A full schedule of racing around the continent will keep ’crossers busy this weekend as UCI races hit the Midwest and Northeast calendars
Many of the top names in US cyclocross, including USGP leader Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) and Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus), will head to the Midwest for the Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival, which starts Friday with the Darkhorse Cyclo-Stampede in Covington, Kentucky. Middletown, Ohio, hosts the Java Johnny’s Lionhearts International on Saturday for the second race of the weekend trio. Sunday’s Harbin Park International in Fairfield, Ohio, rounds out the three-race festival. All three races offer valuable UCI points for competitors.
In the Northeast, Adam Myerson’s 21st annual Cycle-Smart International race visits Look Park in Northampton, Massachusetts, for two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend’s races also constitute rounds 10 and 11 of the Verge New England Championship Series and rounds five and six of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross Series.
To the north, the Canadian National Championships will be decided over two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday in Toronto. Current Elite men’s champion Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles/Shimano), winner of last Saturday’s Cross Crusade race in Bend, Oregon, will be on hand to defend his title against up-and-comers like Craig Richey.
In the west, the Cross Crusade, which saw 1,940 riders over two days last weekend in Bend, continues at Barton Park, about 25 miles east of Portland.
Across the pond, racers will contest the GvA Trofee Ronse in Belgium on Saturday, followed by the European Championships in Lucca, Italy, on Sunday.
Dutchman Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) looks like a strong contender to repeat as European champion in the U23s, while his compatriot Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash), fresh off her win on the Koppenberg, looks to be on terrific form for the women’s race. Other contenders will likely include three-time European champ Daphny van den Brand and former European Championship podiumer Helen Wyman (Kona), who has built upon her strong stateside start to post impressive early-season results in Europe.
The Dutch have a strong contender in the Juniors’ race as well in Mathieu van der Poel, who has the lion’s share of big international wins so far this season. Likely challengers will come from Belgians Wout van Aert, winner of the Superprestige Ruddervoorde, and Yorben van Tichelt, winner of the Koppenbergcross.
Keep checking in with Cyclocross Magazine to see how this jam-packed weekend plays out.