French national champion Francis Mourey took the win Saturday at Nommay Cyclocross. ©Renner Custom CX Team

Here, French national champion Francis Mourey took the win at Nommay Cyclocross. ©Renner Custom CX Team

by Tim Rutledge, Lee Slone and Molly Hurford

On the weeks our Rumors and Rumblings columnist is busy with law school and work, a group of rag-tag journalist fills in, bringing you what we’ve seen, heard and laughed at in the ’cross world this week.

First up, there was a 20th place in the Giro d’Italia for French cyclocrosser Francis Mourey, and as Rutledge says, “What a stud!”  He can climb like a goat you know!

In the Giro, Italy wasn’t spared from the winter conditions of last week. As a result, the 19th stage of Friday was canceled (too much snow on the roads) and Saturday’s stage was raced in a snowstorm!

Under these unbelievable conditions, Vincenzo Nibali claimed victory and won his first Giro. He succeeded Ryder Hesjedal, winner in 2012. Mark Cavendish won the last stage, his fifth win in this Giro. Meanwhile, Francis Mourey showed his fighting spirit in the last stages. And for the first time in his career, the cyclocross specialist finished in the top 20 of a major Tour!

Justin Lindine is rocking the Trans-Sylvanian Epic MTB stage race in Pennsylvania this week, taking the win in stage three and holding on to the lead as the week has progressed. On the women’s side, two names we hear in ’cross season, Amanda Carey (first) and Andrea Wilson (second) are duking it out for the win. With two stages to go, we’re waiting to see who takes the overall in the muggy, hot Pennsylvania wilderness. Stay tuned, as we’ll be checking in with the winners once the race is finished, and will have more details by Sunday.

Meanwhile, it’s cyclocross season somewhere, to paraphrase Jimmy Buffet, and in this case, it’s down in North Carolina as part of a MTB festival. The D2 Collegiate National Champion Erica Zaveta handily took the win in Asheville, and we’re hoping to see her moving on to bigger and better teams and races this coming season.

“I’m excited for cyclocross already,” she raved.

Lee Slone says, “the best thing I saw this week, ’cross-related (besides the SoCal TT championships thing, which was, of course, on CXM!) was this old picture from cyclocross in the good old days. Not that it’s new or anything … But Roger De Vlaeminck is awesome, that’s all.”

He also pointed us to a Japanese article about the Chromoly Road Race, a race where, well, as you can guess, they’re limited to steel bikes! One of the points put forth in the article (from reading a crappy translation) is how some riders got the taste for steel from riding steel cyclocross bikes (maybe from the Tokyo ’cross race in February?) and that it’s crossed over to road … Neat, eh?

Have a good weekend, everybody! And let us know in the comments if there’s something awesome or noteworthy that you’ve seen or heard in and around the cyclocross water cooler.