Marriane Vos, who won at Namur last year, will be returning to defend her title © Bart Hazen

Marriane Vos, who won at Namur last year, will be returning to defend her title: will she be able to take on Compton? © Bart Hazen

by Kat Statman

Well, the world didn’t implode or explode yesterday, and we admit, we weren’t surprised. Everyone knows the world is not allowed to end until either this year’s Kersteperiode ends or Sven wins another World Championship, right? OK, enough of the end of the world jokes, pretty tiresome and we have cyclocross to talk about. The Americans invade Europe: keep your eyes peeled for a Vos-Compton duel over the next few weeks, Jeremy Powers is looking for a little coin, Amy grabbed that podium and Mo Bruno rolled in not too far behind. In sad news, Stybar is foregoing Worlds: should we make a petition? And, of course Lars Boom has started some controversy with the Belgian folks, again. Three Rapha-related Jeremy’s will be married within a year, is this some kind of record?

Christmas Week in Belgium
It is becoming pretty common place during the Christmas week crazy fest that Belgium is invaded by a few more Americans than usual looking to get some other worldly race experience. While the volume of riders may seem to be greater, the competition that we are sending at all levels is even greater. Just think, Katie Compton will be spending the next few weeks in Belgium to reduce her travel back and forth and that brings about the Compton-Vos duel we’ve all been waiting for. Neither of them have raced against each other, but at Namur, expect some fierce competition. Vos may not have a chance of unseating Compton from the World Cup overall, something that Katie has been targeting, but it will be great to see the two great women champions of the field go after it.

Not only do we have some exciting racing coming from Katie and Marianne, but, with Powers back in Europe, we’re going to be on the edge of our seats to see if the top 10 in the World Cup will continue and he can keep moving up for that front row start in Louisville. If Jeremy does and starts on the front in Louisville, the possibilities are endless on the day.

In addition, we’ve got a contingent of juniors, U23s and elites in Euroland for EuroCrossCamp. Check out our Missives from the Motherland as we follow along with their travels.

US Women Snag Top Euro Spots
Don’t forget, even though Katie is over in Europe, Amy Dombroski and Mo Bruno are over there too, grabbing podiums and top 5’s to boot. Well, sounds like maybe the Belgians should be shaking in their boots a little. Our strong Americans (not to mention the Swiss guys coming up again these days) could move us all into a new era of ’cross (though still quite a long way off).

Worlds … Without Stybar
I think we all sort of expected this, but Stybar will not be coming to Worlds. I’m a little more ambivalent about this than I may have been two years ago, but, then again, it is sad. A two-time world champion missing a world championships, a historic world championships no less, is a little sad. Should we sign a petition? It’s tough to say, do we want to expend that much energy on a roadie defector? Maybe not, maybe so, but then again, him arriving to just “ride around” versus ride for the win … Well, if he was still a veldrijder, then I’d be all for it, but now, I’m not as convinced.

Lars Boom Angers Belgians … Again
Have to admit, one thing that Lars does well, not including his amazing ability to ride a bike at mach-10, is stir up anger and resent among the Belgian peloton. In 2008 before Hoogerheide, he angered the Belgians so much that they actually came together and rode against him as a team, sending Niels to the win. This collusion, all because of some cocky statements to the press. Well, he did it again: according to Lars, the rest of the Belgians have not been training long enough or hard enough and that is why they can’t beat Sven. That definitely seems like a stretch: first of all Sven hasn’t won every race, just most of them, so clearly he can be beaten. Second, he’s Sven and is having a season like he did in 2006-2007 again, which means he is near unstoppable, so the other players in the field have less of a chance. Finally, the field is a little less deep at the top this year without, *cough, cough,* Lars and the other ’cross rider turned roadie, Stybar. But for now, look for some hard-nosed racing from Niels and Kevin if Boom makes his way up to them from the last row during his short stint in the fields.

Congratulations are in Order
In a warm congratulations from all of us here at Cyclocross Magazine: there have been three wonderful marriage rumors and announcements in the cyclocross community of late, all with a (different) Jeremy involved. First and foremost, because he is the American Sven, we’ve heard that Jeremy Powers has been engaged for quite some time to his long time girlfriend, kicking off the list as the first Rapha-Focus rider to get engaged. Belated congrats, Jeremy! Then, there was the second Rapha-Focus engagement that recently culminated in the marriage of Rapha-Focus’s Julie Krasniak to Rapha’s Jeremy Dunn. And most recently, the third and final Jeremy took the plunge. Adding a little across-the pond-flavor, Rapha-Focus’s Gabby Day has agreed to marry Jeremy Durrin … That’s right, the Sausage King. Congrats you two, with Jeremy making the move to the pro roadie and cyclocross ranks next year and Gabby continuing and rocking it for England, it will be cool to see the newly weds hitting the races together. Congrats to Jeremy and Gabby!

Who knows what other weddings we’ll see, now that the Euros have discovered how good the racing in the US really is?