Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings – April 22, 2009

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Marianne Vos continues winning ways, Tour of the Battenkill wrap up, Powers wins in Ancaster, Cyclocross at Sea Otter, Jacobs banned for 2 years. The cyclocross world was active over the last week!

Marianne Vos Wins Womens Flèche Wallonne, 4th at Ronde van Gelderland

World Cyclocross Champion and Dutch Road Champion Marianne Vos kept up her hot form in the early season by winning Wednesday’s Womens Flèche Wallonne. The win marked the third consecutive victory in Huy for Vos, who easily outpaced runner up World Cup leader Emma Johansson and third place Claudia Hausler. Despite taking home victory, Vos was not able to reclaim the coveted World Cup leader’s jersey from Johansson, but did manage to cut her points lead to 18. Vos’ attack with 500 meters left to ride proved to be the decisive move, and none of the other riders had the power to keep up with the Dutchwoman.

Sunday saw Vos line up at the Ronde van Gelderland in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Vos had won the Ronde Van Gelderland previously in 2007, the same year as she won her first edition of the Flèche Wallonne. The race came down to a field sprint, in which Vos played a big part, but was outsprinted by Ina Yoko Teutenberg, the Team Columbia-Highroad sprinter. Vos finished the day 4th, but would look over the horizon to the Flèche Wallonne just three days later.

Sunweb-Projob Gets a Fresh Face Too

Sunweb-Projob has announced its first major signing of the off season, to go along with the signings Revor and Fidea announced last week, by unveiling  Espoir rider Jiri Polnicky. Polnicky will officially join the team in June of this year, with a contract that will run until 2011. Sunweb has one of the better U23 squads out there, with Polnicky joining forces with Joeri Adams and Vincent Baestens for next season. Polnicky brought home the bronze medal for his native Czech Republic at the 2007 World Championships, then riding in the Junior Category. Last year, riding in the Espoir category, Polnicky finished a modest 21st in Hoogerheide, a small 1:20 behind winner Philip Walsleben.

The Tour of the Battenkill showcases Cyclocross Riders

While none of the cyclocross heads of state managed to walk away with victory in this year’s Tour of the Battenkill, many of the ‘cross elite were there showcasing their talent and giving some all-star performances. Saturday’s Pro/1 race featured some great performances by some of cyclocross’ stalwarts, with perennial fastman Josh Dillon taking home 4th place, headlining the cyclocross results. Collegiate Division 1 National Champion Will Dugan also had a great ride, finishing 20th.

Sunday’s main event featured even more cyclocross talent, with former National Champion Tim Johnson as one of the hot favorites for victory. Johnson’s teammate Karl Menzies’ presence in the day’s winning break – the race was eventually won by BMC’s Scott Nydam – meant that Johnson was playing a supporting role on the day, but he eventually finished a very respectable 16th. The best cyclocross performance of the day went to National Vice-Champion Jamey Driscoll who rode his way to 6th place on the day. Behind him, Adam Myerson proved that he is not just all fast twitch by taking home 12th place. Will Dugan one-upped his performance from the day prior by taking home 19th place, not bad considering the extra miles he had compared to the others in the race.

Jeremy Powers Gets the Better of Former Canadian Champ Mike Garrigan at Paris-Ancaster

Only 8 out of the 60 kilometers of Paris-Ancaster were made of pavement, and the results showed that skills on the dirt would be the ticket to victory. Jeremy Powers, who made the trip up north, bested former Canadian Cyclocross Champion Mike Garrigan by 25 seconds to take home victory. Powers was the first home out of 1202 finishers, down from 1315 people who started the day.

Cyclocross Struts its Stuff at the Sea Otter Classic

Current National Champion Ryan Trebon, Former National Champion Todd Wells, Current Vice-Champion Georgia Gould and many others were on hand for the Sea Otter Classic this weekend in Monterey, California, where elite cross country and short-track mountain bike events, as well as many gravity and road events, were available to kill the off-season down time.

Gould got things started right in the elite cross country race, taking home another dominant victory – winning by 1:07 – and continuing her string of good results in this young season. Gould attacked early in the race, and could only be followed by her teammate and fellow cyclocross star Katerina Nash. Nash eventually faded to 7th place on the day, but Gould was able to hold and extend her lead to the very end, finishing the day more than a minute up on runner up, Norwegian Lene Byberg. Other cyclocross notables included Kelli Emmet in 4th and Sue Butler in 16th.

On the men’s side, Todd Wells was turning the screws on the field with Specialized Factory Teammate and Mountain Bike World Champion Christoph Sauser, when disaster struck in the from of a flat tire. After not being able to fix the problem on his first try, Wells resigned himself to a long trot to the pit section of the course. A friendly rider (namely, Conrad Stoltz) dropped off a spare CO2 cartridge for Wells to use, and Wells was able to get himself back into the race. Wells managed to pick his way back into 6th position, two ahead of the generous Stoltz. Jeremiah Bishop was also on hand, putting in a solid 7th place finish.

Wells made up for his disappointment in the cross country race by winning Sunday’s Short Track event. Initially, Wells was content to let teammates Sauser and Bury Stander do their work on the field, with Wells sitting in the chase group, biding his time. When Wells realized that his chasing companions, including Ryan Trebon and Bishop, would not be able to catch the leading two, Wells set off on his own to secure a podium spot. In so doing, Wells bridged the gap to Sauser and Stander. When a flat took Sauser out of the race, it was left to Wells and Stander to see who would eventually take home the win. Wells was the stronger of the two, taking home a comfortable win. Behind, Trebon tried to hold off all comers, riding strong in third place for a good portion of the race, but eventually the lack of miles caught up with him, as he faded back to a 6th place finish. Bishop took home 4th place.

Georgia Gould also animated much of the women’s Short Track event, putting in a number of attacks and decimating the field. Clearly focused on the day’s cross country event (which happened after the short track), Gould was content to finish the day in 5th place. Katerina Nash took 8th with Sue Butler in 20th. Kelli Emmet was one behind Gould in 6th.

Wim Jacobs Banned for 2 Years

Former Fidea and Morgan Blue rider Wim Jacobs has been banned for 2 years following a doping positive. The sentence is back dated to February 5th, 2009, the date of the positive. No word has yet been handed down as to the substance that was cause for the positive. Jacobs will be free to ride again on February 4th, 2011. Wim Jacobs was 9th in the Superprestige Standings in the 2005-2006 season.

Superprestige Series Down a Stop for 2009-2010

The organizers of the Superprestige Series stop in Eerde-Veghel have announced that this year’s edition – what would have been the third – will not be taking place, thanks to a lack of funding, and the pulling out of key sponsors at a critical moment. No word as of yet whether the series will replace this stop with another, or operate for a year with one less race on the calendar.

Wondering what your favorite mudders have been up to?  Doing your homework so you can win Cyclocross Magazine’s fantasy cyclocross league next season? We’ve got you covered with our new, weekly report on your favorite top ‘crossers. Each week Jake Sisson will bring you the latest news, gossip, and maybe even a tweet or two on the pro scene. This is installment #5. Installment #4 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know.

 

 

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