Week 12 kicked off with a race on Monday in Niel. In previous years, it was a round of the DVV Trofee, but this year it was part of the Rectavit series. On Saturday, the only race on the European calendar was the World Cup round in Tabor. Sunday featured the second round of the DVV Trofee in Hamme as well as a round of the EKZ CrossTour in Hittnau. The Norwegian National Championships took place in Spikkestad, while there was also racing in Italy and Japan. On the other side of the pond, there were two pairs of C2 races in New York and Indiana.
We covered all the action, so here’s what you need to know:
The Cannondale express rolled through Supercross.
While there were two pairs of C2 races this past weekend in North America, most of the top riders were in New York for Supercross. Curtis White and Kerry Werner were in attendance along with Stephen Hyde, Lane Maher, and a few other podium contenders. Fresh off his win at the Pan-American Championships, all eyes were on Werner to continue his battle with White.
On Saturday, Werner was in the mix and it looked like he would contend for the win. However, he didn’t have the best legs and White was able to get away from him. After that, Cannondale deployed some team tactics and ended up knocking Werner off the podium. It was a Cannondale sweep as White picked up the win, Hyde was second and Maher edged out Werner for third.
The Cannondale train continued to roll on Sunday. Midway through the race, White once again got a gap on the lead group containing Hyde, Maher and Werner. This time it was Maher who applied the pressure to get him and Hyde away from Werner. Hyde was unable to follow Maher, but distanced Werner towards the end of the race. The Cannondale trio would come across the line in that order.
While a pair of fourth places is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, this marks the first weekend where Werner didn’t land on the podium since Rochester. He will head to North Carolina next weekend, before taking a break and prepping for Nationals.
“Becca” is back on top in North America.
Rebecca Fahringer headed into this weekend fresh off a third place finish at last weekend’s Pan-American Championships. Fahringer continued that good form picking up a pair of wins at Supercross. Courtnenay McFaddend kept things close, but was unable to beat Fahringer and finished second on both days. Carla Williams rounded out the podium on Saturday and Ruby West picked up third on Sunday.
Fahringer has had an incredible season thus far. Like her teammate, Kerry Werner, Fahringer spent all of February racing in Europe. That has clearly paid off. Fahringer hasn’t finished outside the top-ten this year, including a pair of top-ten finishes in the first two rounds of the World Cup. She has eight victories this season and has only finished off the podium once in a C2 race. She also leads the ProCX and Vittoria NECXS series.
While Katie Compton and Katie Keough are off racing in Europe, Fahringer is quickly becoming the top domestic rider. She will be a heavy favorite to knock off Compton at Nationals.
Norwegian nationals provided some great weather and racing.
The 2019 Norweigian National Champions took place on Sunday in Spikkestad. Spikkestad is about 41 kilometers southwest of the capital city of Oslo. As one might expect from a northern city in November, there was “proper” cross weather according to the Norwegians. The temperature was barely above freezing and there was both snow and rain throughout the day.
Despite not being UCI sanctioned, there was a Junior Women’s race. Hedda Brenningen beat Tora Bjørndal Ottestad and Rikke Enstad. There were only three riders in the race and Brenningen won by 2:07. Enstad came across the line for third place another minute behind. Perhaps the best part of the story is that this was Brenningen’s first race and she raced on a borrowed bike.
This was the fifth year the there was a UCI Elite Women’s National Championship. The first three were won by Elisabeth Sveum, while Ingrid Moe picked up the victory last year. Sveum did not participate in last year’s race. With Moe absent from this year’s race, Sveum was once again the favorite to capture her fourth title. However, Mie Bjørndal Ottestad was able to pick up the victory, 29 seconds ahead of Sveum. Sigrid Andrea Fløgstad finished third, 1:25 behind Ottestad. Ottestad and Sveum were clearly the strongest riders as they pulled ahead of the rest of the nine rider field. Ottestad got a gap in one of the muddy sections and never looked back.
As with most junior races, no one who was on the podium last year raced this year. William Høines Larsen picked up his first National Championship on Sunday. He beat William Handley by 30 seconds. Jon Rye-Johnsen won the sprint over Eivind Broholt Fougner for third place.
24 riders took to the start of the Elite Men’s race. Tobias Johannesen entered the race as the two time defending champion and was the clear favorite. However, Søren Wærenskjold was able to get away from the rest of the field early and won by 2:10. Johannesen out sprinted Martin Emil Siggerud for second place.
It was a great week for the Dutch…and not just van der Poel.
With Mathieu van der Poel back in action, it’s somewhat obvious that the Dutch win total is going to increase exponentially. However, this past week was dominated by the Dutch across Europe. The week kicked off with Jaarmarktcross Niel. Van der Poel took the win in the men’s race, while Lucinda Brand made her debut and came away with a win.
Saturday’s World Cup round in Tabor once again saw van der Poel take the top step of the podium. Fellow Dutchman Lars van der Haar finished just off the pace in third. On the women’s side, the Dutch took the top five spots. Annemarie Worst picked up the win followed by Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado in second and Yara Kastelijn was third. Just behind them was Lucinda Brand.
On Sunday, van der Poel continued his winning streak with a victory at round two of the DVV Trofee in Hamme. Once again, the Dutch women dominated, taking four out of the top five spots. Worst picked up the win, Alvarado was third. Kastelijn edged out Aniek van Alphen four fourth. The Dutch also had some success in the U23 Men’s race with Ryan Camp finishing second.
Finally on Sunday, David van der Poel picked up a second place at the EKZ CrossTour round in Hittnau. This was the only race where they did not land a rider on the Elite Women’s podium. The two Dutch riders in that field finished 17th and 21st.
Don’t forget about us!
Believe it or not, we have covered all but four of the races this past week. Since we don’t want to leave anyone out, we will provide a brief rundown of what you need to know.
While Curtis White and Rebecca Fahringer swept Supercross, Drew Dillman and Clara Honsinger swept the Major Taylor Cross Cup. As we mentioned, most of the top names were in New York for Supercross, but that shouldn’t take away from the Major Taylor Cross Cup. Both the men’s and women’s fields were filled with talent. One final takeaway from this race is 61 year old John Thompson. Thompson has participated in the elite ranks on and off over the past eight seasons. We are fairly certain he’s the oldest rider to participate in a UCI race this year.
We focus on Europe and North America, but Japan has a growing cross scene. This year they have eight UCI races including one C1 and, of course, a National Championship. Hijiri Oda won the first two races of the season and looked poised to win on Sunday in Takashima City. However, 42 year old Emil Hekele spoiled the party. The Czech rider bested Oda by 43 seconds. Hikaru Osaka came across the line in third. We did some digging, but can’t find any more information on Hekele. He’s mostly raced in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this season. No word on why he is in Japan.
Finally, it was an all Italian affair at the 40th anniversary of the World memorial ciclocross Saccolongo. As the name suggests, the race took place in Saccolongo, where 40 years ago Vito Di Tano won the cyclocross World Championships (as an amateur). He quickly became the top Italina amateur cross rider, winning six national titles (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987). He also had four top tens in the World Championships and captured a second world title in Lembeek in 1986. It what was an extremely muddy race, Nicolas Samparisi took the win in the men’s race, while Sara Cadasola won the women’s race.