by Kat Statman
All of us have been following the European ’cross scene closely through the early part of the season, but now that the US season is all but over (only one UCI race left on the calendar) it’s time to hunker down and see what’s happening across the pond as the thick of the cyclocross season gets underway there. As a build up to this weekend of racing, we have a lot going on. On Saturday the 18th the C1 Fidea Scheldecross will be contested in Antwerp; on Sunday we’ll see who has the legs to take the next round of the World Cup in Kalmthout, Belgium; the Americans are slowly making their way overseas to see how they stack up after collecting UCI points all fall; Sven Nys to keep on racing through 2014 and he’d like Sven Vantourenhout by his side; Trebon still has not released any information about his new team for the 2011/2012 season; Zdenek Stybar finally seems to be on the mend and training hard, and don’t forget to submit your questions for Sven Nys on the Cowbell Forums!
2010 Fidea Scheldecross
This weekend is going to be a crazy weekend for ’cross fans out there. Saturday is the Fidea Scheldecross in Antwerp. With C1 points on the line, all the big names will be there to grab important ranking points as the World Championships get closer by the minute. From the Euro men, look for Nys, Albert, Pauwels, Aernouts, Vantornout, Wellens and Dieter Vantourenhout at the front. These riders have shown that they are the best in Europe, if not the world, and they all will be gunning for the important C1 points. For those of you following the Americans trying their hand on the Euro circuit watch for American favorite Jonathan Page to try and ride at the front. Let’s hope that Page can get out of his inconsistent season and get back to the form we all know that he has. In addition to Page, Brian Matter and Davy Yeater are both on the start list.
Sven Nys has already stated that everyone should be watching Lars Boom above all, as he is a “true champion” and always races to win. We saw last weekend that even with a few years away from the top level of focused ’cross competition, he still has the power and handling to stay with the best in the world, and his rainbow stripes in all age categories except masters is not a fluke. However, with reports that it’s snowy and cold in Belgium, Sven Nys will truly be the rider to watch as he showed last year and through much of this season that he is the best when conditions get ugly whether it is mud, snow or ice. Just watch this montage to see his best performances from last year and you’ll see:
The Fidea Scheldecross is not only a C1 for the men, but it offers a big race for the women as well. All of the top European women will be there with Vos, van den Brandt, van Paasen, Wyman and Cant all looking for good rides. Noticeably absent from the start list is American Katie Compton. She will be saving her energy for the World Cup on Sunday. Other North Americans that will be there though are Vicki Thomas and Christine Vardaros. The women’s race will be interesting: with C1 and C2 points worth the same for the women, and a World Cup on Sunday, we may have a surprise winner as many of the top women might be looking to save their legs for the more important World Cup.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Kalmthout World Cup!
This weekend is the next round of the World Cup series where Niels Albert has been dominant of late. Head on over to our Kalmthout World Cup Preview for a full list of riders to watch this weekend. And for your viewing pleasure here is last year’s Highlights:
U23 Men/Elite Women
Elite Men Final Lap
Americans are Making their Way Across the Pond
All week Americans have been leaving their warm and cozy homes to return to the cold and wet of Belgium for the December races. Ryan Trebon, Katie Compton, Brian Matter and Mark Lalonde are all doing their own programs while the Euro ’Cross Campers are making their way over too. Sue Butler and Meredith Miller will join regular Euro peloton member Christine Vardaros in Kalmthout, and an impressive eight Juniors and seven U23s will make the start. Wish them luck as they tackle some of the hardest racing in the worst conditions they will face all year, and stay tuned to Cyclocross Magazine as we cover everything that’s happening this winter.
Sven Nys to Continue through 2014 with Friends
For the past few years Sven Nys has been running a “solo” campaign. Though he is not quite slumming it like all of the privateer Elite ’crossers throughout the US, he is not part of a ’cross powerhouse team like Rabobank, Fidea, BKCP-Powerplus or Sunweb-Revor, as all of his main competitors are. For this I have always given him great respect – to win as many races as he does, even when tactics become important and without riders around to support him, shows why he is the king. Though it looks like he will have a teammate soon as there are rumors that Sven Vanthourenhout will be joining him for the next season and beyond, and Nys has extended his contract through 2014 with Landbouwcredit-Colnago. It will be interesting to see how races begin to play out differently with Nys on a ’cross powerhouse team again. Will he be able to take more wins during the fast early season races, and will he ride for Vanthourenhout and not chase him down?
No New Team Info on Trebon Yet
As the US season has wrapped up, we haven’t heard any news on who Ryan Trebon’s sponsors will be for the upcoming seasons after he announced that he will be leaving Kona to pursue his own program with longtime friend and mechanic Dusty Labarr. Not only do we not know who will be sponsoring this program, but there’s no information on who will be involved other than Trebon and Labarr. There have been no indications that either of them are concerned about the situation; let’s hope that they can create a top-notch program and not struggle to be at the front of the races in 2011/2012 and beyond.
Zdenek Stybar is Hurting, but a Good Hurt
We caught wind on Twitter this week that Stybar is back to training and having trouble walking up the stairs from pain, though reportedly it’s a good pain. Stybar has been training hard, putting in six-hour days and preparing for the second half of the season. Maybe this mid-season injury is a blessing in disguise that will allow him to win another rainbow jersey in St. Wendel this winter.
Don’t Forget to Submit your Questions!!!
Don’t forget to submit your questions for Sven Nys. Anything, everything or whatever little tid-bit of information you want to know about the man, send them to [email protected]