UCI Elite Women’s C1 Recap
The Elite Women put on a show Sunday for the UCI C1 race at Trek CXC Cup in Waterloo, Wisc., and the Wisconsin crowd was thrilled to see Racine-native Katie Antonneau of Cannondale Cyclocrossworld grab the win. Antonneau, who entered the weekend as the current leader of the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), took the victory in a time of 46 minutes and 18 seconds.
For the second day in a row, Ellen Noble (USA) of Aspire Racing claimed second place, 15 seconds back. And French National Cyclo-cross champion Caroline Mani of Raleigh-Clement rode a back-up bike for third, 28 seconds in arears.
“I got a lot of sleep yesterday, and I think I just needed to have a good night’s rest. Racing in the heat takes a lot out of you. And racing ‘cross two days in a row takes a lot out of you,” said Antonneau, who finished eighth on Saturday in the UCI C2 Elite Women’s race in Waterloo. “So, it took me a bit longer to recover from last weekend (Rochester Cyclocross). So I know my finish is there and I just needed my head there.
“Today versus yesterday proved that if I am relaxed and just having fun, I can do well. So doing this race today and knowing how I should be, helps leading into the big two world cups. And racing in front of my friends and family, having them all cheer for me really helped motivate me.”
Six women jumped to the early lead among the 29 riders in the six-lap course, with Mani driving at the front. She was joined by Antonneau, Noble, Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) of Telenet-Fidea, Courtenay McFadden (USA) of American Classic/Zones and Saturday’s winner Katie Compton (USA) of KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache. While the skies were clear and the course was dry, a small miscue by Mani caused her to crash on the back side of the course and relinquish her lead.
“Katie (Antonneau) passed me, probably with three laps to go. “I made a mistake. I was maybe too confident. Sometimes you have to learn from your mistakes. I changed my line in the off camber. I don’t know why. Then I just flipped so hard. Then my handlebar ended up having my shifter all the way up, and it was impossible to ride properly. My saddle (shifted) to the wrong side. So I was just riding like a tourist, and it was a long way to the pit,” Mani explained about her crash in the middle of the race. “So Kaitie passed me and I ended up changing my bike. She was super strong. I couldn’t go at that time. She was smart enough to just attack me after doing a lot of work. And Ellen passed me too, so I said ’OK, I am done’. It was my fault. I cannot blame anybody.
Van Loy finished fourth for a second day in a row, and Compton came in fifth overall. McFadden was sixth. Noble was recognized for a second day as the top U23 women’s rider.She is the reigning US national u23 champion.
“I am really, really happy. This is really an exciting weekend leading up to the world cups. I am super pleased and thankful for my team’s support this week and last week. It has made a huge difference,” said Noble about two second-place finishes in at the Trek CXC Cup, and the UCI World Cup races this week in Las Vegas, Nev. and Iowa City, Iowa. “I think today’s result was a testament to the fact that I have been trying to ride a little more intelligently, and conserve for some efforts at the end. So I tried to ride within myself for the first couple of laps, and then really let it go. I am really happy to come away with second after changing my race tactics a little bit.”
The Trek CXC Cup is the second of eight events for USA Cycling’s Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) in the country for 2016-17. Equal prize money is offered for men and women in the elite categories both days. The event is hosted at the headquarters for Trek Bicycles in Waterloo, Wisc.
UCI Elite Men’s C1 Recap
It was an all-Belgian finish for the C1 Elite Men’s race. Wout Van Aert of Crelan-Vastgoedservice took his UCI world champion’s rainbow jersey to the top step of the podium and easily won the C1 Elite Men’s race at Sunday’s Trek CXC Cup in a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 41 seconds. Three Telenet-Fidea teammates crossed the line behind Van Aert, Jim Aernouts (Belgium) in second, Quinten Hermans (Belgium) in third and Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands) in fourth. It was the second consecutive runner-up finish for Aernouts in Waterloo.
“Last week I did my first race (of the 2016-17 season) in Belgium and I was feeling good. Coming here is always a little bit of a surprise because you’re not sure how you deal with the jetlag and the long trip. After today, I am more confident for the next World Cup,” said Van Aert about taking the momentum of his win in Waterloo to Las Vegas for the start of the World Cup season. He finished third at Cross Vegas last year. “I had good feeling on this course (in Waterloo), which was very tough. So the feeling is good and I hope to continue it for the season.”
The highest placed American in the 48-rider field was Stephen Hyde of Cannondale Cyclocrossworld, who entered the weekend second overall in the Pro CX men’s individual standings.
“Today was great. It was a really hard race. The course was fantastic. The guys here at Trek did an excellent job. They really brought up the caliber of the course for the caliber of the riders. I was really happy to be able to race well in front of the U.S. crowd, and in front of Cannondale and my sponsors,” said Hyde. He noted that it was tough to race against a big European team like Telenet-Fidea that brought seven strong riders to the U.S. race. “It’s not often I get mixed up against a (big) team (like Telenet-Fidea). I had to think a little harder and try to play my cards right. I tried not to get yo-yo’ed off the back, like they want to put whoever is in the group with them off the back. They tried it a few times, and I made the right efforts. It was good.”
A significant crash on the first lap ended the day for American Jeremy Powers, who was leading the men’s individual standings for Pro CX. He did not finish the race. Saturday’s UCI C2 race winner Steve Chainel (France) of Cross Team by G4, finished sixth.
American Tobin Ortenblad, who won the U.S. U23 national cyclo-cross title last year, finished 10th Sunday. Now 24, he did not factor in today’s U23 podium for the elite men, which was won by Hermans.
“Man, it was rough. I was up in the front group for a while, then Woots decided to go for it. And it just started rubber banding and snapping into little groups. But I was pretty happy, I was up there with the Telenet guys. So that is the goal going into Vegas,” added American Tobin, who was fourth overall in the Pro CX Men’s standings. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this fast in my life. Every race I have done has been a top 10 so far, or a top five, so I’ve never placed like that before, so I am thrilled.”
Next on the race calendar for many of these riders will be a World Cup event at Cross Vegas on Sept. 21, which will open the World Cup series for the second consecutive year. This will be followed by Jingle Cross in Iowa City, Iowa, Sept. 24-26. This year Jingle Cross will host the Volkswagen UCI Elite C1 and C2 races on Friday and Sunday, and the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup races for elite men and women will be on Saturday.
Follow the Pro CX all season on Twitter – @USACProCX.