Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings – July 15, 2009
Lots of mountain bike action on tap this week, as the road community pays attention to some race in France that they say is a big deal. European Mountain Bike Champions crowned, as well as the champions of Canada. The Breck Epic comes to a close and the All Mountain Championships are awarded.
Sven Nys Adds Brone Medal at European Championships to Palmares
Sven Nys added another accomplishment to his long list by taking home third place at the weekend’s European Mountain Bike Championships, 3 minutes and 12 seconds behind eventual winner Ralf Naf. Nys was a main protagonist throughout the day, chasing behind second placed Jose Antonio Hermida. Nys was able to get back to Hermida’s wheel with two laps to go, just in time for Hermida to put in an attack that effectively killed off Nys’ effort. Conditions were ripe for the cyclocross picking, with thick mud destroying bikes left and right. Nys was right at home in the much, showing off a return to form after missing a few races with a viral infection.
Gerben de Knegt was the next highest placed cyclocross rider, finishing the day in 25th, followed by Sven Vanthourenhout in 27th. Thijs Al, who had been going head to head with Nys for much of the early season, finished 31st, just ahead of Jan Verstraeten, who rounded out the lead lap in 32nd. Zdenek Stybar and Marco Aurelio Fontana both suffered withdrawals.
On the women’s side of things, Eva Lechner was the best placed cyclocross rider, finishing up her day in 7th position. Pavla Havlikova was just outside the top 20 with a 21st place finish. Joyce Vanderbeken finished the day with a DNF.
Bishop Wins Overall but Misses Sweep at Breck Epic
Jeremiah Bishop might have taken home the overall honors at the Breck Epic, but will probably be somewhat disappointed to miss out on the stage sweep after coming in 2nd on the final stage of the race. Having won all 4 stages and the prologue coming into the final day of racing, Bishop had all but assured himself of overall victory. In a surprise finish, Bishop lost 1:48 on the final stage of the race to Jorge Espinosa who took home the victory on stage five. Bishop was still able to take home a comfortable 9:09 win over Travis Brown. Brandon Dwight rounded out the podium with a strong third place finish, 40:46 behind Bishop.
Allison Dunlap, on her way out of retirement in the cyclocross world, took home victory by more than two hours overall in the co-ed duo category, riding with Greg Frozley. Dunlap and Frozley won every stage of the race with minutes to spare, setting Dunlap up to be a major contender come the winter.
Adam Craig and Katerina Nash Win All Mountain Championships
Adam Craig and Katerina Nash both rode to dominant victories on both days of the Downieville Mountain Bike Classic, also heralded as the All Mountain Championships. On day one, Craig rode away from a determined Sid Taberlay on the courses final descent to grab enough of an advantage to take home victory, setting a new course record in the process. Nash was equally dominant in her victory in stage one, putting more than three minutes between herself and her nearest competitor. Cyclocrossers Kelli Emmet and Rachel Lloyd were third and fourth on the stage, with Lloyd especially well situated, considering day two’s intense downhill sections.
Despite day two’s tendency to go down much further than it went up, both Craig and Nash were able to repeat their victories from day one. Craig set another course record, en route to another stage victory and the overall crown. Four minutes separated Craig and second placed Jason Moeschler, who managed to pass Sid Taberlay on the back of his day two effort.
Rachel Lloyd did her best to unseat Nash from the day’s victory, but came up 2 seconds shy of her goal when the dust had cleared. Lloyd’s performance moved her up from fourth to second overall, just ahead of Emmet who had taken third on the day. None were fast enough to beat the speedy Nash, who took home her second victory in as many days and with it the overall title at the Downieville Mountain Bike Classic.
Kabush Reigns Supreme in Canada
Geoff Kabush took home his fifth consecutive Canadian Mountain Bike National Title, the sixth of his career, by holding off Max Plaxton in a hard fought race to the line. Plaxton was the man responsible for destroying a leading group of four, including Kabush, but his attacks were not enough to shed the incumbent champion. Kabush held Plaxton’s wheel doggedly until he decided it was time to make a move of his own, attacking and shedding Plaxton and Derek Zandstra. Kabush opened up his lead, but a determined Plaxton was able to fight back and close the gap to 8 seconds before he ran out of real estate, sealing another year wearing the maple leaf for Kabush.
Gould, Frattini Join Fantasy Ranks
The list of cyclocross stars who are our fantasy cyclocross game continues to grow, with Georgia Gould and Davide Frattini joining the likes of Christine Vardaros and possible alter egos of Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers. If you haven’t yet signed up to play, you’re not too late. Enter Now!
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 #16. Installment #15 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know!
Have you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with our killer print and digital magazine for less than 8 cents a day!