Marianne Vos won her sixth Cyclocross World Championship in Louisville, KY. © Meg McMahon

Marianne Vos won her sixth Cyclocross World Championship in Louisville, KY. © Meg McMahon

by Kat Statman

With winter in a slow decline, it may be time to start thinking about that base training for next ’cross season. Get a few more good sessions on the wooden sticks (i.e cross country skis) in, of course, and maybe a run or two or a trip to the gym, but spring weather riding and epic dirt road road races means that it’s time for 300 km epics in Italy and Belgium. The spring classics are great: they provide the perfect beginning for bike-racing base to prime you for the eventual difficulty of watching all 21 stages of each of the Grand Tours. Nor are those wasted hours: they’re the perfect build up into ’cross season, where intensity is the name of the game. So, what do we have for you today? Well, to write about pro ‘crossers and not write about Marianne Vos would be a crime; the US mountain bike season kicked off last weekend at the Mellow Johnnie’s Classic in Texas; and Colin Reuter (aka @resultsboy) schedules a bike race for Jeremy Powers’ wedding day.

Marianne Vos: Superwoman?
If you’ve been paying attention to the world of professional women’s cycling, then you already know that not only did Marianne Vos storm to her first mountain bike win at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup recently, but she also then proceeded to win the Drentse 8 yesterday on the road. What I, and probably every cyclist wants to know, is how you go from winning the World Cyclocross championships in January, and then within a month start winning everything else again. Yes, training, yes, rest, got all that. But still. I’m not prepared to say that we are witnessing the birth of a new form of domination for Vos (adding mountain bike to ’cross, road, and track), because it is still very early season for mountain bikers, and the real test will come at the first World Cup, when the pace – and the technical features – goes up. But, clearly, we are witnessing bike racing history here and would have the privilege of watching the greatest bike racer of all time, if only we could get better coverage.

Mellow Johnny’s Kicks Off US Mountain Bike Season
While Lance may be disgraced, his Austin bike shop is still doing good things and putting on one of the US Pro Cross-Country Tour races in the hill country outside of Austin, Texas (the barbecue out there is to die for). With the start of a new race season, it’s a good chance to see who is going the way of the road and who the way of the dirt. We all know that Todd Wells and Geoff Kabush have stuck with mountain biking, with multiple national championships and Olympic team berths between them. But what about some of the other folks, like Barry Wicks? He not only hopped into a cross country race, something he has not been focusing on for a number of years, favoring ’cross and the long mountain bike stage races, but apparently he stirred up some controversy with USAC and professional licensing rules, as well. Also, the honey badger, Justin Lindine, made an early season appearance. He may have struggled with a crash that hurt his chances, but any ’cross racer that lines up to race again this early in March deserves a little respect … actually, make that a lot of respect.

Will Jeremy Powers Attend Colin’s Bike Race on his Wedding Day?
Probably not. But, it’s fun speculation. In a brief exchange on Twitter earlier this week, Colin Reuter (aka @resultsboy) has been planning a mountain bike race, to go along with his ’cross races in the fall, and needed a weekend that would work out. Well, turns out the best weekend between the EFTA and Root 66 series turned out to be Jeremy Powers’ wedding weekend, which Colin did not know. Too bad, Colin, I guess there won’t be any celebrity appearances this year. Maybe next year!