Cyclocross Weekend Preview

2010 Koppenberg CX - Muddy Legs

Tim Van Wichelen Photo

As promised, here’s a preview–with predictions–of every major cyclocross event between now and next Thursday.  Feel free to share your picks below.


Internationales Radquer Frenkendorf – Sunday

With nothing going on for the Elite Men this weekend, the race in Frenkendorf, Switzerland could produce a strong field. The odds are that riders like Sven Nys and Niels Albert will take this weekend off to rest and recover, but you never know what the promoters may have up their sleeves. The published start list doesn’t show any big names, even Swiss National Champion Christian Heule isn’t on the list. However, it’s an opportunity for some of Europe’s lesser-known riders to pick up a big win.

My Prediction:

1. Mariusz Gil

2. Marcel Wildhaber

3. Lukas Flückiger

European Championships – Sunday

The European Championships will be the main focus this weekend, for everyone except the Elite Men. Their European Championship isn’t until later in the season. Obviously, the continental wide race is a unique event, one that many riders in North America would love to emulate. The race offers more points then a National Championship, but less then a World Championship. Thus, it promises to offer the best Elite Women, Junior Men and U23 Men fields in Europe.

My Predictions:

Junior Men

1. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)

2. Lars Forester (Sui)

3. Yorbe van Tichelt (Bel)

U23 Men

1. Jiri Polnicky (Cze)

2. Sven Beelen (Bel)

3. Vincent Baestanes (Bel)

Elite Women

1. Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned)

2. Sanne Van Paassen (Ned)

3. Katerina Nash (Cze)

Cyclocross Nommay – Thursday

There’s no World Cup in Nommay this season, but the organizers are still putting on a race in the heart of France. Despite the C1 ranking, the money and prestige of the Fidea race in Belgium will draw a stronger field. French National Champion, Francis Mourey headlines the decidedly French field which alos includes Steve Chaniel, John Gradet and Nicholas Bazin.Swiss National Champion Christian Heule has also commited to the race as has mountain bike superstar Julien Absalon.

My Prediction:

1. Francis Mourey

2. Steve Chaniel

3. Christian Heule

Fidea Jaarmarktcross Niel – Thursday

The four-race Fidea series continues with Jaarmarktcross in Niel, Belgium. After a weekend off for a majority of Europe’s best riders, they will square off in another exciting battle. Zdenek Stybar, who’s training in Majorca right now will be looking to rebound from his disappointing fourth place finish in the Koppenburg cross race. Belgian National Champion, Sven Nys, will be looking to capitalize on the momentum following his Koppenburg victory. Behind those two, there are nearly half a dozen riders who could contend for the win. Former World Champion Niels Albert continues to show good form as does Kevin Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout and Bart Aernouts.

My Prediction:

1. Zdenek Stybar

2. Kevin Pauwels

3. Sven Nys

North America

The Cycle-Smart International – Saturday & Sunday

The 20th annual Cycle-Smart International marks the fifth and sixth stops on the VERGE NECCS series schedule. Justin Lindine leads the series headed into the weekend and will face off with Adam Myerson, as well as Luca Damiani and Jonny Sundt. The Keough brothers (Jesse, Luke and Nick) will also be in action and everyone will have to keep an eye on them. Dylan McNicholas picked up his first career UCI win during round three of the series in Maine. After following that performance up with a second place finish to Myerson, the New Englander moved into second overall.

Saturday’s Prediction:

1. Luca Damiani

2. Justin Lindine

3. Adam Myerson

Sunday’s Prediction:

1. Justin Lindine

2. Adam Myerson

3. Luca Damiani

Dam Cross Weekend – Saturday & Sunday

Griffith Park welcomes the Southern California Prestige Series for the first time ever. Los Angeles’ largest – and most popular – park will see a number of national pros mix it up for points and purses in a pair of UCI C2 races. Chris Horner has been dominating the series as of late, but will face stiff competition as a handful of riders go after UCI points. Ryan Trebon, who is chasing points after suffering an injury last weekend, leads the charge as well as Chris Jones and Adam Craig. Other riders likely to be in the hunt for the podium include mountain biker Sid Taberlay and Troy Wells.

Saturday’s Prediction:

1. Ryan Trebon

2. Chris Jones

3. Chris Horner

Sunday’s Prediction:

1. Ryan Trebon

2. Adam Craig

3. Sid Taberlay

Canadian National Championships – Sunday

The Canadian National Championships return to Toronto, Ontario for what promises to be a very interesting race. Defending Champion Geoff Kabush is not scheduled to start the race, leaving the door wide open for some of Canada’s best. Mike Garrigan, the 2007 National Champion, raced the first two rounds of the World Cup and has to be considered the favorite. Other riders to watch include Evan McNeely, Derrick St. John and Aaron Schooler.

My Prediction:

1. Derrick St. John

2. Mike Garrigan

3. Aaron Schooler

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