Boulder, Colorado — As the 2011 cyclocross season gathers steam on both sides of the Atlantic, expect to see a new face at the head of American cyclocross races as Belgian veteran, Ben Berden, has announced that he will tackle the full US calendar. Bringing a decade and a half of experience in a career highlighted by a U23 Belgian national title and podiums at major European races, Berden will surely add a new dynamic to domestic events.
Riding for OPS-Ale/ CLEMENTTM on Stoemper bikes, Berden will have all the support he needs to tackle the US scene. “Racing in the US has always been a dream of mine, and I’m looking forward to riding against some of the world’s best riders here in North America. I won’t be able to drive to each race every weekend like in Belgium, as I have replaced the car for a plane here in the US, but I’m super excited to see new courses every week”, said Berden of the coming season. The decision by European pros like Berden to base their season here serves as further confirmation of the States as a destination for top-level competition and continues to promote the globalization of the sport. With the World Championships coming stateside in 2013, more Europeans are making the journey to experience the American flavor of cyclocross racing and to get a taste of what awaits them in Louisville.
While the season is still in its infancy, Berden has proven that he is not here merely as a participant and has been a catalyst in every race he’s entered thus far, already garnering taking top results. Aggressive riding brought him a solid second place at the Gateway Cross Cup, the following weekend Ben showed his diesel like consistency at the Sun Prairie USGP earning him a pair of seventh places and yesterday sprinted to the podium at the famous “New England Championships” Gloucester Gran Prix. Ben will line up at this weekend’s USGP events in prime starting position and is then set to travel to Southern California where he is well positioned to take the overall title of the new CXAD, Cross after Dark, series.
With his new support network from OPS-Ale/ CLEMENTTM and Stoemper bikes, new motivation for fresh challenges and a new field of competition, expect to see Berden mix it up throughout the season. By injecting his experience into the US scene, Berden will bring excitement at the front of the field as his fitness continues to grow. For fans of ‘cross and his fellow competitors, this will surely add to the dynamic of domestic ‘cross and make for more exciting racing week in, week out.