PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The stage is set for the 2012 Providence Cyclo-cross Festival with professional riders from around the world delivering the excitement and the pain of ‘cross to Providence.
The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival takes place October 6-7 at Roger Williams Park and will see the continuation of the great American ‘cross rivalry betweeen Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), and 2012 cyclo-cross national champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus). Johnson’s teammates Ryan Trebon and Jamey Driscoll will also be on hand to provide firepower.
Powers, fresh off his victory at ‘Cross Vegas, is looking forward to racing again at Rogers Williams Park, a venue he is familiar with from the 2005 cyclo-cross nationals. “It’s a great event for me, it’s the closest race to my hometown and it will be great to race in New England two weekends in a row,” he said, “I definitely expect a challenge from the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com guys.”
The Americans will be met by a number of European pros racing for valuable UCI points, which determine world rankings. Confirmed riders include former U23 Belgian national champion Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement), 2011 Danish national champion, Joachim Parbo (KCH Leopard Cycles), and 2012 British national champion Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles).
Laura Van Gilder (C3-Mellow Mushroom) and Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven) return to defend last year’s victories, but there are a number of riders capable of stealing the crown.
Helen Wyman (Kona) is looking to continue her early season winning streak after taking victories at Ellison Park and Nittany. But the seven-time British national champion will be challenged by a number of seasoned veterans and a pack of young blood. France is strongly represented, with Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus) who has two early season wins in Oregon under her belt, as well as two-time French national champion Caroline Mani(Raleigh-Clement).
Van Gilder has an advantage as a returning champion, but notes the strong field will prove difficult to best, “I know the competition will be top notch this year because there are no schedule conflicts like there were in the past. I am hoping to defend my title, but will take it one race, and one weekend at a time,” she said.
The fourth annual Providence Cyclo-cross Festival will be held Oct. 6 & 7, 2012. Held in Roger Williams Park on a course used for the 2005 and 2006 U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships, the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival returns as a UCI sanctioned Category 1 event . Organized by Providence Cross Fest LLC, the event is also part of the Shimano New England Professional Cyclocross series. For more information, visit www.providencecrossfest.com