Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings – June 17, 2009
A huge weekend in the cyclocross world, with results and news coming from all over the world. Read all the way through, because it never gets boring. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a surprise.
Nature Valley GP Wrap Up
Tim Johnson’s OUCH team wrapped up the Nature Valley GP over the past week, placing GC man Rory Sutherland in the leader’s jersey on the final day of action, thanks in large part to the marshaling of Johnson, their road captain. Johnson himself finished 2:37 behind his teammate, good enough for 26th overall. Johnson was a key agitator in the race’s final stage, spending some time getting to know the headwinds at the front of the race in a break that would later set up Sutherland’s victory. A couple places ahead of Johnson on GC was his cyclocross teammate Jeremy Powers, who finished the week 21st on GC, 2:11 behind Sutherland. Just ahead of Powers was New England cyclocross regular Josh Dillon who made it an even 20th at 1:59 adrift. In between them was current Masters National Champion Andy Jacques-Maynes in 25th, 2:31 behind. Steve Tilford finished off the week at 7:30 behind the lead, in 53rd position. Davide Frattini was another 10 spots back in 63rd, at 8:36, having successfully piloted his team to three stage victories.
On the women’s side of things, Laura Van Gilder, who made a splash last year in her first year as a professional cyclocross rider, took home the honors for highest placed ‘crosser on GC with a 15th place finish, 5:01 behind winner Kristin Armstrong. New England ‘crosser Anna McLoon took home 16th, 5:04 back. Rachel Lloyd, America’s reigning bronze medalist, was 11:08 back, in 45th place.
Sand Creek International Classic MTB Weeked Kind to Cyclocross
Todd Wells‘ performance in the Sand Creek International Classic Short Track event highlighted the weekend for Cyclocross at the fourth stop on the US ProXCT tour. Wells’ win came ahead of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Canadian Cyclocross Champion Geoff Kabush. Wells and Kobelski were responsible for much of the pace making and by the time 6 laps had passed, it was clear who would be fighting for the win. Wells finally put in an attack as the finish was closing in, one that Kobelski could not respond to. Wells would slowly increase his lead until he crossed the line for the win. In the chasing group behind Wells and Kobelski were notable cyclocross riders Adam Craig, Carl Dekker, Troy Wells and Ryan Trebon. Craig would finish the day in 4th, followed by Dekker. Trebon would finish 7th with the younger Wells just behind in 8th. Recent Retiree Matt Shriver dusted off the mountain bike for the short track event and finished a solid 13th, flying the colors of Fort Lewis College.
Katie Compton came up just short of victory in the women’s short track event, losing out in a sprint to Heather Irminger. Irminger had the bonus of getting to the race’s final section of singletrack ahead of Compton, which gave her a distinct advantage in the final sprint. Compton tried to get around Irminger but she had to settle for second place. LUNA teammates Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould finished 4th and 5th respectively.
Day two brought about the cross country events, but this time, it was not Wells who would be animating the head of the men’s race. Instead of driving the pace at the front, Wells was caught in between the leading duo of Max Plaxton and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, and the chasing Geoff Kabush. Wells would eventually settle for third, with Kabush 4th. Adam Craig finished the day in 7th with Jeremiah Bishop just grabbing the 10th spot. Carl Dekker and Troy wells were 13th and 14th, respectively. Matt Shriver was 18th, just behind fellow Fort Lewis College man and Collegiate National Championship silver medalist Ben Sonntag.
Compton again just missed out on winning the day’s racing action, this time losing out to Catherine Prendel in a dead sprint to the line. Behind them, Katerina Nash toiled alone for most of the race to bring home third, ahead of teammate Georgia Gould. Kathy Sherwin finished up the day’s racing in 11th with Sue Butler taking home 15th.
Lars Boom Roars Into Switzerland
The Dutch National Time Trial Champion and former World Cyclocross Champion Lars Boom notched another top 10 at the ProTour level, finishing 9th in the Tour de Suisse’s 7.8 kilometer opening time trial, missing out on victory by 34 seconds. Despite his hot start, Lars would have to settle into domestique duty for much of the race, and unfortunately endured a crash during the race’s 3rd stage. Stage 4 would also not end so well for Boom, as he was the last man to cross the finish line on the day, finishing 156th. With nowhere to go but up, Boom finished stage 5 on a positive note, finishing 154th (with only a one position improvement, since one rider did not start the day’s stage). Boom now sits 146th on GC, 56:40 behind the leader, but less than 4 minutes off of last place.
Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau 7th at Iuretta-Emakumeen Bira
Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau rode to a solid 7th place overall at the Iuretta-Emakumeen Bira stage race in Spain, finishing 1:49 behind on GC. Ferrier Bruneau finished 13th on stage 1, 18th on stage 2 and 3a, 17th on stage 3b and 5th on stage 4 to ride into the top 10. Also represented on the overall leader board were Mirjam Melchers who ended the race in 26th at 5:46 behind, Nikki Harris, 46th at 16:05 back, Saskia Elemans, 66th at 30:41 behind and Linda Van Rijen, who was 85th at 1:07:45 adrift.
Chris Jones, Bjorn Selander on Fire at Tour de Beauce
Bjorn Selander rode a second place finish in the final day of racing at the Tour de Beauce to finish a fantastic 5th overall on GC, one spot behind Chris Jones, who finished only 1:58 behind eventual winner Scott Zwizanski (Selander was 2:22 behind). Canadian ‘crosser Derrick St. John was 10th at 3:30 behind. Selander did his best on the final stage to make up as much time as possible, finishing a short 2 seconds off the time needed for a stage win, but it was not enough to move up on to the overall podium. Stage 1 saw Jones and St. John in the 3rd chase group that finished 1:21 behind, leaving them 13th and 11th respectively. Alex Howes finished stage 1 in 21st position with Selander in 45th. Howes was the top finisher in stage 2 with a 22nd place effort. Selander and Jones finished 4th and 5th, respectively, in stage 3 which moved Jones up to 4th overall followig the day’s racing. Jones was again the man of the hour in stage 4a, finishing 7th place in the ITT, 1:04 behind the day’s winner. Selander was 10th at 1:17, with St. John 22nd at 1:48 and Howes 73rd at 3:48.
Stage 4b saw Danny Summerhill make his move, taking home 7th place on the stage, 28 seconds behind a breakaway group of 4 riders. Selander was 10th again on stage 5, moving him into 6th place on GC. Selander’s 2nd place in stage 6 moved him up one more position into 5th place, cementing a solid ride by the young American.
Fantasy Cyclocross Sneak Preview
Swiss Riders Fare Well at GP Kanton Aargau
Riding for the Swiss National Team, Simon Zahner and Christian Heule both took home top 15 finishes in the one day race won by Milram’s Peter Velits. The race, which covered 196 kilometers of Swiss roads, was won by a two man breakaway which the peleton came agonizingly close to catching. Zahner was 8th on the day, finishing 6th in the field sprint. Heule was 12th. Frenchman John Gadret was the last man of the main group to cross the line, finishing 53rd.
Zdenek Stybar 4th at Tour de Serbie Stage 2
Zdenek Stybar capped a fine day for the Fidea team at the Tour de Serbie, taking home a 4th place finish, after a breakaway of two men got away from the pack. Stybar’s teammate Kevin Pauwels was the next Fidea man across the line, taking home 6th place, followed shortly thereafter by Tom Meeusen who finished the day in 9th. Stybar is now 33rd on GC, with Meeusen 34th, Bart Wellens 44th, Pauwels 62nd and Petr Dlask 94th overall.
Rendementhypo Signs Joyce Vanderbeken
Rendementhypo, who already have such firepower as Christian Heule, Simon Zahner, Tim Van Nuffel and Jan Denuwelaere, have replaced the departed Tom Van den Bosch (who made an off season move to Revor) with Belgian Women’s Cyclocross Champion Joyce Vanderbeken. Vanderbeken signed a deal with the team that will keep her on staff until the 2013 season. Vanderbeken won a controversial race over Sanne Cant for the Belgian Cyclocross crown after Cant claimed that Vanderbeken’s helpers had impeded her chances at winning the race. Vanderbeken has spent her offseason on the mountain bike, winning some race, and placing highly in a number of other races.Vanderbeken will suit up for Rendementhypo starting August 31.
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