Men from 21 different countries have made the trip to Beijing, China to contest the second annual Qiansen Trophy Race, China’s first and only cyclocross race on Saturday (Friday for most of our readers).
Last year, the event followed Cross Vegas by three days, forcing Vegas racers to head to airport just hours after the C1 race in the desert. This year, the Qiansen Trophy cyclocross race shares the C1 status of Cross Vegas, and with the promoter offering travel incentives and lodging, points or adventure-hunting racers could actually save money by making the trip to China and have a better chance at earning points by not having to chase Sven Nys around in the deep grass of Cross Vegas.
Headling the US men’s contingent is returning third place finisher Justin Lindine (Redline), Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld, although registered under Portland Bicycle Studio), Carl Decker (Giant) and new KCCX signee Zach McDonald.
All four Americans look to be a lock to win some coveted UCI points, although for racers like Trebon, much of the draw of the race was a chance to briefly see a new country. Zach McDonald should be motivated to have a good showing for his new team after a largely disappointing season last year. Lindine will hope to improve on his impressive third place last year, as second place Jouffroy is now retired, and defending champ Thijs Al will soon be joining him in retirement, as he has already started his post-racing career.
Decker may appear to be on the surface a dark horse, but if you’ve been following his summer racing, he might just be one of the favorites if he can get used to the drop bar and skinny tires again. The mountain bike racer has enjoyed wins on all kinds of mountain bikes this summer when not racing rally cars, but we’d bet he’d rather line up to race the mountain bike-y Chinese cyclocross course cyclocross on his fat tires if the UCI wasn’t present and would allow him.
Stay tuned for a women’s race preview.
2014 Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross Race - Men's Start List
|19||DREIER/ LEO TILL||CHE|
|25||ERIKSSON/KARL OLOV MARTIN||SWE|
|33||KELLEY/ MATTHEW DAVID||USA|
|42||MC DONALD/ZACHARY BAKER||USA|
|54||SMITH/ SCOTT AITCHETSON||USA|
Bonus track: Carl Decker racing with Adam Craig as a passenger, although him suddenly losing brake power might remind our readers of all the recalls of 2013: