Bart Wellens wins © Bart Hazen

Bart Wellens wins- and tests clean! © Bart Hazen

Kat Statman weighs in with his latest Cyclocross Rumors & Rumblings, an opinionated round-up of the recent week’s happenings in the world of cyclocross.

by Kat Statman

This week we have some really great off-season news for you: Bart Wellens has been cleared of suspicions of doping on two counts; Katie Compton makes a quick transition and grabs a podium in Texas; Adam Myerson walks off a plane and wins an early season bike race; Colnago with a disc brake road bike, are things in the works for a ’cross racer for next year?; Amy Dombroski has been up to some off-season antics; and Tim Johnson starts training in anticipation of his Ride on Washington.

Bartje is Clean!
Nothing soothed my heart more than when the hair and blood samples came back negative for Bartje. To know that “all” that was wrong with him was a bacterial infection of some sort that caused his heart to grow to insane sizes and put him in the hospital with a possible life-threatening disease is just … well, heart-warming. Especially after his minor resurgence this year, where he took down Nys at a major race for the first time in what seemed like years. Now, Nys did have a final lap mechanical, as he sometimes is apt to do, but regardless, Wellens took the day in fashion. Not that we ever doubted you, Bartje, but hearing the official news is good for the sport’s morale.

Katie, The Nys of Women’s Cross?

Many might say that Marianne Vos is the Nys of women’s ’cross, but I’m going to disagree on one point, and it’s not that Vos isn’t an amazing bike racer, because that is clearly indisputable. But, if Vos was the Nys of women’s ’cross, we would see her lining up with some fat tires (preferably Dugast mountain bike tubulars) for the start of the Olympic mountain bike races in London and not, as is more likely, the start of the Olympic road race. Let me get a bit academic. Nys is a ’cross racer that has dabbled in mountain bike racing with a lot of success. Vos is a bike racer that doesn’t get dirty unless it’s a ’cross race.

But anyway, on to Katie f’in Compton. Katie is a ’cross racer who has a long history in mountain bike racing (and track too, but we’ll ignore that for now). Katie still lines up and races the biggest mountain bike races in the world, as evidenced by her run at making the US Olympic team this year and the requirement of heading over to such places as South Africa and Europe in March and April in order to grab one of those spots. Like Nys, Katie has won nearly everything, with one caveat, for whatever reason: just like Nys, the World Championships have been her archnemesis (Nys has one Elite title, though). She’s taken down nearly every World Cup and when she was chasing that, it ruined her Worlds run. Not very different than Nys. Well, she’s continuing the Nys-like-ness and has put together a solid early season effort down in Texas for a podium spot at the Mellow Johnny’s Classic ahead of hard-charging women like Heather Irmiger, Georgia Gould and Lea Davison.

Adam Myerson, Little Bit of Old Man Power?
Through the Twitter grapevine, I heard that this past week that Adam Myerson spent the day traveling, walked off the plane, received a bike he’s never ridden and then proceeded to win Carolina’s Pain Institute Criterium in sprint fashion after breaking away with Nick Inabinet. Not a bad effort for March there, Mr. Myerson, especially coming straight off of base training!

Colnago with Disc Road before Disc Cross?
So Colnago sent out a bunch of spy shots to the media this week of a disc-equipped road bike. Disc brakes for
cross have sort of been the hot thing to talk about now for awhile, but not disc brakes for road, because, well, you can’t race on them (yet). But the Italian company went ahead. This is likely to mean that there is a disc-equipped bike ready for cross, but because 2012 season is so far away they don’t want people to forget about it and it’s pure marketing timing, but are Nys and Albert going to be rolling on some fancy skinny-tired rigid mountain bikes next year? I wonder how much faster things are going to get when those guys get their hand on disc equipped cross bikes!

Amy Dombroski and Off-Season Adventures
Amy, first of all, I just want to thank you for the lively and exciting Twitter account. There are many out there that have good accounts, but Amy really is a lesson to all pro cyclists between her live updating men’s races in Belgium either from her couch at home or from the sidelines to her wonderful expositories on Auntie Anne’s pretzels, the best off-season treat! (Amy: hope you found one of those pretzels.)

Tim Johnson, Back in the Saddle for a Ride on Washington
Tim’s training, at least according to the interwebs, has officially started, because we all know that you have to be in shape for all those town line sprints during the Ride on Washington, an important endeavor in cycling advocacy that really needs support from all cyclists (go check out the website: for information on how to donate and what they stand for). I guess a few weeks in advance should do it, right? With four days of 100+ mile riding, we’re hoping his legs are ready for it! (Stay tuned for our coverage of the ride starting next week.)