by Kat Statman
Another week has gone by, and we continue to delve deeper into the season. Many of you are starting to think about hanging up the bike and many are thinking about what races you want to do next year. But, as always things are moving in the world of Pro Cyclocross, and we have plenty to tell you about. Zdenek Stybar is out until after Christmas to finally recover from the tendinitis he has suffered from for the past month, Sven Nys tells all, the UCI begins its crackdown on American ’cross, Adam Myerson and Justin Lindine prepare to do battle at the Verge Series finals this weekend in Rhode Island, Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers are the only two in contention for the USGP overall, Katie Compton sets a win margin record, and another round of the World Cup is set for this weekend in Igorre, Spain.
UCI ’Cross Commission starts cracking down on American ’Cross Promoters:
The past day or two has been rife with Twitter buzz about the fate of the Verge and NACT series. It seems that the UCI is beginning to crack down on rules that have not been enforced in the US in the interest of supporting growth, to the surprise and bewilderment of many. The rule in question limits the number of races permitted in a single series. The UCI recently threatened to remove the UCI-sanctioning of any series which had more than eight events, as the Verge NECCS series does. Additionally, the Verge series (as well as the NACT, MAC, SoCal, OVCX, etc.) did not apply for a UCI series sanctioning, and any of those series that had a non-UCI Elite race as part of the series was breaking the rules as well. Because they did not apply and get official UCI series sanctioning they are being subject to a one-year penalty as a series. None of the individual races are being affected, though theoretically they could be.
As the situation stands now with respect to the Verge New England Championship Cyclocross Series, it is not going to affect the grassroots level races or the grassroots level series. It will also not affect the UCI Elite level races, but will impact the UCI Elite series. After talking with Adam Myerson it is possible that the UCI ’cross commission will be cracking down on other series as well.
Please stay tuned for an in-depth feature with Adam Myerson, promoter Brook Watts and others on this issue in the near future as we gather information on how this will affect US cyclocross and it’s growth.
Zdenek Stybar Is Out for Weeks
Today on Twitter we learned, sadly for us ’cross fans, that Zdenek Stybar will not be competing for a number of weeks to finally allow his knee to heal after suffering tendinitis from over-training and a string of hard races. He has said that this is good and that he will be back to fight on later in the season, Stybar also said that although he’s out of the running for the GvA Trophy and Superprestige, expect him to be ready to defend his rainbow jersey. Is Stybar really going to be able to come back at the same level he started the season with, or is this just a repeat of what happened to Niels Albert who started strong but faded over the course of last year? The curse of the rainbow jersey in ’cross may only be relevant to later season races.
Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers to Battle it Out for the USGP Overall this Weekend in Portland
This weekend will see the final two races at the classic PIR venue where Tim Johnson will battle his teammate Jeremy Powers for the coveted USGP overall series win. Both Johnson and Powers have made it a point to focus on the USGP as it is the premier US cyclocross series. With their dedication they come into the final two races close in points and the only two able to win the overall. Look for heated battle between the two friends as they fight it out both days. Powers recently wrapped up the NACT series overall with his two wins in the Baystate Cyclocross weekend in Sterling, Mass.
Myerson and Lindine Vying for Top Honors for the Verge NECCS Overall
In addition to Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers, there’s another heated battle going on in Warwick, RI, this weekend at the Verge NECCS finals between Justin Lindine and Adam Myerson. Lindine has led most of the series this fall, but last weekend at the Baystate races Myerson finished on the podium both days, putting him in contention for the overall win. Myerson is having his best season ever with his first UCI win to his name and possibly a series overall win coming his way. At the same time Lindine is having another stand out season, consistently riding at the front of every race he enters. Neither Myerson nor Lindine have ever won the series, though Myerson has finished in second and third before. With the Verge NECCS as one of the premier series in the US and a coveted addition to any palmares, expect an intense battle between the two of them this weekend on one of the classic New England courses.
Top ’Crossers Head to Spain for Round Four of the World Cup
Last weekend we saw Niels Albert take his first win of the season, and it was a big one on the sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium. This weekend the top ’crossers in the world will be making their way to Igorre, Spain, for the fourth round. Though Stybar, current World Cup leader, will be sitting this weekend out, expect all of the other heavy hitters to be up there. Sven Nys has been on a streak and almost unbeatable at most of the big races over the past month, and Niels Albert will once again be hunting for another win. Do not count out Klaas Vantournout, Tom Meeusen, Rob Peeters and the rest of the Belgian squad as they continue to dominate the top end of men’s Elite cyclocross. For the North Americans watch for Jonathan Page and Craig Richey as they continue to battle against the best.
Katie Compton Sets a Record
Katie Compton showed the world that she is the ’crosser to watch at the World Championships this February as she put the largest deficit of the season in a World Cup race into second place Daphny van den Brand of over two minutes. Katie has been on fire for the past few years, especially during the traditionally American months of cross where she has consistently won World Cups, USGP races and everything in between. It was amazing to see the gap what she was able to create over the course of 40 minutes and I look forward to seeing what she will be able to do later in the season as we approach the final World Cup rounds and the World Championships in St. Wendel, Germany.
Sven Nys to Tell All to Cyclocross Magazine!
In the coming weeks, expect an interview with the one and only king of cyclocross Sven Nys. For this interview, we are looking for YOUR reader-submitted questions. Now’s your chance to get answers straight from Nys! Click here to read more about it, and send your questions to askapro [at] cxmagazine.com. (Replace [at] with @).