And they're off! Here, 2010 Nittany Lion Cross kicked off UCI season. It might be a bit muddier this year. © Anthony Skorochod/CyclingCaptured.com
by Kat Statman
The Euro’s are coming, the Euro’s are coming. Have we really made that much of an impact or is this just a fluke as everyone is thinking about the 2013 World Champs in Louisville? It is officially here though folks: ’cross season’s big kick-off tomorrow. So with that being said, where are the pros going this weekend and what are they up to if not racing? Jeremy Powers, Adam Myerson, Tom Van Den Bosche, Ian Field, Bryan Fawley, Luke and Jesse Keough, Justin Lindine and Weston Schempf are all lining up for the men at the 6th Annual Nittany Cross. And for the women, we have Helen Wyman, Rebecca Wellons, Laura Van Gilder, Vicki Thomas and Gabby Day. Tim Johnson is out training with ’cross buddy and fellow New Englander Jesse Anthony; will we see Jesse hit the dirt much this year? Zdenek Stybar gets serious about ’cross, at least on Twitter. Ryan Trebon starts the competition early at the GP Molly Cameron. Telenet-Fidea looks towards the future with Bart Wellens and an all-new women’s team with Nikki Harris, Sophie de Boer, Nicole de Bie and Pavla Havlikova.
Cyclocross Season Kicks Off With Nittany
So, the official UCI season opener is this weekend. That’s right folks, the wait is over, at least if you live somewhere relatively close to Allentown, Pennsylvania, or want to make the big trip either across the pond or the rock, depending on where you’re coming from. So who’s going to be out there? Well, a whole laundry list of big names. To name a few from this side of the Atlantic, we have Jeremy Powers, Adam Myerson, Luke and Jesse Keough, Justin Lindine, Bryan Fawley and Weston Schempf. From the other side of the pond, well, we’ve got Ian Field and non-other than Tom Van Den Bosche. All I really know that is that Van Den Bosche is from northern Europe, races for the AA Drink Team and was mentioned by Bart Hazen when talking about some road race called Ronde Van Limburg. Well, regardless, it is going to be some fast racing this weekend at the Trexlertown velodrome.
The women’s UCI races really don’t get enough coverage, so, we should get them going now! So, which women will be going for some UCI points this weekend at Nittany? Well, the list is a Who’s Who of Mid-Atlantic and New England ’cross racers and two Euros. Our Americans of note are Rebecca Wellons, Laura Van Gilder and, even though she’s Canadian we’ll lump her in here, Vicki Thomas. From across the pond, none other than Helen Wyman and Gabby Day (check out her awesome interview). It’s going to be some fast action for those early season points.
West Coast Gets A Head Start On Cyclocross Season
Nittany Cross may be the first UCI race in the US, but it’s not the first ’cross race. This race probably wasn’t the first ’cross race of the season either, but, it’s the first race where a few big guns toed the line. Trebon showed that he was on form and Molly Cameron did her namesake race proud at the GP Molly Cameron. It really is getting exciting around the US with all this ’cross stuff!
Tim Johnson Prepping For Vegas
Tim Johnson has informed the world that he has been out training with long time friend and New England ally, Jesse Anthony. Does this mean we’ll get to see Jesse at more than a few token events? I hope so. Jesse’s had an amazing season this year and it would be awesome if he could keep it rolling through the fun part of the year. Yes, it’s probably going to start out muddy and maybe slow this year with all the rain that it seems like everywhere but Texas is getting, but still, Jesse’s got some pop even when it’s slow and nasty.
Stybar Tweets Away About ’Cross
I’ve been a little critical about Stybar recently, saying he isn’t taking ’cross seriously, that he’s another Boom and has completely left the wonderful world of 20 psi, 32 mm knobby tires, mud, sand and barriers. It’s probably not fair, so, here’s a little love Styby: You’re sounding serious for sure on Twitter and that’s awesome.
Telenet-Fidea Adds A Women’s Team, Makes Big Plans
In other big ’cross news, Telenet-Fidea, in their upheaval, adds a women’s team to the Belgian powerhouse’s structure. So who did they sign? Well Danny di Bie’s (team captain and coach) wife, Nicolle Leyton will be joined by Pavla Havlikova, Nikki Harris and Sophie de Boer. I have to say though, Telenet-Fidea is not the first team to do this, but it’s good to see that they are one of the first and they are going full force with four women. Good on you, Hans Van Kasteren.
OK, in other Telenet-Fidea news: after the mass exodus from the Belgian team, what is Hans Van Kasteren to do? Well, he still does have Bart Wellens, Danny de Bie, Rob Peeters, Tom Meeusen and Joeri Adams. So what are their plans? To win at least five races. And in more important news, we now have a successor for Van Kasteren when he finally steps down: Bart Wellens. Not only is there a successor, but there is a timeline set for it happening in the next two to three years. Hopefully, Bart can get things back to their former standing as a big-time powerhouse, or maybe they’ll be the first women’s cyclocross powerhouse!