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Cyclocross

U.S. Cycling This Week: A `cross trip to the beach, Mall in Boulder

We’ve reached the middle of the U.S. cyclocross season. Temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling and the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies have seen snow.

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We’ve reached the middle of the U.S. cyclocross season. Temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling and the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies have seen snow. Halloween means one thing for most top U.S. riders: a weekend in Boulder, Colorado. Stops on the North American Cyclocross Trophy and Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross series draw top fields and hand out top dollars this week as we make our way into the cold and the mud en route to nationals.

North American Cyclocross Trophy round 3 & 4

Colorado Cross Classic – Boulder, Colorado
October 30 3:05 p.m. (women) / 3:55 p.m. (men)
UCI C2
*Colorado Cross Cup

Victory Circle Graphix Boulder Cup – Broomfield, Colorado
October 31 2:30 p.m. (women) / 3:30 p.m. (men)
UCI C1
*Colorado Cross Cup

The main event this weekend is the NACT stop on the Colorado Front Range, with UCI C1 points – and valuable start positions at domestic and European races – on the line in Sunday’s Boulder Cup. The weekend is a study in course contrasts with the iconic Boulder Reservoir hosting Saturday’s sandy affair and the Flatirons Crossing mall doling out a heap of hilly pain Sunday. The course at the reservoir is fast with wide-open, sticky corners, bumpy turf and three sections of light, slippery sand. Frank Varra Park, adjacent to the mall, is set on a steep side hill and early iterations of the track include two stiff run-ups and a technical switchback ascent, as well as a long, low-grade grind up the grass.

UCI points leader Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) won’t be in Boulder, so Aigle World Cup winner Katie Compton (Planet Bike) will take the first call-up to the startline. Luna’s USGP Derby City sweeper Georgia Gould is on the rise after easing out of mountain bike season after worlds and should be Compton’s top challenger. Compton and Gould have shown that they’re tops on the domestic scene this fall and a number of riders will duke it out for the podium, including Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill), Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized) and newly crowned single speed ’cross world champion Wendy Simms (Ridley Bicycles). Luna’s Amy Dombroski had been listed as a favorite, but she is suffering from a cold and thought it the wiser to take the weekend off.

The men’s ’cross story continues into Boulder with Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) and Todd Wells (Specialized) fighting to break through the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com stranglehold of Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers. Jesse Anthony (Cal Giant) is on the way back from a slow start, winning twice at Granogue two weeks ago, and should be in the running with Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Joachim Parbo (Leopard Bicycles) for the podium. Jones showed in Louisville last weekend that his ’cross skills and fitness are coming along, sticking with the leaders until a mid-race blow-up; Saturday’s course should suit him well for a run into the top five.

Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross round 7 & 8

Beacon Cross – Bridgeton, New Jersey
October 30 2:30 p.m. (women) / 3:30 p.m. (men)
UCI C2

Highland Park Cross – Jamesburg, New Jersey
October 31 2:30 p.m. (women) / 2:30 p.m. (men)
UCI C2

Only three rounds of the MAC series remain after this weekend and Van Gilder and Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion Systems) are running away with the overall titles. UCI points and purses are on the line, however, and with tired legs carrying many riders into the second half of the season, we could see some upheaval in the standings in New Jersey.

Scherz has been consistent in the MAC, but his only win came at the Whirlybird event. He looked strong in Louisville last weekend and will look to protect his lead of 195 points over teammate Anthony Grand and third-place Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3). Adam Myerson (Cycle-Smart) is coming off his first-ever UCI win at Downeast and should be in the running as well.

Van Gilder, twice the age of her nearest competitor in the UCI standings, will stay close to home this weekend and try to rack up points – and extend her MAC series lead over teammate Arley Kemmerer – in New Jersey. Van Gilder has a lethal finish – will she go to the front early and hard or sit in the wheels and wait to out-sprint a small group?

Other racing on the calendar:

Chicago Cross Cup round 7
Campton Cross – St. Charles, Illinois
October 31 10:45 a.m. (women) / 1:30 p.m. (men)

Cross Crusade round 5 & 6
Clatsop County Fairgrounds – Astoria, Oregon
October 30-31 3:00 p.m. (women & men)

Ohio Valley Cyclocross round 9
Storm the Greens River Road Country Club – Louisville, Kentucky
October 31 2:21 p.m. (women) / 3:20 p.m. (men)

Seattle Cyclocross
Ft. Steilacoom – Lakewood, Washington
October 31 12:15 p.m. (men) / 1:30 p.m. (women)

Southern California Prestige Series round 7 & 8
Kalyra Winery Cyclocross – Solvang, California
October 30 1:30 a.m. (women) / 2:45 p.m. (men)

Storm the Beach – Oceanside, California
October 31 12:00 p.m. (women) / 1:00 p.m. (men)