It’s time to wish myself a premature (depending on where you’re reading this) 22nd birthday in style by running everyone through the week’s action, as we saw cyclocross in Europe kick off in style and we patiently await the open to the American UCI cyclocross season, and hell, cyclocross even won a Vuelta a Espana stage. Don’t forget that I will be in Seattle, Las Vegas and Wisconsin to bring you live coverage of all the week’s racing. On tap today are some transfer and business rumors, once again, some Marianne Vos reports, and we’ll say a prayer for Bart Wellens’ season, among other news.
Rob Peeters to Telnet – Fidea in 2010
Sven Nys‘s loss is Bart Wellens‘ gain, as Nys’ key helper in the 2008-2009 season, Rob Peeters, will swap the colors of Landbouwkrediet – Colnago for the fancy new colors of Telnet – Fidea starting January 1, 2010. Peeters will join one of the strongest squads in Europe for the 2010 season, as a key helper for former World Champion Wellens (… sort of, see below) and more importantly, World Vice Champion Zdenek Stybar who is no doubt looking to improve his performance from last year in front of his home fans. Peeters had some strong performances last year and will provide Fidea with some extra firepower for the next 2 years, as Peeters has signed until 2012. Moreover, the move leaves Nys isolated for the 2010 season, with no teammates for support. Could this be the year that we see an end to Nys’ dominance?
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Erwin Vervecken Embarks on Farewell Tour
Erwin Vervecken has announced that the 2009-2010 season will be his last atop a cyclocross bike. Vervecken was at risk of not having a team to ride for this year, as his team Revor – Baboco (Then Revor – Jatarzi), was at risk of financial collapse, but was saved at the 11th hour by an investment by Baboco, a Belgian construction project management firm. Now that he doesn’t have to worry about a team, Vervecken will look to ride into the sunset in style, with his retirement set for the end of the year. Vervecken will surely receive the same warm feelings that Dutch star Richard Groenendaal received following his final race in the 2008-2009 season.
Marianne Vos Wins Women’s World Cup, Holland Ladies Tour
Marianne Vos, the reigning World Cyclocross Champion, as well as Dutch Road Race Champion, finally sewed up the overall championship in the Women’s World Cup road series, following a sixth place finish at Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt. Vos’ closest competition, Emma Johansson, who Vos had led in the World Cup rankings by a scant 6 points going into the series’ final race, was able to hold off Johansson to take home the overall victory, with 407 points to Johansson’s 379 points.
Vos may not have been able to win the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt, but she did emerge victorious in the Holland Ladies Tour. While Vos was not able to win any of the race’s six stages, and lost out in a dead heat to rival Johansson in the stage’s final stage, she did do enough to take home the overall win. The hilly final stage proved that Vos is much more than a sprinter, as she and Johansson were able to ride away to the stage win, getting Vos the nine seconds she needed to take home the victory. Vos has been arguably the most dominant rider on the Women’s circuit this year, and now she has a stage race jersey and the World Cup jersey to prove it
Bart Wellens’ Season in Jeopardy After Virus Diagnosis
For anyone who has had mono or Epstein-Barr, you are well aware of the debilitating symptoms that Belgian cyclocross star Bart Wellens is going through. After bouts of fatigue that arose over the last couple of weeks while on a training camp in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Wellens headed to the doctor where he was diagnosed with cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus is related to Epstein-Barr virus, with long-lasting fatigue a major symptom. Wellens, a former double World Cyclocross Champion, will miss upwards of a month in order to fully recover from the virus. We may see Bart back in action by the time the year turns, but it remains to be seen how well prepared he will be by the end of the season.
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