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Vervecken, big women’s payout highlight Super Cross Cup
The Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup October 6-7 in Southampton, New York, will sport a couple of touches American cyclo-crossers don’t see every day — world champion Erwin Vervecken, and a women’s field that’s racing for more money than the rainbow jersey and the rest of the guys.
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Vervecken, who last raced in America in 2003, in the Pacific Northwest, acknowledges the growth of U.S. ‘cross since then.
“You used to hear not so much about cyclo-cross in America,” he says. “Now we read about it all the time. Of every place in the world, cyclo-cross is growing fastest in America.”
That growth is underscored by the payout for the women’s field in Southampton. Promoter Myles Romanow is offering a cash purse of $6459 for the women’s field over the two-day event.
“I like watching the women’s races,” says Romanow. “And I think some of the most compelling personalities in the sport right now are women. Katie Compton probably draws more people to more races than any other ‘cross racer in America, male or female.
“More importantly, my sponsors like watching the women race. They want to see the very best come to their town and they’re willing to pay for it.”
Schempf, Shogren win Ed Sander Memorial
Weston Schempf and Betsy Shogren overcame adversity to win the Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross Sunday in Adamstown, Maryland.
The race, run at the Lilypons Water Grounds, where Sanders worked, is promoted by his cycling club, National Capitol Cycling Club.
In the women’s race, Jennifer Maxwell (Team Kenda Tire) took the hole-shot with Shogren (FORT Factory Team) in second. But Shogren had slipped out of the top five by the lap’s end, and the announcers speculated that she must have had a mechanical. Nope — she’d had a physical.
“I finished second in a 50 mile mountain bike race yesterday,” she said. “It was called the Revenge of the Rattlesnake and it took me almost seven hours. That’s what happened to me on the first lap here.”
Shogren quickly recovered, however, and on the next lap she showed why she is a three-time Verge MAC cyclocross champion, recovering all of her lost time and joining a lead group that included Maxwell, Heidi Von Teitenberg (C3-Sollay.com) and Cara McCauley (BMW/Bianchi).
On the next lap, Shogren attacked, and only Maxwell was able to go with her. Eventually Shogren just powered away in typical fashion to win solo by a large margin over Maxwell and Von Teitenberg.
In the men’s race, mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW) made his first cyclo-cross start in two years, and it immediately became clear that Bishop and 2006 Verge MAC Champion Wes Schempf (C3-Solly.com) were the riders to beat.
Bishop attacked throughout the race, but was never able to lose Schempf. About midway through the race, Schempf momentarily bobbled over the barriers and Bishop launched a vicious attack. Schempf recovered and caught back up to Bishop.
With two laps to go, Bishop attacked on the flats at the finish line, only to flat on a drop-off. He limited the damage on the mostly downhill run to the pit, and was only trailing Schempf by about 20 meters. But Bishop didn’t have a spare bike, and lost valuable time switching wheels while Schempf punched it.
Bishop made a huge last-lap effort, but was not able to seriously cut into Schempf’s lead, as Schempf finished alone for a hugely popular win.
Page, Barnholt double up at Double-Cross
Jonathan Page (SunWeb-ProJob) and Kerry Barnholt (Tokyo Joe’s) took back-to-back wins at the Double-Cross September 22-23 in southeast Michigan.
Canadian cyclo-cross Champion Greg Reain (Calyon-LiteSpeed) set the pace for the first lap. Then Chris Jones (Nerac Pro Cycling) attacked, joined by Reain, Page and 2003 Swiss U23 champion Michael Mueller (Inovex).
The foursome stuck together for several laps until Page put in a tremendous surge on a long, grassy incline leading to an uphill wooded section, pulling Mueller with him.
As Jones and Reain chased, Mueller bobbled an off-camber 120-degree turn in the final 500 meters, opening the door for Page, who surged ahead to win by 15 seconds.
On day two, Page grabbed the hole shot and put the field in the hurt locker, immediately gapping everyone. Jones and Reain bridged up, and by the end of the first lap it was Jones leading Page and Reain.
As Mueller chased toward the leaders, Page started to work over Reain and Jones, and both slowly started to lose contact. Mueller finally joined Page at midrace, and the two crossed first and second, with Jones third.
In the women’s races, Anna Milkowski (Velo Bella-Kona) took the early lead on both days only to see Barnholt launch relentless attacks and ride away from the field, leaving the Velo Bella rider to settle for second.
Clif Bar underwrites ACA development team
Clif Bar is the title sponsor for the American Cycling Association’s development cyclo-cross team for ages 13-22.
Now in its fourth season, the Clif Bar Development Cyclo-Cross Team builds on the solid foundation built by the former TIAA-CREF-Clif Bar team, and meshes nicely with the large ACAMudskippers team of 8-12-year-olds.
The team will be featuring a new green look to match the team’s pioneering sustainable-cycling mission, with plenty of green on the uniforms and green Salsa Chili con Crosso bikes.
The 17-rider team will be led by captains Brady Kappius (two-time world’s-team member) and Daniel Summerhill (2007 junior world’s silver medalist).
The team will compete in a full schedule of Colorado races, as well as the US Gran Prix Series and nationals.
For more, see the team website, www.sustainablecycling.com.
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