Cyclocross women prepare for Euro Champs
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cyclocross women prepare for Euro Champs

by Ben Atkins at 1:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
The women’s cyclocross scene has continued this season, almost as it left off last and most of the sport’s big stars are heading for this weekend’s European Championships in Hoogstraten, Belgium with their usual good form.

Current World number one Katie Compton (Planet Bike) won the first World Cup race in Treviso, Italy at the beginning of this month has won everything she has entered this season, since her first race at CrossVegas. As an American though, Compton will obviously be sitting out this weekend’s race and racing the Blue Sky Velo Cup and the Redline Cup in Boulder, Colorado instead. Her next trip to Europe is scheduled to be for the World Cup’s second round in Nommay, France the following weekend.

Top of the Europeans so far has been Daphny Van Den Brand (ZZPR.nl). The Dutch Champion was second behind Compton in Treviso and won the first round of the GvA Trofee in Namur, Belgium a week later. Illness forced her to miss the second round at the Koppenberg last weekend though and she may not be fully recovered in time. If Van Den Brand is on less than top form, Czech champion Pavla Havlikova could be the one to step up. Havlikova was second at Namur and took the Koppenbergcross in the absence of Van Den Brand this week.

British champion Helen Wyman (Kona/FSA) has started the season strongly for her new team with a victory in the Seattle Star Crossed and podium finishes in both GvA races. Wyman has already managed to check out the course in Hoogstraten, which is not far from her base in eastern Belgium. “This luxury of being able to check out courses in advance is another advantage of being out here in Belgium full time,” said Wyman recently. “It allows you to work out what equipment to take, and what you need to do in training to get the best out of an event.”

World champion Marianne Vos (DSB Bank-Nederland Bloeit) can never be discounted, but her first race of the season, at last weekend’s Koppenbergcross, could hardly have gone more badly. Two punctures, both happening at the exact same point a long way from the pits, ended any hopes she may have had on the iconic course.

Missing from all ‘cross races so far this season is 2008 World champion and reigning World Cup champion Hanka Kupfernagel. The German is not due to begin her 2009/10 campaign until the World Cup race in Nommay.
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