Last year on Friday night at Jingle Cross, Laurens Sweeck took home a win. In 2018, it was his brother Diether’s (Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice) turn to shine under the lights.
Racing on the evening before Saturday’s World Cup, Sweeck said he made the start for the chance to get the C2 points on an evening when many of the world’s top riders were getting ready for bed as the 9 p.m. start time approached, some 19 hours before the start of Saturday’s World Cup.
“For me it’s important to get the UCI points,” Sweeck said. “I was thinking that not very many riders would start, so it was a good opportunity for me to try and go for the win.”
Early in the race, a group of six formed at the front with Stan Godrie (Crelan-Charles) as the aggressor.
Sweeck followed Godrie’s lead in the third lap, and after three of eight trips around the course at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, Sweeck and Godrie appeared set for a fight on the cool, damp evening in Iowa City.
There would, however, be no tense race between the two. Sweeck put time into Godrie before, during and after the Mt. Krumpit climb, and with the race half over, Sweeck had a 10-second advantage.
Godrie and the rest of the field would come no closer to Sweeck the rest of the way. With the win, he accomplished his goal of winning a race and heading into Saturday with more UCI points in his pocket.
“The rain made it hard, but I am just happy I got the points and the win,” Sweeck said.
Sweeck and Godrie Start Fast
Rain during the week and on Friday morning made the course at the Johnson County Fairgrounds muddy, but as Friday’s racing progressed, the mud started to tack up. By the time the men took the course at 9 p.m., racing speeds started to really pick up.
With Belgian and French riders in the field, early on it was a couple of young guns from North America who have Jingle Cross experience who sought to assert themselves. Gunnar Holmgren (Hardwood Next Wave Cycling Team) took the holeshot, and Caleb Swartz (Linear Sport Racing), who has been racing at Jingle Cross since 2010, joined the lead selection of seven at the front of the race.
Midway through the second lap, Godrie, Sweeck and Canal started to push at the front of the lead group, but at the end of the lap, a group of six passed through the long start/finish straight together. In the group were Sweeck, Godrie, Holmgren, Swartz, Fabien Canal (Team Cross UCI Safir Ganova) and Alois Falenta (Team Cross UCI Safir Ganova).
During the third trip around the course, Godrie appeared determined to see who had the legs on Friday night. He exited Mt. Krumpit with a gap on the other riders, and when the leaders headed back around through the start/finish straight, it was Godrie and Sweeck at the front with Canal and Falenta chasing behind them.
If Godrie’s plan was to see who was feeling good on the cool evening, he perhaps overestimated his strength because Sweeck soon took control of the bike race. Sweeck had a five-second advantage when he hit the base of Mt. Krumpit after a Godrie bike change, and by the end of the lap, his advantage over Godrie was 10 seconds. Sitting just four seconds behind him were Canal and Falenta who were charging hard.
In the fifth lap, Sweeck was gone.
Godrie faded back with Canal and Falenta while Sweeck charged forward to an ever-expanding lead.
“I was first along with Stan, and then he changed his bike and I ran hard on the mountain and got like 10 seconds,” Sweeck said. “Then I rode one lap really full gas to make the gap bigger.”
Sweeck’s lead swelled to nearly 25 seconds at one point, and when the leaders crossed the line at one to go, it was pushing 20 seconds over Godrie and Falenta.
With the Saturday World Cup waiting, Sweeck approached the last lap with the mentality of winning the race. Godrie put time into Falenta in the last lap and did his best to catch Sweeck. However, Sweeck played his effort perfectly.
Sweeck crossed the line first to win by six seconds. “I tried to control it at 20 to 25 seconds and then the last lap I slowed down a little bit for tomorrow,” Sweeck said about the end of the race.
Godrie took second and Falenta rounded out the podium in third.
Swartz completed his memorable Jingle Cross ride in fifth.
Brannan Fix finished in seventh.
While Ben Gomez Villafane made his debut in the Elite ranks, finishing in 10th with one UCI point.
See our photo gallery and full results are below. Stay tuned throughout the weekend for full coverage from the 2018 Jingle Cross UCI Cyclocross weekend.
Watch the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup racing live on Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT here.
2018 Jingle Cross Day 1 Full Results: Pro Men - UCI C2 Cyclocross
|1||16||Diether Sweeck||Pauwels Sauzen-vastgoedservice||56:21:00|
|2||17||Stan GODRIE||Creylan - Charles||56:27:00|
|3||3||Alois FALENTA||Team Cross UCI SAFIR GANOVA||56:46:00|
|4||1||Fabien CANAL||Team Cross UCI SAFIR GANOVA||57:40:00|
|5||12||Caleb SWARTZ||Linear Sport Racing Team||58:18:00|
|6||13||Ross ELLWOOD||Boulder Cycle Sport||58:45:00|
|7||9||Brannan FIX||Alpha Bicycle Company / Groove||59:02:00|
|8||4||Justin LINDINE||Hyperthreads/Apex Pro Cycling||59:16:00|
|9||8||Gunnar HOLMGREN||Hardwood Next Wave Cycling Team||59:20:00|
|10||30||Benjamin GOMEZ VILLAFANE||GARNEAU-EASTON p/b TRANSITIONS||1:00:10|
|11||15||Andrew GINIAT||The Pony Shop p/b KPMG||1:00:20|
|12||14||Dylan POSTIER||Renewed Cyclocross/ Garneau-Eas||1:00:22|
|14||24||Terol PURSELL||Amy D Grassroots||1:01:24|
|15||7||Trevor ODONNELL||Lakeside Storage/Bicycles Plus||1:01:40|
|16||22||Josh WHITNEY||Full Cycle Cyclocross Team||1:02:29|
|17||20||Michael LARSON||Team Handmade||1:02:35|
|18||29||Kyle RUSS||Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team||1:02:42|
|19||21||Kevin DAY||Rollout App / Endurance360||1:03:21|
|20||10||Skyler MACKEY||KCCX Elite Cyclocross Team||39:33:00|
|21||28||Kevin MCCONNELL||Iowa City Cycling||39:55:00|
|22||25||Christian RICCI||Lakeside Storage/Bicycles Plus||25:24:00|
|23||23||Adam SABAN||Parallel 44 Racing p/b Sanford||25:32:00|
|24||31||Tyler STEIN||Crit Fit Army Factory Team||17:47|
|DNF||32||Lee UNWIN||L5 Racing No. 22 Bikes|
|DNS||2||Matthieu BOULO||Team Pays de Dinan|
|DNS||6||Bjorn SELANDER||Donkey Label /Bingham Built|
|DNS||27||David REYES||Tenspeed Hero|
2018 Jingle Cross Day 1 Men’s Race Photo Gallery: