It’s officially the important season in Fantasy Cyclocross. This weekend marks the opening of the Superprestige season across the pond. That means that we’ve finally got more than one UCI C1 event to earmark and watch with bated breath to see just how our fantasy teams held up. I know you’re not really able to use any of this information to your benefit, unless you haven’t signed up yet, but at least it’s fun to listen to. If this is relevant to you still, then you had better sign up quick!
Let’s start domestically, shall we? Cincinnati, Ohio plays host to America’s second C1 event of the year, and, at first glance, that would indicate that all you American-heavy teams should be in for a good weekend. (Uh oh, he said at first glance, what’s that mean). A little event known as the Grand Prix of Gloucester is unfortunately splitting the American talent in half this weekend, with half soaking up the sun and the sand in temperate Massachusetts (we’ll have live coverage right here), and the other half headed to Cincinnati for the Bio Wheels/United Dairy Farmers UCI Harbin Park Cyclocross on Sunday.
Who is expected to show up: Current NACT Points leader Jeremy Powers headlines the field as he splits away from Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com counterparts Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll to pick up valuable UCI points in his quest for a worlds bid. Kona is also playing the divide and conquer game, sending Barry Wicks to Ohio and Ryan Trebon to Gloucester. Jonathan Baker and Joachim Parbo will also be in attendance and could be a good bet to pick up some points for the small percentage of teams that have them. The lure of equal payouts should make for an exciting Women’s race, as most of America’s women’s talent will be at the starting line. Katie Compton, Georgia Gould, Susan Butler and others will be trading blows all race long and each will give their owners a strong, strong showing. Sunday’s forecast shows lots of sun and a high of 83º.
Across six time zones, the International calendar gets underway in full force with the Superprestige Ruddervoorde. International talent will be out in force on the weekend and the usual heavy hitters will come to the head.
Who is expected to show up: Lars Boom will be out for his first ride of the autumn months and all eyes will be on the reigning World Champion. No doubt the man… kid… fella has been training, but he doesn’t have the race miles some of his competition has at this stage of the season. Starting with Lars on or near the front row will be Sven Nys, Bart Wellens, Niels Albert, Zdenek Stybar, Klaas Vantornout, Gerben de Knegt and Richard Groenendaal. Jonathan Page gets the 12th call-up so he should be near the front and hot to ride his good form of the early season. Christian Heule will be 30th to the line so will have a task ahead of him getting out of the scrum.
In the U23 Race, Belgian U23 Champ Tom Meeusen gets the pole position while Lukas Kloucek will be wearing number 12. Unfortunately, not only does the Superprestige not believe in equal payouts, they don’t believe in even running women’s races. So, for yet another week, none of the top three women are going to score any points (except perhaps as the Canadian National Championships). For a complete list of starters (translated from Dutch even!) click here. Sunday looks to be mostly cloudy with a daytime high of 62º.