It was a busy week for the world of cyclocross, and we aren’t even talking about the American National Mountain Bike Championships in this edition of PCR&R. What we are talking about includes: transfer rumors, European National Mountain Bike Championships, Albert outsprints the field, Marianne Vos and the Cascade Classic!
Finally! Transfer Rumors!
The rumor mill has been swirling for the first time in, well, ever in this column’s history and we’ve got three, count ‘em, three sets of movers and shakers to report on. As these are just rumors, don’t send hate mail my way, all three people who read this, when I get things wrong.
This past weekend at the US National Mountain Bike Championships, Katie Compton was seen riding on a brand new set of Independent Fabrications rigs. Since Compton had been requesting a set of mountain bikes from possible sponsors for the season, it stands to reason that she will be riding on the hand built beauties for the rest of the season. Whether Compton will be seen on steel or titanium is anyone’s guess.
Amy Dombroski was also in the news over the past weekend, winning the National U23 Mountain Bike title, and will remain in the news, after it was discovered that she will be riding the black, white and red of Richard Sachs for the coming season. Dombroski will join Will Dugan, Matt Kraus and fellow newcomers Dan Timmerman and Josh Dillon who will drop their road colors (both of Bikereg.com/Cannondale) for their custom hand built rigs.
Rumor has it that one of Europe’s powerhouses, Helen Wyman and fellow Brits Gabby Day and Ian Field will be riding a certain set of west coast made bicycles. No concrete details have been resolved yet, but it looks that like will be forging off on their own team endeavor for the coming season, with some backing from the good old US of A.
Speaking of Changing Teams…
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European National Championships Roundup
Cyclocross dominated the Dutch National Championships on Sunday, with incumbent champion Thijs Al taking a narrow victory in the elite men’s event over Gerbende Knegt. Al’s margin of victory was a mere 9 seconds, and 1:17 over third place. Wilant Van Gils pulled in a decent 7th place finish, to round out the day for the cross riders.
A few of cyclocross’ finest were on the line in the Dutch Women’s National Championships, with Reza Hormes taking home the best finish on the day, adding a silver medal to the trophy case. the gap to first was a slim 2:04. Daphny Van den Brand rounded out the top five, finishing at 4:42 behind. Sanne Van Paassen was nipping at the former Dutch National Cyclocross Champ’s heels, finishing in sixth place, 5:04 behind. Michiel Van der Heijden was the quickest of the junior riders, taking home the gold medal with a gap of 1:47.
World Vice Champion Zdenek Stybar was spotted last weekend at the Czech Republic’s national championships for the fat tires giving the heads of state a good scare for much of the race. Stybar was up near the front for the better portion of the first half of the race, even setting the pace for some time. While Stybar’s hot start would not last until the day was over, Stybar was able to hold on to a strong fourth place, confirming that the young Czech will be a man to watch in the coming season. After finishing second in the UCI World Championships in February, Stybar looks a sure bet to continue his improvement with his past few results. Pavla Havlíková rode her way to second place in the elite women’s event.
Sven Nys was the strongest man at the Belgian National Championships on Sunday, adding a silver medal to go along with his br0nze medal at the European Championships. Nys crossed the line second behind winner Roel Paulissen, 5 minutes and 39 seconds behind. Sven Vanthourenhout was the next fastest of the cycl0cross sect, finishing in 6th place, one spot ahead of Elite-Without-Contract Belgian Cyclocross Champion Jan Verstraeten.
Sanne Cant took home a strong victory in the Belgian Women’s Mountain Bike Champion, easily besting the rest of the women’s field. Joyce Vanderbeken, the current women’s Cyclocross Champion was fourth, giving Cant a certain bit of revenge after Vanderbeken’s controversial victory in the Belgian National Cyclocross Championship.
Tom Meeusen was the fastest espoir in the Belgian Espoir Mountain Bike Championships, taking a six minute victory over second placed Pascal Hossay. Meeusen looks to be one of the strongest Espoirs coming into the new cyclocross season.
Marco Aurelio Fontana and Eva Lechner took home their respective national titles in Italy, with Fontana winning by 39 seconds and Lechner holding a gap of 1:27 over second place. Fontana had a bit of a scare midway through the race, when a flat tire threatened to derail his shot at the stripes. Fontana, however, was easily able to get back onto terms and eventually rode away from the rest of his competition. Cristian Cominelli was easily the fastest in the U23 race, adding a fifthnational title to his name on the mountain bike, to go with his four Italian National Cyclocross titles.
Neils Albert Proves To Be a Strong Sprinter Too
Neils Albert showed himself to be quite an ace at many types of riding by beating the likes of Nick Nuyens in a sprint to the line at the West-Vlaamse Dentergem on Monday. Albert and Nuyens were part of a final group of three that made it to the line (the third being Bert De Waele). Albert covered the 160 kilometer route in 3 hours, 39 minutes and 12 seconds. The next closest chaser stopped the clock at 18 seconds backl.
Marianne Vos Wins First Stage of Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen
Marianne Vos, current Women’s Cyclocross World Champion, sprinted to the victory in the first stage of the Internationale Thüringen-Rundfahrt der Frauen, besting perennial rival Emma Johansson in a sprint to the line. Vos, Johansson and three others were able to put four seconds between themselves and the chasing peloton. Eva Lechner showed that she is more than just a mountain biker by taking home 11th place.
While Vos was able to win the field sprint in the race’s second stage, she was only able to grab third place on the stage, as a break of two women were able to take both the victory and the overall lead from Vos. Vos crossed the line third, 46 seconds behind the win, with Lecher grabbing another impressive finish, taking 13th.
Davide Frattini 9th in Opening Stage of Cascade Classic
Davide Frattini nabbed the top placing of the current set of cyclocrossriders at the first stage of the Cascade Classic, taking place in Oregon. Former cyclocross buff Ben Jacques-Maynes took an impressive solo win, riding off the front with 1 kilometer remaining in the race, and holding a 10 second gap to the finish. Chris Joneswas the next best placed cyclocrosser, in 15th place, 38 second behind. Current National Champion Ryan Trebon and former National Champion Tim Johnson finished in a group 4:59 behind.
Wondering what your favorite mudders have been up to? Doing your homework so you can win Cyclocross Magazine’s fantasy cyclocross league next season? We’ve got you covered with our new, weekly report on your favorite top ‘crossers. Each week Jake Sisson will bring you the latest news, gossip, and maybe even a tweet or two on the pro scene. This is installment #17. Installment #16 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know!