By Andrew Hood
The United States could host the world cyclo-cross championships within five years and will likely see a World Cup stop as soon as next year. Peter Van den Abeele, the UCI’s cyclo-cross coordinator, says a world championships and a World Cup stop in the United States is a real possibility. “I will be traveling to America and seeing about what kind of interest there is there,” Van den Abeele told VeloNews. “I would like to see a World Cup race in USA sooner, maybe even next season, and why not the world championships? Cyclo-cross is really growing in the United States and I’d like to take the world’s there, but maybe not until 2009 or 2010.”
Van den Abeele joined the UCI in December, 2003 to help invigorate cyclo-cross and streamline the sport with a newly structured World Cup schedule. He said expanding the sport beyond its hotbed in Belgium and Holland is the next natural step, with the United States playing a big role in the future.
Season over for Guidi
The 2004 season is over for Italian sprinter Fabrizio Guidi, who crashed hard in Saturday’s Paris-Bruxelles race. Guidi fractured his hip, requiring a month’s rest, meaning his racing is done for the year.
“It hasn’t been an easy season for me. I was out for most of the spring due to a broken wrist,” Guidi said. “So basically I’ve only been able to race for one and a half months, and even though I was able to win a couple of races in this short period of time, I hope to be luckier next year.”
Guidi won a stage in both Tour of Denmark and Tour de la Region Wallonne this year for Bjarne Riis’s Team CSC. Other riders were also injured, including Michael Blaudzun, who hurt his left knee and needed stitches at the hospital in Anderlecht. Jimmi Madsen and Andrea Peron were also injured in the spill, but Peron was able to lead Team CSC in Sunday’s GP Fourmies, whereas Madsen also needs to take a rest due to a bruised knee.
Streb hints at retirement … sort of, again
American downhiller Marla Streb said last weekend’s world championships will likely be her last. The 39-year-old veteran finished fourth as the top American, but said it’s time to find new challenges. “I’m going to do more adventure races. I’m going for the summer fests, I’m still going to ride for Luna. I think I’m ready for new challenges,” Streb said. “I’m writing a book on road centuries, so I will promote that – that’s the polar opposite of downhill, but that’s the nature of my personality, to do something that’s not really logical or linear.”
The eclectic Streb has been a fixture in the gravity scene for years, with her international highlight coming in 2000 when she won a bronze medal at the Sierra Nevada world championships.
It’s not the first time Streb has said she’s retiring, but this time she sounded surer.
“World Cup? Might not. NORBAs, might not. I always say I don’t know, but I always manage to get back somehow,” she said. “I want to do more 24-hour races, festivals. I want to get back to the grassroots level and make some new friends. Next, I’m going to the Downieville classic, that’s more my style – camping out, bonfires, drinking beer, that’s what I want to go back to.”
Vandenbroucke signs with MrBookmaker; more for Liberty
Troubled Belgian star Frank Vandenbroucke has a new lease on life, signing until the end of the season with MrBookmaker.com. The 29-year-old Vandenbroucke was released from his contract after a troubled season with Fassa Bortolo and said he will race with this weekend in France at the GP de Isbergues. This will be Vandenbroucke’s eighth team since turning pro in 1994. … Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano and Koldo Gil have extended their respective contracts for one more season with Liberty Seguros. The other racing brother, Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano, will likely retire at the end of the season.