1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2. Katherine Compton (USA)
3. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France)
- Sven Nys (Belgium)
- Klass Vantornout (Belgium)
- Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands)
History was made today in Louisville, Kentucky at the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships when four world champions were crowned for the first time outside of Europe in the event’s 63-year history. The noisy and happy crowd, estimated to be close to 10,000 strong, didn’t let snow, freezing conditions or flooding deter their love of the sport, they cheered loudly all the racers.
Marianne Vos, of the Netherlands won her her first consecutive title in the Elite Women’s race. American Katie Compton was second and Lucie Chainel-Lefevre of France was third.
In the Elite Men’s race, veteran Sven Nys of Belgium took the second world title of his illustrious career. His teammate Klaas Vantornout was second and Lars van der Haar, of the Netherlands, was third.
In the Junior and Under 23 Men’s races, the Netherlands was the victor, with Mathieu van der Poel – son of legend Adri van der Poel – winning the Junior race ahead of teammate Martijn Budding. Mike Teunissen made his move in the final lap to win the Men Under-23 title ahead of Belgian duo Wietse Bosmans and Wout van Aert.
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — And the Oscar goes to…Sven Nys! Hollywood could not have scripted a more compelling tale than what unfolded at the 2013 World Cyclo-Cross Championships. After three years of pre-race buildup, followed by a potential climatic meltdown when it finally arrived, this story ended happily ever after as an instant classic. It was everything the most important CX event of the year should be, and more. We know drama.
The 36-year-old Nys is one of the most popular and decorated cyclocross racers ever, from the cyclocross Motherland of Belgium. Yet he had captured a world title only once, back in 2005. A year ago, right after the 2012 event, he announced his retirement from the sport. Upon further review he decided to give it one more shot, especially since the World Championship would take place outside of Europe for the first time in its 64-year history. Nys was a leading proponent of the sport’s expansion to Louisville, Kentucky, and felt he should see it through.
Then, in his final race, he achieved the sort of closure every athlete dreams of. Under rapidly deteriorating, snowy, muddy, devilish conditions, Nys put his legendary bike handling skills and experience to full use and rode away with another gold medal.
The Belgian team was heavily favored to seal the deal once again, but it was a matter of which Belgian would prevail. After all, the Belgians had swept the top seven positions in 2012. And when the gun went off at Eva Bandman Park to start the 2013 edition, it looked like it might happen again. The team’s robin’s egg blue colors were smothering the front of the field.
A few riders were given a chance to shine, such as Martin Bina (Czech Republic) and then Francis Mourey (France). But as the 2.78-kilometer course started to take its toll, Belgian blue (now stained bluegrass brown) came back to the fore.
With four of nine laps remaining, it was four Belgians crowding the top five positions. The Frenchman Mourey was hanging on for dear life with Nys, Klass Vantornout, Kevin Pauwels and defending champion Niels Albert sharing track space and a wide gap back to sixth place. Pauwels then started having drivetrain problems, eventually sentencing him to a distant 12th place finish.
A lap later the possibility of another Belgian sweep was developing, as Vantornout and Nys started to move away at the front with Albert still looking solid ahead of a charging Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands).
With two to go, under ever-increasing snowfall and falling temperatures (a winter storm advisory had been issued just before this race began), Nys and Vantornout had escaped to a 22-second lead ahead of Van Der Haar and a fading Albert. Nys made a couple of digs and noted their effect.
When Nys perfectly executed the most technical sections of the course on the bell lap, Vantornout was put into the red zone. And although he would charge back to within two seconds at the line, it was Nys with his arms in the air and a smile of a lifetime on his face.
Van Der Haar would claim yet another medal for Holland during this action-packed day, a bronze at 25 seconds. Bart Wellens (Belgium) came out of nowhere to claim fourth, while Germany’s Philipp Walsleben nipped Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland) in a photo finish for fifth.
Top American in Louisville was Tim Johnson in 19th place at 3:20 back. Jonathan Page had held that honor for much of the hour-long race, but ended up 22nd. American hopeful Jeremy Powers had a difficult meet and ended his CX season in 25th at 4:16.
CX Worlds Race Report: Elite Men
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — And the Oscar goes to…Sven Nys! Hollywood could not have scripted a more compelling tale than what unfolded at the 2013 World Cyclo-Cross Championships. After three years of pre-race buildup, followed by a potential climatic meltdown when it finally arrived, this story ended happily ever after as an instant classic. It was everything the most important CX event of the year should be, and more. We know drama. [Read more…]
CX Worlds Race Report: Under 23 Men
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — You could be forgiven if aliens dropped you into Eva Bandman Park and you mistook it for somewhere in northern Europe. Quintessential cyclocross sights and sounds. Best guess would be Holland, the biggest clue being orange-and-blue-clad riders standing on top of the podium in every race completed so far at these 2013 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships.
Netherlands is now three-for-three, as Mike Teunissen rode an intelligent race to claim a confident Under 23 Men’s victory and add to his country’s pile of gold. Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) had a lot to say about that and up until the last lap looked to be in the catbird seat. These two worked well together to establish a comfortable gap by the halfway mark, with another Belgian, Wout Van Aert, desperately trying to remain in contact.
Bosmans was clearly the more technically talented, consistently hopping the barriers and chugging up a steep, slick, off-camber hill that had Teunissen dismounting in both cases. But when Teunissen opened the throttle on the last lap, suddenly Bosmans had a look of desperation in his mud encrusted eyes. Shut up, legs.
The Dutchman pried open a 14-second margin on the last go-round, Bosmans staggered in for silver, and Van Aert was able to remain clear for bronze eight seconds later. He had a 13-second cushion on fourth-place Tijmen Eising (Belgium).
Top American in this one was Washington native Zach McDonald, who spent much of the race within the top ten but ultimately finished in 11th place.
Considering the setting, conditions and results, these World Championships seem eerily similar to the previous 63. It’s still amazing that it’s happening in mid-America for the first time. Not such an alien concept after all.
Under 23 Men
CX Worlds Race Report: Elite Women
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — Much like the Junior Men’s race that took place only moments earlier, the heavy favorite in Elite Women jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Impeccable, flawless, industrial strength riding on a treacherously slick course. Rise of the machines!
And once again it was a native of the Netherlands, wearing #1 as defending champion, putting on a clinic.
This time it was Marianne Vos in complete command. With the terrain beginning to thaw and the sun trying to make an appearance, Vos once again showed why many consider her to be one of the best riders of all time — man or woman.
At the halfway point of the six-lap race at Eva Bandman Park, Vos had moved out to a 51-second lead over Italy’s Eva Lechner and Sanne Van Paassen of Netherlands. American hopeful and new CX World Cup Champion Katie Compton was thrilling the crowd with an impressive charge after a rough first lap that had a number of contenders — including Americans Georgia Gould and Meredith Miller — tumbling across the slushy turf. With two to go Compton caught and then dropped Lechner and Van Paassen to assume a comfortable second place — but almost a minute and a half adrift of the leader.
There was no catching Vos. Add another Rainbow Jersey to the collection. She now has six in the closet, from cyclocross alone. Compton crossed the line at 1:34 by herself, wearing a wry smile.
The real drama came in the battle for the bronze. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) emerged onto the final, paved straight next, but she was frantically skateboarding her bike due to a jammed chain. Frenchwoman Lucie Chainel-Lefevre, who had been a contender for much of the race, took full advantage of Nash’s misfortune and sprinted past for a surprise third place ahead of a very frustrated Nash.
As is frequently the case, anything can happen in bike racing — especially cyclocross.
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2. Katherine Compton (USA)
3. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France)
CX Worlds Race Report: Junior Men 17-18
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — Momma used to tell us, “nobody’s perfect.” But she’d never met the Mathieu Van Der Poel. This young Dutchman came across the pond for these 2013 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Louisville with an unfathomable 25 victories in 25 events this past season. Here he pinned on the #1 as defending champion from a year ago.
And to no one’s surprise, he once again flummoxed the Junior Men on a freshly snow-covered, skatey, mostly frozen Eva Bandman Park course to win by nearly a minute.
Van Der Poel led from wire to wire, with only his Dutch teammate Martijn Budding offering a challenge early on. Within two of six laps Van Der Poel had pried open a 14-second gap, and was the only front-runner to bunnyhop the barriers. They would spend the rest of the race with only an impressive throng of spectators to keep them company.
American Logan Owen came from behind to make a compelling charge for the final podium spot, but came up just two seconds short of the Adam Toupalik of the Czech Republic.
Junior Men 17-18
Louisville, KY – February 1, 2013. Forecast data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) project that high water levels in the Ohio River will cause Beargrass Creek to flood the low lying areas of Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, Ky, in the early hours on Sunday morning and that water level will continue to rise for the next 48 hours.
Extraordinary measures, including the construction of a temporary barrier, are ongoing to ensure that the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships races will still be held in their entirety. The Organizing Committee and the UCI together took the decision to revise the schedule. All four races will be held on Saturday February 2, starting with Men Juniors at 9:45 a.m., Elite Women at 11 a.m., Men Under-23 at 12:30 p.m., and Elite Men at 2:30 p.m. (All times are Eastern Standard.) All Sunday tickets will be honored at the gate on Saturday which will open at 8 a.m.
Schedule for World Championships
Cyclo-Cross World Championships Junior Men’s Race
Cyclo-Cross World Championships Elite Women’s Race
Cyclo-Cross World Championships Men’s Under 23′s Race
Cyclo-Cross World Championships Elite Men’s Race
Let’s Hear It For the Home Team
FEB 1, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — In the event that Evan Bandman Park doesn’t slide into the Ohio River in the next 24 hours, it’s going to be a huge day tomorrow at the 2013 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Louisville.
All four elite classes are now scheduled to hit the frozen tundra on Saturday, Feb. 2, due to dire predictions from the weather geeks that the facility may be flooded on Sunday.
Weather or not, it’s a mammoth day for U.S. cyclocross enthusiasts and American cycling in general — the first time this prestigious event has taken place on home soil (or anywhere outside of Europe, for that matter.) With that in mind, let’s wave our flag like crazed Belgians for these homegrown heroes:
Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson, Jonathan Page, Jamie Driscoll, Danny Summerhill
Katie Compton, Amy Dombroski, Kaitlin Antonneau, Georgia Gould, Meredith Miller, Jade Wilcoxson
Under 23 Men:
Zach McDonald, William Dillman, Tobin Ortenblad, Skyler Trujillo
Logan Owen, Curtis White, Maxx Chance, David Lombardo, Stephen Bassett
Latest News: 2013 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships
FEB 1, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — This may be the only bicycle race ever to encourage sandbagging. After all the excitement and anticipation leading up to the 2013 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships, the event has has been b**ch-slapped by Mother Nature. Sure, “real” cyclocross racers and fans revel in “genuine” CX conditions like mud, snow, wind, rain and the occasional lightning strike. But there’s now a fear that the course at Evan Bandman Park may require scuba gear instead of toe spikes.
The facility is situated at the confluence of the Ohio River and Beargrass Creek, which are now rising faster than a team mechanic’s blood pressure. Last April heavy springtime rains led to a similar situation, resulting in much of the course area being submerged. With that in mind, as well as a prediction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of flood crest on Sunday morning, the Elite Men’s and Women’s races have been moved to Saturday. As this is being written, extraordinary measures — i.e., sandbagging, etc., — are being taken to even make Saturday’s races possible.
And this is following several days of UCI Masters Cyclo-Cross World Championship racing in which competitors have already had to deal with a hideously icy, snowy, rutty, frozen track. Good times.
You have to be careful what you ask for. Ever since it was announced that Louisville would be the site of this World Championships, the word “epic” has been tossed around with impunity. So what’s a stronger word than that? We may need it.
After all, it’s the first time in its 64-year-history that the event has been held outside of the CX motherland of Europe. When it was first announced, traditionalists’ jaws dropped while Yankees cheered. If ever there was hard evidence of just how quickly cyclocross has been growing on this side of the pond, this was it.
For once the Euros would not have home-field advantage. Yeah, let’s see how you adapt to jetlag, foreign food, boxed bikes, unfamiliar terrain and being heckled in a language you might not fully grasp. And yes, that was a dude in a Lady Gaga costume trying to hand you bacon at the top of the run-up. Deal with it.
To their credit, the visitors have not staged a labor strike. In fact, most came out in support of the sport’s expansion. Now that many are here, they seem to have embraced the change of scenery with open arms.
And arms raised on the podium. Quite a few took the opportunity to acclimate to U.S. soil at the previous weekend’s Cincinnati Kings International Cyclocross in Ohio. There, current World Champion Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) grabbed the Elite Men’s victory ahead of teammate Wietse Bosmans, both from Belgium. In the Elite Women’s race, Czech Katarina Nash prevailed over Luna Chix teammate Georgia Gould — an American — with Switzerland’s Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus) in third.
What of the Americans this weekend? Will home court give the perennial underdogs a fighting chance? Jeremy Powers came from behind to grab third in Cincinnati, just ahead of Jonathan Page. These two are the top picks for the red-white-and-blue on the Men’s side.
Page (Fuji/SPY/ENGVT) has been a longtime Euro circuit warrior and is arguably the most successful American ever on the international CX scene. He’s the only elite American male to collect a medal at a World Championship (silver in 2007). Plus he’s fresh off capturing his fourth U.S. National Championship in Madison, Wisconsin. So there’s that.
Although Powers (Rapha-Focus) confessed to having “bad legs” at Madison, he’s been hot most of the year. A highlight was a seventh place at the Tabor, Czech Republic, round of the World Cup Series — the best ever finish for an elite American male. Many riders are comparing the Louisville course to Tabor. Hmmmm.
On the Elite Women’s side, the clear American hope is 34-year-old Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective). She recently won the overall World Cup title, the first American to do so. She now wants desperately to capture the one honor that has eluded her: the Rainbow Jersey. To do it on home turf would be sweeter than Splenda.
But she’ll have to get past Dutch phenom Marianne Vos (Stichting-Rabobank), the five-time and defending World Champion. That’s a tall order. Voss is considered one of the best female cyclists ever, and she’s only 24.
But in bike racing, anything can happen. Especially in rough-and-tumble, snapped derailleur, bite-your-ear-off cyclocross racing. And that’s not taking into account the conditions already being encountered at this year’s event. If it takes place at all (oh, let’s not go there). World-class sandbaggers welcome.
MEDALISTS FROM 2012 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, Koksijde, Belgium:
Elite Men: 1. Niels Albert (Belgium); 2. Rob Peeters (Belgium); 3. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium).
Elite Women: 1. Marianne Voss (Netherlands); 2. Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands); 3. Sanne Cant (Belgium).
FINAL STANDINGS, 2012-13 WORLD CUP SERIES
Elite Men: 1. Niels Albert (Belgium); 2. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium); 3. Sven Nys (Belgium).
Elite Women: 1. Katie Compton (USA); 2. Sanne van Paassen (Netherlands); 3. Nikki Harris (Great Britain).
2013 UCI CYCLO-CROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:
All races to take place Saturday, February 2 (times are Eastern):
9:45 AM – 17-18 Junior Elite World Championships
11:00 AM – Female Elite World Championships
12:30 PM – U23 Elite World Championships
2:30 PM – Male Elite World Championships
Preliminary starters for the 2013 UCI Elite Cyclocross World Championships, as of Jan. 23, 2012.
X VANTHOURENHOUT Dieter
X DENUWELAERE Jan
X AERNOUTS Jim
VAN DER HAAR Lars
VAN AMERONGEN Thijs
VAN DEN BRAND Twan
X WUBBEN Niels
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MURGOITIO REKALDE Egoitz
HERNANDEZ GUTIERREZ Aitor
RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ Javier
FONTANA Marco Aurelio
TISZA Zoltan (-)
SHEPITKO Maksym (-)
VAN PAASSEN Sanne
X KALVENHAAR Annefleur
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
VAN LOY Ellen
ARZUFFI Alice Maria