Daphny van den Brand has landed a new sponsorship for 2011/12 ©Bart Hazen.
by Kat Statman
The 2010–2011 cyclocross season is over. The general classifications have been decided and many of the rider–team agreements have been made for the 2011-2012 season. So what is there to talk about in the realm of pro cyclcoross? Well, we still have pro cyclocross to talk about. Just because the season is over does not mean that ’crossers stop existing, so stay with us folks, through the remainder of the cold months and into the summer season, as we do our best to stay on top of the rumors and rumblings in pro cyclocross. I have to admit this week is pretty exciting with some excellent news in women’s cross.Daphny van den Brand has found a team, adding another to the list of women signing with a top men’s team; rumors are circling that two other women will be moving to large male-dominated teams for next year; the Hasselt video blipsnipped for a little extra enjoyment; Sven Nys may not ride Colnago’s one day and other Landbouwkrediet team news; if Nys’ mountain bike goals hurt his 2011–2012 cross season; and top American ’crosser, Kathy Sherwin, puts in base training miles at the 24 hours of Old Pueblo.
Daphny van den Brand has Found a Home
This winter has been a good winter for women ’crossers across the board. Katie Compton landed a contract at the Rabobank–Giant Off Road Team super squad. But even earlier, Cyclocross Magazine’s very own Christine Vardaros landed a spot at the Revor–Baboco team and before her Sanne Cant landed a spot at the BKCP–Power Plus team of Belgian Champion and former World Champion Niels Albert. Women ’crossers are starting to move out of the shadows and gain the respect that they truly deserve. With that being said, I am happy to say that one of our European correspondents have informed us that Daphny van den Brand’s contract worries are over and she will be racing with the AA Drink Team until her retirement at the end of next season. Daphny chose to leave ZZPR after they were not able to offer her the support she needed, but with major teams realizing the value of women’s ’cross racing, it was not a big leap for van den Brand to land this contract. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this trend continues and teams realize the value of women’s racing.
Rumors Abound That Two More Women Are Negiotiating Big Contracts
From a top European correspondent we have heard, though with very few details, that there are two more women in negotiations with male ’cross teams in Europe for next year. The trend is slowly gaining steam and women are breaking through what used to be an impasse. Between the great racing we’ve seen all season, both in the US and Europe, the Petites Reines videos and all of the excitement that is being generated about women’s ’cross, this upward trend is promising. We’ll have our eyes and ears open for which women gain new contracts for next year and where. Follow along folks.
End of the Year Cross Spectacle in Hasselt
A few days ago the end of year indoor ’cross spectacle in Hasselt was “contested.” Even though the outcome is scripted, it is not an easy event according to current World Champion Stybar. For the full story please go to: Stybar and Vos Prove Master’s Once Again. But in the meantime here is a short blipsnipped video of the event:
Nys No Longer Riding Colnagos?
Nys has been on Colnagos since the beginning of his career. When he left Rabobank for the Landbouwkrediet team he brought these steeds along and his expertise has been the main impetus behind the major updates to the Colnago frame. But with the new changes and addition of the KDL-Trans team to the Landbouwkrediet fold, things are looking as though one day Sven will not be riding Colnagos but rather the Scott Addict CX frame. No word on when this change might happen, as Landbouwkrediet still has a contract with Colnago; however, Scott is looking for a way to make the change as soon as possible. Even Nys is excited about the Scott bikes. It will be interesting to see the king of ’cross on a new frame, with new equipment, as he has been riding the same bikes for such a long time at this point. What will be more interesting will be to see if Scott foregoes the sloping top tube they have traditionally used for the more Euro standard top tube placement.
Landbouwkrediet and KDL Trans Merger Information Coming Together
A few weeks ago we reported on the Landbouwkrediet KDL team merger, where the Elite Team (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) has brought in the U23 and Junior team (KDL–Trans) as part of the future of young ’crossers. The merger is getting closer as next year the team will be Landbouwkrediet-KDL and the only difference between the teams will be the bikes they are riding (the Elite riders will be on Colnagos and the U23′s and Juniors will be on Scott). In 2014 the team will officially move to one large team and be Landbouwkrediet-KDL-Scott.
Nys focused on Mountain Biking, for now
In a post-race interview at Hasselt, Nys was asked when he would be racing on the road again. Nys didn’t know and said that he is focused on mountain biking for now in his bid for the 2012 olympic games. We all know that specificity is key when it comes to bike racing – it takes a certain determination and training to be a top ’crosser, which is different than being a grand tour contender or an Olympic cross country mountain bike racer. Nys has stated multiple times that his goals are for a top ride at the 2012 Olympic games, and we’ve seen him racing mountain bikes at the World Cup level with some degree of success for the past few years, but will this eventually catch up with him? If this year is any indication, clearly not. Even though Nys raced a fairly full mountain bike schedule and trained accordingly, he still walked away from the ’cross season with not only more wins than anyone else, but he won two out of the three general classifications. So, clearly, not putting in the road racing miles does not hurt your ’crossing ability.
It may only be February but Kathy Sherwin is Back to her Winning Ways
Kathy Sherwin, 4th place at US Nationals this year as well as numerous top 10′s and podium’s throughout the season, has been back on the training bandwagon along with her Stan’s No Tubes Elite Women’s Mountain Bike Team. This past weekend was the inaugural kick off of the mountain bike racing season at the 24 hours of Old Pueblo. In years past we have seen riders like Barry Wicks and Eric Tonkin compete at the gruelling event. This year Kathy Sherwin and her three other teammates showed up and dominated the women’s event. Either Kathy was using her great fall form to put the pressure on or this is the perfect base training for next fall.