While the US National Championships took place all week in Tacoma, in Europe five national series wrapped up. Unicova, Czech Republic hosted the final round of the Toi Toi Cup were the overall titles came down to this final race. In York, England, Ian Field was looking for his seventh overall title in the National Trophy Series. Both the Elite Men’s and Women’s titles came down the wire. Three other series also come down to their final race in France, Spain and Italy. Only Spain’s Ismael Esteban had clinched the overall Elite Men’s title.
Here’s how each series crowned their overall champions:
Toi Toi Cup wraps up in Unicov.
The Toi Toi Cup crowned its overall winners this past weekend as the series wrapped up in Unicov. This year, there were seven races for the Elite Men and Women to contest. Because the series offers three C1 races and often doubles up with C1 and C2 races in Slovakia, it appeals to a broad range of European riders. However, the consistency, and participation of, Czech riders they dominated the top-ten.
Despite having his worst finishing position of the series. Michael Boros captured his second Toi Toi Cup title. The 27 year old has rattled off three straight National Championships, but hasn’t captured a Toi Toi Cup title since the 2012/13 season. Leading into Saturday’s finale, Boros held a 12 point lead of last years overall winner, Jan Nesvadba. Four-time Toi Toi Cup winner, Tomas Paprstka trailed Nesvadba by seven points.
Diether Sweeck picked up the win on Saturday ahead of Simon Zahner and Tomas Kopecky. It was Sweeck’s second win in the series. As a result, the overall was decided by the finishing order of the top three riders. The series itself has a very tight points system, so it would have required Nesvadba to finished well ahead of Boros to capture the overall.
In the end, Boros rolled across the line in fifth place. Behind him, Nesvadba was sixth and Paprstka was seventh. Therefore the overall remained the same and Boros walked away with the title.
The Elite Women’s battle for the overall was much tighter than the men’s. World Cup leader, Katerina Nash dominated the race, beating Austria’s Nadja Heigl by nearly a minute. Tereza Svihalkova rolled across the line in third place, another 20 seconds back. Despite taking back-to-back victories in the series, Nash was never in contention for the overall. Like Sweeck, she only participated in the two races she won.
Heading into Saturday, Tereza Vanickova lead Tereza Svihalkova by a mere five points. Nikola Bajgerova was in third place, another 12 points back. Pava Havlikova has won three rounds of the series, but sat a distant fifth, primarily due to missing the first round. With an extreme amount of luck and positioning, Havlikova may have been able to pull off the upset. Unfortunately, she was sick and unable to race.
It ultimately came down to the final finishing order of the aforementioned top three overall. With her fifth place finish, Vanickova maintained her slim lead over Svihalkova to take the overall by three points. Vanickova would have had to finish in eighth place or lower to lose the title. Bajgerova did not compete in Saturday’s race, leaving third place wide open for a number of riders. In the end, Katerina Mudrikova used her 11th place finish to take third overall, a mere four points ahead of Karolina Bedrnikova.
York hosts the sixth and final round of the National Trophy Series.
Britain’s National Trophy Series wrapped up with the sixth, and final round on Sunday in York. The series began in mid-September in Derby and continued throughout the fall. Despite all the races being C2’s, the close proximity to Belgium and the Netherlands meant that several riders from those countries would make the trip each weekend. Another notable thing about the series is the participation. There were 82 Elite Men and 71 Elite women who scored points in the series.
The series itself awards points to the first 30 finishers. There’s a decent amount of separation in the points, especially for the top five, so it makes things tricky as slipping back one or two places can cost you a lot of points. For the final overall score, the series takes a riders best five results and tallies them up. This allows riders to miss one race, or get rid of their worst result.
Heading into Sunday, it looked like six-time champion Ian Field was poised to take his seventh title. He lead Netherland’s Gosse van der Meer by 13 points. Toby Barnes was 50 points behind van der Meer, therefore it was a two rider battle for the overall. Both Field and van der Meer had previously won one race in the series. Van der Meer lacked consistency throughout the series. He would finish on the podium in one race and then outside the top-ten in another. Meanwhile, Field’s consistent top-ten finishes gave him the edge.
The hype for Sunday’s finale was dented quite a bit when Field showed up struggling with an illness. While van der Meer would end up finishing second, Field had to withdraw, and would not take home his seventh title. Because of the large gap, Field was able to take home second place overall, 27 points ahead of Barnes. Barnes would take home the U23 jersey.
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The battle for the overall title was incredibly tight in the Elite Women’s race. Ffion James lead Sophie Thackray by a mere two points heading into the finale in York. Katie Scott came into the race in third overall, 54 points behind Thackray. Despite only racing in two rounds (prior to York), Harriet Harnden had finished well ahead of Scott and had an outside chance of moving up to third overall. The overall title would come down to who finished ahead of the other.
Harnden picked up her second win of the series in York giving her 50 points towards the overall. Scott rolled across the line in sixth place, over four minutes behind Harnden. However, it was just enough as Scott would maintain her third place overall, two points ahead of Harnden. Fifon James fought hard to grab the last spot on the podium. Her third place finish was the fourth of the series and contributed to her overall title. With Bethany Crumpton finishing second, there was no possible way Thackray would maintain her overall lead. Thackray finished seventh, leaving her second overall. On the bright side, she took home the U23 title.
The Coupe de France overall is decided in Bangoles de L’orne.
The Coupe de France is perhaps the shortest UCI series in the World, despite being France’s primary series. This year, three races made up the series (the series usually consists of three or four races). Le Meziere hosted the first round of the series on October 13th. On November third, round two took place in Andrezieux-Boutheon, while round three took place this past Sunday in Bangoles de L’orne. With such a short series and a narrow point differential, every race mattered.
Heading into Sunday’s final round, Steve Chainel had a six point lead over David Menut. Neither rider had won the overall before. Chainel took the lead thanks to a win in the second round. Behind Menut, Matthieu Boulo was another 10 points back. However, Boulo only lead Joshua Dubau by five points. As expected, it would all come down to Sunday’s finale.
Antoine Benoist, winner of the first round, took off from the start in an attempt to stretch things out and take home the win. However, a hard charging Lucas Dubau (fifth overall heading into the race) began to bring things back together. The lead group would get whittled down, with Menut eventually storming to victory. Chainel, who was part of the chase group, would need to finish fourth place or better to take the overall.
Lucas Dubau settled into second place, with the battle for third coming down to Benoist, Boulo, Joshua Dubau and Chainel. Benoist out sprinted Joshua Dubau for third, while Chainel rolled across the line in fifth place. It was just enough for Menut to take the overall.
An astonishing 96 women (according to the French Cycling website) raced in Bangoles de L’orne on Sunday. Olivia Onesti, winner of round two, entered the race as a favorite along with Marlene Petit and Lauriane Duraffourg. Petit and Duraffourg were tied on points (79), trailing Onesti by four. Amandine Fouquenet and Anais Morichon were also in the mix with 75 and 73 points, respectively. WIth 10 points separating first through fifth, it was anyone’s chance to take the title.
In the race, Petit quickly took the lead followed by Onesti with Morichon and Marine Strapaazzon also making the lead group. At the midway point, Onesti – who is a first year junior – escaped with Petit and would battle for the win. With only a three point difference between first and second, Onesti seemed to have the overall locked up. Petit would end up getting slowed down by mechanical problems in the final laps and watched her hopes of victory fade away.
Morichon closed down on Petit very quickly, but Petit held on for second. Duraffourg crossed the line in eighth, but had done just enough to take third place overall beating Fouquenet by one point. Morichon’s third place finish left her fifth overall, one point behind Fouquenet.
Aida Nuno and Ismael Esteban take the 2019 Copa de España de Ciclocross overall.
The sixth, and final round, of the Spanish Cyclocross Cup took place on Sunday in Valencia. The C2 race was the fifth UCI race in the series. Ismael Esteban secured the Elite Men’s overall victory two weeks ago in Pontevedra. With a number of riders in the top five not racing, and other riders returning to Spain, it left the other positions wide open. On the women’s side, everything was up for grabs with Aida Nuño and Lucía González the favorites in Valencia.
While Esteban had secured the overall, the rest of the places were up for grabs. Felipe Orts was the heavy favorite as he is undefeated in his home nation. Orts won the first two rounds of the series and could move up to second overall with a victory in Valencia. Xabier Murias, the top U23 rider, sat second overall and would need to finish very close to Orts to maintain his spot. Ivan Feijoo, who was third overall, was in the race making the battle wide open between himself, Orts, Murias and Kevin Suarez for the top three positions.
As expected, Orts dominated the race, beating Suarez by nearly one minute. It was Orts eighth win of the season, all coming from races in Spain. Fernandez was part of a five rider chase group that included a pair of French riders as well as well as a few Spanish riders who were not in contention for the overall.
With Orts beating Suarez, he moved up to second overall and Suarez slotted into third. Murias ended up in a close battle with Feijoo for the fourth spot, which also determined the top U23 rider. Feijoo out-sprinted Murias for ninth place and as a result, ended up tied with Murias on points. By Feijoo finishing ahead of Murias, he would take home the U23 title. Series winner Esteban ended up crashing out of the race, but was still happy, having already secured the overall.
Coming into Sunday’s race, Aida Nuño and Lucía González were only separated by 11 points. If González won, Nuño would need to finish in fourth place or lower for González to claim the overall. Nuño hasn’t finished worse than third this season, so it was going to be a hard task for González to accomplish. Paula Diaz, who sat third overall pretty much had third place locked up as well as the U23 title.
As the race developed, a strong lead group containing González, Nuño, Díaz, Sofía Rodríguez and Lucía Gómez formed. During the final lap, González launched an attack and got away from the rest of the group. She would go on to win by 16 seconds over Nuño. Behind, Gómez outsprinted Rodríguez for third. Despite getting the win, González did not get enough points to pass Nuño. Diaz maintained her third place overall winning the U23 title ahead of Irene Trabazo.
SMP Master Cross concludes with the Gran Premio Città di Vittorio Veneto.
The somewhat lesser known SMP Mater Cross series hosted its finale round on Sunday in Vittorio Veneto. This series is Italy’s primary series and is another relatively short one comprised of five UCI C2. The series kicked off on October 20th in Cles, Italy, had its second round in November and then ramped up to its finale with three races in December. The final race was worth double points, which would make an impact on all the races.
Heading into Sunday’s race, Nicolas Samparisi held a three point lead over Filippo Fontana. Both riders raced all the races in the series and were always in the top five. Samparisi had the edge because he won the second round of the series in Saccolongo. Cristian Cominelli, winner of the first round, was in third place overall. However, he struggled in the previous two rounds and was 22 points behind Fontana. Behind him was Jakob Dorigoni, who despite only racing in two rounds, was a favorite to win.
What started out as a muddy day eventually led to better conditions as the sun and the wind dried the course. Dorigoni, the Italian U23 champion, led a three man front group that also included Michael Boros and the Italian National Champion, Gioele Bertolini. Samparisi and Fontana were well off the pace, but would battle until the end to decide who won the overall.
Dorigoni distanced himself from Boros and Bertolini to take the win. Despite only racing three races, his victory catapulted him to third overall. Boros took second, with Bertolini right behind in third. As we mentioned, it all came down the final placings for Samparisi and Fontana. Fontana came across the line in fourth, winning the series by a single point over Samparisi.
Like the Elite Men, the double points on offer would have an effect on the outcome. Coming into Vittorio Veneto, Allessia Bulleri held a slim, three point lead, over Francesca Baroni. Like the men’s overall, the rest of the riders were quite a bit behind, but the double points meant closing gaps was a lot easier. Asia Zontone was in third, 10 points behind Baroni. Behind those three were Gaia Realini (71 pts), Sara Casasola (70 pts) and Rebecca Gariboldi (60 pts).
After winning the penultimate round in dominating fashion, Baroni entered as the clear favorite and she did not disappoint. Leading wire-to-wire, Baroni beat Gariboldi by 40 seconds. Casasola rolled across the line another 30 seconds later to round out the podium. Bulleri rolled across the line in fifth place with Realini finishing fourth. By virtue of the double points, Baroni catapulted herself into the lead in the overall. Bulleri dropped to second, while Casasola moved up to third overall.
We get our information from a combination of websites, primarily the series websites. Obviously, we are translating things into English and doing a lot of digging. If we made a mistake, please let us know below.