Across the pond, cyclocross is about to start up this weekend, so let’s take a look at who’s doing what in their last chances to fine tune their form before things get cracking. Helen Wyman confirms with Kona, Vos again on the podium, Italian ‘crossers score a world title, Lars Boom gets his money’s worth and more!
Helen Wyman Moves to Kona for 2010
The Kona team of current National Champion Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks and Erik Tonkin have picked up another big name talent while they’ve had to say goodbye to another. Helen Wyman will move from her Vision 1 team of the past few years to take up the spot on the Kona squad vacated by Wendy Simms who will take some time to focus on being a mom. The current British National Champion will come across the Atlantic in order to take part in StarCrossed and Rad Racing on the first weekend of the U.S. season, and will head down to Las Vegas to tackle CrossVegas. The addition of Wyman to the American scene further proves that America is the hot place to be in cyclocross these days.
Marianne Vos Again Comes Close
Marianne Vos, current World Cyclocross Champion, was at it again at the Holland Ladies Tour, which began on Tuesday. In stage one, Vos was ever so close to victory, instead having to settle for second place after being out sprinted by Kristin Wild. Vos’ second place, and continued sprint prowess bodes well for an effort at the World Road Title later this month. In stage two, a 13.3 kilometer individual time trial in the city of Schijndel, Vos was again on the podium, but was again unable to assume the top step. Vos’ time of 17:41 was 10 seconds off the time of the stage’s winner Ellen Van Dijk who took over the overall lead after two stages. Vos is a mere two seconds behind on the general classification with four stages remaining.
Italians Win Team Relay Championships at Mountain Bike Worlds
The Italians were the deserving victors of the team relay at the currently underway Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia. The team, made up of reigning Italian cyclocross champions Marco Aurelio Fontana (Elite Men), Eva Lechner (Elite Women) and Cristian Cominelli (Espoirs), along with their Junior rider Gerhard Kerschbaumer, stormed to victory over second placed Canada, who finished up 6 second adrift in the 1 hour and 14 minute long race. Canada was led by current Canadian Cyclocross Champion Geoff Kabush who has been very active lately on the world mountain bike scene. The Italians led of with Fontana, who finished up the lead lap in third place, while Kerschbaumer pulled the Italians back into the lead on lap two. Lechner’s lap dropped them again to third place, but a strong anchor lap from Cominelli overtook the French and Canadian teams en route to victory.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot Takes Junior Women’s Gold
Pauline Ferrand Prevot, who’s exploits at this year’s Cyclocross World Championships did not go unnoticed, finishing up 20th after breaking her chain on the first lap and only conceding just over two and a half minutes to winner Marianne Vos, scored another big victory in her young career, taking home the Junior Women’s Mountain Bike World Championship by a comfortable 33 second margin. Second place went to Switzerland’s Michelle Hediger, who waged a heads-up battle with Prevot over the entire three lap race. Prevot and Hediger were together until half way through the final lap, where Prevot managed to distance herself from the troublesome Swiss.
Simon Zahner Gets the Call For 2010 Road Season
Simon Zahner, who enjoyed a breakout ride at the 2009 Cyclocross World Championships, finishing up in 8th place, has parlayed his success into a ride with BMC Racing for 2010′s road season. BMC, as you may have heard, has signed such major names for the coming season as George Hincapie, current Road World Champion Allesandro Ballan, Karsten Kroon and Marcus Burghardt. Zahner, who should be ready to have a superb season on the ‘cross bike, should look to be even more successful in 2010.
Lars Boom All the Rage as Vuelta a Espana Hits Holland
Last year’s Dutch Road and Time Trial Championship as well as former Cyclocross World Champion Lars Boom took advantage of the Tour of Spain spending four days in his home country by featuring in two breakaways, and netting himself the climbers jersey for his efforts. After finishing 44th in the first stage time trial and sticking with the pack on stage two, Boom was on the march in stage three. Along with breakaway companions Johnny Hoogerland and Jesus Rosendo, Boom spent much of the day at the front of the race, even putting in an unsuccessful attack near the end of the day’s proceedings before settling back into the peloton for the sprint finale. The Spring Classics beckoned on stage 4, and who better to fly the flag of the Dutch over the road of the Amstel Gold (via the Vuelta of course) than Dutch Cycling’s golden boy. Boom was again in the day’s main breakaway, this time taking leave of the peloton after only five kilometers of racing. The day’s racing scaled the Cauberg twice, in much the same manner as the Amstel Gold covers the climb, and Boom was able to take home enough points to secure the climber’s jersey heading into the first rest day of the Tour of Spain. With 35 kilometers to go, Boom decided that he had accomplished what he set out to and headed back to the “safety” of the peloton. You may recall, however, that it was this stage when at least 40 riders hit the deck with 2.6 kilometers to go. Boom was caught behind the crash, and finished up the day 8 minutes behind.
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 #23. Installment #22 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know!