by Evan Schmitt
Until this year, ringing in the New Year with cyclocross has only been done in Belgium. That will change this time around with the UCI races in Chicago this weekend. The Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution will be held on the golf course at the Hilton Lakes Resort and will attract some of the fastest riders in North America as they are in the Midwest tuning their fitness prior to the National Championships in Wisconsin on January 4th-8th.
On the men’s side, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) will be the front runner after winning the USGP series in Oregon earlier this month. He will face a hard challenge from nemesis Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), who is back from a knee injury that sidelined him since the USGP in Kentucky. Also in the mix will be Tristan Schouten (Cyclocrossracing.com-Blue Bicycles), Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), Brian Matter (Gear Grinder) and Justin Lindine (Bikereg.com-Joe’s Garage).
On the women’s side, expect a battle between the West Coast’s Sue Butler (River City Bicycles-Ridley) and the East Coast’s Laura Van Gilder (C3-Mellow Mushroom). Also be on the lookout for Samantha Schneider (Cyclocrossracing.com), who won the overall in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, and Lindsay Zucco (Team Bicycle Heaven).
Although the event is listed as the “2011 Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution,” it’s also the kickoff to 2012 racing. And if you’ll be lining up, make sure you’ve renewed your racing license ahead of time!