November 10, 2018
National Cyclocross Championships
John Hauser is going to have a very busy fall. For the past five years, he’s been growing the Silver Goose CX race in Midland, Ont. In 2017, it became a uci C2-level event. This year, it’s the Pan Am championships. Then, the weekend following the Silver Goose, Hauser will migrate much of his operation from Midland roughly 175 km southeast to Peterborough, including the double-ramp flyover.
“That’s always been an eye-catching part of the spectator experience in Midland,” Hauser says. “The riders have always loved it, whether it was young elite guys getting air off the ramp and gapping the flat section in the middle or a lot of the Ontario ’cross riders who’ve never ridden such a flyover. The flyovers we saw at Sherbrooke, which hosted nationals previously, were stair-to-ramp and the other Ontario flyovers are stair-to-ramp as well. I think having ramp-to-ramp is unique and fun.”
Hauser will set up the structure in Nicholls Oval Park, which is on the Otonabee River. The land next to waterways is often great for staking out cyclocross courses; the banks by the Otonabee will provide intense ride- and run-ups. The roughly 3.1-km course should be a nice challenge for both amateurs and elites.
The nationals weekend is more than just races for riders vying for maple-leaf jerseys. On Friday, the day before nationals, there’ll be fun, relay-style rides. On Sunday, there are C2-level races for elite men and women, and junior men, as well as races for amateurs. Spectators will find local breweries set up in the expo area and vendors selling fries with mayo, a very Belgian touch, as well as more North American sporting-event fare (that is, hot dogs). Brands such as Shimano, Trek and Wild Rock will be on-site, too. (ptbocx.com) — MP
Confusion for a national cross country champion
Peter Disera was starting the last lap of the elite men’s cross country championship race when a friend yelled, “He’s got a flat.” Disera’s reaction: “Oh crap.”
In 2017, his race in Canmore had been magical, he said. Everything went right. But this past July, the defending champion found his legs just weren’t there. He had gone really hard from the beginning in an effort to simply get away from everyone. Around the latter part of the second lap, Raphaël Gagné got a gap on Disera, which then grew and grew. During the sixth and penultimate lap, Disera had resigned himself to second. He still had to suffer to the finish to stay ahead of the riders behind, but it was an effort he could manage. His “oh crap” moment was partly for Gagné. Disera had some sympathy for his competitor who got a flat at a terrible time in the race. It was also partly for himself. Disera would now have to go really hard, again. If Gagné were to catch back up to Disera, he didn’t know if he could battle for the win. Luckily, Disera was able to stay ahead and defend his national title.
Almost a week after the win, Disera was home in Barrie, Ont., and confused about the rest of season. Even though he won the national elite title for the second time, this was his first year racing in the elite field at uci World Cups. He was struggling to gain uci points, which would give him better starting positions at events and even entry into the short track races. The long season had started to wear on his fitness. He needed to decide whether to rest or train. Should he target the Mont-sainte-anne World Cup about two weeks away? Or should he focus his efforts more on the world championships in early September? He also had the final semester of his water resources engineering degree at the University of Guelph coming up. He didn’t utter any soft cuss words, and also unlike at nationals, the tactical decisions he faced were much more complicated.
Many jersey wearers for Sunweb at the Giro Rosa
About three weeks after Leah Kirchmann wore pink at the Giro d’italia Internazionale Femminile, or Giro Rosa, she was at the Team Sunweb house in the Netherlands. She looked back to the two days in July that she led the 10-day stage race, the biggest event in the women’s road calendar. She also compared this year’s Giro Rosa with her one day in pink in 2016. “Both were really special because it is such a prestigious jersey to wear,” Kirchmann said. “I didn’t know if I’d ever get another chance after 2016. I won it individually in a prologue the first time. This time it was special to win the first day’s team time trial, then pass the jersey around between four of us. That was a really cool experience, that we were able to keep it within the team for so long.”
Teammates Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand led the Giro Rosa after Stages 1 and 2. Kirchmann was in pink following the third and fourth stages. Ruth Winder was first overall after Stage 5, before the jersey went to Team Mitchelton-scott for the rest of the event. Team Sunweb also shared the best young rider award. Liane Lippert wore white after the ttt, while Juliette Labous had it for three stages. Their strong team time trial only puts one rider in a jersey, but Kichmann was pleased that almost everyone was able to get individual recognition.
In the end, Sunweb won the team classification at the Giro Rosa. That honour isn’t associated with a jersey.
Learning the roads at home and abroad
Near the end of July, Alison Jackson was i n Belgium. That upcoming weekend, she’d race Erpe-mere, a uci 1.2 event. “It has a good finish for me: a power sprint uphill,” Jackson said. Before Belgium, she and her team Tibco – svb participated in the Ridelondon Classique. And before that, they were at BC Superweek.
It had been Jackson’s fourth time at Superweek. In 2014, at her first appearance, she won the Tour de White Rock’s hill climb and omnium competition. In 2016, she won the Tour de White Rock omnium once again. This year, she owned White Rock with wins on both stages and the overall. Her 2018 successes are partly thanks to her strong team, even though she had fewer and fewer teammates throughout Superweek as they were shipped off to Europe for La Course. But the fourth-year pro also attributes those wins to experience. “When I first did Superweek, those last races were tiring and hot,” Jackson says. “Now, tactically, I’m better. Also, I have women’s Worldtour strength, so at the end of 10 days, I can still be quite strong.” She also knew how to best time her sprint in the road race, which she learned from coming in second on a previous edition.
Back i n Europe, despite having raced on that continent for the past four years, Jackson is still learning the routes. “European riders just know the roads better,” she says. “The information they get in visually while they’re racing means more to them than to me, at this moment.” Still, Jackson seems to be remembering lessons from the Belgium roads. When she raced Erpe-mere in 2015, she was 44th. This past August, she finished sixth.— MP
aboveThe ramp-to-ramp flyover in action at the Silver Goose CX 2017
belowLeah Kirchmann in pink at the Giro Rosa
leftPeter Disera takes the win in Canmore, Alta., at the 2018 national cross country championshipsoppositeAlison Jackson, BC Superweek