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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US Cross – Week 13 Predictions

The NBX courses offer challenging features, incorporating beaches and trails in the scenic Goddard Park. Photo: Natalia Boltukhova.

Two of America’s top cross series conclude this weekend on opposite sides of the country. The NBX Grand Prix in Warwick, Rhode Island hosts the finale of the NEPCX with two UCI C2 races. Jeremy Powers has locked up the overall, but the rest of the top five aren’t racing this weekend. That leaves room for a handful of New Englanders to podium in the overall. The Cross After Dark series concludes in Los Angeles, California this weekend. CXLA provides a pair of UCI C2 races, including Saturday’s Cross After Dark finale. Here’s how I think things will shape up:

NBX Grand Prix – Day 1 (C2)

The Winner

Jeremy Durrin – after picking up his first UCI victory last weekend, look for Durrin to make a late charge for a NEPCX podium appearance with a win in Rhode Island. If he can win, that would put him within an earshot of the podium.

The Podium

Dylan McNicholas – another rider who could make a bid for the NEPCX podium, McNicholas rode well here last year. I’m expecting a large lead group to form, so anyone could have a shot at victory. Right now I give the edge to Durrin, but a win by McNicholas wouldn’t surprise me.

Shawn Milne – somewhat of a revelation last weekend in Sterling, Milne has been around the cross scene for a while. Look for him to continue his recent podium appearances with another one on Saturday.

CXLA Weekend – Day 1 (C2)

The Winner

Ben Berden – there’s a lot of top names headed to LA this weekend, but I’m going to give the edge to Berden. Once again, Berden is in a neck-and-neck battle with Ryan Trebon for the Cross After Dark overall. What better way to win the crown, than winning the last race.

The Podium

Ryan Trebon – Trebon rode well in Iowa, minus Sunday’s abrupt disappearance. He took last weekend off and looks poised for some good results. Look for him to land on the podium on Sunday.

Chris Jones – as previously mentioned, there’s about a dozen or so guys in LA who could land on the podium. Look for Jones to continue his strong season with a podium place on Saturday.

NBX Grand prix – Day 2 (C2)

The Winner

Dylan McNicholas – the depth and quality of the elite fields in New England right now is astounding. To be perfectly honest, I could pick half-a-dozen people to win. I like McNicholas in a slower race on Sunday.

The Podium

Mike Garrigan – always a podium threat, look for Garrigan to push for victory on Sunday. He’ll make things interesting, much like he did in Sterling last Saturday. In the end, I expect him to land on the podium, but I feel a win coming in the future.

Jeremy Durrin – last year I was perusing a World Cup start list and saw this American rider listed. Honestly, I had never heard of him. After watching him get a Euro beatdown for nearly a month, I knew Durrin was a rider to watch. I think his time has come. For some reason I can’t see him doing the double, but I expect him on the podium.

CXLA Weekend – Day 2 (C2)

The Winner

Ryan Trebon – after failing to win on Saturday, Trebon should pick up the victory on Sunday. The USGP heads to his native Oregon next weekend and a victory in LA should give him an extra boost for those races.

The Podium

James Driscoll – the “studious one” has had another excellent season. Always a podium threat, look for him the land on the podium with his teammate, Trebon.

Zach McDonald – despite suffering a bit of a burnout, and bad legs, last weekend in Koksijde, McDonald is still a top rider and a podium threat. I expect him to make things interesting all weekend and have him on the podium on Sunday.

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European Cross – Week 12 Predictions

Francis Mourey. Photo: Balint (http://cyclephotos.co.uk/).

This weekend, all eyes will be on France as the World Cup returns to Roubaix for round four on Sunday. The course winds its way in and around the world famous velodrome that hosts the finish of Paris-Roubaix every spring. In addition, Europe plays hosts to three UCI C2 races, all of which take place on Sunday. This means that those races will be filled with local talent and a handful of riders who did not make the trip to Roubaix. Here’s how things should play out:

National Trophy Series – Round 4 (C2)

The Winner

Floris de Tier – a young, under-23 Belgian, de Tier actually led this race last year before crashing hard. Last year’s race was won by Thijs Al, who along with a small contingent of foreign riders could make the trip. I’m sticking with de Tier if those heavy hitters don’t show up.

The Podium

Paul Oldham – a perennial favorite for the overall, Oldham has been up and down a bit through the first three rounds, yet he maintains a six-point advantage over Oli Beckingsale. A runner-up last year, look for Oldham to land on the podium again in South Shields.

Oli Beckingsale – Beckingsale is struggling a bit with keeping top form after a long mountain bike season. He remains a podium threat and needs to keep Oldham in his sights if he wants a shot at the overall. I expect him to podium on Sunday.

Day of Cyclocross (C2)

The Winner

Elia Silvestre – much like de Tier in England, Silvestre should lead a slew of international riders into Ternitz, Austria for the Day of Cyclocross. Despite only being 23, look for the Italian to make a bid for victory on Sunday.

The Podium

David Kasek – Kasek has had an up and down season in the Toi Toi Cup in his native Czech Republic. I usually pick him to podium and will continue with the trend this week, despite him letting me down over the past couple weeks.

Martin Haring – one of Slovakia’s top riders, look for Haring to make a bid for the podium on Sunday. It’s tough to think that the podium will not feature a single Austrian rider, but i’m going to stick with my guns.

XIX Bryksy Cross (C2)

The Winner

Marek Konwa – look for this Polish native to repeat on Sunday in Gosciecin, Poland. Despite his young age (23), Konwa dominated this race last year and I expect him to do the same this time around.

The Podium

Lubomir Petrus – the runner up last year, look for the 23-year-old Czech rider to make a bid for victory on Sunday. With no start list available, I’m guessing that he will head to Poland versus Austria. If he does, look for him to land on the podium.

Zdenek Mlynar – at 37-years-old, Mlynar is winding down his cross career. With that said, look for the Czech to land on the podium on Sunday.

World Cup – Round 4 (CDM)

The Winner

Sven Nys – in 2010 (the last time the World Cup visited Roubaix), Nys finished third behind Klaas Vantornout and Zdenk Stybar. Nys is on a roll this year and once again has a chance at the “triple crown” (World Cup, Superprestige and Bpost bank Trofee). A win on Sunday would cement him in the lead of the World Cup series.

The Podium

Klaas Vantornout – the consummate teammate to Kevin Pauwels, Vantornout is clearly riding better than last year’s World Cup winner. Despite edging out Nys last weekend, I still think he’s not on the same level as the Belgian National Champion. It’s supposed to be dry on Sunday, so Vantornout will have to keep pace with Nys if he wants a shot at victory. Look for him to podium on Sunday.

Niels Albert – with the dry conditions and fast course (assuming our weatherman is right), it’s hard for me to pick another podium contender. Lars van der Haar has cooled off a bit, but seems to do well on dry coursers. Albert is in a similar boat, wet or dry, the World Champion has struggled a bit as of late. Then there’s Francis Mourey, who will be riding on home soil. With that said, look for Albert to be the “best of the rest” this weekend in Roubaix.

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Cross Top25 – Week 12

[top25-vote start=’1353888000′ end=’1354147200′]

After a World Cup win and a second place finish at the fifth round of the Superprestige series, Sven Nys maintains the top spot in the rankings. More importantly, Nys jumped a head of Jeremy Powers in the computer rankings, meaning that the American will now need to finish towards the top of the poll if he has a shot at the top spot.

Strengthing Nys’ lead was the fact that he finished first in the poll a head of Niels Albert, Dan Timmerman, Klaas Vantornout and Francis Mourey. A slew of Americans fill out the rest of the top ten vote getters.

Overall, Powers maintains the number two spot a head of Niels Albert, Francis Mourey and Klaas Vantornout. Jonathan Page is the only other American in the top ten. However, due to high finishes in the poll, there are now nine Americans in the Top 25.

In addition to being number one in the poll and computer, Nys is also number one in UCI points. Powers has the highest winning percentage of anyone in the Top 25, while Page continues to be number one in strength of schedule and field quality.

Due to high poll placings, Timmerman, Daniel Chabanov and Adam Myerson all remain in the Top 25, despite being outside the top 35 in the computer rankings.

Francis Mourey made the biggest jump, but will undoubtedly fall as his schedule slows down over the coming weeks. Several riders dropped out of the Top 25 primarily due to a lack of votes in this weeks poll.

[top25-week id=18]

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Cross Predictions – Week 12 Wrap-Up

Jeremy Durrin attacked during the last half of a lap, taking the win as Mike Garrigan rolled in for second at Baystate Cross. Photo: Todd Prekaski.

In what has to be considered one of the most exciting weekends of racing across the board, I quickly watched as my glorious predictions came crashing down. The lesson I learned this weekend is never bet against Sven Nys. My working theory is unless he’s not at the race, he will podium. I also learned that those guys in New England are strong and exciting to watch. The depth of talent in that region is incredible. With that said, here’s how I did this weekend (hopefully next weekend will be better):

World Cup Round 3 – Koksijde (CDM)

1. Niels Albert – 2nd
2. Kevin Pauwels – 12th
3. Bart Aernouts – 4th

Points: 1

Kansai Cyclo Cross Yasu Round (C2)

1. Yu Takenouchi – 1st
2. Atsushi Maruyama – 2nd
3. Masanori Kosaka – 6th

Points: 4

Superprestige Round 5 – Gieten (C1)

1. Sven Nys – 2nd
2. Niels Albert – 5th
3. Lars van der Haar – 13th

Points: 1

Baystate Cyclocross – Day 1 (C2)

1. Justin Lindine – 5th
2. Jeremy Durrin – 1st
3. Dan Timmerman – 4th

Points: 1

Baystate Cyclocross – Day 2 (C2)

1. Jeremy Powers – 1st
2. Tim Johnson – 4th
3. Justin Lindine – 6th

Points: 3

Total: 10/30 (33%)

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