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By Bryan Jew, VeloNews Senior Writer
Junior Jesse Anthony (Saturn Development) sealed up a berth on the world championship team with a win at the SuperCup finals on Sunday. Anthony battled for much of the race with Devo riders Jeremy Powers and Brent Bookwalter, Rad Racing’s Aaron Bradford, and GoMart’s Mike House, who had fought his way up through the pack after a first-lap crash. Those five rode together as a pack in the final lap, before Anthony attacked before the U-turn heading into the final barriers. He opened up a gap and took the win alone, leaving the chasers to battle in a four-way finish for second. Powers took the runner-up spot, followed by House, Bradford and Bookwalter.
Anthony won the 15-16 national championship on Saturday, while House won the 17-18 title, but under UCI rules, Anthony belongs in the 17-18 age group for the 2001-2002 cyclo-cross season. Because of that rule, the SuperCup final, rather than the national championships, was used for the junior selection.
“I was definitely anxious [coming into the weekend],” said Anthony. “I wasn’t sure who was going to be here. There’s always someone who shows up who you don’t know, but I’ve had a good season, and I’m trained well and I’m coached well.
“I’m definitely ready for world’s. It’s still six weeks away, so I’ve got some hard training to do, but I’m definitely psyched to go to Europe,” he said.
Other qualifiers after the weekend were elite men’s champion Todd Wells (Mongoose-Hyundai) and his teammate Marc Gullickson who now sits 21st on the UCI’s ‘cross rankings. Elite women’s champion Alison Dunlap (Clif Bar) also earned a spot on the world’s squad, while Ann Grande (Kona-Voicestream) had already qualified by virtue of her fourth-place finish at last year’s world championships. Dunlap says that she’ll be going to the world’s in Zolder, Belgium.
“The Europeans are really tough,” said Dunlap, “but we’ve got a phenomenal team, and we’ll give them a run for their money.”
The U.S. can select up to five riders, and three alternates, for the world’s in each of the four categories: elite men, elite women, under-23 men and junior men. Aside from the automatic selections, USA Cycling will take petitions until Tuesday, December 18, and the final selection will be made by January 4.
CorrectionOn Friday, Velonews.com reported that Adam Craig had earned an automatic world’s team berth by winning the under-23 national championship. However, because of UCI age rules similar to those for the juniors, the nationals was not an automatic qualifier for world’s. Instead, Sunday’s SuperCup offered an automatic spot, but only if the top under-23 rider finished in the top five of the elite men’s race. Since no one did, there was no automatic qualifier in the under-23 category.
Bessette wants to race world’sFollowing Sunday’s SuperCup race, Saturn’s Lyne Bessette was asked if she would race the world’s in Zolder, Belgium. She replied that she wants to, but that she needs to get approval from the Canadian cycling federation. Bessette said that she had made a request and “got an answer, but I’m not happy about it,” as the federation denied her request. Bessette said that the Canadian federation would not have to pay her way over, or supply her any support, and that its only responsibility would be to send one Canadian UCI representative to the world’s. She will petition the federation again, seeking an answer that makes her happier.
Society of Wooly MammothWhat was billed as the “First Rendezvous of the Society of the Wooly Mammoth” turned out to be a highly successful fundraiser to send U.S. cyclo-cross racers to world’s. The top money raiser was an auction that included a signed world championship jersey from Alison Dunlap. The bidding topped out at $1100, by two different individuals, at which point Dunlap agreed to give a second jersey to the cause. In total, the event raised nearly $4000. One of the lighter moments came when a pair of socks, a pair of airline bike vouchers and a date with national champion Todd Wells went for $40.