by Kat Statman
Things are slowing down in US cyclocross season for what seems like the first time this year, but if it’s a little bit slow here then we can guarantee that things in Europe are moving along with full force. This week we have news from both Sunweb-Revor and Telenet-Fidea, Sven Vantourenhout on the chopping block, Kevin Pauwels among the Telenet-Fidea exodus, US racers crossing the pond for the second big trip of the season, Marianne Vos makes the jump to Di2, Stybar is slowly on the mend from Tendonitis, and the North Carolina Grand Prix of Cyclocross sees biggest Elite men’s start field.
Economic Downturns Force Big Teams to Shrink
Both Sunweb-Revor and Telenet-Fidea have been overall unimpressed with the results of their ’crossers this season, with the obvious exceptions of Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea). Both teams have announced that without performance improvements, many riders will be cut next year. The Sunweb-Revor director has said that he expects results from his riders, and without them they will not have a place with the Sunweb-Revor program. Telenet-Fidea director Danny de Bie has said that cutting certain riders is not due to poor performance but more a financial decision of the team. He wants to keep his core top ’crossers, and that will clearly cost him more money trying to court Stybar and Wellens. Both have been linked to rumors of leaving the Belgian ’cross powerhouse. [See our interview feature with Vantornout in the upcoming Issue 11 print magazine!]
Sven Vantourenhout is on the chopping block at Sunweb-Revor
A surprise name to see on the chopping block at Sunweb-Revor is Sven Vantourenhout. Vantourenhout has been a consistent top performer during the ’cross season and to see his name mentioned as one of the riders that is not performing is a surprise, though the Sunweb-Revor team director is well known for the high standards he expects of his riders. Jonathon Page was at the hard end of these expectations in 2007. Vantourenhout does not plan to lose his job racing though and says that in December he will show his pedigree.
Kevin Pauwels to leave Telenet-Fidea for Sunweb-Revor
It has been confirmed that Keven Pauwels is set to leave Telenet-Fidea for Sunweb-Revor at the end of the year. With Sunweb-Revor looking to up their presence at the front of the field, this is a great move on the team’s part and will also potentially give Pauwels the opportunity to be the focus of his team instead of sitting second rung to the likes of Stybar and Wellens.
US ’Crossers Cross the Pond Again
With Hasselt and Asper-Gavere this weekend and the World Cup at Koksijde next weekend, a reasonably large number of American ’crossers are taking the trip across the pond for a little more Euro experience in their long term lead up to the 2013 Louisville World Championships. Tim Johnson is already over there and looking forward to a front row start position this weekend based on his top UCI ranking from a stellar first part of his season. Katie Compton and Danny Summerhill will be making the trip as well. However many other North Americans have opted to take advantage of one of the few weekends off from UCI racing and will focus on training and resting up instead.
Marianne Vos Featured in Wieler Revue for Stevens Bikes
World champ Marianne Vos was featured with her Stevens cyclocross bike in the Dutch publication Wieler Revue this month. In the elusive search for performance perfection, we spotted a move that we have not seen yet on her bike : Di2. Though Nys, Albert and Adam Craig have touted the reliability and performance of Di2 for over a year now, we haven’t seen any top women on the electronic shifting system from Shimano yet. A good thing for women ’crossers? I think so.
Zdenek Stybar is Slowly on the Mend from Tendonitis
Stybar has been recently plagued from poor results and serious knee and back problems due to overtraining after his amazing early season. We have good news for the Stybar fan club: the reigning world champ is on the mend and seems to be back to training, though we do not know at what intensity level. Hopefully we will see him back to his winning ways this weekend in Hasselt and Asper-Gavere.
North Carolina Sees Record Elite Registration this Weekend
The North Carolina Grand Prix, a UCI C2 weekend held in Hendersonville, NC, every November, is seeing record Elite men registration this year. Traditionally the race sees roughly 30 to 35 racers looking to grab some UCI points in the mad rush before the National Championships. This year with the calendar being empty from any UCI races except the North Carolina races, many strong ’crossers are making the trip to try and grab that one coveted UCI point. Expect strong performances from Travis Livermon, Bryan Fawley, Ryan Knapp, Davide Frattini and other strong riders that are not often highlighted in pro ’cross coverage.
For Your Viewing Pleasure
Last weekend’s Hamme-Zogge race was nothing more than exciting. Relive the final lap as another big weekend of ’cross comes with Hasselt and Asper-Gavere: