UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup: Holiday action in Heusden-Zolder
The penultimate round of the 2014-2015 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup will take place on December 26th at the former F1 car racing circuit in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
Races will be held in all four categories at the GP Eric De Vlaeminck on what is forecast to be a chilly but dry Friday. The fast course with a few bumpy and steep descents and a sometimes slippery off-camber climb usually provides for spectacular racing. Last year Lars van der Haar (Development Team Giant-Shimano) and Katherine Compton (USA) prevailed at the Belgian car track.
Elite Men: Pauwels in strong position
Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team) held on to his World Cup lead in the citadel of Namur last weekend with his second victory of the season. If he can increase his lead over Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) by three more points on Friday he will have the overall World Cup win in his pocket. Pauwels will be full of confidence as he hasn’t finished outside the top-2 in a World Cup round this season and has already won twice in Zolder (in 2009 and 2011). Meeusen will probably focus on defending his second place as he hasn’t cracked a World Cup podium so far this season.
Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea), German Champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) and last year’s winner in Zolder Lars van der Haar are all within 13 points of Meeusen. In 2013 the Dutchman won ahead of Czech riders Martin Bina and Zdenek Stybar. Bina is struggling with his form this season, and did not finish the previous World Cup round. World Champion Stybar injured himself at the cyclo-cross event in Ardooie and will skip the rest of the season. Another big name absent from the start line will be Belgian Champion Sven Nys: also struggling with his form, the 38-year-old decided to skip the World Cup rounds in Namur and Zolder.
Elite women: close battle for overall lead
Managing only sixth place in Namur, World Cup leader Sanne Cant (Belgium) now leads Compton by only one point in the overall standings. The battle between these two athletes will continue up until next month’s World Cup final in the Netherlands. The course in Zolder is well suited to road specialists and this could work in favour of World Champion Marianne Vos or UCI Road World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team). Vos has a good record in Zolder with four wins although last year she was beaten by her American rival Katherine Compton. Cant was third last year.
Third round for Men Under-23 and Juniors
In the Men Under 23 category new cyclo-cross stars Wout Van Aert (Belgium) and Mathieu van der Poel (the Netherlands) are expected to fight out yet another exciting duel in their third World Cup round. Last weekend World Champion Van Aert won ahead of Dutch Champion Van der Poel, taking over the lead in the World Cup standings. Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) and Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) are outsiders for the victory on Friday morning.
In the Junior Men category Johan Jacobs (Switzerland) was the first rider this season capable of beating World Cup leader Eli Iserbyt (Belgium). Mountain bike World and European champion Simon Andreassen (Denmark) was a surprising third in Namur. However a strong American delegation might shake up the race scenario in Zolder.
ARENACROSS is coming to an arena near you! Racing into Manchester on Saturday 3rd January
Superfast Motocross racing, lights, lasers, fireworks, Freestyle Motocross, it’s the biggest indoor tour and most hotly contested race series in Europe. 20 Pro’s from 11 different countries, 6 of the worlds maddest baddest Freestyle riders, Youth racing and Rookies. With tracks built by Dirtwurx the company behind the epic AMA Monster Energy Supercross & the Monster Energy Cup, everyone in the UK and NI can now have a piece of it.
Recently voted the best new Arena show in the UK thousands of tonnes of earth will transform each arena into a dirt paradise, shaped into whoops, berms, table tops and set off with an eye wateringly huge freestyle ramp in the middle. The unique mix of heady racing action from the top pro’s and youth racers in the UK and the rest of the world merges into a jaw-dropping freestyle show headlined by Edgar Torronteras X-Games Gold medallist. He’s a living legend known for his massive whips. He’ll be joined by Petr Pilat, Jamie Squibb, Dan Whitby, Samson Eaton and Dave ‘Disco’ Wiggins
The 2015 ARENACROSS Tour:
• Manchester Arena on 3rd January
• Odyssey Arena Belfast for a double header 16th and 17thJanuary
• LG Arena Birmingham 24th January
• Metro Radio Arena 1st February
• SSE Hydro Glasgow 7th February
• Motorpoint Arena 14th February
• Tour final at SSE Arena Wembley 28th February.
Tickets start at £10 for Children, £19 for Adults and £49 for a Family Ticket.
For more information and how to book go to www.arenacrossuk.com
The Van der Poel family has settled down in a remote B&B on the edge of Koksijde, Belgium. Adrie – their father and 1996 World Cyclo-cross champion – puts the bikes into the van. Their mother Corinne, née Poulidor and daughter of the most famous Tour de France runner-up, busies herself in the house. David, 22, waits in the bedroom, stretched out on his bed. His brother, 19, is already on the massage table; the masseur and the mechanic are here too. This is the inner circle of the Van der Poel dynasty, ensuring the siblings’ success. Today, Friday November 21, the two brothers have finished training: five, six laps of the sandy route in the Koksijde dunes, on the North Sea coast, venue for the second leg of the 2014-15 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup.
Mathieu is lying down; David is seated at the table in front of him. “We’ve always been together, it would be strange for us not to be in the same team”, explains the elder. They’ve spent years taking the same route: through youths then juniors, and for a year now the two boys have been in the Under-23s category, wearing the same BKCP-Powerplus jersey. At Hilvarenbeek in 2013, the brothers shared national glory, each in their own category – the Dutch Youth Champion title for Mathieu and the Junior Champion title for David. “It was a very special day, I was champion in the morning and David was champion in the afternoon” recalls the younger of the two, under the watchful eye of Adrie, who has finished with the van.
These siblings are feeding off cross-generational cycling exploits: Raymond Poulidor, Adrie van der Poel (six-time Dutch champion), uncles Henri Poulidor and Jac van der Poel, and now David and Mathieu. It isn’t hard, however, to see what separates the two riders. David loves travelling around Europe with cyclo-cross while his brother swears by Belgium alone. “It’s more relaxed elsewhere”, murmurs the elder, who rides in races in Switzerland or Luxembourg. “The best are in Belgium”, counters the younger, who skipped the English leg in Milton Keynes. His brother is fighting for “one World Cup leg per country” while Mathieu can only see Koksijde, Namur, Zolder… pure cyclo-cross territory.
Road cycling is more “tactical” (Mathieu van der Poel)
Adrie observes the exchange between his two offspring. Their differences are revealed on the track: “David is too nice, he thinks too much about helping,” he sighs. The elder, 6th at the 2014 World Championships in Hoogerheide (Netherlands) while his younger brother was 3rd, admits it: “When I don’t have the legs, I prefer to work for the others…”. David doesn’t flinch under the hands of his physio, he simply doesn’t like not having the legs. This season, his form is improving: 6th in Valkenburg in the Under-23s, 3rd in Koksijde in the Elite race, 2nd in Namur at Under-23. But Wout Van Aert, champion in Hoogerheide, often stands in his way, like in Wallonia, where the Belgian prodigy took victory after Mathieu had led the race before falling twice. “He has made a lot of progress in a year, more than me, so I have work to do.”
Mathieu still thinks about the date of 28 September 2013. Far from the mud of cyclo-cross, in Florence (Italy), he won the Junior Road Race at the UCI World Road World Championships – a surprise victory. In his words: “my greatest”. The guy who needs only his legs for cyclo-cross mentions road cycling and its “tactics”; the science of the peloton. Like their father, who rode several Grand Tours in the 1980s, the Van der Poel sons alternate off-road in winter with road in summer. But since he moved up to the Under-23s, with forays into Elite, Mathieu has discovered the harshness of the top level. “For the moment we’ll keep going like this, using the road to prepare for the cyclo-cross”, explains Adrie. On the F1 circuit at Heusden-Zolder, Mathieu will go for the win, determined to repeat last season’s exploits.
After the final UCI World Cup stopover in Hoogerheide (January 25), the season ends in Tábor (Czech Republic) with the UCI World Championships (January 31 – February 2). The Under-23 race takes place on February 1, around a fortnight after Mathieu celebrates his 20th birthday. He has always liked the course, in the Youth categories and in the Juniors. “It’s fast, I really like it.” There he will find Van Aert, from whom he will attempt to steal the rainbow jersey.
David takes his turn on the massage table, while Mathieu – like a pro – slips away to his room. You don’t mess around with recovery; ambition is built on a daily basis.
The new Teams’ Operational Guide for UCI WorldTeams to be tested in 2015
In order to obtain a UCI WorldTour licence, and to retain it, the UCI WorldTeams must meet criteria covering sporting, ethical, financial and administrative matters. Within the framework of the reform of professional road cycling, they must satisfy one extra criterion, known as “organisational”, from 2017. The new Teams’ Operational Guide will be tested by several teams from 2015. This introduction falls within the framework of measures taken by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in order to combat factors which may lead to doping.
Optimising the organisational model of UCI WorldTeams
Accompanying the riders within the teams, all year long, is a key factor in reducing the risk of doping. To this end, the professionalization of the teams’ governance and organisation is of fundamental importance. Several teams are making considerable efforts in this regard; many of them have taken steps to reform their structures in order to provide a more professional environment which is better adapted to the wellbeing of their riders.
In order to support the teams in this objective, and to strengthen the on-going process, in 2013 the UCI commissioned the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) to develop and trial a new Operational Guide, to which the teams will eventually have to adhere.
An Operational Guide developed in consultation with the teams
The Teams’ Operational Guide was developed in two phases between 2012 and 2014. The first phase consisted of a review of 10 teams (eight UCI WorldTeams and two UCI Professional Continental Teams) whose organisation was the object of an in-depth study. This review involved nearly 100 interviews.
The second phase was that of deliberation during meetings, presentations and workshops where the professional teams were informed and consulted.
In 2014, specific work was carried out with eight volunteer first division teams (AG2R La Mondiale, FDJ.fr, Team Cannondale-Garmin, IAM Cycling, Etixx-Quick Step, Orica GreenEdge, Team Giant-Alpecin and Trek Factory Racing).
Ten rules relating to rider support
The new Teams’ Operational Guide includes ten rules covering the following areas:
• The preparation of riders (planning of the training, competition and recovery phases)
• Their support (the need to have a sufficient number of staff within the team, with respect to the number of riders)
• The medical treatment given to them (notably, the required inclusion of a doctor within the team)
• The workload imposed on them
• The number of riders within the team (to allow the recommended rider-support staff ratio to be respected within sustainable financial limits)
• The monitoring of riders (via an online platform)
• The certifying of the team’s staff (with a view to professionalization)
The implementation of rider monitoring is considered essential. It will chiefly take place through formalised training plans and the implementation of an electronic logbook.
These rules should be viewed as the minimum level of good practice: however this should not curb the capacity for innovation of teams wishing to optimise their organisation.
An Operational Guide to be tested from 2015, and compulsory from 2017
The vast majority of the ten rules will be tested from 2015 by the eight teams mentioned above. Throughout the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the rules will be subject to changes with a view to their definitive adoption in 2017, at all times in collaboration with the teams, ISSUL and the UCI.
Contributing to the professionalization of top-level cycling teams
The Teams’ Operational Guide forms part of a concerted strategy, which aims to improve the quality of the UCI WorldTour. The UCI and the cycling family are delighted with this step forward, which was approved at the end of the 2014 UCI WorldTour Seminar, held on December 4-5 of this year. Qualitatively harmonising the methods of governance and organisation of the first- and second-tier teams sends out a strong signal to cycling fans, broadcasters and commercial partners wishing to invest in cycling.
The Institute of Sports Science at the University of Lausanne (ISSUL), attached to the Faculty of Social Sciences and Politics, is a training and research centre of excellence. ISSUL produces various pieces of work, which are published in reviews and by benchmark publishers, looking at different aspects of sporting performance (sociology, physiology, biomechanics, etc.). The Institute and its researchers are frequently appointed by national organisations (eg Welsh Rugby Union, Fédération Française de Tennis de Table, Swiss Cycling) and international organisations (notably the IOC and UEFA).
Bikes in Schools is a complete biking package implemented within a school that enables all students to ride a bike on a regular basis. The full package includes: a fleet of new bikes; a bike helmet for every child; combination of riding, pump and bike skills tracks; bike storage facility (where needed); bike coach to introduce the programme and teach basic riding skills. All the bikes and helmets are owned by the school and remain on the school property. The tracks are built within the school property. The storage facility (eg. converted shipping container or bike shed) is also owned by the school. Videos explaining the programme can be found athttp://www.bikeon.org.nz/bikesinschools.html
Why Bikes in Schools? Over the last 20 years there has been a dramatic fall in biking by New Zealand primary school children. This has resulted in many children not being able to experience “the joy of biking” and the many social and health impacts that result from biking regularly. We believe this project will help our children in the following areas: increased health and fitness benefits; developing self esteem, confidence, resilience and independence; learning about road safety and confidence on their bikes; developing an awareness of the environmental benefits of biking, particularly in relation to transport; learning to self-manage risks within a safe, fun learning environment. The Bike On website has links to measures of success and research related to the benefits of this project. http://www.bikeon.org.nz/bikesinschools.html#success
What will it look like? The project involves us building 3 bike tracks: a loop track (approximately 500m), a skills track with obstacles, and a pump track. The tracks will be designed and constructed by experienced contractors using well proven designs and materials. The track will be used for classroom programmes (P.E. & Health) and recreational riding at break times. Classes will have timetabled slots and we envisage daily use of the track. Our local community will have access to the track outside of school hours, so we are providing a community asset. Our neighbouring Playcentre will also have access to the track to use on a weekly basis. Once funding is generated, the timeframe is approximately 1 month for construction and we hope to have the track open for the new school year in February 2015.
Draft Proposed Plan Pinehaven School site. We visited 4 Hawke’s Bay schools who have worked with the Bike On Trust to develop the Bike in Schools programme. The photos we took will help you to visualise the project in action.
Mahora School Loop track with Skills and Pump Tracks in the background.
Mahora School Loop Track.
Kimi Ora School Bike Storage.
Kimi Ora School Skills Track with Loop Track in the background.
Kimi Ora School Pump Track with Loop Track in the background.
St. Mary’s School Loop Track.
The schools we visited varied in the length of time the tracks had been established. The oldest track was at St. Mary’s School (4 years old). The track and bikes were all still in very sound condition.
How much will this cost? The average cost for the total project is $50,000. We are currently getting finalised quotes so that we have exact costs for our track. The following costs are approximate. Purchasing of Key Project Features Possible Volunteer Work or lower cost items 50 Bikes $ 13,000 260 Helmets $ 4,000 Skills track $ 8,000–9,000 500m Loop track $ 10,000 Pump track $ 5,500 Modified container for bike storage $7,500 Cycle Skills training $ 3,000 Planting/Landscaping Bike Assembly The Board of Trustees have committed to funding $2,000 for bike and track maintenance each year once the project is complete.
We have discussed our programme with Kim Hurst, who is happy to endorse our project and the benefits that we have outlined. Among other things, Kim is a National Cyclocross Champion (2014), Karapoti Women’s course record holder, Silver medalist at the 24 hour MTB World Championships (2013), 2014 24 Hour World Champion and World 200 Mile Road Champion (2013).
Fundraising and how can you help? The school is working to generate funding for this from sources outside of our regular fund providers and are seeking support from interested agencies and local businesses. Greater Wellington Regional Council has already generously committed $20,000 towards the project, so we are nearly half way there. We are seeking sponsors to donate ‘chunks’ of money to be put towards the overall costs. Options may include funding a particular feature of the project (e.g. the pump track), or a lump sum contribution towards the project. If we receive 6 lump sum contributions of $5,000, alongside the GWR contribution, we will have $50,000. However, any contributions would be gratefully received! The bike storage area will have a professionally created sign that acknowledges organisations who have donated funds towards our project.
Further Questions? If you would like more information about our proposal or the ways in which you can help us, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to show you our site and share ‘walk’ the proposed track with you!