2013 US World’s Team – Elite Men

With less than two months before the start of the 2013 World Championships in Louisville, KY, it’s time to start thinking about who will represent the US on their home soil. Many of the riders on this list (consider it an unofficial long list) will head to Europe in a few weeks to try and maximize their UCI points and race with the best in the World.

The qualifications for making the US Worlds team are pretty specific and detailed. However, as we’ll find out, there’s currently only three riders who are guaranteed a spot on the US team. The rest will come down to UCI points and discretionary picks made by USA Cycling.

As one of the top five ranked nations, based on total UCI points, the US is allowed to select nine riders for the 2013 World Championships, with six riders allowed to race. While this could change over the coming weeks, the US should hang on to their spot, qualifying the maximum number of riders.

Note: Belgium will have at least one extra rider as the outgoing World Champion is automatically guaranteed a spot, as is the current World Cup leader.

How those nine riders are selected is largely up to the national federation, in this case it is USA Cycling (USAC).  USAC has laid out specific guidelines of how it will select its riders, but because of Jeremy Powers incredible season, he fills several of the automatic qualification criteria. This means that nearly half the team could be made up of discretionary picks by USAC.

2013 World Championship Qualification – US Elite Men

  1. A rider who finishes in the top five at a World Cup.
    • No rider has done so yet.
  2. The 2013 National Champion.
    • Not determined yet.
  3. Top three UCI ranked riders. Riders must be in the top 50 overall.
    • Jeremy Powers (12)
    • Ryan Trebon (17)
    • Tim Johnson (23)
  4. Top 15 in a World Cup
    • Jeremy Powers – already qualified
  5. Most points accumulated in US UCI C1 races:
    • Jeremy Powers – already qualified
  6. USAC Discretionary Picks
    • Rather than guess at what USAC is going to do, here’s a breakdown of the most likely candidates for the remaining six spots. This also assumes that either Powers, Johnson or Trebon win Nationals and no one finishes inside the top five of a World Cup.
    • James Driscoll – in addition to having competed in multiple World Championships, Driscoll is the only rider to win a UCI C1 race in the US that hasn’t already qualified for the team. He finished seventh in the USGP, which could also help his case. Note: the top three spots in the USGP were occupied by Powers, Trebon and Johnson, Ben Berden (Belgium) was fourth.
    • Jonathan Page – the only American to medal at an Elite World Championship, Page has spent the bulk of his season racing in Europe. Despite it being an up and down season, Page is the fourth highest ranked rider in terms of UCI points and raced well when he started his season in the US.
    • Chris Jones – fifth in the USGP, Jones is the seventh highest ranked US rider in terms of UCI points behind Powers, Trebon, Johnson, Driscoll and Zach McDonald, who will be racing the U23 race.
    • Daniel Summerhill – a former Worlds medalist, Summerhill has come on strong late in the season. He finished sixth overall at the USGP and is the ninth highest ranked American in terms of UCI points.
    • Jeremy Durrin – after spending some time racing in Europe last winter, Durrin picked up his first UCI victory of his career earlier this year. He’s the eighth ranked American in terms of UCI points and will head back to Europe to improve his odds.
    • Justin Lindine – the winner of the VERGE NECCS series, Lindine finished 15th in the USGP despite only racing half the series. He heads to Europe in a few weeks to cement what may be the final spot on the Worlds team.

As previously mentioned, there are still nearly two months until Worlds, but as we get closer, this list should become clearer and perhaps a few surprises will make a run at representing the US on home soil. One thing is clear, Powers, Trebon and Johnson are in, barring some sort of act of the cross gods. The sixth other riders who will make this team have about six weeks to make USAC, and the World, recognize them as one of America’s best.

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US Cross – Week 14 Predictions

Mike Garrigan sprints off the line. Photo: Todd Prekaski.

It’s hard to believe the US season is winding down already. This weekend the USGP wraps up in Bend, OR. Jeremy Powers will not be in attendance, leaving the door open for Ryan Trebon to take overall honors. On the East Coast, the Super Cross Cup is ready to roll in New York after being pushed back a couple weeks due to hurricane Sandy. Here’s how I think things will play out:

USGP Cyclocross – Deschutes Cup (C1/C2)

Day One

The Winner

Ryan Trebon – Trebon has been knocking on the door all season, but just hasn’t been able to pick up a USGP win. It doesn’t help that Jeremy Powers has won five out of the first six rounds of the series. Look for the Oregon resident to pick up the victory on Saturday.

The Podium

Zach McDonald – after a week of wet weather (including more rain today and snow possible for tomorrow), the course in Bend could be a sloppy one. I suspect that McDonald could do really well if things get messy.

Tim Johnson – after a slow start to the season, Johnson has started to turn on the gas lately. Johnson is on my short list for World’s and a pair of podium appearances this weekend could cement that. It would appear that he’s timed it right and is coming into form in the later half of the season.

Day Two

The Winner

Tim Johnson – it’s been a long time since I’ve been on the Tim Johnson train, but I feel like something special may be coming. I’m not going to say it’s a guarantee, but I’m putting my money on the New England native to pick up the victory.

The Podium

Jamie Driscoll – if you’re a Driscoll fan I apologize for picking him. I feel like every time I pick him he ends up off the podium, but every time I don’t he wins. With that said, I like his odds this weekend and think he’ll land on the podium on Sunday.

Danny Summerhill – as if my picks weren’t risky enough this weekend, I’m going all in with Summerhill. A World’s silver medalist, Summerhill has found his cross legs and is highly motivated coming into this weekend. Look for him to podium.

Super Cross Cup (C2/C2)

Day One

The Winner

Dan Timmerman – the “bearded wonder” returned to elite cross this season and hasn’t disappointed. There’s a bit of rain moving through the eastern seaboard, which should soften things up for Saturday. Look for Timmerman to return to the top step of the podium.

The Podium

Mike Garrigan – always a podium threat, Garrigan has been battling with a lot of these guys week after week. He raced well last weekend in New England and I think he’ll capitalize on a smaller field this weekend in NYC.

Dan Chabanov – after quietly working his way up the ranks the past few seasons, Chabanov seems destined to podium. Considering this race is in his backyard, I expect he’ll be looking to make an impact. Look for him to podium.

Day Two

The Winner

Mike Garrigan – after a podium finish on Saturday, look for Garrigan to take the top step on Sunday. I expect the battle for the podium to be a tough one both days, but I like Garrigan’s odds on Sunday.

The Podium

Dan Timmerman – like Garrigan, I think Timmerman will be on the podium both days this weekend. I also think these are the two strongest riders heading into the weekend. Look for Timmerman to podium on Sunday.

Anthony Clark – Clark has quietly been working his way through the ranks this season and is my wildcard for the weekend. He could podium both days, but I think Sunday will be his day. I’m going to give it my best shot to translate incase he reads this: it’s going to be a sikk weekennd and he’s going to shred race weekennd whwha4tt4a sikkk to sik.

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European Cross – Week 13 Preview

Francis Mourey. Photo: Balint.

There are a ton of races in Europe this weekend, so I will keep the intro short. The Soudal Classics continue in Antwerp as does the Toi Toi Cup in the Czech Republic. France’s national series wraps up on Sunday, while Italy hosts its first UCI race of the season. There are also races in Spain and Belgium on Sunday. Once again, I’ve defied the laws of geography and included Japan’s National Championships in with the European predictions. Without further delay, here you go:

Soudal Scheldecross Antwerpen (C1)

The Winner

Sven Nys – look for Nys to pick up his fourth victory in Antwerp and his second straight on the sandy, technical course. Nys won the first edition in 2005, again in 2009 and last year. All of the top cross riders will be there, but I can’t see anyone stopping Nys.

The Podium

Niels Albert – Albert does well in the sand and should be in contention on Saturday. Unfortunately, Albert seems like a broken man, especially when it comes to Nys. While a second victory in Antwerp isn’t out of the question, I just don’t see it happening.

Bart Aernouts – Aernouts has raced well in Antwerp in the past. I’ve got a good feeling about him for Saturday, so I’m sticking with him to round out the podium. With Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout riding well right now, it should be a tough battle on Saturday.

Toi Toi Cup Round #7 (C2)

The Winner

Martin Bina – an unstoppable force in the Czech Republic, look for Bina to make it six straight. With only two rounds left, the overall is nearly his, but he needs to keep the pressure on. The last round is the National Championships and it’s worth double points.

The Podium

Michael Boros – Boros is in the thick of the battle for second overall. At times I feel like he’s the only one who can stop Bina. While I don’t think it will happen this weekend, I do expect him to podium.

Tomas Paprstka – a consistent podium threat, look for Paprstka to repeat his podium finish in Louny from last year.

Ciclocross del Ponte (C2)

The Winner

Enrico Franzoi – with absolutely zero ability to read Italian and no start list, I’m going blindfolded into this one. Not only did Franzoi win here last year, but he’s having a great season this year. Look for him to repeat on Saturday.

The Podium

Marco Fontana – a lesser known name, Fontana is a solid rider who doesn’t venture much out of his native land. Last year he took Franzoi to the line and narrowly lost out in a spectacular sprint. I expect much of the same this time around.

Elia Silvestri – although there’s a possibility of some foreign riders showing up, look for Silvestri to complete the Italian sweep. He struggled a bit in last year’s race, but I still think he’s a podium contender.

Vlaamse Druivenveldrit (C1)

The Winner

Sven Nys – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, until Nys proves me wrong, I’m sticking with the Belgian National Champion. He won here last year after getting away from Bart Aernouts late in the race. I expect Nys to make his move with two laps to go and head to finish line solo.

The Podium

Klaas Vantornout – after a mechanical essentially knocked him out of Roubaix, Vantornout will be looking to rebound with a solid weekend in Belgium. I expect him to either set the pace or try to get away early and make Nys work to catch him. I still think Nys is better, which is why I have Vanornout on the podium.

Kevin Pauwels – after a good ride in Roubaix, I’m going to give Pauwels the nod this Sunday in Overijse. He finished fifth here last year, but with Niels Albert struggling and Tom Meeusen’s up and down season, I think he’ll capitalize on the opportunity and grab a spot on the podium.

Challenge National 3ème Epreuve (C2)

The Winner

Francis Mourey – after taking the first two rounds of the series, look for Mourey to complete the sweep this weekend in Pontchateau. After a stellar ride in Koksijde, Mourey cooled off a bit in Roubaix. He’s staying in France for the rest of the year and would love to pick up another victory in his native land.

The Podium

Matthieu Boulo – Boulo is a young Frenchman on the rise. Last year he quickly became a podium threat and has continued that trend this season. My gut say to go with him on Sunday, so I will.

Guillaum Perrot – Perrot is an Elite rider who has had a great season thus far. I’m assuming he’ll get a pro contract next season and may even become a true contender to the dominant Mourey. He’s tied for second overall with Gadret and his podium finish will cement that position.

XXXVI Ziklo Kross Igorre (C2)

The Winner

Egoitz Rekalde – the winner on Thursday’s race in Asteasu, look for him to repeat on Saturday in Igorre.

The Podium

Aitor Gutierrez – always a podium threat, Gutierrez hasn’t raced much this season, but has done well when he does.

Javier Ibanez – one of the older riders racing in Spain, this 36-year-old should ride well on Saturday. I expect him to podium.

38th Frankfurter Rad-Cross (C2)

The Winner

Christoph Pfingsten – look for last years winner, and current German National Champion to repeat in Frankfurt on Saturday. Pfingsten has had some solid results this season, including some top ten finishes at some big races. The international competition and large field (100+ riders) should make things interesting, but I think he’ll come out on top.

The Podium

Simon Zahner – Zahner is another rider who has had a quiet, but good season. Last year he finished fifth in Frankfurt, but this time around look for him to land on the podium.

Ondrej Bambula – Bambula is one of nearly two dozen international riders who will be racing on Sunday in Frankfurt. He’s had some great results this season and I have a feeling he’ll be in it until the end. With that said, there’s about a half-dozen riders who could easily make a bid for the podium.

Japanese National Championships (CN)

The Winner

Yu Takenouchi – at this point, Takenouchi seems unstoppable. Look for him to retain his title on Sunday and continue to be Japan’s best cross rider.

Hikaru Kosaka – although he hasn’t found the podium yet, Kosaka seems to be knocking on the door. I expect him to surprise some people and land on the podium.

Atsushi Maruyama – another consistent podium threat, look for this 35-year-old to land on the podium on Sunday.

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2012 US Cross Camp Preview – Juniors

Euro Cross Camp Alum Cody Kaiser. Photo: Euro Cross Camp.

Imagine being 16 or 17 year-old cross racer and being invited to race in Belgium over your Christmas vacation. It’s an opportunity almost any cyclist would cherish and for nine juniors, that exactly what they’ll be doing this winter. It is often said that the juniors are the future of the sport. If that’s the case, then the future of US cross looks bright indeed. Here’s a closer look at the junior riders who will be attending camp this year:

Logan Owen – Owen returns to camp for his second straight year and among other things, is the US best hope at a medal at worlds. The Washington native doesn’t seemed to be bothered by the attention and has had a stellar season thus far. He’s won both rounds of the USGP he’s competed in (the Derby City Cup) and is fourth in the world in UCI points, with three top five finishes at the first three rounds of the World Cup.

Curtis White – another returning camper, White is one of the top juniors in the country. He placed tenth in Koksijde and finished second to Owen at both rounds of the Derby City Cup. He also won both UCI junior races in Cincinnati. Points in Europe are critical for White as he currently sits eighth in UCI points, which means he’s the last rider to get a front row start.

Nate Morse – in the three UCI races he’s done this season Morse has finished in the top five, including two podium appearances. Morse has competed in nearly two dozen races this year, finishing inside the top ten in almost all of them, including some elite races. Like White and Owen, Morse returns to camp eager to grab UCI points and race with Europe’s best.

Stephen Bassett – a Kentucky native, Basset would love to race in his home state in February. Bassett didn’t make the world’s team after camp last season, but has a shot this year. He has three top five UCI finishes and hasn’t finished outside the top ten at all this season.

Nick Torraca – when you think of cross, the state of Texas rarely comes to mind, but Torraca is looking to change that. He raced two rounds of the USGP and came home with a pair of top ten finishes. Torraca has half-a-dozen top ten finishes this year including a few podium appearances, virtually all of which came in elite races.

John Francisco – a Louisville native, Francisco would love to race in his hometown in February. He returns to camp for a second year and looks to build on the great season he’s had in the US this year. Francisco hasn’t finished outside the top ten in a junior races this year and had fared well in elite races. A solid trip to Belgium could take him to the next level and possibly make the world’s team.

Peter Goguen – Goguen has spent the season racing on the highly competitive New England circuit where he has taken overall honors in the Verge NECCS series. He has a handful of UCI points thanks to good results in Cincinnati and looks poised to make his first trip to Belgium count.

David Lombardo – Lombardo currently sits third in the USGP series and grabbed a UCI point with a fifth place at Harbin Park. In fact, this young Illinois native has only had one non top ten finish this season, most of which were in elite races.

Josey Weik – this young Minnesota native has spent most of the season racing highly competitive category two fields or UCI junior races. He’s regularly in the top ten in these races and has a few results in the elite ranks. This experience should be invaluable to Weik and should help him get to the next level.

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Cross Predictions – Week 13 Wrap-Up

Julien Taramarcaz was the revelation of Roubaix. Photo: Balint.

After podium last weekend in Sterling, Shawn Milne battled New England’s best in Warwick, Rhode Island, picking up a pair of UCI C2 wins. Milne has been around for a while, but these two wins have marked his arrival in elite cross. In LA, Tim Johnson (who in my defense was not on the start list) and Jamie Driscoll picked up wins, while Ben Berden won the Cross After Dark overall. As usual, Sven Nys kept everyone on the edge of their seats in Roubaix where he would win the fourth round of the World Cup. Nys took his time to get to the front before smashing Niels Albert and Kevin Pauwels into the ground during the final lap.

As far as my predictions went, clearly I had a bad week in the US. That shows the depth of cross in this country, where podiums can look entirely different from day-to-day. I actually managed to score a zero, which has only happened once or twice this year. In Europe, things fared much better. While I didn’t have a perfect podium, I correctly predicted the winner of every race. Here’s a breakdown of how I did this past weekend:

US Cross

NBX Grand Prix – Day 1 (C2)

1. Jeremy Durrin – 7th
2. Dylan McNicholas – DNS
3. Shawn Milne – 1st

Points: 1

CXLA Weekend – Day 1 (C2)

1. Ben Berden – 3rd
2. Ryan Trebon – 2nd
3. Chris Jones – 7th

Points: 2

NBX Grand prix – Day 2 (C2)

1. Dylan McNicholas – DNS
2. Mike Garrigan – 5th
3. Jeremy Durrin – 4th

Points: 0

CXLA Weekend – Day 2 (C2)

1. Ryan Trebon – 2nd
2. James Driscoll – 7th
3. Zach McDonald – DNS

Points: 1

Total: 4/20 (20%)

European Cross

National Trophy Series – Round 4 (C2)

1. Floris de Tier – 1st
2. Paul Oldham – 4th
3. Oli Beckingsale – 3rd

Points: 4

Day of Cyclocross (C2)

1. Elia Silvestre – 1st
2. David Kasek – 3rd
3. Martin Haring – 4th

Points: 4

XIX Bryksy Cross (C2)

1. Marek Konwa – 1st
2. Lubomir Petrus – DNS
3. Zdenek Mlynar – DNS

Points: 3

World Cup – Round 4 (CDM)

1. Sven Nys – 1st
2. Klaas Vantornout – 27th
3. Niels Albert – 3rd

Points: 4

Total: 15/20 (75%)

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2012 Euro Cross Camp Preview – Elite Men/U23

Photo: Euro Cross Camp.

As the season shifts into December, all eyes are starting to focus towards National and World Championships. Most countries, the US now included, hold their National Championships in January with Worlds being held the first weekend in February. With world’s being held in the United States this year, the time has come for riders to make their bid to represent the US in Kentucky.

Enter, the Euro Cross Camp. Held every winter since 2003, the Euro Cross Camp allows American riders to experience racing at the highest level of the sport for a few weeks from Christmas to New Years. This years camp has added importance as many of the riders in attendance will be vying for spots on the US World’s team. The experience is invaluable and the memories last a lifetime. Former camp attendees include Bjorn Selander, Danny Summerhill, Ryan Trebon and Jeremy Powers, just to name a few.

With this shift in focus in mind, Pave is starting to cover the names and faces that will represent the United States in February. We will continue our coverage of all that is cross (we’re taking a trip across the pond in a few weeks as well), but we are going to bump up our coverage of American cross riders as they make a bid for the World’s team. So, what better place to start then with the young, relatively unknown, riders who will be attending this years camp. Here’s a quick look at the Elite Men and U23 riders attending camp:

Elite Men

Justin Lindine

With many of our nations top riders focusing on their own program, the number of Elite Men at camp has decreased slightly over the past few seasons. This year, Justin Lindine will be the sole elite rider at camp. The 28 year-old from New Salem, MA had a breakout season in 2011 and has had a solid 2012 season.

A consistent podium threat, Lindine rarely finishes outside the top five and almost never outside the top ten. This consistency helped Lindine pick up the 2012 Verge NECCS overall. European experience is a critical part of making the jump to the next level, this opportunity could see Lindine become a real threat in the coming years.

U23 Men

Manny Goguen – hailing from Hopedale, MA, this 21-year-old has raced a solid season in New England. Goguen is consistently in the top 25 and has had a handful of top ten finishes this season. In 2008, Goguen made the trip to camp as a 17-year-old junior, so he has some European experience.

Danny Gerow – as with most riders attending camp, Gerow is a solid local talent in his native Michigan. Gerow had a top ten finish at nationals and heads back to camp for the second consecutive year. This season he has raced some bigger races including the Planet Bike and Derby City rounds of the USGP.

Josh Johnson – a Cross Camp first-timer, Johnson is a talented 20-year-old who could use the experience of racing with the worlds best. Johnson is currently in the top ten overall in the U23 USGP and has consistently placed inside the top 20 this season (remember U23 riders race with the Elite Men in the US).

Skyler Trujillo – Trujillo attended camp as a junior in 2009-10 and went on to race world’s in Tabor, Czech Republic. Since then Trujillo has become a top mountain biker and has raced well at the collegiate level. After stepping up to the U23 ranks, this experience should help Trujillo continue his development and push him to the next level.

Andrew Dillman – this Kentucky native would love to wear his nations colors in Louisville. He returns to camp for the third straight year, this time as a U23 rider. Dillman finished 14th at World’s last year and finished inside the top five at nationals. This season, he’s made the jump to the U23 ranks and has had some top ten finishes.

Tobin Ortenblad – after heading to camp last year, and representing the US at world’s, Ortenblad returns to camp as a U23 rider. Ortenblad has had a solid season thus far as a U23 rider, finishing in the top half of USGP races and is in the top five overall with two rounds to go.

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