It was another wild weekend of cross on both sides of the pond. With no less then nine UCI races occurring over the past five days (including eight over the weekend), there was a lot of great action and excellent races. So, if you couldn’t follow all of the action (with this much going on who could), here’s what you need to know.
Gateway Cross Cup (C2): The inaugural Gateway Cross Cup took place in St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, where Jeremy Powers picked up his second victory of the season. Powers followed this up with a third and ninth at the first two rounds of the USGP. Here’s his September schedule w/ mileage:
Home to Nittany Cross (Sat. 9/10) – 350mi (roughly)
Philadelphia to CrossVegas (Wed. 9/14) – 2,173mi (flight)
Vegas to home, then to Catamount GP (Sun. 9/18) – 2,584mi (flight/car)
Catamount to home to Gateway Cup (Wed. 9/21) – 1,274mi (flight/car)
Gateway to USGP (Sat. and Sun. 9/24-9/25) – 310mi (flight)
That makes it six races and about 7,391 miles traveled for J-Pow. Impressive – and tiring. With a pair of victories to show for his efforts this season, it hasn’t been fruitless, but given his shut-out of the USGP (see below), one can’t help but wonder if it’s not what he’d hoped for at this point. Perhaps cris-crossing the country is starting to add up.
Nor Easter CX (C2): Round two of the NECS brought the New England crowd to Burlington, VT for Nor Easter Cross. Helen Wyman and Ian Field continued their east coast dominance. Their victories continued a trend of European riders dominating the regional series on the East Coast. Tom Van den Bosch, Nicolas Bazin and Field have all the East Coast victories except for Nittany cross where Powers took the victory. It appears that life has become even harder for regional elite riders looking to pick up UCI points.
Ellison Park CX (C2): After beating up on the field in New Hampshire, Bazin, Van den Bosch and Field continued their East Coast dominance by taking the top three spots at Ellison Park in New York. Helen Wyman made if six-for-six for her trip to North America after decimating the women’s race. The bright spot for New England, once again, was Justin Lindine. Lindine picked up another top-five placing right behind the Euro crew. Lindine has been able to ride with the leaders over the past few weeks and may be able to bring a victory back to America in the future.
Planet Bike Cup – USGP #1 (C1): Ryan Trebon picked up his first UCI victory of the year a head of Bart Wellens and Jeremy Powers. This is Trebon’s biggest victory in years and may be a sign that he’s back to his old self. Note that Trebon posted his power file. He averaged 472 watts for an hour: that’s impressive! It looks like Trebon is hitting his stride early while some of his competitors struggle with the season’s early races. Meanwhile, the women’s race was dominated by Katerina Nash, who picked up her 4th consecutive victory.
Planet Bike Cup – USGP #2 (C2): Bart Wellens took round two of the USGP in extremly muddy conditions a head of Jonthan Page and Trebon. Page posted his best result of the season before heading over to Europe. This is the second year in a row Page has failed to pick up a victory on US soil.
Wellens’ victory was made even more remarkable by the fact that he only had one bike. Wellens and his teammate, Rob Peeters, made the trip to the US with two bikes and two sets of wheels for each rider – one set with file treads and the other with mud tires. So, why was Peeters able to change bikes when Wellens wasn’t? Peeters borrowed a pair of Revolution Wheelworks wheels. Great press for those guys, but even they’re not sure how the Belgian star ended up with them. Also, the mechanic is smoking to help open up his lungs. It’s a Euro thing.
Finally, Tim Johnson slipped in the mud and hit a rock, ending his race early. The good news is he’s okay and should be ready to rock and roll for Gloucester.
GP Neerpelt (C2): Sven Nys took the victory a head of Kevin Pauwels and Niels Albert. With a pair of races under their belts, it’s time for our ‘no, it’s not too early’ predictions: Albert will take a while to win his first race but then he’ll do it convincingly and repeatedly. Nys and Pauwels are going to battle all season long and Klass Vantornout is going to spend forever trying to get a win again.
Openingsveldrit van Harderwijk (C2): CrossVegas winner Lars Van der Haar won his second race of the season in the Netherlands ahead of Tijmen Eising and Jim Aernouts. It was another neck-and-neck sprint finish for the U23 World Champion. Here’s some free advice: drop him before the final 400 meters or you’re toast.
Stribro – Toi Toi Cup #1 (C2): Zdenek Stybar simply rode away from the field en route to a victory in his hometown. He beat runner up Jan Denuwelaere and Petr Dlask by 1:35. The Toi Toi cup is usually all Czech, but Denuwelaere (Bel) decided to chase some UCI points in the early season right. There was also a large, poor performing German contingent.
Süpercross Baden (C2): Stybar made it two-for-two with a victory in Baden, Switzerland. Behind, French National Champion Francis Mourey came across the line a head of Lukas Flückiger. Mourey wasn’t able to come closer than an arms’ length to Stybar, finishing 15 seconds behind the World Champion. Styby should be in Belgium this weekend for his first real test of the season.