By VeloNews Interactive
Since the start of the cyclo-cross season, American Jonathan Page has been living in Switzerland, contesting a European ’cross campaign. His biggest test to date came on Saturday at the opening round of the World Cup, in Monopoli, Italy. Page finished 23rd, 3:01 behind race winner Sven Nijs. With a top 20 placing, Page would have met a selection criteria for an automatic berth on the U.S. team for cyclo-cross world’s in Belgium.
The following day, Page was back in Zurich for a local Swiss race. He’ll have one more crack at a top 20 World Cup finish, in Spain, December 2, before returning back to the U.S. in early December for the national cyclo-cross championship in Baltimore.
On Monday, Page e-mailed VeloNews, with details of his weekend:
“The course was right on the ocean but it was really rocky, bumpy, hard, glassy, and fast. Everyone was flatting and rolling tubulars. I might have gotten the award for most flats with three. “I started in the very last row. By the end of lap 2, Cori (Book, my girlfriend/pitcrew) counted me as 36th. On lap 3 I got my first flat and dropped back about five or so spots. By mid-race, I was in 24th and gaining on a then large and crucial pack of guys that in the end were sprinting for places in the top 10! I got my second flat and dropped back to about 27th or 28th. With three laps to go I was 20th and about to pass a guy for 19th. I was also gaining steadily on a group of two that later became five when I flatted for my third time with only 1.5 laps to go. An Italian that I had been towing for the past two or three laps as well as two more guys that caught him, blew past me. Although I was close, I couldn’t catch them by the finish so I ended up 23rd, only three spots out of the automatic qualifier for the world’s team. Damn. Oh well. I have a lot of confidence now that I have seen that I can ride with these guys, even starting at the back and with flats. I’ll go for it next weekend in Meilen and in the World Cup in Spain in two weeks. “I took the overnight train (3 trains worth!) back to Zurich. I got in at 11 a.m. and started the race in the front row at 2 p..m. I started out fine but on the second lap I broke a chain. I ran in and got a new bike and started passing guys again and then got a flat one lap later. Changed again. Two laps after the flat, I broke a second chain. I did a little dance for the cheering crowd and that was the end of my race.”