by Kat Statman

It’s already March, which means that base training for us ’crossers should be starting up soon for any of those not already underway preparing for a summer season. Most of the American ’crossers have been out putting in the winter miles in early season races or season training camps. Some of the Europeans are also starting to build miles, while others are still kicking back after a long seaosn. So where and what are all the pros doing? World Champion Zdenek Stybar has already donned the Quick Step kit and began his preparation for his road debut in May; Jeremy Powers started his training yesterday; Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington commences today; Katie Compton is way across the world relaxing in New Zealand before the beginning of the next season; and Kathy Sherwin is dominating on two continents this offseason at the Andalucia Bike Race.

Stybar Don New Colors in a New Month
Zdenek Stybar has officially become a Quick Step team member and has gone through the requisite photo shoots to prove it. In addition to the photos that have popped up, Quick Step has sent out press releases regarding the team’s intentions for when the world champion would make his debut. We will see Stybar contest his first race in May at either the Tour of California or the Tour of Romandie. Personally, I’d like to see Stybar at California. In the past, top ’crossers have shown their clout in the American Pro Tour-level race with both Jeremy Powers and Lars Boom spending significant time in a large break together before they were finally caught towards the end of the stage.

Jeremy Powers Hits the Road
Yesterday on Twitter Jeremy Powers from the Cannondale p/b team announced the common trait between coffee addictions and cycling addictions. He said, “Riding and coffee are similar in how addicted you become. After a couple weeks off, it’s time to get back to work. 2011 road season in full swing!” Though Powers has already been to one Jelly Belly team camp in California, where they went through the infamous Navy Seals day, after his long racing season through the World Championships, he clearly needed a long and solid break to get the motivation juices flowing again. Glad to hear that you are back at it, Jeremy, keep turning those pedals and we look forward to seeing another solid season from you next year. Check out Cyclocross Magazine Issue 12, due out in early May, for an exclusive, in-depth interview with JPOW!

Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington to Commence
We’ve already talked about Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington, and if you’re looking for more information on the endeavor check out our article: Tim Johnson and Bikes Belong Ride on Washington. The ambitious trip by bike from Boston to Washington, D.C., commences tomorrow, on March 4th. Johnson will be joined by Richard Fries and many other notable members of the cycling industry, and recreational cyclists will also be logging portions of the 500-mile trip to raise awareness for Bikes Belong and the National Bike Summit. It’s going to be a long ride, perfect base training and all for a good cause.

Katie Compton and her Husband Head Down South
No, not the Down South where many domestic pro racers head, like Florida, Arizona, North Carolina or any other warm-weather state. Katie Compton and Mark Legg-Compton have been preparing for their recent trip to Legg-Compton’s homeland of New Zealand, where they are relaxing and putting in a few fun miles on the mountain bikes before the big training season commences. Not only have they been riding, but they’ve also recently received some of their new bikes from Giant to get used to the new whips before the start of the World Cup mountain bike season in just shy of two months. Keep your eyes out for news of Katie’s exploits as she works to gain a spot on the US Olympic team for the London Olympics and continues her quest for the still elusive cyclocross rainbow stripes.

Kathy Sherwin is Continuing her Mountain Bike Domination Across the Ocean
Not only has Kathy Sherwin and her four-woman team taken the win at the 24 hours of Old Pueblo MTB race, but she’s continuing that strong run of form with Jenny Smith at the Andalucia Bike Race. The Andalucia Bike Race is an early season mountain bike team stage race, similar to the Cape Epic, where teams of two compete in multiple mountain bike stages. Clearly the long hours put in at 24 hours of Old Pueblo has done Sherwin some good as Smith and Sherwin are currently sitting squarely in second overall. With all of these big miles that Sherwin is logging in March and February, let’s hope she can continue and push through for another huge ’cross season, like she did this year.