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Welcome to the latest edition of The Prologue, the weekly summary of news from the world of competitive cycling by your friends at VeloNews.com.
Despite the end to the domestic and international road seasons, there’s plenty of racing going on these days, much of it involving knobby tires. On the cyclo-cross front, the cyclocrossworld.com squad of Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson split the weekend, each winning a round on the opening weekend of the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross in Louisville, Kentucky. On the women’s side, Spike-Shooter’s Katie Compton didn’t divide anything as she scored a double, putting her in the unique spot of leading both the USGP and the UCI international points standings.
The opener in Louisville drew top riders, great bikes and huge crowds to check out both. VeloNews editor, Ben Delaney, was there and, in addition to race reports, sent enough photos to force us to divide the gallery into three sections.
On the international side, last year’s World Cup winner, Sven Nys, regained the lead in the prestigious UCI series after a disappointing second place in the prior week’s opening round. Nys more than made up for that by storming to a win in Round II in Tabor in the Czech Republic. Jason Sumner was there for Velonews.com.
On slightly fatter tires, collegiate racers gathered in Banner Elk, North Carolina, to contest their national mountain bike championships. The Colorado School of Mines took the Division II title, while Fort Lewis College – also a Colorado school – scored Division I honors. As VeloNews’s Fred Dreier reports, the Fort Lewis Skyhawks got a helping hand from their “secret weapon.”
While the skinny tire crew isn’t doing much racing, they are planning next year’s schedules as the UCI released its ’08 America Tour calendar. A couple of roadies may be focusing much of their energy next year on preparation for the latter part of the summer. This week, Americans Levi Leipheimer and Kristin Armstrong became the first road riders to be named to the U.S. team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That roster will be filled out next season.
The roadies are likely to be joined on that trip by mountain bike riders Adam Craig and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski. Unfortunately, it looks like those two will be the only male mountain bike racers to make the trip as the U.S. appears likely to finish the season outside of the top five countries, who will be the only ones eligible to send three cross-country racers to the Games. [More]
Again this week, I’d like to encourage you to take a look at our reader-submitted VeloNews Photo Contest gallery – where, again, Velonews.com readers have supplied us with a great selection of terrific images. I’d also like to encourage all of you to consider submitting your own entry by CLICKING HERE and sending us one of your favorite cycling-related images. You could be next week’s winner and, if you are, you will receive a copy of our three-disc set of DVDs celebrating the history of one of this country’s greatest stage races, the Coors Classic.
Finally, now that the year is winding down, we have a bit more time on our hands and are scanning newspapers, wire services and websites from around the world for interesting news items that catch our attention. We’ll be updating our “Cycling in the News” section every few days to keep that fresh and interesting. – TAKE A LOOK – and then be sure to send us links to items you think might be of interest to other readers.
Have a good week,