Kaitie Keough’s focus on details brings 2017 success

BALTIMORE, Maryland (VN) — Eight years ago, a 17-year-old Kaitie Antonneau (now Keough) was driving around the U.S. in a minivan racing cyclocross for the Planet Bike team. She was young and having fun. While she gathered some impressive results for her age, she, admittedly, wasn’t concerned with what would come next. It was all jump on the bike and go.

Today, Keough is in her seventh season with Stu Thorne’s powerhouse Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team. And she’s having her best season yet.

At both the Jingle Cross and Trek World Cup rounds, Keough finished second. In Waterloo, that second place came behind world champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon). As of this writing, she had five other race wins to her credit, including both days at the U.S. Cup-CX/Charm City.

It’s no longer jump on the bike and go. In the past seven seasons with the Cannondale team, and especially over the past year, Keough has become meticulous about the details, especially her bike setup. It’s a result of working closely with several influential people in her life, including new husband and coach Luke Keough.

“As I’ve gotten a little older and started to compete at a higher level — everyone is fast; everyone trains really hard — you need to start paying attention to those little extra details,” Keough said. “Those are the one or two extra percent over someone else.”

Keough has paid particular attention to her fit, down to the millimeter. While she’s still learning and experimenting with the details, including a recent change to her crank length (down to 165 millimeters), she says she’s learned a tremendous amount over the past year.

“It’s really been helping in how my season’s been going so far,” Keough said.

Assisting her in the minutiae is team mechanic Gary Wolff, who is in his first year with the Cannondale team. Wolff, however, is as experienced as they come, having spent the past 20 years working at the highest level for a host of talented mountain bike and ’cross stars, including Alison Sydor, Geoff Kabush, and Jamey Driscoll, among others.

“A normal human being wouldn’t notice at all,” Wolff said of Keough’s ability to feel subtle changes in position. “But because she and these riders are on their bikes so much, they notice every millimeter of change. A lot of people think that’s crazy, but they notice right away.”

As Wolff notes, not every athlete is the same, and it takes time to understand the character of a particular rider and what they like or dislike. Sometimes a mechanic can deliver too much information to a certain athlete. Wolff knows, for example, that current national champion Stephen Hyde is comfortable being told everything from bike setup changes to things that need to be repaired because they broke. While Wolff and Keough continue to hone their working relationship, his ability to make the former U23 national champion feel comfortable has already paid dividends.

“I like to say he’s my Buddha mechanic because he’s so calm, and he just doesn’t stress,” Keough said. “Being around him, it just kind of oozes out of him. That’s really good for me mentally and I really enjoy working with him. He’s awesome at what he does.”

Wolff pre-rides almost every course each weekend. It’s something Keough has never had with any previous mechanic. According to rider and mechanic, it makes any discussion about bike setup that much easier.

The final factor in her success this season, according to Keough, is working with a new coach, who also happens to be her new husband, Luke Keough. Luke’s brother Jake, is also helping with coaching duties. (Previously, 13-time national champion Katie Compton coached Kaitie Keough.)

The change has made a significant difference for the Wisconsin native. Luke and Jake grew up racing ’cross and know the sport well, she said. Thus, the brothers can relate to the demands of cyclocross, as well as the nuances that effect technique and training.

“They’re just dudes who love to ride their bikes and race so it’s nice to be in that environment. I’m having fun again racing my bike,” Keough said. “Last year was a big struggle for me. Now I’m having fun, I’m riding well, the team dynamic is amazing. Cyclocross is, like, my favorite thing ever, I just love it.”

The post Kaitie Keough’s focus on details brings 2017 success appeared first on VeloNews.com.

U.S Open of Cyclocross: Millburn and Mcfadden score first wins of season

Australian Garry Millburn (Speedvagen x MAAP) was victorious in a three-rider sprint on day two of the UCI C2 U.S. Open of Cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado on Sunday. The Aussie led onto the finishing straight and was able to hold off Hector Riveros (Stan’s NoTubes) and Michael van den Ham (Garneau Easton) to capture the victory.

“Today certainly had enough of a challenge,” Millburn said. “It broke up a little bit and we had a few gaps. I was just trying to stay at the front. I knew the kind of group I was with. I was confident that I could get the sprint if I just positioned myself right. So I kind of went early on this back straight and into that final corner first. I pulled a pedal. Hector was coming, and I got my foot back in (the pedal), found a few more gears and got there in the end. A great way to cap off the U.S. season for us.”

Windy conditions continued for the start of Sunday’s race at the U.S. Open of Cyclocross across Valmont Bike Park. The elite men kicked up a dust cloud, as they began their race on a dry course in Boulder, with Cody Kaiser (Lange Twins/Specialized) taking the holeshot.

The field began to break apart midway through the race, with 23-year-old Keegan Swenson (Cannondale/3Rox) taking a turn at the front. The lead group also contained van den Ham, Riveros, Millburn, and Americans Allen Krughoff (Krughoff Racing) and Jamey Driscoll (Donnelly Sports), who was Saturday’s champion.

Three riders would make a move on the twisty course with two laps to go, and the move would stick for the final podium. It would be the Aussie Millburn crossing the line for his first win this year in five events. Riveros would finish just behind in for second, with van den Ham rolling across the line in third. Swenson finished fourth, and Driscoll managed fifth.

Millburn was proud to be the first Australian to win a UCI race at U.S. Open of Cyclocross. “Today was pretty good,” Millburn said. “My wife and I love Boulder. I’m from Sydney, Australia, so this is kind of small town, but enough of what we need. Sydney is just hustle and bustle. This is finishing off our U.S. block now. We did the two World Cups and went to KMC and Interlaken [local cyclocross race in Bloomfield, Colorado ed.] last weekend. Tomorrow morning back to Sydney.”

Elite Men’s top-10

  • 1. Garry Millburn, (AUS), 56:41.
  • 2. Hector Fernando Riveros Paez, (COL), 56:41.
  • 3. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN), 56:43.
  • 4. Keegan Swenson, (USA), 56:46.
  • 5. James Driscoll, (USA), 56:48.
  • 6. Cody Kaiser, (USA), 56:51.
  • 7. Allen Krughoff, (USA), 57:13.
  • 8. Skyler Mackey, (USA), 58:18.
  • 9. Chris Baddick, (GBR), 58:29.
  • 10. Jake Wells, (USA), 58:32.

In the elite women’s race, Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Cycles p/b DNA) powered across the line as the winner in a three-rider sprint. Rising star Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle Co.) grabbed the runner-up spot, with third-place going to Caroline Mani (Van Dessel/Atom Composites) of France. Clouse and Mani switched positions on the podium on Sunday, as Clouse finished behind Mani the day before.

Runner-up Clouse was ecstatic to have ridden to a podium place for the second day in a row. “I was really hoping to get a top-five at least this weekend because I’m really trying to get as many UCI points as I can before the next big C1 races, so I can actually have a good line-up,” Clouse said. “I was hoping for a top-five, top-10, around there. I really wasn’t expecting a top-three both days, so I’m super excited about that. It’s so crazy being able to race with Caroline Mani and Courtenay Mcfadden and all those big names. It’s super fun and I get to push my limits.”

The U.S. Open of Cyclocross again held separate UCI races for the junior men and under-23 men on Sunday. Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Top Club CycloCross) went two-for-two in the junior 17-18 men’s contest, outsprinting Henry Jones (Bend Endurance Academy) for the win. Scott Funston (Rad Racing NW) finished third.

In the under-23 battle, it was an all-Colorado contest. Boulder’s Eric Brunner (Evol Racing) opened a small gap in the lead group with two laps to go, leaving Saturday’s winner Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co./Groove Subaru) to chase, along with Boulder riders Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport), Denzel Stephenson (Evol Racing) and Maxx Chance (Evol Racing). The chasing paid off with a big kick in the final sprint and Hecht secured his second under-23 race in two days at Valmont Bike Park.

Second-place was secured by Stephenson and third went to Ellwood. Eric Brunner, who finished third on Saturday, would miss the podium and finish fourth on Sunday.

Elite women full results

  • 1. Courtenay McFadden, (USA), 45:15.
  • 2. Katie Clouse, (USA), 45:16.
  • 3. Caroline Mani, (FRA), 45:16.
  • 4. Sofia Gomez Villafane, (ARG), 45:44.
  • 5. Samantha Runnels, (USA), 45:45.
  • 6. Laurel Rathbun, (USA), 45:46.
  • 7. Rebecca Gross, (USA), 46:09.
  • 8. Sunny Gilbert, (USA), 46:10.
  • 9. Emily Kachorek, (USA), 46:38.
  • 10. Christa Ghent, (USA), 46:38.
  • 11. Dani Arman, (USA), 46:59.
  • 12. Anna “katrina” Engelsted, (USA), 47:39.
  • 13. Amy Beisel, (USA), 47:43.
  • 14. Georgia Gould, (USA), 47:50.
  • 15. Kristen Legan, (USA), 48:04.
  • 16. Petra Schmidtmann, (USA), 48:13.
  • 17. Ava Lilley, (USA), 48:21.
  • 18. Maria Larkin, (IRL), 48:21.
  • 19. Ksenia Lepikhina, (USA), 48:58.
  • 20. Shannon Mallory, (USA), 49:03.
  • 21. Jolene Holland, (USA), 49:08.
  • 22. Fiona Morris, (AUS), 49:12.
  • 23. Meghan Newlin, (USA), 49:29.
  • 24. Dana Kuper, (USA), 49:36.
  • 25. Heidi Franz, (USA), 50:03.
  • 26. Marsa Daniel, (USA), 50:17.
  • 27. Anna Dorovskikh, (USA), 50:37.
  • 28. Ashley Zoerner, (USA), 50:42.
  • 29. Nicole Jorgenson, (USA), 50:47.
  • 30. Jenna Downey, (USA), 50:56.
  • 31. Laura Jeddeloh, (USA), 50:58.
  • 32. Suzie Livingston, (USA), 52:08.
  • 33. Leslie Ethridge, (USA)

Elite Men full results

  • 1. Garry Millburn, (AUS), 56:41.
  • 2. Hector Fernando Riveros Paez, (COL), 56:41.
  • 3. Michael Van Den Ham, (CAN), 56:43.
  • 4. Keegan Swenson, (USA), 56:46.
  • 5. James Driscoll, (USA), 56:48.
  • 6. Cody Kaiser, (USA), 56:51.
  • 7. Allen Krughoff, (USA), 57:13.
  • 8. Skyler Mackey, (USA), 58:18.
  • 9. Chris Baddick, (GBR), 58:29.
  • 10. Jake Wells, (USA), 58:32.
  • 11. Yannick Eckmann, (USA), 59:11.
  • 12. Cody Cupp, (USA), 59:25.
  • 13. Josh Whitney, (USA), 59:35.
  • 14. Kevin Day, (USA), 59:48.
  • 15. Mark Flis, (USA), 59:49.
  • 16. Samuel Dolzani, (USA), 59:49.
  • 17. Kevin Bradford-Parish, (USA), 01:00:08.
  • 18. Josh Direen, (USA), 01:00:14.
  • 19. Alex Wild, (USA), 01:01:17.
  • 20. Allan Schroeder, (USA), 01:01:19.
  • 21. Eric Fossell, (USA), 01:01:44.
  • 22. William Allen, (USA), 01:01:45.
  • 23. Ryan Rinn, (USA), 01:01:52.
  • 24. Jacob Huizenga, (USA), 01:02:10.
  • 25. Aaron Vaughn, (USA), 01:02:16.
  • 26. Jayson Jacobs, (USA), 01:02:17.
  • 27. Timber Weiss, (USA), 01:02:41.
  • 28. Zachary Dolzani, (USA), 01:02:46.
  • 29. Christopher Ganter, (USA), 01:04:11.
  • 30. Nick Thomas, (USA), 01:04:36.
  • 31. Jeremy Ostrowski, (USA), 01:05:13.

Under-23 men full results

  • 1. Benjamin Gomezvillafane, (USA), 41:35.
  • 2. Henry Jones, (USA), 41:39.
  • 3. Tyler Clark, (CAN), 41:47.
  • 4. Torin Bickmore, (USA), 42:25.
  • 5. Calder Wood, (USA), 42:48.
  • 6. Sam Brown, (USA), 43:03.
  • 7. Conor Martin, (CAN), 43:13.
  • 8. Benjamin Johnson, (USA), 43:16.
  • 9. Campbell Watson, (USA), 44:10.
  • 10. Max Ritzow, (USA), 44:32.
  • 11. Cole Limpach, (USA), 44:42.
  • 12. Charles Springer, (USA), 46:31.
  • 13. Tyler Reynolds, (USA), 46:48.

Junior 17-18 men full results

  • 1. Benjamin Gomezvillafane, (USA), 41:35.
  • 2. Henry Jones, (USA), 41:39.
  • 3. Tyler Clark, (CAN), 41:47.
  • 4. Torin Bickmore, (USA), 42:25.
  • 5. Calder Wood, (USA), 42:48.
  • 6. Sam Brown, (USA), 43:03.
  • 7. Conor Martin, (CAN), 43:13.
  • 8. Benjamin Johnson, (USA), 43:16.
  • 9. Campbell Watson, (USA), 44:10.
  • 10. Max Ritzow, (USA), 44:32.
  • 11. Cole Limpach, (USA), 44:42.
  • 12. Charles Springer, (USA), 46:31.
  • 13. Tyler Reynolds, (USA), 46:48.

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Gloucester: Ortenblad doubles up, Noble powers to victory

Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) continued to be untouchable of late on U.S. soil, as he captured his fifth victory in his last six races on day two of the Gran Prix of Gloucester on Sunday in New England. Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) finished second and Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) rounded out the podium in third.

Powers seemed motivated to lead the charge early on and control the pace. He and Ortenblad would go head-to-head for nearly the entire race, separating from the bunch on the second lap.

Ortenblad got the jump on Powers, taking the inside line on the final turn onto the pavement. He would use a tailwind on the finishing sprint to win by 12 seconds over Powers.

“Jeremy was definitely riding super aggressive today, you could tell he didn’t want it to be a group again,” said Ortenblad. “He split it up pretty early. “He and I just kind of went back and forth for the most part. The last lap, I kinda wanted to lead through the beginning and Jeremy also wanted to, so he came around me on the technical stuff. We both rode the stairs and this run-up thing really well, and I was able to kinda hang on his wheel again. Coming into the sprint, he definitely tried to slow down and make me come through and I did, but I was able to just hold it from there.”

White would fight for third, escaping teammate Cooper Willsey and riding away to the final podium spot. Ortenblad now leads the Vittoria Series for the elite men, with Cooper Willsey leading the under-23 men’s competition.

Men’s top-10

  • 1. Tobin ORTENBLAD, SANTA CRUZ/DONKEY LABEL RACING, 58:15.
  • 2. Jeremy POWERS, ASPIRE RACING, 58:27.
  • 3. Curtis WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, 59:02.
  • 4. Cooper WILLSEY, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, 59:29.
  • 5. Justin LINDINE, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, 59:37.
  • 6. Scott SMITH, JAM NCC, 59:53.
  • 7. Anthony CLARK, SQUID SQUAD, 01:00:05.
  • 8. Bjorn SELANDER, 01:00:26.
  • 9. Spencer PETROV, ASPIRE RACING, 01:00:45.
  • 10. Brendan MCCORMACK, APEXNBXHYPERTHREADS, 01:00:56.

Noble powers to second victory of the season

Ellen Noble soloed to victory on Sunday in New England at the Gran Prix of Gloucester. Photo: Chris McIntosh

Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) would solo her way to victory, her second of the year, in a confident and aggressive race on the women’s side.

Noble controlled the race from the start. She established an early lead with Emma White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) and would then ride away from White with four laps remaining. White would suffer a mechanical but hung on for second place. The third step of the podium would go to Crystal Anthony (Maxxis Shimano), with Saturday’s third place-finisher Christel Ferrier Bruneau (SAS-Macogep) finishing fourth.

“I felt like yesterday I kind of a raced a little complacently,” said Noble. “I didn’t plan on riding on the front the whole day, but I felt really, really strong technically today, much more focused than yesterday. So I just led through the technical sections, and I noticed that I was getting small gaps. So I just wanted to keep those gaps going, and eventually, I was able to get one that stuck.”

Noble will take over the Vittoria Series leaders jersey, while White will still remain in a Verge leaders jersey as the top under-23 woman.

The Vittoria Series will continue in Northampton, Massachusetts with the Verge Northampton International November 11-12.

Women’s full results

  • 1. Ellen NOBLE, ASPIRE RACING, 48:10.
  • 2. Emma WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, 48:56.
  • 3. Crystal ANTHONY, MAXXIS SHIMANO PRO CYCLOCROSS, 49:20.
  • 4. Christel FERRIER BRUNEAU, SAS-MACOGEP, 50:00.
  • 5. Allison ARENSMAN, J.A. KING p/b BRC, 51:07.
  • 6. Magdeleine VALLIERES, CLUB CYCLISTE DE SHERBROOKE, 51:12.
  • 7. Julie WRIGHT, TEAM AVERICA, 51:17.
  • 8. Kathryn CUMMING, JALAPENO CYCLING, 51:33.
  • 9. Laura WINBERRY, 51:49.
  • 10. Lynne BESSETTE, 100B7.COMFELT, 52:25.
  • 11. Brittlee BOWMAN, HOUSE INDNOKIA HEALTHSIMPLEHUMA, 52:43.
  • 12. Regina LEGGE, TREK CYCLOCROSS COLLECTIVE, 53:08.
  • 13. Erin FACCONE, TEAM AVERICA, 53:37.
  • 14. Leslie LUPIEN, TEAM AVERICA, 53:49.
  • 15. Natalie TAPIAS, JAM NCC, 54:23.
  • 16. Katie CARLSON, LADIES FIRST PB MILTON CATERPIL, 55:01.
  • 17. Sophie RUSSENBERGER, DAH+?NGER, 55:29.
  • 18. Christin REUTER, MAD ALCHEMY | ZANCONATO, 55:32.
  • 19. Natalie FORSYTHE, RIVERSIDE RACING, 55:49.
  • 20. Alex CARLSON, CYCLE-SMART, 56:04.
  • 21. Emily MOLDEN, NANTUCKET VELO, 56:18.
  • 22. Katelyn PARHIALA, JRA CYCLES
  • 23. Paige WILLIAMS, FUJI CROSS CREW
  • 24. Jenny WOJEWODA, PEDALPOWERTRAINING.COM

Men’s full results

  • 1. Tobin ORTENBLAD, SANTA CRUZ/DONKEY LABEL RACING, 58:15.
  • 2. Jeremy POWERS, ASPIRE RACING, 58:27.
  • 3. Curtis WHITE, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, 59:02.
  • 4. Cooper WILLSEY, CANNONDALE PB CYCLOCROSSWORLD.C, 59:29.
  • 5. Justin LINDINE, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, 59:37.
  • 6. Scott SMITH, JAM NCC, 59:53.
  • 7. Anthony CLARK, SQUID SQUAD, 01:00:05.
  • 8. Bjorn SELANDER, 01:00:26.
  • 9. Spencer PETROV, ASPIRE RACING, 01:00:45.
  • 10. Brendan MCCORMACK, APEXNBXHYPERTHREADS, 01:00:56.
  • 11. Cameron BEARD, CANNONDALE CYCLOCROSWORLD.COM, 01:01:10.
  • 12. Samuel OKEEFE, HOUSE INDNOKIA HEALTHSIMPLEHUMA 0,1:01:15.
  • 13. Michael OWENS, HANDS-ON CYCLING PB GUERCIOTTI, 01:01:39.
  • 14. Nicholas LANDO, ELITE ENDURANCE.COM PRO FACTORY, 01:02:07.
  • 15. Andy SCOTT, RIVERSIDE RACING, 01:02:08.
  • 16. Evan MCNEELY, RIDE WITH RENDALL, 01:02:38.
  • 17. Marc-Andre DAIGLE, GARNEAU EASTON, 01:02:46.
  • 18. Jules GOGUELY, APEX NBX HYPERTHREADS, 01:02:46.
  • 19. Clyde LOGUE, COLONIAL BICYCLE CO, 01:03:28.
  • 20. Zachary CURTIS, BRIDGEWATER UNIVERSITY, 01:03:55.
  • 21. Adam MYERSON, CYCLE-SMART, 01:04:23.
  • 22. Christopher RABADI, UNATTACHED, 01:04:24.
  • 23. Matthew OWENS, UVM CYCLING, 01:04:26.
  • 24. Andrew LOAIZA, CYCLEPATH PDX, 01:04:43.
  • 25. Tim WILLIS, JAM NCC, 01:05:00.
  • 26. Ben POWERS, RIVERSIDE RACING, 01:05:04.
  • 27. Bryan HORSLEY, SEA SPORTS CYCLERY & OUTDOOR
  • 28. Gregg GRIFFO, PARK AVE BIKE PB BORAH TEAMWEAR
  • 29. Andrew BORDEN, X-MEN
  • 30. Nathaniel MORSE, CCB – VELOTOOLER
  • 31. Trent BLACKBURN, JAM NCC
  • 32. Edouard TOUGAS
  • 33. Bradford SMITH, THE DRIFTERS
  • 34. Dylan MCNICHOLAS, POLARTEC
  • 35. Colin REUTER, CROSSRESULTS.COM
  • 36. Patrick COLLINS, MINUTEMAN ROAD CLUB
  • 37. Gennaro AMENO, GREEN LINE VELO DRIVEN BY ZIPCA
  • 38. Scott MYERS
  • 39. Christian SUNDQUIST
  • 40. Wilson STEVENS, LOCAL OPENERS PB TENSPEED HERO
  • 41. Chris NIESEN, JAM NCC
  • 42. Matthew TYLER, LAUGHING DOG BICYCLES
  • 43. Ian CLARKE, UVM CYCLING
  • 44. Matt PERREAULT, COLONIAL BICYCLE COMPANY
  • 45. Gregory COLBY, B2C2JRA CYCLES
  • 46. Theodore WILLARD, TEAM SPARK
  • 47. Andrew REIMANN, JALAPENO CYCLING

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US Cup-CX overall purse to now pay three-places

The Sho-Air US Cup-CX announced on Sunday morning that additional funds are being pledged in order to increase the prize purse and now pay three-places deep for both the elite men’s and elite women’s final overall standings. The overall prize purse was originally a winner-take-all with the overall men’s and women’s winners each receiving $10,000.

A gofundme page has been set up to assist with raising the funds for the increased prize purse and Scott Tedro, President of Sho-Air International, has committed to matching all donations up to $7,500. Therefore, the already $20,000 prize list could grow by $15,000 or more. Velonews confirmed that should the goal be met, the winner would receive $12,500. Second and third-place would receive $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

“I could not have asked for a better first year of the USCUP-CX series so far,” said series director Ryan Trebon. “The racing has been so close and so competitive each weekend, these women and men have truly earned and deserve more recognition for their efforts.”

Through the first four rounds, Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing) is leading the elite men’s overall, having won three of the four rounds that have taken place. He swept the opening weekend at the U.S. Cup-CX/KMC Cross Fest in Thompson, Connecticut and won the first day of the U.S. Cup/Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Maryland. He finished fourth on day two in Baltimore.

Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) is in a tight battle with her teammate Emma White for the elite women’s overall title. Keough has not finished off the podium yet at a US Cup-CX race and as with Ortenbald on the men’s side, has three victories in the series. She won the opening day of the US Cup-CX/KMC Cross Fest and then swept the weekend in Baltimore.

US Cup-CX overall standings after 4 of 7 rounds

Elite Men Top-10

  • 1. Tobin Ortenblad, Donkey Label-Santa Cruz, 275 points
  • 2. Stephen Hyde, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 260
  • 3. Kerry Werner, Kona Factory Team, 230
  • 4. Spencer Petrov, Aspire Racing, 210
  • 5. Curtis White, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 200
  • 6. James Driscoll, Donnelly Racing, 165
  • 7. Jack Kisseberth, JAM Fund-NCC, 161
  • 8. Willsey Cooper, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com, 135
  • 9. Jeremy Powers, Aspire Racing, 110
  • 10. Bjorn Selander, Borah Teamwear/Bingham Built, 103

Elite Women Top-10

  • 1. Kaitlin Keough, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com, 280 points
  • 2. Emma White, Cannondale-Cylocrossworld.com, 265
  • 3. Magahalie Rochetter, Clif Pro Team, 225
  • 4. Rebecca Fahringer, Stans NoTubes-Maxxis, 210
  • 5. Crystal Anthony, Maxxis-Shimano, 210
  • 6. Ellen Noble, Aspire Racing, 150
  • 7. Caroline Mani, Van Dessel/Atom Composites, 140
  • 8. Arley Kemmerer, Fearless Femme, 110
  • 9. Hannah Arensman, J.A. King p/b BRC, 105
  • 10. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, Sas Macogep Aquisio, 105

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Zonhoven: van der Poel continues to be untouchable

Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) continued to be untouchable this season, as he handily won the second round of the Telenet Superprestige series in Zonhoven, Belgium on Sunday. After an uncharacteristic slow start, he bridged to the leaders on the fourth lap and promptly attacked them down one of the long sandy descents. He has now won nine of the last 10 Superprestige races dating back to last season.

Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) and Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea) were locked in battle the last few laps of the race with the world champion coming out on top to finish runner-up behind van der Poel.

Top-10

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:07:07
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), 1:07:43
  • 4. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:08:23
  • 5. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:08:51
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:09:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:09:24
  • 8. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 9. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 10. Diether Sweeck, (BEL), 1:09:50

Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) took the holeshot and led the field down the first sandy descent out on course, soon Van Aert took over and went about turning the throttle and seeing who could follow.

By the end of the opening lap, a three-rider lead group had formed with van Aert, Sweeck, and Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea). However, a large chase group containing many of the other heavy hitters was in sight with van der Poel, Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea), van der Haar and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoloean Games) all present.

Early in the second lap, van der Poel lept out of the chase group in pursuit of the leaders. Meanwhile, Sweeck suffered a mechanical near the pits that dropped him from the leaders, as van Aert was attacking. He was able to change bikes quickly and join van der Poel in chasing.

On the fourth lap, Sweeck, van der Poel, Hermans, and van Aert were all together, but not for long. The Dutch national cyclocross champion soon stamped his authority on the race and attacked his fellow leaders down one of the tricky sandy descents. He immediately opened a gap that the others struggled to close.

As the chase group stalled, David van Poel, Mathieu’s brother, took advantage and charged into second place. His time in second would be short-lived though, as once van Aert began to pedal again in earnest he was able to get by the Dutchman.

With six laps to go, van der Poel was comfortably in the lead by about 20 seconds when disaster suddenly struck. His front wheel slipped out on a sandy turn, but he was able to recover quickly and lose minimal time, as van Aert was chasing alone behind.

Van der Haar was finally was able to make his way to the frontend of the race, after being on the back foot for most of the day. He joined van Aert with four laps to go, but the duo did not work well together in trying to bring back van der Poel, who now led by nearly 30 seconds. Van Aert was spending most of the time leading van der Haar.

Hearing the bell for the final lap, van der Poel looked cool and calm and barring a mechanical or crash seemed destined for victory. Behind him, van Aert and van der Haar were still locked in battle, but soon the world champion would have the final say amongst the two. Van Aert attacked hard leading into one of the sandy descent and was able to open a gap. Van der Haar fought hard to get back to the Belgian’s wheel, but another acceleration from van Aert opened the gap once again and he was able to come home in second.

David van Poel was able to limit the losses late in the race and showed he didn’t suffer too much from his early efforts by finishing fourth with Sweeck rounding out the top-five.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues on October 21 in Boom, Belgium.

Full results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:07:07
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, (BEL), 1:07:29
  • 3. Lars Van Der Haar, (NED), 1:07:43
  • 4. David Van Der Poel, (NED), 1:08:23
  • 5. Laurens Sweeck, (BEL), 1:08:51
  • 6. Quinten Hermans, (BEL), 1:09:02
  • 7. Michael BoroŠ, (CZE), 1:09:24
  • 8. Toon Aerts, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 9. Jens Adams, (BEL), 1:09:48
  • 10. Diether Sweeck, (BEL), 1:09:50
  • 11. Tom Meeusen, (BEL), 1:10:27
  • 12. Kevin Pauwels, (BEL), 1:10:59
  • 13. Tim Merlier, (BEL), 1:11:21
  • 14. Daan Hoeyberghs, (BEL), 1:11:48
  • 15. Dieter Vanthourenhout, (BEL), 1:11:53
  • 16. Rob Peeters, (BEL), 1:12:18
  • 17. Gianni Vermeersch, (BEL)
  • 18. Nicolas Cleppe, (BEL)
  • 19. Stan Godrie, (NED)
  • 20. Vincent Baestaens, (BEL)
  • 21. Eli Iserbyt, (BEL)
  • 22. Gioele Bertolini, (ITA)
  • 23. Sander Elen, (BEL)
  • 24. Martin Eriksson, (SWE)
  • 25. Patrick Van Leeuwen, (NED)
  • 26. Jens Vandekinderen, (BEL)
  • 27. David Eriksson, (SWE)
  • 28. Dries Pauwels, (BEL)
  • 29. Niels Koyen, (BEL)
  • 30. Yelle Leaerts, (BEL)
  • 31. Grzegorz Grabarek, (POL)
  • 32. Andrew Juiliano, (USA)
  • . Twan Van Den Brand, (NED)

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