloNews‘ Dan Seaton, “I was really good today. I don’t think the chain problems were the biggest problems. The biggest troubles I had was after the crash where I lost the most time.”

Read more >>

The post In the News: Van Aert defends bike choice after worlds appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/news-van-aert-defends-bike-choice-worlds_360082/feed 0
Photo Essay: 2015 cyclocross worlds: juniors, recon, and elite women http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/photo-essay-2015-cyclocross-worlds-juniors-recon-elite-women_359871 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/photo-essay-2015-cyclocross-worlds-juniors-recon-elite-women_359871#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 20:20:50 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359871

The first day of 'cross worlds offered a snowy, muddy afternoon of action from Tabor, including a sprint finish in the women's race

The post Photo Essay: 2015 cyclocross worlds: juniors, recon, and elite women appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The post Photo Essay: 2015 cyclocross worlds: juniors, recon, and elite women appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/photo-essay-2015-cyclocross-worlds-juniors-recon-elite-women_359871/feed 0
Outlier: CrossVegas will be the first U.S. cyclocross World Cup http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/outlier-crossvegas-will-first-u-s-cyclocross-world-cup_359698 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/outlier-crossvegas-will-first-u-s-cyclocross-world-cup_359698#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:24:44 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359698

Over the years, CrossVegas has attracted larger, more international fields. In 2015, the race will become the first-ever U.S. stop on the cyclocross World Cup. Photo: Wil Matthews | VeloNews.com (file)

Improbable as it seemed, CrossVegas, a race run in the middle of Nevada's most infamous desert metropolis, will become a World Cup race

The post Outlier: CrossVegas will be the first U.S. cyclocross World Cup appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Over the years, CrossVegas has attracted larger, more international fields. In 2015, the race will become the first-ever U.S. stop on the cyclocross World Cup. Photo: Wil Matthews | VeloNews.com (file)

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of Velo magazine. The UCI recently announced that the cyclocross World Cup will include two North American stops in the 2015-2016 season — the first in Las Vegas, the second in Montreal.

Belgium averages a hair over three inches of total rainfall in December, well distributed across 20 days of the month. Beneath that near-perpetual cloud cover lies the epicenter of cyclocross, the spiritual home of the discipline; at its yearly high water mark, the Kerstperiode, fans on Christmas holiday gorge themselves at a feast of top-level cyclocross. The country, at that time, is the reference point for nearly every aspect of cyclocross not captured in the rulebook: the mud, the cold, and the hard-fought glory, the flags and beer and rubber boots, all cast against that threatening steel-gray sky.

The distance from Zolder, Belgium, which hosted the fifth round of this year’s UCI World Cup on December 26, to Las Vegas, Nevada, home to the now eight-year-old Clif Bar CrossVegas race, is 5,412 miles as the crow flies. It might as well be a million. In September, when CrossVegas is held in conjunction with the Interbike trade show, Las Vegas temperatures hover around the 95-degree mark under a desert sun, hence the race’s evening start. It takes Vegas most of the year to approach Belgium’s December rainfall mark. There is no mud, no cold, and no great cycling tradition here. And yet, CrossVegas is poised to become the first American round of the World Cup.

From dare to daring

CrossVegas started in 2007, the product of a mutual dare between veteran ’cross promoters Chris Grealish and Brook Watts. It was a quest that blended their love of cyclocross with a simple desire for something worthwhile to do in Sin City during Interbike.

“We both went to Interbike for other business, and we’re not drinkers, we don’t go to strip clubs, and we don’t go to Celine Dion,” Watts told VeloNews from his office in Boulder, Colorado. “At that time, there was nothing else going on around the show like there is now. It was like, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be neat if … ?’”

The first hurdle was finding suitable terrain amongst Las Vegas’s Disney-esque hardscapes and the surrounding desert.

“We flew into Vegas and bought a Rand McNally map, which is kind of dating myself. We circled all the green spaces on the map and drove to each one of them, each city park,” Watts recalled. “We identified a park that was right under the approach to McCarran airport. It wasn’t perfect. In fact, it sucked, but it seemed like the best we could do.”

It wasn’t. As they sat down to formally settle for the airport location, a parks department staffer asked the pair if they’d seen Desert Breeze park, a soccer complex too new to appear on the map, built into one of the bowl-shaped catchment basins that serve as Las Vegas’s only nod toward stormwater management. Watts and Grealish drove out to check it out, beheld the basin, a veritable “cyclocross stadium” as Watts sees it, and called the parks department back on the spot to lock it down.

World coup?

CrossVegas grew gradually, attracting domestic heavy hitters and more and more foreign talent as it settled in. More than a race, it has become the place to be every year on Interbike’s Wednesday night. As the race became entrenched, both as part of the show experience and in the fabric of American ’cross, rumors circulated that it was headed for World Cup status. But it still felt sudden when, this past March, UCI cyclocross coordinator Peter van der Abeele told the Gazet van Antwerpen, “In September 2015, CrossVegas is part of the World Cup circuit.”

It felt like a coup. This quirky race — an industry party, too early, too grassy, in the wrong climate, and eight hours too far west — would put Las Vegas, Nevada, on a map with ’cross destinations like Koksijde, Hoogerheide, and Tabor. Top level ’cross, in the American desert.

Except it wasn’t true. At least for the moment.

Watts quickly tamped down the premature celebration, but revealed that he was in discussions with the UCI about World Cup status, and that those discussions had taken on a more serious tone. But 2015 was not a done deal.

“I’m fully committed to doing a World Cup in America, when the time is right,” Watts told VeloNews in July. “When it makes sense financially as an event, and when it makes sense for the teams to come over and perhaps participate in a number of races.

“I wouldn’t want to inconvenience the teams financially, because it’s going to be a large investment,” he said. “[You and I] know what’s involved in flying one bike on a vacation; you can imagine flying multiple bikes, multiple wheels, staff, on and on and on. It just has to be done very cautiously, carefully, and correctly. At that point, then I’ll be the first guy in line to make it happen.”

Cautiously, carefully, and correctly. Doing it right involves assembling an intricate machine, one that combines factors like ensuring easy access to international airports to ease travel burdens, providing adequate racing opportunities before and after a proposed World Cup in a way that follows a logical migration pattern, and scheduling it all in a way that meshes, rather than competes with, the big European series that will continue to drive the sport’s top level for the foreseeable future.

All of those factors might not be in place yet, but it’s clear that CrossVegas’s mid-September date addresses one of the biggest concerns for European-based riders when it comes to racing in the U.S. Earlier than September and the ’cross elite are still preparing for their seasons. Later, and riders would risk having eight time zones’ worth of jetlag sap their season-opening performances at home. That means any hopes of big-time international cyclocross in North America must slot in ahead — but not too far ahead — of the powerhouse SuperPrestige and BPost Bank Trophy series in Belgium.

And how do Europe’s famously traditional promoters view this trans-Atlantic upstart potentially elbowing its way into the realm of the sport’s elite events?

“I think [European promoters] probably look on it as a curiosity, but they’ve also been around long enough to see that things are internationalizing and that there’s a place for the new world,” Watts said. “Nobody’s going to quit coming to Diegem to go to America and race in December, so I don’t think they feel threatened.”

Near term

Until all the pieces fall into place and Van Der Abeele makes another, more accurate announcement about World Cup status, CrossVegas continues to build [Las Vegas was named as the first stop in the 2015-2016 cyclocross World Cup at the end of January -Ed.]. In 2014, field quality got a boost as 2011 Vegas winner Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) — winner of the 2013 World Cup overall — squared off against 2013 Vegas champion Sven Nys (Trek Cyclocross Collective) and the 2012 winner, U.S. national champion Jeremy Powers. Belgium’s Telenet-Fidea team also brought three riders, including rising star Thijs van Amerongen. The women’s race was headlined by reigning World Cup champion Katie Compton (Trek) and reigning European Champion Helen Wyman (Kona).

World Cup status would make recruiting top talent far easier, but for the time being, Watts gets an assist from his race’s attachment to the continent’s largest industry trade show. It’s helped him draw some of the sport’s premier names while avoiding an entrenched and expensive aspect of ‘cross promotion: start money.

“A lot more companies are starting to get that they shouldn’t look to me to cover the cost of their athletes. I won’t do it. I don’t believe in start money, and I’m not going to go down that slippery slope,” Watts said. Instead, he presents a value proposition to the companies that sponsor top riders. “I say, ‘Look, you’ve got all the reason in the world to bring your sponsored athletes over here. They’re providing entertainment for your retailers and your guests on Wednesday night. On Thursday, you’ve got them in the [trade show] booth signing autographs. It’s a win-win.’”

The 2014 field faced an array of course features that Watts added over the years to enliven Desert Breeze’s vast expanse of grass.

The two flyovers, three sets of stairs, and the Raleigh Ramp — a wooden, banked, 180-degree turn that slingshots riders toward the barriers — returned in 2014, along with a new sandpit and adjacent beer tent.

“[The sand pit] kind of completes the circle of available course features,” Watts said. “I could go crazy — it’s Las Vegas! I could do flaming hoops; I could do an alligator pit. You could be as silly as you want, but I’m a traditionalist.”

With CrossVegas making the leap to the World Cup, some of the existing features, let alone an alligator pit, might get the hook in the name of keeping the race in the World Cup mold. But while it may not offer quite the canvas of some of the sport’s legendary venues, Watts thinks Desert Breeze can offer up enough of a course in the context of the season.

“I would not presume to say that CrossVegas is a race you could do in the middle of January, two weeks before Worlds. It’s a different animal. It’s a spectacle. It’s a perfect pre-season race,” Watts said. “The purists might say, ‘Ah, it’s not quite what we should have.’ Well, no, but it’s September and you’ve got a little more leeway when you’re in that early part of the season in terms of course severity, what the course makeup is, and the like.”

And so, a night race in September in a catchment basin in Nevada is set to offer North America its first shot at a top international cyclocross race. It seems improbable, but so is Las Vegas itself. If you can build an entire city in a desert, why not a ’cross race?

Subscribe to Velo magazine >>

The post Outlier: CrossVegas will be the first U.S. cyclocross World Cup appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/cyclocross/outlier-crossvegas-will-first-u-s-cyclocross-world-cup_359698/feed 0
With youth movement at hand, cyclocross’ future looks bright http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/youth-movement-hand-cyclocross-future-looks-bright_359838 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/youth-movement-hand-cyclocross-future-looks-bright_359838#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 13:43:07 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359838

Mathieu van der Poel sliced through the mud to win the elite men's cyclocross world title. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

20-year-old Mathieu van der Poel's ’cross worlds win means more than simply pulling on the rainbow stripes, writes Dan Seaton

The post With youth movement at hand, cyclocross’ future looks bright appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Mathieu van der Poel sliced through the mud to win the elite men's cyclocross world title. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

TABOR, Czech Republic (VN) — In December, Sven Nys, 38, the biggest star in the history of cyclocross, walked off a muddy hillside in Overijse, laid down his bike, and told his fans he didn’t know when he would pedal again. He returned, weeks later, a shadow of the man who has so dominated cyclocross for more than a decade.

Just under a year earlier, two-time world champion Niels Albert announced his surprise retirement. Diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, racing was out of the question.

Bart Wellens, 36, a two-time world champion and a former star of his own cyclocross-themed reality show in Belgium, cracked the top 10 in a major series race just three times this season, and never reached the podium anywhere.

2014 world champion Zdenek Stybar raced twice. He finished eighth in an October race in Ronse, crashed heavily a few days later in Ardooie, and hung up his bike. He chose not to defend his title this weekend here in his home country, focused instead on a return to form on the road, chasing glory in the classics this spring.

Francis Mourey, 34, one of the most successful non-Belgian riders in the sport, could not defend the French title he has held nearly every year for the better part of a decade. In races in Belgium and in the World Cup, he has cracked the top 10 twice.

Klaas Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels, the Belgian and World Cup champions, and two of the most successful racers in the sport, are 32 and 30.

Have you been worried about the future of cyclocross lately? Haven’t we all?

We shouldn’t have been.

On Sunday, at the world championships in Tabor, the future looked awfully bright.

In the elite men’s race, the Netherlands’ Mathieu van der Poel, who turned 20 just days ago, soared through the slip-and-slide slop and into rainbow stripes, making it look easy the whole time. Behind him, Belgian Wout Van Aert, van der Poel’s biggest rival all season, rallied from a 50-second deficit into the silver slot, just slipping past van der Poel’s countryman Lars van der Haar in the race’s final lap. Van der Haar, who finished third, was the old man on the podium at 23.

In the under-23 race earlier in the day, Michael Vanthourenhout racked up lap after lap at a pace some 30 seconds faster than many of the laps the elite men turned in. Runner-up Laurens Sweeck matched him nearly pedal stroke for pedal stroke for most of the race. The course was firmer and faster in the cold morning sun than it was three hours later for the elites, but still.

The youth movement started in early October, when Van der Poel, then 19, crashed the gates at the Superprestige kickoff in Gieten, stealing what looked like certain victory out from under the wheels of van der Haar. In the power vacuum that formed in the wake of Stybar and Albert’s absence, and Nys’ retreat from the spotlight, it grew to a fever pitch. Van Aert and van der Poel raked in victories and podium places from November to January.

Two weeks ago, the pair declared they would forego the remainder of their U23 eligibility and race, finally, as the elites everyone already knew they were. The subject of much hand-wringing in the Belgian and Dutch press — and surely in their own camps as well — Sunday’s race showed the decision was prescient.

Tabor confirmed it — as if there was any real doubt: the sport’s future rests with the young.

“It’s a bit strange,” said the newly crowned champion van der Poel. “Wout and I made the decision at the last moment. Normally we would participate in the under-23 category. I think today we showed we made right decision to participate in the elite category.”

Van der Poel credited the battles the group of young riders waged in the developmental categories over the past two or three years. Packed with riders now enjoying success at the sport’s highest levels — van der Poel himself, Van Aert, Sweeck, and Vanthourenhout, alongside riders like Gianni Vermeersch and Tim Merlier, who made the jump to elites at the beginning of the year — the rising class of young riders is perhaps the most talent-rich group the sport has seen in decades.

“Now we are with a few strong riders, young riders,” he said. “I think it has a lot to do [with the fact] that in the under-23 category we always made races very hard with a few of us. Now we can see the results in the elite category.”

Van Aert, who could be van der Poel’s biggest rival for a decade to come, agreed. He, too, had wondered about the sport’s future.

“There are champions like Sven Nys and Bart Wellens who are almost quitting,” he said. “I think the sport needs new guys who can fight for the first places. I think with me and Mathieu there are two guys who are ready to do that.”

But the past several weeks, he added, had been something of a turning point for the sport.

“This season was really the takeover of the young guys I think,” said Van Aert. “On one side it’s beautiful that we are in front with two young guys who didn’t really plan to ride here in the pro category. It’s good for the sport that there are new champions to come I think.”

Still, while the two youngest men in the elite race were looking ahead, van der Haar, who already had a worlds medal in his pocket before Sunday’s race, cautioned that the older generation had likely not yet written their final chapter.

“I think every year is different,” he said. “Last year, Sven Nys was still one of the best for the whole year. This year, young guys are showing more. But also Kevin Pauwels won a lot of races. So I don’t think [the older guys] should worry yet.”

In fact, it was Van der Haar who was the young star on a meteoric rise just two years ago. In recent years, his early promise has turned into a veteran’s consistency. This year’s World Cup title could easily have been his, if not for a fever that cost him a start in Koksijde. But he lost the Dutch championship to van der Poel three weeks ago. Likewise with the rainbow jersey on Sunday.

Van der Haar said as the older generation moves on and even more young talent pours into the elite ranks, the middle generation of riders — Pauwels, Vantornout, and Tom Meeusen — had better take notice.

“Maybe next year there are new changes coming, with the Laurens [Sweeck] coming over, and Michael [Vanthourenhout],” Van der Haar said. “Maybe the guys in between will have more worries than the top riders.”

Cyclocross fans, meanwhile, can revel in a sport that is apparently roaring back toward a new zenith. With spectacular women’s racing on Saturday, a legitimate American gold-medal contender in the juniors, two North American World Cups and a new women’s youth category debuting at the 2016 world championships where, organizers said on Friday, they will aim for an attendance of 80,000, the future is indeed bright.

With the talent headed for the elite men’s ranks in the year ahead, it seems positively brilliant.

It’s 2015 — welcome to the future, kids. Cyclocross is bigger and healthier than ever.

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

The post With youth movement at hand, cyclocross’ future looks bright appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/youth-movement-hand-cyclocross-future-looks-bright_359838/feed 0
Gallery: 2015 UCI cyclocross worlds, elite men http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/gallery-2015-uci-cyclocross-worlds-elite-men_359804 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/gallery-2015-uci-cyclocross-worlds-elite-men_359804#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 16:21:15 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359804

The podium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Tim De Waele files a gallery from the final day of the 2015 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor

The post Gallery: 2015 UCI cyclocross worlds, elite men appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The podium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The post Gallery: 2015 UCI cyclocross worlds, elite men appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/gallery-2015-uci-cyclocross-worlds-elite-men_359804/feed 0
Results: 2015 UCI cyclocross worlds, elite men and U23 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/results-2015-uci-cyclocross-worlds-elite-men_359796 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/results-2015-uci-cyclocross-worlds-elite-men_359796#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:53:53 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359796 Results from the elite and U23 races at the 2015 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic

The post Results: 2015 UCI cyclocross worlds, elite men and U23 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

  • 1. Mathieu VAN DER POEL (NED), 1:09:12
  • 2. Wout VAN AERT (BEL), 1:09:27
  • 3. Lars VAN DER HAAR (NED), 1:09:29
  • 4. Kevin PAUWELS (BEL), 1:10:18
  • 5. Klaas VANTORNOUT (BEL), 1:10:24
  • 6. Tom MEEUSEN (BEL), 1:10:29
  • 7. Gianni VERMEERSCH (BEL), 1:11:38
  • 8. Marcel MEISEN (GER), 1:11:49
  • 9. Philipp WALSLEBEN (GER), 1:11:55
  • 10. Marco Aurelio FONTANA (ITA), 1:12:06
  • 11. Julien TARAMARCAZ (SUI), 1:12:08
  • 12. Luca BRAIDOT (ITA), 1:12:25
  • 13. Michael BOROS (CZE), 1:12:31
  • 14. Fabien CANAL (FRA), 1:12:38
  • 15. Thijs VAN AMERONGEN (NED), 1:12:39
  • 16. Simon ZAHNER (SUI), 1:12:42
  • 17. Sven NYS (BEL), 1:12:42
  • 18. Tomas PAPRSTKA (CZE), 1:12:50
  • 19. Rob PEETERS (BEL), 1:13:08
  • 20. Francis MOUREY (FRA), 1:13:11
  • 21. Ian FIELD (GBR), 1:13:12
  • 22. Mariusz GIL (POL), 1:13:34
  • 23. Jonathan PAGE (USA), 1:13:45
  • 24. Lubomir PETRUS (CZE), 1:13:53
  • 25. Marcel WILDHABER (SUI), 1:13:59
  • 26. Niels WUBBEN (NED), 1:14:03
  • 27. Javier RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ (ESP), 1:14:05
  • 28. Arnaud GRAND (SUI), 1:14:12
  • 29. Matej LASAK (CZE), 1:14:17
  • 30. Kenneth HANSEN (DEN), 1:14:33
  • 31. Martin HARING (SVK), 1:14:41
  • 32. Jeremy POWERS (USA), 1:15:30
  • 33. David VAN DER POEL (NED), 1:15:51
  • 34. Aitor HERNANDEZ GUTIERREZ (ESP), 1:15:52
  • 35. Zach MCDONALD (USA), 1:17:05
  • 36. Aaron SCHOOLER (CAN)
  • 37. Marek KONWA (POL)
  • 38. Kazuhiro YAMAMOTO (JPN)
  • 39. Radomir SIMUNEK (CZE)
  • 40. Karl Heinz GOLLINGER (AUT)
  • 41. Jaroslav CHALAS (SVK)
  • 42. Mark MCCONNELL (CAN)
  • 43. Vaclav METLICKA (SVK)
  • 44. Paul REDENBACH (AUS)
  • 45. Yu TAKENOUCHI (JPN)
  • 46. Gabor FEJES (HUN)
  • 47. Garry MILLBURN (AUS)
  • 48. Lukáš BATORA (SVK)
  • 49. Mike GARRIGAN (CAN)
  • 50. James DRISCOLL (USA)
  • 51. Olek UHANOV (UKR)
  • 52. Angus EDMOND (NZL)

The post Results: 2015 UCI cyclocross worlds, elite men and U23 appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/results-2015-uci-cyclocross-worlds-elite-men_359796/feed 0
Mathieu van der Poel solos to elite men’s world ‘cross crown http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-solos-elite-mens-world-cross-crown_359790 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-solos-elite-mens-world-cross-crown_359790#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:37:44 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359790

Mathieu Van der Poel was overcome by emotion as he won the elite men's race at the world cyclocross championships. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mathieu van der Poel claims the elite men's title at cyclocross worlds as Wout Van Aert derails a Dutch 1-2 by out-kicking Lars van der Haar

The post Mathieu van der Poel solos to elite men’s world ‘cross crown appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Mathieu Van der Poel was overcome by emotion as he won the elite men's race at the world cyclocross championships. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Mathieu van der Poel made it look easy — almost — as he rode alone to the elite men’s world cyclocross title in Tabor.

The 20-year-old Dutch rider slipped away going into the second lap and stayed gone for the rest of the race, though it took him a while to figure out how to bunny-hop the double barriers, a tactic he later said played a role in his victory.

Lars van der Haar, who blasted off the line as per usual, finished strongly too, though not as well as he would have liked. After he left World Cup champion Kevin Pauwels behind to take the runner-up spot on the course, Belgium’s Wout Van Aert overcame a series of mishaps to catch and pass the Dutch rider on the finishing straight to snatch the silver away at the line.

Van der Poel, of course, was already celebrating an emotional victory.

“I was confident after my win in Hoogerheide,” said the newly crowned world champion, the first Dutch rider to win the elite men’s title since Lars Boom did so in 2008. “But the race was very hard mentally because I never had a very big lead.

“I thought by myself the whole time the gap wasn’t big enough, and I couldn’t make it bigger. They came within five seconds of me, I think. I knew I had an advantage because I could jump the barriers. I just kept on riding.”

So did Van Aert, who suffered through dropped chains and a crash to claim that silver medal.

“In the beginning I was in the front, so there was no problem,” said Van Aert. “Mathieu was riding very hard in the first lap, but I tried to stay in his wheel. But then I dropped my chain for the first time. And that was no problem, I could come back.

“But in the second lap it dropped off a second time — still no problem, I think. I was a little behind, but I believed still in coming back. But I think in the third lap I was a little too fast in the corner, and I made a big crash where I hurt my shoulder. Then it took one lap to recover from that and I was already 50 seconds behind. After that it was a long race of coming back.”

Harmony, briefly, then a solo

Van der Poel, Van Aert and Tom Meeusen were battling early in the first lap. But it was the Dutchman who settled into the lead past the barriers with three Belgians in his train — Van Aert, Meeusen, and Pauwels, chased by van der Haar.

Van der Poel nearly came to grief hopping the barriers but recovered quickly, and he and Van Aert opened a small gap over Meeusen and Pauwels.

Then Van Aert dropped his chain riding onto the pavement and had to dismount to fix it. Meeusen and Pauwels slipped past him and crossed the line going into lap two seven seconds behind van der Poel. Van Aert got going again, but found himself already 12 seconds down.

Soon it was a three-man Belgian team pursuit hunting van der Poel. Again he nearly botched the barriers, clearing the first but having to do some quick footwork over the second, nearly clipping a photographer’s camera.

The miscue gave Van Aert and Pauwels the chance to catch him. Van der Haar, Meeusen and Klaas Vantornout were closing in, too.

No matter. Van der Poel stayed on the front and kept the pressure on.

Van Aert encountered another problem and fell out of the group. Van der Poel drove into six laps to go with Pauwels leading van der Haar and Meeusen at five seconds. Back on his bike, Van Aert chased some 17 seconds down.

Van der Poel stayed ahead of Pauwels, van der Haar and Meeusen, while Vantornout and Van Aert pursued them.

The chase strings out

On his third trip over the barriers van der Poel finally cleared them more or less cleanly. Pauwels was still leading van de Haar and Meeusen, but that chase was stringing itself out, with Meeusen losing ground. Vantornout was chasing that trio, while Van Aert was in peril of being caught by a large chase.

Five to go. Van der Poel led Pauwels and van der Haar by 11 seconds. Meeusen was at 19, Vantornout at 25, and Van Aert at 50. Gianni Vermeersch led Sven Nys and a horde of others at more than a minute down.

A determined Pauwels cut steadily into van der Poel’s advantage, with van der Haar parked on his wheel, and by the barriers the two were within striking distance of the leader. Behind, Vantornout had joined Meeusen.

But with Pauwels getting no help from the leader’s teammate, the gap went back out to 12 seconds. And with four to go van der Poel led them by 18 seconds. Meeusen and Vantornout were at 36 seconds with Van Aert still gutting it out at 47 seconds down.

Pauwels skipped the pit this time around while van der Haar took a fresh bike, but the Dutch rider lost no ground. Behind, Van Aert ground his way up to Meeusen and Vantornout.

Van der Haar makes his move

Then van der Haar attacked Pauwels on a rise, hoping to forge a one-two Dutch finish. But Pauwels stuck close, and the two closed to within 12 seconds of the leader.

Van der Haar accelerated again, trying to put Pauwels in difficulty. And this time he got a bit of daylight.

His teammate hit the line for three to go with 12 seconds over van der Haar and 16 over Pauwels. Van Aert followed at 34 seconds, just ahead of his two teammates.

The race for the podium began to tighten then. At the barriers van der Haar was just seven seconds behind van der Poel. Pauwels had the same deficit to the Dutch rider, with Van Aert charging up to him.

Two Dutchmen, two Belgians. With two laps remaining van der Poel led van der Haar by 10 seconds. Van Aert and Pauwels followed at 28 seconds. Vantornout and Meeusen were out of the hunt at a minute down.

Pauwels suddenly dropped out of the chase, glancing over one shoulder and stumbling on the stairs. Van der Haar stayed second, at 13 seconds, with Van Aert third at 23.

Van der Poel knew he could have company soon.

“At the finish we had a section that we crossed lines and I saw that [van der Haar] was coming,” he said. “He came to me the closest, I think, he was at three seconds. And then I could jump the barriers again and I did an effort to make the gap bigger.”

The battle for second

Bell lap: Van der Haar was stuck at 11 seconds back with Van Aert at 21. Pauwels was all done at 42 seconds.

And van der Poel was starting to believe.

“I just told myself that I couldn’t make any mistakes because they weren’t far behind.,” he said. “But the last half lap I knew that I was going to be the new world champion.”

There was no doubt about who would take the lesser steps on the podium, but their finishing order remained to be settled. Incredibly, Van Aert fought back up to within striking distance of van der Haar on that final lap.

One final miscue on a short, U-turn climb looked to have done for Van Aert. But the Belgian rebounded once again and caught van der Haar.

Ahead, van der Poel wept tears of joy as he celebrated his victory, but his teammate might have found his eyes damp for another reason — as they hit the pavement, the irrepressible Van Aert powered away from van der Haar and took second.

Van Aert declined to blame a new bike for his troubles, saying the dropped chains were not as much of a factor in his finish as that crash.

“I don’t know what really the problem was; I think there was too much mud between the chain and chain ring,” he said. “I think I had right tires. I was really good today. I don’t think the chain problems were the biggest problems. The biggest troubles I had was after the crash where I lost the most time.

“Before the race my tactic was to go one hour full gas and never give up. And that’s what I did. Right now it’s a disappointment it was not possible to make a nice race together with Mathieu.

“Mathieu was today really strong and I think he will be a nice world champion. I think he will show the jersey all year long.”

Jonathan Page was the top American finisher in 23rd at 1:13:45.

Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report from Tabor.

The post Mathieu van der Poel solos to elite men’s world ‘cross crown appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-solos-elite-mens-world-cross-crown_359790/feed 0
Michael Vanthourenhout wins under-23 title at world CX championships http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/michael-vanthourenhout-wins-23-title-world-cx-championships_359786 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/michael-vanthourenhout-wins-23-title-world-cx-championships_359786#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 12:37:57 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359786

Michael Vanthourenhout on his way to winning the under-23 race in Tabor. Photo: AFP

Michael Vanthourenhout attacked on the third lap and stayed away, while teammate Laurens Sweeck bounced back from crashes to take second

The post Michael Vanthourenhout wins under-23 title at world CX championships appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Michael Vanthourenhout on his way to winning the under-23 race in Tabor. Photo: AFP

TABOR (Czech Republic) — Michael Vanthourenhout led a one-two Belgian finish in the under-23 category on Sunday at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor.

Vanthourenhout took the victory by 10 seconds over compatriot Laurens Sweeck with Stan Godrie of the Netherlands third.

The big names spent a quiet first lap before Vanthourenhout, Sweeck, Godrie, Joris Nieuwenhuis, and Vojtech Nipl moved forward.

“I had a bad start, I was seventh, eighth place, and then I took another bike with softer tires and that was better,” said Vanthourenhout. “So I could go to the front, so my problem was solved.”

Three laps in Vanthourenhout attacked. Sweek was isolated in fourth, and the riders in front of him couldn’t respond. The Belgian was off the front and away.

“I waited three laps, and then I thought it was a good moment,” he said. “It seems to be the right choice I made.

“At the moment of my attack I didn’t know really where Laurens was. I attacked and when I looked back I saw I had a little break. I went for half a lap at full power, that’s all I’ve seen, that’s all I know.”

Sweeck began a chase, falling a few times, and the last time he hit the deck it was clear he would be unable to close the gap. Vanthourenhout rode alone to the victory.

But Sweeck was able to capitalize on a late bobble by Godrie and that was that.

“The last [fall] it was too much for the gold. I was not far behind Michael then, but I hurt myself a little,” he said. “Then I waited for Stan and we go for the last lap, and I know it was for second place.”

 Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report from Tabor.

The post Michael Vanthourenhout wins under-23 title at world CX championships appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/02/news/michael-vanthourenhout-wins-23-title-world-cx-championships_359786/feed 0
Fourth is as good as gold for Gage Hecht at 2015 cyclocross worlds http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/01/news/fourth-good-gold-gage-hecht-2015-cyclocross-worlds_359780 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/01/news/fourth-good-gold-gage-hecht-2015-cyclocross-worlds_359780#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 20:52:38 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359780

Gage Hecht just missed the podium, but he took it in stride. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Gage Hecht didn't win. He didn't even make the podium. But he heard the announcers and fans calling his name, and he'll definitely be back

The post Fourth is as good as gold for Gage Hecht at 2015 cyclocross worlds appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Gage Hecht just missed the podium, but he took it in stride. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

TABOR, Czech Republic (VN) — Gage Hecht just can’t stop smiling.

In his place, another rider might cry, swear, throw a bike. You could hardly fault them.

Hecht, among the most promising American junior cyclocrossers in a decade, fought one of the most dynamic battles cyclocross has seen this season, racing Belgian Eli Iserbyt and Netherlander Max Gulickx right up to the final turn for a shot at the silver medal. It would have been the first medal for an American man since 2007, when Danny Summerhill and Jonathan Page scored dual silvers in the junior and elite categories in Hooglede-Gits. Rare company.

It wasn’t to be. Hecht’s frozen, muddy chain skipped as he approached the race’s final 180-degree corner. Gulickx sprinted, and Hecht settled for fourth. No medal, no place on the podium, no photos, no TV. Just walk back to the bus, pack up your bike, and head home.

Hecht, focused on the moment and the thrill of riding his first world championship race, didn’t seem to mind.

“I feel amazing, I’m so excited just with how the race went today,” he said. “I felt great about it. Racing with the best out there in the world, it’s tough. It’s definitely a tough race, and those who got on the podium definitely deserved to be up there.”

Instead, he said, he simply savored a moment in the spotlight, hearing announcer Richard Fries — a familiar voice to American racers — calling out his name on the PA, and the thousands of fans from around the world roar over every punch and counter-punch.

And indeed, he was living a dream — one that almost evaporated before it started. Part of a five-man race early on, Hecht found himself on the wrong side of the gap when the group fractured near the end of the first lap.

He roared back, shedding Swiss rider Johan Jacobs in the process. By the time he got back, gold seemed out of reach, with junior world mountain bike champion Simon Andreassen of Denmark off the front. But his return to near the front set up the three-way fight for the podium that followed.

“I was up at the front and a gap formed and I just wasn’t able to close it down in time,” he said. “But I closed down [the gap to] a few riders. Simon still was off there, but that was still okay, I’m still happy with hanging in the top three. It was great.”

Hecht’s enduring positivity is for real, and he is clearly having fun, unique among the deadly serious European boys who lined up alongside him in the front row. His bike, a titanium Moots, carries a tiny figure of Bart Simpson on its seat tube. In the championship race he looked focused, but never stopped smiling.

Not so his competition. Belgian Eli Iserbyt, the overwhelming favorite, told reporters he nearly abandoned the race when he realized he had made a bad tire choice and could not match Andreassen on the melting, slippery course.

Hecht didn’t waver. When a late fall nearly ended his chances for the podium he picked up his bike, refocused, and got back into the chase.

Undoubtedly, he’ll do the same next season. The top first-year junior in the race, Hecht will return in the fall as the favorite, with an open road to a worlds medal.

On Saturday, he said he was only looking forward.

“I’m a little disappointed, but, you know, I was still top five, which is amazing for a world championships,” he said. “I’m excited about how I did. A medal would have been ideal, but, you know. …”

That medal, the one he missed this year? Will it be waiting for him next year in Zolder, Belgium? Can he do what he almost did this time around?

“Hopefully,” he said, turning to make one last walk back to the vans. “I’d like to. That would be cool.”

The post Fourth is as good as gold for Gage Hecht at 2015 cyclocross worlds appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/01/news/fourth-good-gold-gage-hecht-2015-cyclocross-worlds_359780/feed 0
Dethroning Vos: A student outshines her teacher http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/01/news/dethroning-vos-student-outshines-teacher_359765 http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/01/news/dethroning-vos-student-outshines-teacher_359765#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:32:18 +0000 http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=359765

The student has become the master ... for now. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot said it felt strange to defeat friend and mentor Marianne Vos. But she told herself: “I’m not here to be second"

The post Dethroning Vos: A student outshines her teacher appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

The student has become the master ... for now. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

TABOR, Czech Republic (VN) — She did not believe it herself, she said, until it was nearly over. Already a world champion on the road, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, the clock running out on one of the greatest battles women’s cyclocross has ever seen, decided she could do it.

Decided, she says, she had to do it.

In the last lap, Ferrand-Prevot said later, she told herself: “I’m not here to be second. It’s my day.”

It was. Belgian Sanne Cant, also riding at the highest level of her career, threw everything she had at her French rival, but came up empty. They came to the road together, Cant trailing by just a hairsbreadth, but she must have known already it was too much.

In the sprint this year, Ferrand-Prevot is the new boss.

In victory, she upset the long-reigning queen, Marianne Vos. At the road world championships last September in Ponferrada, Spain, Vos was coming off of back-to-back championships. On Saturday, in Tabor, Ferrand-Prevot snapped a Vos streak that went all the way back to 2009. Vos, hampered by injury for much of the past month, settled for bronze.

“I wanted to say thank you to Marianne because, yeah, I think she’s the best coach for me,” said Ferrand-Prevot. “Today I’m really happy for me, but I’m also — it’s a bit a strange feeling to take the victory. Of course I’m really happy, but I don’t know, it’s a strange feeling. I know next year will be a great battle again. That’s cycling.”

She is likely right. Vos may be down right now, but she is only 27. The two Rabo-Liv teammates and friends will surely clash again. But, said Vos, who has long played the role of mentor to 22-year-old Ferrand-Prevot, the two will meet as equals next time.

“I saw her already coming over from the juniors and then already at that moment she was the biggest talent I ever saw on all the disciplines: mountain bike, time trial, road, cyclocross,” said Vos after Saturday’s race.

“So yeah, it’s not a really big surprise for me that she’s now here with the rainbow jersey, and on the road too. She’s really good. She’s not only good, she’s mentally good, physically good, really dedicated to the sport.

“It’s great to work with her in the team, and of course she’s French and today she was a rival, but it’s good to have such a rider in the field.”

Cyclocross fans were likely unsurprised to see Ferrand-Prevot on top of the podium on Saturday. Her steady progression over the past few years — including two French cyclocross titles and two medals at the under-23 world mountain bike championships since 2011 — is an unambiguous indicator of her incredible talent. Her seven cyclocross podium finishes before Saturday’s race, another.

On Saturday she joked that she owed this latest world championship to her team, a little twist on the traditional thanks for the support.

“On the Rabo team you have to do both,” she said, laughing. “It’s my contract.”

But anyone who has been paying attention would know the truth cut much deeper. She loves sport, loves it in all its many flavors, if her increasingly diverse palmares are any indication.

“I’ve done cyclocross since I was young,” she said, answering the same question a second time, more seriously. “So for me it’s a really good [foundation] for the road and MTB. First, [this year] I do a cyclocross season to prepare my road season, but after Zolder I saw I was in good shape, and I said, ‘Why not?’”

But she also acknowledged her good luck, coming in top form to a championship race in which Vos was, perhaps, ailing. She said she could not guess at exactly what level her friend Vos — who was certainly not holding back — had been riding.

“I think she was good, but not as good as [at the World Cup in] Zolder or whatever,” said Ferrand-Prevot. “She pedaled with only one leg. I don’t know.”

Whatever indeed, Vos shot back — Ferrand-Prevot had surely earned the victory.

“Today it was my 100 percent,” she said. “I don’t think I could do more today.”

And whatever Vos’ health and preparation for worlds, it is clear their friendship and rivalry is something the younger rider considers to be at the core of her success, even if her talent was evident from an early age.

She won her first race, she said, when she was barely big enough to pedal a bike.

“I was 5 years old, and it was in my area,” she said. “My mother was the president of the club. So I won the race — but we were with, I think, just three. And it was the beginning of a great history. When I was young, it was more for pleasure, most races. When I was 12 I started to think about the national championship. And even now, I cannot say I [was destined] to win a world championship. So for me, it’s great but I didn’t expect one day to be world champion.”

Road led to the mountain bike, where she earned junior world titles in 2009 and 2010, and that success led back to the road and her growing list of championships and other successes.

Now undeniably one of cycling’s biggest stars, Ferrand-Prevot said she hoped she could play a role in advancing the women’s side of the sport, but that she preferred to let her legs do her talking.

“I think it was an exciting race on the TV so it was good for women’s cycling. It was really exciting in the finish with us both the front,” she said. “I think we have a good president of UCI, and he’s trying to develop women’s cycling. Marianne also works a lot on this. Maybe one day we will have the same salary and the same races.”

Equal salaries? Maybe — hopefully! — so. In the meantime, with a roster so rich in young talent, and finishes as exciting the one Ferrand-Prevot delivered on Saturday, it might be the men who aspire to match the women’s races.

The post Dethroning Vos: A student outshines her teacher appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/01/news/dethroning-vos-student-outshines-teacher_359765/feed 0