by Kat Statman
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the tall Dutch man tearing off down the road “about to hit a tree,” as Albert put it, while running tires at twenty pounds with knobs on his bike, but we certainly do welcome his presence in the field. So, the real question is, with the high speed racing we’ve seen all year and the lack of precipitation (I think Boston’s received more ’cross weather than Belgium this year), will Boom just ride everyone off his wheel with the exception of Stybar? Then again, Pauwels rode even Stybar off his wheel. We’ll find out in Namur, so keep your hats on, boys and girls, because the ride of December is on it’s way!
Amy Dombroski, the ultimate superfan, and not a bad racer either.
If you’re not following Amy Dombroski on Twitter, well, you should, if not for the fact that she’s an awesome bike racer and is doing the Jonathan Page thing over in Europe this winter, but for the fact that her twitter feed is the best live twitter updates for the Euro races of anyone else out there. If you’re at the races and can’t watch on your phone,then follow along and you’ll not only find out what’s happening but get a good deal of commentary on her part from the perspective of someone who’s raced the course earlier that day already. Thanks Amy, you definitely make Saturday and Sunday all the better!
Wellens and Co. need a mental coach … now if it would only work!
When I heard that Telenet-Fidea had mental coaches for their team via Sporza, I thought back to the recent articles that keep popping up in the cycling performance literature on the mental side of racing. OK, so, cool, this team is taking care of both the physical necessities of their riders and the mental. But, wait, what was the last race a Telenet-Fidea rider won? Bart Wellens gave it a good go for second in Asper-Gavere, but came up short. Tom Meeusen had a good result recent, second at Asper-Gavere in the sprint (nothing to sneeze at for sure). But still, no wins. So, maybe a different mental coach is in order?
Will Koksijde unseat the newly crowned king of ’cross this weekend?
This year we’ve seen a bit of an upset in the ’cross hierarchy. Nys isn’t winning every weekend, then again, the lack of mud and “gnar” really puts a damper in his days most of the time. Stybar, though riding at the front, only has a handful of wins. Albert is injured now and is a non-factor, realistically, until the Belgian Championships. So who has stepped up? Kevin Pauwels. A baby-faced meek-looking man has come into the limelight and shown his prowess. But, this weekend will be his first real test. Even without the typical bad Belgian weather creating thick and heavy fields, the sands of Koksijde will separate the wheat from the chafe and show who really is the best. Can Nys unseat Pauwels? How about Stybar? Or is there someone else waiting in the wings to take over and stand on the top step?
Isn’t it horrible how underrepresented women ’crossers are in the press?
I spend a reasonable amount of time scanning the Internet for news about ’crossers and I have to admit one thing that is slightly disturbing is the lack of women’s representation in the sport, something that even sometimes we at Rumors & Rumblings are unconsciously guilty of doing, based on what is coming through the interwebs. Really, you’d think that Marianne Vos’ first match up with Katie Compton this year would be bigger news than the press has mentioned, or rather, not mentioned. Or Amy Dombroski’s killer season so far, racking up points and top ten finishes all across the fields of Northern Europe. How about the fact that there are more and more women’s ’cross teams associated with or part of the major men’s teams. But, where are the press releases for the women’s Telenet-Fidea team? Seems wrong, the women’s races and racers are awesome and they definitely drive just as well as any man out there!
Ryan Trebon slowly making his way back to the bike
Moving on to the American side of things, it’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Ryan Trebon and his return to the top from years ago. But, to our horror, Ryan is injured, and will not be contesting Jingle Cross to keep winless Timmy winless. He has only ridden the trainer for 20 minutes over 11 days, but he’s at least riding the trainer a bit. Get better soon, Ryan, and just think, like Albert maybe you can use the mid-season injury to storm to the best World Champs and Christmas week of your career!
Will Winless Timmy finally get a win this weekend?
I’ve been fairly mum on winless Timmy Johnson so far this year, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is on a new program and doesn’t have the 50-plus road races in his legs this year, like he has had for the whole of his career. But, it’s the end of November and, well, I would like to see Tim finally roll across the line with his arms in the air again. But is going to Jingle Cross really the best bet, with the competition being slightly weaker? Trebon is on the couch. Powers is in Europe for the World Cup. Heule can’t stop injuring himself on what seems like a daily basis. Well, I guess there is always Driscoll to keep Tim from the top step. Then again, even if Tim does win, does it really count? Or, are we just looking at Todd Wells of last year, no wins and then on National Championships day the stars and stripes will come home?