The Electric Shock

Femke Van den Driessche

The UCI has confirmed there was a concealed motor found in controls on one of the bikes in the pits belonging to Belgian U23 rider Femke Van den Driessche. She is proclaiming her innocence saying the bicycle belonged to a friend who dropped it off at the pits but as we’ll see below, the backstory does not matter when it comes to the UCI rules as rider and team alike are responsible for ensuring they have a compliant bicycle.

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Monday Shorts

Mathieu van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel looks built for the road. When you look at riders like Lars Boom or Zdeněk Štybar you can see a crunched ball of muscle suited to shorter, explosive efforts but “VDP” is a different shape with limbs like spatulas and maybe he will cross to the road in time with great success?

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On Mud and Gender

The cyclocross season has started and there’s been a few emails and tweets to say “looking forward to your cross coverage”. But as loyal readers know there is no cyclo-cross coverage. It’s also a chance to address why there’s little coverage of women’s racing here too.

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Monday Shorts

Cassani: Italy’s gain, TV’s loss – Cyclocross as a winter sport – Fixing the CX contract season – Two weeks to the TDU – Is Cognizant the new sponsor for Argos-Shimano?

Davide Cassani has been named as the new Italian national coach. The appointment is always treated as a big deal in Italy and concludes a saga of public commentary via La Gazzetta Dello Sport on the contenders before incumbent Paolo Bettini had even resigned and concluded with the blessing of dapper legend Alfredo Martini, the coach for over 20 years. You almost expected white smoke to waft from the chimney on Martini’s house. Habemus selector.

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Sunday Shorts

Louisville world championships

Well done to the Louisville race crew who put on a great event. Cyclocross is booming in the US as a participatory sport and the crowds partied like Belgians on the day only, as the photo by cyclocosm shows, with added fancy dress. There was even a copycat Dirk Hofman sign spotted.

With all the talk of pro cycling going global cyclo-cross remains a specialist affair within Europe alone but you’d struggle to get the Louisville atmosphere if the worlds were awarded to France, Germany or even the brewery-rich Czech republic. It was made even better thanks to the UCI’s video stream on Youtube meaning it was available around the world for free without resorting to pirate feeds of dubious quality.

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Cyclocross Magazine review

cyclocross magazine

This blog covers road cycling but given a trial subscription of Cyclocross Magazine for review I thought it was worth a look. The sport is growing fast in the US and this magazine covers plenty of the scene there as well as covering the international races in Belgium and beyond.

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Donate To Win

Cyclocross book

In an ideal world the mention of dirty cycling should remind us the cyclo-cross season is underway and the Superprestige series starts this weekend. We should conjure up images of fields, dunes, drunken spectators, frites and, above all, mud. But we’re not there yet.

If you want those images here’s a chance to win a copy of Balint Hamvas’s excellent review of the cyclocross season. This is a big photobook printed on high-quality paper that captures the mud, frost and frites. For a chance to win a copy just donate money to the Paul Kimmage fund, which as well as helping a specific legal case, looks set to force the UCI to confront a few uncomfortable truths about the kind of dirt that soap doesn’t shift.

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Book Review: Cyclo Cross 2011/2012

Cyclo Cross Balint Hamvas
Cyclo Cross 2011/2012 Photo Book by Bálint Hamvas

With the Giro taking a rest today and 2011 cyclo-cross world champion Zdeněk Štybar winning Stage 4 of the Four Days of Dunkirk yesterday, it’s almost as if road cycling is on hold for a moment. The ideal time to look at a book on cyclo-cross.

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French champ ditches lingerie model

Aurelien Duval

Aurelien Duval wins the 2012 national cyclocross championships in Quelneuc, France.

He can now wear the blue, red and white tricolore jersey of national champion for the next 12 months and I wonder if his joy is increased now that he can ditch the unmistakable jersey of his club, UV Aube? Yes, it features a lingerie model.

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