Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings – August 27, 2009
With not much racing to report on, we’ve got a few transfer and business related rumors that are sure to keep you interested until the racing begins in earnest in only a few weeks time! Fidea has been busy getting some extra money, Katie Compton seems to have found a home, and a bunch more!
Fidea Plays the Sponsorship Game
Fidea, the home of Bart Wellens, World Vice Champion Zdenek Stybar, U23 ace Tom Meeusen, young gun Kevin Pauwels as well as former Czech Champion Petr Dlask, has gotten a welcome boost of capital following the team putting pen to paper with a fancy new sponsor. Fidea will now be sponsored by telecommunications giant Telnet for the next couple of years. In the opposite direction will go sponsorship of two of the calendar’s largest races – stops in Tervuren and Neil – after Fidea and Golazo Sports signed an agreement to have Fidea become a presenting sponsor of the two races. Officially, the races are the Niel Jaarmarktcross on November 11th and International Cyclo-cross Tervuren on January 3rd. Fidea is sure to bring in a wealth of money from these agreements, and we could see a few big name signings in the next year or so.
Fidea has also moved to snap up Charles Hnik after his wildly successful year in the junior ranks. Hnik will now race as an espoir. The Czech rider picked up a victory at the aforementioned Niel Jaarmarktcross in last year’s junior event.
Christophe Roodhoft Has Big Plans
Christophe Roodhoft – the manager of the BKCP-Power Plus team that currently employs World Champions Neils Albert (Elite Men) and Philipp Walsleben (Espoir) – has stated that he would like to bring his team up to the UCI Pro Continental status by 2012. His ambitious plan has him slated to sign on such super-talents as Sven Nys and Bart Wellens to ride along side his young duo of Albert and Walsleben, as well as other cyclocross talents such as Radomir Simunek Jr. and Dieter Vanthourenhout. In his immediate future, Roodhoft hopes to gain an invitation to the Tour of the Walloon Region, with success there leading to a move up the team ranking ladder.
Vos Second, Takes World Cup Lead, at GP De Plouay-Bretagne
World Champion Marianne Vos wasn’t quite able to take home the win at the year’s 9th Women’s World Cup stop at the GP De Plouay-Bretagne, managing to take home second place, two and a half minutes behind winner Emma Pooley. Vos was, however, able to out sprint main World Cup overall standings leader Emma Johannson by the narrowest of margins to grab enough points to take back the World Cup leader’s jersey with only one stop on the tour remaining. Vos and Johannson have been going head to head for the entire season, with Johannson holding the lead for the last few rounds after Vos was absent from a key race. Vos now only has one more race left to defend the jersey before she can add it to her trophy case.
Vos was able to win the sprint out of an extremely select group of riders that included Nicole Cooke and Johannson. Cooke’s teammate, Pooley, was up the road, so consistant blocking tactics by the World Champion made Vos’ chase efforts futile. Despite the chase that Vos put in, she still had enough in the tank to hold off Johannson and take home second place and the World Cup lead.
Katie Compton to Planet Bike, Will Ride Stevens Bikes
Few people would have said there was anything that tied Katie Compton and arch rival Hanka Kupfernagel together. Well, now there is. Compton will now share the ride that Kupfernagel was astride last year, riding on Stevens bicycles for the 2009-2010 season. Compton will also share a gig with current American wonder-boy Jonathan Page as she signed a deal with Page’s Planet Bike outfit for the coming year. This scenario will give Compton the ability to ride a full European ‘cross schedule as well as focus some of her late summer to doing well at the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships. Compton’s Stevens will be outfitted with Zipp wheels – another new sponsor – and Sram Red components. While Mountain Bikes were a main part of her sponsorship hangups, Compton found a mutually beneficial relationship with Independent Fabrication – one of the most well known custom bicycle manufacturers in the North East – to allow her to ride her early Mountain Bike schedule. IF will make way for Planet Bike come ‘cross season, but will allow Compton to tackle the remaining elite mountain bike schedule.
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