UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup: Valkenburg honoured

UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup: Valkenburg honoured

New to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar in 2013, the Dutch town of Valkenburg has been voted best event of the 2013-2014 season.

New to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar in 2013, the Dutch town of Valkenburg has been voted best event of the 2013-2014 season.

New to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar in 2013, the Dutch town of Valkenburg has been voted best event of the 2013-2014 season.

The World Cup awards ceremony took place in Hoogerheide (the Netherlands) on Thursday evening, two days before the start of the World Championships. The Valkenburg organisers took the honours in front of the Belgian hosts Namur and Heusden Zolder.

Composed mainly of riders, the jury was won over by the opening event of the World Cup season last October where the Dutch riders Lars Van der Haar and Marianne Vos were victorious on home ground.  Van der Haar went on to take the overall classification with three victories and four podium spots during the seven-race season.

The ceremony also celebrated the winners of the 2013-2014 season:  Lars Van der Haar (Men), Katherine Compton (Women), Mathieu Van der Poel (Under-23) and Adam Toupalik (Juniors). Around 100 people were at the ceremony, which was only lacking the presence of Mike Plant, President of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission, who was stranded in Atlanta due to snow.

The calendar for the 2014-2015 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup will be announced after the meeting of the UCI Management Committee on Saturday.

Photo: Winners of the 2013-2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup

UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Highest participation since 2010

UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Highest participation since 2010

UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Highest participation since 2010

UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Highest participation since 2010

Until now, the 2010 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Tabor, the Czech Republic, held the record for the highest number of participants. That record, of 229 athletes competing across the four categories, will be equalled this weekend in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.

When the small Dutch town was awarded the 2014 Cyclo-cross World Championships, organiser Jan Prop said: “We want it to be bigger and better than in 2009.” Mission accomplished. For when Hoogerheide hosted the Worlds five years ago, 214 athletes lined up at the start over the two days of competition.

Alongside the traditionally strong European countries, this year’s field includes a more than healthy participation from all over the world. Macedonia and Serbia, both new to the Cyclo-cross World Championships, each has a rider racing in the Junior Men category on Saturday morning. Also of note among the 23 participating countries is Australia, in all categories, and New Zealand with two Elite Men riders including the popular moustached Alex Revell. Japan is well represented with seven athletes, and the United States, one year after hosting the first World Championships ever to be held outside Europe, has arrived in the Netherlands with a full contingent of 22.

There is a positive trend in the women’s field, which sees 45 athletes from 14 nations taking part, compared to 38 riders from 12 countries the last time the Worlds were held in Hoogerheide.

The increase in Junior Men riders is even more remarkable: 59 riders from 19 nations compared with 51 athletes from 15 nations in 2009.

The Junior Men and Elite Women will race on Saturday, followed by the Men Under-23 and Elite Men on Sunday.

Photo: The number of athletes competing this weekend in Hoogerheide will equal the record established in Tabor (CZE) in 2010.

Gerrans, Australia and Orica-GreenEDGE take command of UCI WorldTour

Gerrans, Australia and Orica-GreenEDGE take command of UCI WorldTour

Gerrans, Australia and Orica-GreenEDGE take command of UCI WorldTour

Gerrans, Australia and Orica-GreenEDGE take command of UCI WorldTour

Already a winner in 2006 and 2012 in Australia’s top stage race, Gerrans, 33, clinched the six-day Santos Tour Down Under for a third time by just one second over fellow Australian Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team), whilst Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) claimed third, five seconds back.

And just like in 2006, Gerrans had captured the lead on day one – this time when he upped the pace on Menglers HIll, the final climb of the stage from Nuriootpa to Angaston, and then outpowered the sprinters for his first victory.

His National Road-Race victory earlier this month indicated Gerrans was in strong form, but former Tour de France winner Evans made it plain he was not going to give his fellow-Australian an easy run when he took off late on stage three to Campeltown. Winning by 15 seconds on a pack of 12 riders, Evans clinched his first stage in the Santos Tour Down Under since 2002 – and the lead to boot.

However, on Saturday at the race’s one summit finish at Willunga Hill, whilst Richie Porte (Team Sky) secured Australia’s third stage victory, Gerrans zipped away to re-take the overall by the bare minimum – one second. Not much, but just enough to keep Evans at bay on Sunday’s city centre stage in Adelaide, and for Gerrans to claim the outright victory and the UCI WorldTour lead as well.

Describing the last day, a triumphant Gerrans recognised that Sunday had been a “very nervous stage, the race could still be won by a number of different riders so we had to make sure we stayed at the front and out of trouble. I’m really thrilled to get through it unscathed.” “I’ve got my third Tour Down Under win thanks to an outstanding team,” added the 33-year-old. “This is an Australian team, on Australia Day, in a WorldTour event, what else could I ask for?”

In the UCI WorldTour rankings, Gerrans opens up his 2014 account with 114 points over fellow-Australian Evans, who has 88, whilst Ulissi is just five points further off the pace, with 83.

Australia’s impressive all-round showing in their home race also gives the nations lead in the UCI WorldTour by a huge margin: 334 points, almost four times the total of second placed Italy, who have 86. The Netherlands are third, with 43 points.

In the teams classification, Australia have yet another reason to celebrate as their top home squad Orica-GreenEDGE open up the 2014 season with 145 points and in the number one spot. Just like Australia in the nations classifications, Orica-GreenEDGE have a clear advantage, given the next three ranked teams – BMC Racing Team, Team Sky and Lampre-Merida – have 88, 86 and 83 points respectively.

The next round of the UCI WorldTour will be Paris-Nice, running from March 9th – 16th. But with Gerrans’ strong lead and his proven track record in week-long stage racing, it will be no easy matter ousting the Orica-GreenEDGE rider from his overall lead in the UCI WorldTour classification.

UCI Track Cycling World Cup – The Dutch conquer Guadalajara

UCI Track Cycling World Cup – The Dutch conquer Guadalajara

UCI Track Cycling World Cup – The Dutch conquer Guadalajara

UCI Track Cycling World Cup – The Dutch conquer Guadalajara

With the victories of Jenning Huizenga in the pursuit and Matthijs Buchli in the keirin, but also with the podium places of Hugo Haak on the kilometre, the Dutch stole the show on second day of racing on the Mexican track.

 Men’s kilometre – Sunderland under the minute

 Scott Sunderland will not leave Mexico empty-handed. After his victory in the team pursuit, he became the first Australian inside the minute on the kilometre, winning the event in 59.675. The previous Australian record was held by Shane Kelly. Poland’s Krzysztof Maksel (59.820) and Dutchman Hugo Haak (59.976) took the other podium spots in that order.

 Final standings –  A first for Poland

 On 225 points, Krzysztof Maksel became the first Pole to bag the kilometre World Cup trophy. The 22-year-old rider from Paczkow finished level on points with Hugo Haak but was crowned thanks to his higher placing in the last race.

Simon Van Velthooven lies third on 195 points. In spite of his absence in Guadalajara, French world record holder Francois Pervis finished fourth.overall.

 Men’s pursuit –  Huizenga takes all

 Jenning Huizenga continued the Dutch haul on Saturday by dominating the individual pursuit. Fastest in the qualifications, the Dutchman won in the final in 4:21.931 ahead of Argentine Mauro Agostini (4:25.708). In the third place final, Swiss Stefan Kueng clocked an excellent 4:19.542.

 Final standings – Huizenga crowned

 Fifth in the Manchester opener, Jenning Huizenga took the overall title on 255 points. It was the first UCI World Cup title for a Dutchman since Jens Mouris in 2006. Winner of the fist leg but only 5th in Mexico, Italy’s Marco Coledan had to be content with the runner-up spot, level on points with Huizenga. Argentina’s Mauro Agostini finished third on 209 points.

 Women’s 500 metres – Voinova takes over

 In the absence of Australia’s Anna Meares, who became the first woman under 33 seconds in the previous World cup leg in Aguascalientes, the half-kilometre was wide open and laurels finally went to Russia’s Anastasia Voinova in 33.645. Germany’s Miriam Welte finished second once again in 33.736 while third place went to Hong Kong’s Lee Wai Sze in 33.928.

 Final standings – Consistency pays off for Welte

 Consistency was rewarded for Germany’s Miriam Welte. Second in each stage of the World Cup, she finished top of the final standings on 270 points and became the first German crowned in the discipline. Anastasiia Voinova finished second with 255 points ahead of Lee Wai Sze on 240 points.

 Men’s keirin – Buchli finishes in style

Guadalajara inspired the Dutch and especially Matthijs Buchli. After a disastrous start to the season, he won the keirin in style on the Mexican ring: “I won each of my rounds. What a great way to start 2014,” he said after his victory ahead of Colombia’s Santiago Ramirez and Welshman Lewis Alexander Oliva.

 Final standings – Buchli retains his crown

 Only 25th in the Manchester opening leg of the World Cup and fourth in Aguascalientes, the 21-year-old Buchli finished strong to retain his crown on 264 points ahead of Germany’s Tobias Waechter and Britain’s Lewis Alexander Oliva.

 Women’s sprint – Triumph for Max Success Pro Cycling

 With two girls in the final, Max Success Pro Cycling confirmed their domination in the women’s sprint, Lin Junhong winning ahead of team-mate Tianshi Zhong. The podium was entirely Asian since third place went to Hong Kong’s Lee Wai Sze.

 Final – Sze crowned again

 On the podium of the three World Cup stages, Lee Wai Sze retained her UCI World Cup title on 375 points ahead of Germany’s Kristina Vogel who missed the Guadalajara meet. Australia’s Anna Meares, who also shunned the last event to prepare for the world in Cali, finished third on 248 points.

 Races are broadcast live on youtube.com/ucichannel

Photo: Victorious in the keirin, Matthijs Buchli takes one of the Netherlands’ two victories.

UCI Track Cycling World Cup: Several changes in overall rankings

UCI Track Cycling World Cup: Several changes in overall rankings

00cycleuciMen’s team pursuit: Australians from strength to strength

It has been an almost perfect season for the Australian quadruple. Second in the opening round in Manchester, the men from Cycling Australia lined up two consecutive victories in Aguascalientes and Guadalajara. At 1500m altitude, Trian McManus, Joshua Harrison, Callum Scotson and Scott Sunderland won in 4:01.494. The Australians have an incredible reserve of athletes in this discipline. Throughout the season, 10 different riders have taken part in this team. And, six months out from defending their world title won in Minsk, Cycling Australia is a strong candidate to succeed in doing so. In Guadalajara, the Swiss (winners in the qualifications) climbed onto the podium for the first time this season with a time of 4:06.312. Germany was third.

 Overall ranking

 With two victories in three rounds, the Australians logically take the UCI Track Cycling World Cup title. It is their second overall win after the 2011/2012 season. They finish with 870 points, ahead of Denmark (706) and Great Britain (639).

Women’s team pursuit: Canada take advantage

 The British left their rivals standing in the first two rounds of the season, lowering the world record on two occasions. Taking advantage of their absence in Guadalajara, the Canadians Allison Beveridge, Laura Brown, Jasmin Glaesser and Stéphanie Roorda took the honours in 3:17.085. It is their first victory of the season, in which they beat the United States (3:23.352) and Australia (4:30.668).

 Overall ranking

 Second in Manchester and Aguascalientes, the Canadian team takes the overall World Cup thanks to its win in the last round. The North Americans, third in 2010/2011, win for the first time at this level. With 840 points they finish in front of the Australians (720 points) and the United States (706).

 Men’s team sprint: No stopping the Dutch

Unbeaten until now this season, the Germans had to bow down to the Dutch team in the final. Nils Van’t Hoenderdaal, Hugo Haak and Matthijs Buchli pulled out a perfect copy of their victory in the qualifiers. They won in 43.311 in front of the Germans (43.465) and Great Britain (43.854). Third in the qualifications, the French team was disqualified for a faulty hand over between Baugé and Sireau.

 Overall ranking

 Despite being defeated in the last round, the Germans take the overall title in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, their second consecutive win. They finish the season with 652.5 points, compared with 562.5 for Great Britain and 517.5 for the Netherlands.

 Women’s team sprint: Victory for Max Succes Pro Cycling

 It was a day to remember for the private team Max Succes Pro Cycling. After two consecutive victories for Germany, in Guadalajara it was Junhong Lin and Tianshi Zhong who dominated proceedings in 33.016. The Russians completed the sprint in 33.269 and Great Britain in 33.569.

 Overall ranking

Without Kristina Vogel for this last team sprint of the World Cup season, Germany finished only 9th and failed to make the podium. Great Britain finished overall winners with 390 points, overtaking the Germans (374) and in front of Russia (368),

 Women’s Scratch: Race of a lifetime for Xiao Juan Diao

 The Hong Kong representative, 28 years old, produced the best race of her career so far. With Colombia’s Jannie Salcedo, the two women were a lap ahead of the rest of the peloton to fight it out in a two-way battle. Russia’s Evgeniya finished third.

 Overall ranking

Fourth in the final in Mexico, Spain’s Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro takes the overall win with 211 points. After two consistent rounds (5th in Manchester and 6th in Guadalajara), France’s Lauri Berthon finishes 2nd with 203 points. Poland’s Malgorzata, winner in Manchester is third (199).

 Men’s points race: a first for Kiril  Sveshnikov !

Third at the Worlds in Minsk last year, the Russian athlete Kiri Sveshnikov had never before won in a World Cup race. In Guadalajara he finally achieved that missing victory, finishing with a total of 40 points. New Zealand’s Thomas Scully was second with 38 points and the Ukraine’s Roman Lutsyshyn third (34 points).

 Overall ranking

Roman Lutsyshyn makes history for his country by coming the first Ukraine to take a UCI Track Cycling World Cup title. He finishes the season with 225 points, ahead of Sveshnikov (151) and Martyn Irvine (150 points).

Photo: A nearly perfect season for the Australian men’s pursuit team