As temperatures heat up, so is the bike racing action. Rumors & Rumblings returns with updates on race results, upcoming races and new teams. As always, if you have a Rumor or Rumbling worth noting, please contact us at news [at] cxmagazine.com.
Katie Compton To Race with Team USA at Tour of California
In past years, Katie Compton has raced at the Tour of America’s Dairyland criterium series in Wisconsin to get some preseason, mid-summer intensity in. This year, she received a nod to join Team USA at the three-day Amgen Tour of California being held May 17-19.
Compton joins an impressive team roster that includes Megan Guarnier, Skylar and Samantha Schneider, Christina Birch and Jennifer Wheeler. Guarnier won the event in 2016 and the Schneider sisters are former ’cross racers who have made their mark on the Women’s road peloton.
Compton said the following in the USA Cycling press release, “Being part of the USA Cycling Team for the Tour of California is a huge honor and one I’m looking forward to. It’s the biggest road race I’ll do all year and I’m excited to race on a team of talented and strong women. I’m happy that USA Cycling has provided me an opportunity to take part in a race that I wouldn’t have the option to do otherwise. The racing is going to be really hard and a big challenge for me, but I cannot think of a better way to jump start my preparation for ’cross season.”
Richey, Van den Ham Go 1-2 at B.C.’s Ride for Water Gravel Race
The Garneau-Easton duo of Craig Richey and Michael van den Ham is looking to make a big splash on the gravel scene this year. Van den Ham took second at the Land Run 100, and the two are now both targeting next month’s Dirty Kanza 200. After travels far and wide—Richey recently raced at Sea Otter, Van den Ham at Paris to Ancaster in Ontario—the two were back in British Columbia for a gravel event much closer to home over the weekend.
The 2018 Ride for Water took place in the Chilliwack River Valley outside Vancouver. The cool part about the ride is it was a fundraiser to support clean water for families in Gora Bantu, Ethiopia.
The 142km race featured over 2,000 meters of climbing (88 miles and 6,600 feet in American, respectively) on a course that took gravel and dirt roads up into the Rocky Mountains.
Richey got the best of the battle, beating out his teammate Van den Ham to take the win.
Those of you who listened to our interview with Michael van den Ham last month may remember the Canadian National Champion said he is a cyclocross bike crossover guy when it comes to gravel events and that gravel bikes are for people who like U.S. maple syrup. That changed at the Ride for Water, where Van den Ham hopped on a Lauf True Grit gravel bike outfitted with the company’s Grit suspension fork.
We’re looking forward to seeing Van den Ham, his new bike and Richey in action at the star-studded Dirty Kanza 200 next month.
Rochette Wins Soldier Hollow Pro XCT Race in Utah
Last year, Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) spent much of the summer racing mountain bikes and learning from Clif Pro Team teammate Katerina Nash. This past weekend at the Soldier Hollow UCI XCO race in Utah, Rochette showed off some of what she has picked up from the master. The young Canadian took top honors in both the short track and cross country races over the weekend.
Fellow young cyclocrosser Sofia Gomez Villafane (Stan’s Pivot Pro Team p/b Maxxis) joined her on the podium in both races with a second in the short track and third in the cross country races. Gomez Villafane also finished sixth at the Whiskey 50 Epic Rides race in Arizona.
Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) made his 2018 UCI mountain bike debut in Utah. Hyde finished 7th in the short track race and then took 14th in the cross country race on Sunday. Keegan Swenson (Stan’s Pivot Pro Team p/b Maxxis), whom we saw on the podium at the US Open of Cyclocross, finished second in the cross country race. Swenson also won the Whiskey 50 Epic Rides race in Arizona.
Switzerland’s Nicola Rohrbach (Goldwurst-Power / Felt Bicycle) took the win to go with his third at Sea Otter and third at the Whiskey 50 Epic Ride.
Stephan Devoust (Giant Factory Off-Road), who finished second in the Collegiate Varsity race in Reno, took 10th in the XCO, Brian Matter (Linear Sport) finished 13th, Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly) finished 20th, 2017 Crusher in the Tushar winner Rob Squire (Hanger 15) 21st and 2017 Collegiate Varsity National Champion Henry Nadell (CZ Racing) 23rd.
In the Junior race, Calder Wood (Rad Racing NW) finished 9th and Reno runner-up Scott Funston (Rad Racing NW) took 13th.
Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals were also held over the weekend in Arkadelphia, AR. Belgian Waffle Ride winner Larissa Connors (Team Sho-Air) took third, Cyclocross Masters 45-49 national champion Christina Gokey-Smith (RBM / Matrix Racing) sixth, Cyclocross Masters 30-34 national champion Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team) seventh and Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel) ninth.
In the Men’s race, Alex Wild (Specialized) finished 4th, Pisgah Stage Race winner Travis Livermon (Maxxis-Shimano) 6th and Tristan Uhl (Team RideBiker) 10th.
Full results for Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals can be found at usacycling.org.
Brunner, Ellwood, Chance Stampede Again at Collegiate Road Nats
The last time we saw Eric Brunner, Grant Ellwood and Maxx Chance race in their black and yellow Colorado-Boulder Buffalo kits, the trio stampeded to a 1-2-4 finish at Cyclocross Nationals in Reno. On Friday, the three were back at it in the Collegiate Club Road Race, where they again finished 1-2-4 in the same order.
Brunner captured his second Collegiate Club Stars-and-Stripes of 2018 by beating out Ellwood and Colorado State’s Chaz Hogenaur to win out of the break. Chance finished fourth to make the wide-angle podium.
In the Women’s races, Lindenwood’s Sami Runnels finished fourth in Friday’s road race and Marian’s Laurel Rathbun took fourth in the criterium and fourth in the individual omnium.
Rathbun and Emma Swartz chipped in for a Varsity team time trial win for Marian, and the CU-Boulder combo of Brunner, Chance, Grant Ellwood and Ross Ellwood turned in the best time of the day.
Colorado-Boulder won the Club team overall and Marian the Varsity overall. Brunner finished second in the Club individual omnium and Rathbun took fourth in the Varsity omnium.
Game Respects Game
As the current U23 mountain bike and cyclocross national champion, Christopher Blevins (Specialized) is one of the top young talents in American cycling. Last month, Blevins took the win at the Bonelli Park Elite XCO race for Specialized and then a few days later, won a stage at the Tour of Gila for his Hagens Berman Axeon road team.
When we chatted with Blevins after he won the U23 Cyclocross Nationals, he said he was a big basketball fan while growing up. At Bonelli Park, he got the chance to meet one of his idols and a fellow basketball to cycling convert in Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller. Miller has taken up mountain biking in recent years and now races in California when he’s not busy with his NBA announcing duties.
Miller is busy with the NBA Playoffs right now, but it sounds like Blevins may have a pretty sweet group ride coming up soon.
Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice Team Makes Some Moves
After the retirement of Rob Peeters, the Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice had some room on its cyclocross roster that needed filling. After the end of the cyclocross season, the team filled it in a big way.
The team’s biggest addition is Laurens Sweeck, who finished the season ranked fourth in the UCI rankings. Sweeck’s brother Diether also joins him on the team.
PSV also added Daan Soete (UCI rank: 9th) from the Telenet Fidea Lions and as of January 1, 2019, Tim Merlier (UCI rank: 8th) from Crelan-Charles. On the Women’s side, the team added Loes Sels (UCI rank: 9th) from Crelan-Charles. The departure of Sels and Merlier from Crelan-Charles leaves just Maud Kaptheijns and Stan Godrie with Wout van Aert on Crelan-Charles’ roster from last year.
Michael Boros (UCI rank: 23rd) and Jens Adams (UCI rank: 17th) remain on the team’s cyclocross roster. Peeters was recently named as the team’s Sport Director as of September 1.
In a piece of sad news, in our last Rumors & Rumblings, we reported on Jolien Verschueren’s surgery to remove a brain tumor. Doctors were hoping it would be benign, but found the growth is malignant. Verschueren had surgery to remove the tumor and is now seeking treatment while putting her cycling career on hold.
We again wish Verschueren the best and a speedy recovery.
Rumors & Rumblings is a regular column during the cyclocross offseason. See our archives for more race results, team moves and water cooler chatter.