Sven Nys leads the chase behind Niels Albert - file photo

Sven Nys leads the chase behind Niels Albert - file photo

by Kat Statman

Week in, week out, there’s racing to be had around the world where we can catch up on what ’crossers do in their spare time. So here it is this week. Marianne Vos continues to show that she is the best of the best. Lars Boom puts his stamp on Paris-Roubaix, will he one day hold a cobble on the podium in the velodrome after 260 km? Jesse Anthony shows what years of ’cross racing can do when rubber meets dirt at Battenkill. Sea Otter is here and we are edging closer and closer to ’cross season. Finally, Sven Nys is training and heading for a pleasant locale.
Vos, Boom and Anthony Digging Deep and Putting it All Out There

Marianne Vos continues to destroy the women’s road fields with another sprint win during stage four of the Energiewacht Tour. Vos clearly is on top of her game, but what is more impressive is Vos’ ability to continually stay there throughout the road, track and ’cross seasons – almost as if she is the energizer bunny and just can’t stop.

Marianne isn’t the only Euro ’crosser that has been showing her strength during the spring road season: Lars Boom has been a noticeable force at the front end of the peloton as well. At Paris-Roubaix this weekend, the tall Rabobank rider was drilling the pace at the front of the main peloton through the legendary Arenberg Forest as well as many other critical cobbled sectors. Not only was Boom at the front of the race setting the pace, but he made his way into a late race chase group and eventual breakaway. Maybe if not for the puncture we would have seen the former multiple-time ’cross world champion rolling through the velodrome alone?

It’s always great to see ’crossers on the road in the spring, when their fitness for road racing is questionable at best. Jesse Anthony, multiple-time US national ’cross champion, has been showing great form on the road, and at this weekend’s controversy-tinged Battenkill-Roubaix, Anthony didn’t disappoint. During the 80-mile dirt and paved road race, Anthony made the decisive move on the day and nearly pulled off the W. Great job Jesse, keep putting it to the pro road field!

Sea Otter, A Cross Kick-Off Weekend?
This weekend is the kickoff for ’crossers to really start thinking about the fall season with the Sea Otter Classic invading the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. Stay tuned to Cyclocross Magazine for tech updates as they come in. But, on the pro ’cross rumors and rumblings side of things, it’s time to start looking out for the major contenders to be pinning and zip-tying their numbers back on. Ryan Trebon will be making his first race debut since leaving the Kona Factory Team for his own project. We are only a few short weeks away from Jeremy Powers getting back to it with the Jelly Belly team. I can’t imagine Tim Johnson will be far behind, though unfortunately we won’t see him putting a paper plate number on his bike to toe the line on the short world cup mountain bike style course.
The King of ’Cross Gets Things Going
Sven Nys has been up to a bit of tweeting, but more importantly, he has been up to some quality training. Just this morning he tweeted about putting in his morning miles and then getting ready for a flight to Mallorca, the famous training destination for European pros. With April rolling by quickly and ’cross season getting closer and closer, Nys knows what he has to do in order to be in shape and defend his stellar 2010-2011 season, where he took almost every important general classification as well as the most wins of any of his European compatriots. But first there is the small matter of some mountain bike and road racing to take care of, with Nys still hoping to make the Belgian Olympic MTB team for the London games. I wonder if the smooth, non-technical course will suit the ’crosser, or would a few more rocks and roots help him out?