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We were hoping it would happen and SuperCup promoter Lyle Fulkerson did not disappoint… he just kept us waiting for a while. Fulkerson said Friday that he has overcome logistical problems and the lack of a title sponsor to hammer together a four-race, three-venue series, beginning in Gloucester, Massachusetts on October 13, moving on to Chicago on November 17 and wrapping up in Baltimore on the weekend of December 14-16.
No, it won’t be a truly national series, but it joins other UCI-sanctioned events in the Eastern U.S. to make for a tough group of events, that will each play a role in selecting the American team that goes to world’s in Belgium next February.
The Gloucester race will be run on the same used for last year’s SuperCup 2 race, when local favorite Mark McCormack, the 1998 national champion, rode off from Marc Gullickson and Tim Johnson to earn his only win in the 2000 series. McCormack may have a tough time repeating his victory this year, however … Fulkerson says reigning world champion Erwin Vervecken is scheduled to take on this year’s SuperCup opener.
The series moves on to Chicago on November 17. Again, the course should be familiar to those who’ve taken part in past SuperCups — it’s the same one used in 1999 and 2000.
The series will wrap up in Baltimore during the weekend of December 14-16, when the series finale will be combined with the U.S. national championships. Fulkerson is still negotiating with USA Cycling over whether the U.S. title race will be part of the series or a separate event — and as can often be the case when national and international governing bodies collide, the sticking point is a matter of whose rules to follow.
If the national championship is to be a SuperCup event, according to USAC chief operating officer Steve Johnson, the race may have to be held under the rules of the Union Cycliste Internationale, rather than the U.S. Cycling Federation, the official national governing body for cyclo-cross in this country.
“The difference lays in the fact that the UCI defines cyclo-cross as a winter sport, and that means that the 2002 season actually starts on October 1, 2001,” said Johnson.
It sounds like a minor detail — but it could have a major effect on riders who would find themselves racing the national championships in a new age group if, for example, they were to turn 18 between October 1 and December 31.
“In other words,” Johnson explained, “that would force anyone on the cusp, who thought they might be competing for a national championship in one age category, to move up to the next. Suddenly we have someone who thought they were in the running for a national title as a junior becoming an also-ran in the under-23s.”
Either way, it should be worth going to Baltimore that weekend.
2001 SuperCup schedule October 13, 2001, SuperCup #1, Gloucester, MA Cat. 2
November 17, 2001, SuperCup #2, Chicago, IL, Cat. 3
December 15, 2001, U.S. national championships/SuperCup #3, Baltimore, MD, (Not a UCI event)
December 16, 2001, SuperCup #4 final, Baltimore, MD, Cat. 2
Other U.S. events on the UCI calendar
September, 30, 2001, Downeast Cyclo-cross, Auburn, ME, Cat. 3
October 14, 2001, ECV Cyclo-cross, Gloucester, MA Cat. 3
October 21, 2001, Monkey Hill Cyclo-Cross, Lafayette, PA, Cat. 2
October 27, 2001, The Amherst International Cyclo-cross USA, Amherst, MA, Cat. 3
November 10, 2001, Chameleon ‘cross, Landisville, PA, Cat. 3