Women from 15 different countries have made the trip to Beijing, China to contest the second annual Qiansen Trophy Race, China’s first and only cyclocross race held outside Beijing on Saturday (Friday for most of our readers).
And unlike the men’s field, the front-end of the women’s field is not dominated by Americans, with only four making the trip this year.
Margriet Kloppenburg from Denmark returns to defend her title, and for the second year in a row will fly out the evening of the race to return to Europe. Kloppenburg has a stage race to contest back in Europe, but has made the long trip back China after squeaking out a sprint victory last year over Sweden’s Asa Maria Erlandsson.
Although Erlandsson did not make the trip this year, Kloppenburg has stiff competition and more at stake this year. UCI C1 points are now up for grabs, after the event was upgraded from last year’s C2 status (is World Cup status next? stay tuned for more info on that). Also at stake is a chance at a bronze statue made in her likeness, as the promoter boldly announced at the racers’ meeting that “anyone who wins the event three times will get a bronze statue” in an upcoming cycling park.
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 Katie Compton or Katerina Nash around the Vegas soccer complex.
Belgium’s Ellen van Loy and France’s Lucie Chainel-Lefevre were lured by the points and adventure, and headline the UCI rankings of the women’s starters.
Katie Compton, despite the lure of start money, opted to skip the faraway C1 event in favor of staying rested for her start of the domestic season in Cross Vegas, and other top US racers made the same choice, but four Americans jumped at the chance to win C1 points and see a new country.
Anna Dingman (10th in 2013) and Sarah Lukas (17th in 2014) are the two returning Americans, while newcomers Andrianna Zolton and former Raleigh Midsummer Night Race winner Jennifer Gaertner round out the American contingent. For these attendees, surprisingly, the race in China is actually a more-affordable trip than heading to Vegas, as all costs were covered if riders were also to participate in an amateur road race on September 1. Belgium-based Christine Vardaros, an American by citizenship and Cyclocross Magazine contributor, is also attending and racing the event, lining up 12th.
Only three of last year’s top ten have returned, making for a diverse field of new faces at the second annual Chinese event.
2014 Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross Race - Women' Start List
|2||DINGMAN /ANNA JO||USA|
|16||MONTENEGRO DE CASTRO VIGARIO/ANA RITA||PRT|
|17||MORGADO CAETANO/ISABEL MARISA||PRT|
|19||PAYTON /HANNAH CHRISTINA||GBR|