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Friday, December 7, 2012 • The Bulletin

U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross: Deschutes Brewery Cup preview In Bend • Today through Sunday

The Bulletin file

Schedule of events The U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Deschutes Brewery Cup begins with activities today, and races are set for Saturday and Sunday. Here is a look at the schedule of events:

TODAY

• Course preview from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting, Old Mill District, Bend • Kids clinic, 4 p.m., free for junior riders, Old Mill District, Bend • Number presentations and packet pickup, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Deschutes Brewery warehouse, Bend

SATURDAY

• Deschutes Brewery Cup races, first race begins at 8 a.m. and last race begins at 3:30 p.m.

SUNDAY

• Deschutes Brewery Cup races, first race begins at 8 a.m. and last race begins at 3:30 p.m. • End-of-season party, Summit Saloon & Stage, 125 N.W. Oregon Ave., Bend

Riders negotiate an obstacle while competing in last year’s U.S. Gran Prix cyclocross event in Bend. Ryan Brennecke / The Bulletin file

Race schedule Saturday and Sunday (times are the same both days); in Bend’s Old Mill District; with time, class, race duration (course map, back page):

8 A.M.

OBRA Category 4 men, 35 minutes

8:45 A.M.

OBRA Category 3/4 women and OBRA Women (Category 2/3) 35 minutes; OBRA single speed, 40 minutes

NOON

USGP/UCI Junior 17-18 *(USAC international license required), 40 minutes

1 P.M.

9:30 A.M.

USGP Masters 35+ (USAC Category 1-3), 45 minutes

10:20 A.M.

UCI Elite women, 40 minutes

11:15 A.M.

UCI Elite/U23 men, 60 minutes

OBRA Category 2/3 men, 40 minutes OBRA Masters men 55+ and OBRA USGP Masters 45+, 40 minutes OBRA Junior boys and Junior girls 10-14, 20 minutes; OBRA Junior boys and Junior girls 15-16, 30 minutes

2:15 P.M.

3:30 P.M.

Down and dirty • Hundreds are expected to race as the USGP comes to Bend for a second straight year By Amanda Miles

The Bulletin

The U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross is back in Central Oregon for a second consecutive year. By the skin of its teeth. This weekend, Bend is playing host to the Deschutes Brewery Cup, the two-race finale event of the eightrace Gran Prix series that began in September in Wisconsin. But there almost was no USGP series this year, USGP regional director Brad Ross says, after former title sponsor Exergy Development Group withdrew its sponsorship. Last week, the Boise, Idaho-based company also announced that it was also ceasing sponsorship of its men’s professional cycling team. USGP event organizers, Ross says, “were getting ready to button up the whole thing and call it quits” when other companies stepped in to prop up the event. Now, Trek is the USGP’s title sponsor, and other sponsors include WD-40 Bike and Greenware. “Basically saved the event from death, so it’s pretty cool,” Ross notes. About 650 riders participated on each day of the 2011 Deschutes Brewery Cup, Ross says, and he expects a similar turnout this year. As with last year’s format, the citizens races will kick off the cyclocross action on both Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. See USGP / Back page

Cyclocross: the basics A form of bike racing that generally takes place during the fall and winter, cyclocross consists of multiple laps on a short course that typically includes pavement, dirt, mud and grass. Most races feature steep hills, stairs and/or barriers that racers must clear by dismounting their bikes and carrying them. Race durations range from 20 minutes for the youngest juniors to 60 minutes for elite competitors.

The bikes Cyclocross bikes are much like road bikes but with treaded tires. For the most part, they ride similar to a road bike. The bikes of some elite cyclocross racers are made of carbon fiber — weighing as little as 16 pounds — and cost as much as $10,000.

The weather Because cyclocross is mostly a fall and winter sport, inclement weather is a key part of the competition. Races take place rain, shine — or snow. See the back page for a weather forecast for this weekend.

Watching the races Because cyclocross racing typically takes place on a short, looped course — as it will during the USGP — spectators can watch the action unfold all around them. Hundreds of spectators are expected to cheer on racers this weekend. You can also watch at www.usgpcyclocross.com.


Friday, December 7, 2012 • The Bulletin • U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Deschutes Brewery Cup preview

USGP

Drug control Bike wash

Deschutes Brewery Team parking and Expo

Start Les Schwab Amphitheater Pit area

Deschutes River

Pedestrian walkway Food & beer Stairs

r i ve on D

Medical

/ Hi x

Event parking

Footbridge

Stairs

Finish

v lin

Old Mill District parking

She

Continued from D1 The higher-level races begin at noon each day with the USGP/UCI (International Cycling Union) Junior 17-18 race, followed by the USGP Masters 35+ race at 1 p.m., the UCI elite women’s race at 2:15 p.m., and the UCI elite/U23 men at 3:30 p.m. And that means that Central Oregon cycling fans will get the chance to watch some worldclass talent race this weekend at the Old Mill District course in Bend. “It’s a fun spectator sport and a lot of people that race in those age-group races, we want them to stick around and drink beer and have fun and contribute to the whole vibe of the day and cheer on the pros,” Ross says. And the pros have a bit more riding on this weekend than those competing in the citizens races. UCI points — which contribute to the riders’ world rankings — will be on the line both days. Those points, Ross says, influence the “start money” the riders are paid for showing up to race an event and dictate which cyclists start at the front of the field. And, USGP event director Joan Hanscom says, UCI category 1 points, which are available in Saturday’s race, are one selection criterion for the cyclocross world championships, which will be staged in the United States for the first time — in Louisville, Ky. — this coming February. “Points are very important for these pro cyclocross racers,” Ross observes. In addition, the pros will earn separate points that contribute toward their USGP series standing. Points are determined by finishing placements, and the rider who accumulates the most points over the course of the series is named the series champion. On the women’s side, a new USGP champion will be crowned this year. The reigning champ, Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic, is expected to race in Bend this weekend, but she has contested only the fifth and sixth races of the series and mathematically cannot earn enough points to repeat. The Team Luna Chix rider finished 14th in the women’s mountain biking race at the Olympic Games in London this past summer. She also has a bronze medal from the 2011 cyclocross world championships to her credit. One of Nash’s Luna teammates, Georgia Gould, still has a shot to win the series, a feat she accomplished in 2010. Gould, of Fort Collins, Colo., came home from those London

2012 U.S. Gran Prix Deschutes Brewery Cup

Columbia Street Greg Cross / The Bulletin

USGP notebook • What’s the weather?: Riders and spectators alike should take note to bundle up this weekend. As of the middle of this week, the forecast for Saturday and Sunday calls for high temperatures in the 30s or 40s and lows below freezing, making for chilly racing no matter what time of day. Saturday also offers the possibility of some snow showers, while Sunday’s forecast is for partly cloudy conditions. The good news is that the winds should be fairly mild. • Adam Craig watch: Bend professional mountain bike pro Adam Craig has been dabbling in cyclocross this fall and is expected to race in the Deschutes Brewery Cup. He sits outside the top 10 in the series standings heading into the weekend, but a top-five performance this weekend should not come as total surprise for the 2008 mountain bike Olympian: Craig was fourth behind Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon and Danny Summerhill in the Nov. 10 elite men’s race at the Derby City Cup. • Kids clinic on tap: Junior riders can get a chance to brush elbows with the cyclocross pros during a free clinic today on the Old Mill District course. The clinic begins at 4 p.m., after the twohour course pre-ride. The pre-ride will be held weather permitting, while the clinic will take place no matter the weather. —Bulletin staff report

Andy Tullis / The Bulletin file

Racers ride down a flyover in the elite men’s race of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross event in Bend’s Old Mill District last December.

games with a bronze medal in mountain biking. She sits second in the USGP series standings after finishing second in the first four races of the series and third in each of the other two thus far. Currently, she trails by a margin of 300-228 to USGP leader Katie Compton, who has won all six USGP races in 2012 but who Ross says will not be racing in Bend this weekend. “They’re the real deal,” Ross says about Gould and Nash. “Neither of them are quite what you’d call quite the cyclocross specialist that Katie is. Katie Compton, cyclocross is her

gig. Top to bottom, that’s all she does. That’s all she concentrates on.” And right now Compton, an American, is concentrating on cyclocross in Europe, where she has been tearing up the World Cup, one of the highest levels of cyclocross racing. Compton finished second in the first World Cup race of the 2012-13 season in October before rattling off three consecutive wins, including this past Sunday in France. As with the USGP, series standings are maintained for the World Cup, and Compton, a three-time medalist at the world cham-

Riders to watch

pionships, has a 50-point lead over the second-place rider with four races remaining. “For her to win the World Cup is a really freakin’ big deal,” Ross says. “And so even though Trek is her title sponsor and is also the title sponsor of this event, she’s not coming. But that’s OK. … It’s going to be, I think, a race of the Luna Chix.” Ross also mentions Kaitlin Antonneau, who placed ninth behind Compton in the first World Cup race of the season, and Meredith Miller, who placed fourth and fifth in the first two USGP races this year.

And Hanscom says Julie Krasniack (third in USGP standings), Caroline Mani (eighth) and Nicole Duke (14th) will be in the field. As with the women’s field, the standings leader among the men will not be racing this weekend. Jeremy Powers, the reigning national champion and 2010 and 2011 USGP winner, has been almost as dominant as Compton in this year’s USGP. The Rapha-Focus rider has won five of the six USGP races to date and finished third in the only one he did not win. Also similar to Compton, Powers has been racing in the World Cup. He took seventh place in the first World Cup and was 23rd on Sunday. Unlike Compton, though, Powers has the USGP series locked up, as he has a 101-point lead over Bend pro Ryan Trebon, who

is currently second with 183 points. A rider earns 50 points for winning a series race. “Now that he’s not there, it really is kind of anybody’s game,” Ross says about Powers’ absence. So for the men’s field, Ross expects wide-open races. Besides Trebon, he mentions Ben Berden (currently third in the USGP), Tim Johnson (fourth), Chris Jones (fifth), Danny Summerhill (sixth) and Jamey Driscoll (seventh) as standouts he expects to race this weekend. Also racing, Hanscom says, is Todd Wells, who won the elite men’s race at the 2010 cyclocross national championships staged in Bend. Notes Ross: “There’s five or six guys that could win each day.” — Reporter: 541-383-0393, amiles@bendbulletin.com.

This weekend’s U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Bend’s Old Mill District will include cyclists of all ages and abilities — from junior riders and beginners to elite cyclists. But the big draw is the chance to watch some of the best cyclocross riders in the country — and even some of the best in the world — duke it out right here in Central Oregon. As in 2011, when the Gran Prix was staged here for the first time, a number of the pros expected to be in attendance have top-flight credentials. They include:

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross

Katerina Nash

Czech Republic The champ is back. The elite women’s series winner in 2011, Nash, who turns 35 on Sunday, has taken part in just two USGP races this season — both in last month’s Derby City Cup in Louisville, Ky. — but two runner-up finishes to Katie Compton propelled her to seventh in this year’s standings. With Compton not scheduled to race in Bend this weekend, look for Nash, a former Olympian in cross-country skiing (1998, 2002) and mountain biking (1996, 2012) and the 2011 cyclocross world championships bronze medalist, to be in the running to sweep the Deschutes Brewery Cup races, as she did in 2011.

Georgia Gould

Fort Collins, Colo. Gould’s name may sound familiar, particularly to mountain biking fans, as the 32-year-old picked up a bronze medal in mountain biking at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Gould has lost only to Nash, her Team Luna Chix teammate, and Compton in this year’s USGP races. She trails the absent Compton by 72 points heading into this weekend. With two solid results, Gould could find herself at the top of the series standings by the end of the weekend.

Ryan Trebon

Bend The biggest name, perhaps, in the men’s field is a local one. Trebon, 31, missed out on racing the USGP Deschutes Brewery Cup in 2011 after injuring a knee during the circuit’s prior stop in Louisville. The two-time cyclocross national champion rebounded from that injury to place 18th at the world championships in Belgium earlier this year. Heading into this weekend’s races, Trebon sits second in the overall standings and he has finished second in three of the six USGP races to date in 2012.

Ben Berden

Belgium The 37-year-old Berden has been steady and consistent in the USGP this year, finishing between second place and sixth place in all six races. That runner-up finish, to series leader Jeremy Powers, is Berden’s most recent result, from the Nov. 11 Derby City Cup.

Danny Summerhill

Englewood, Colo. Summerhill enters the Deschutes Brewery Cup sixth in the overall standings, but he has contested only four of the series’ six races thus far — two fewer than the five riders ahead of him. The 23-year-old has shown solid form in the USGP with two fourthplace finishes and then a third before settling for 10th in the most recent race. Summerhill is the 2007 junior world championships silver medalist in cyclocross and was third in the first Deschutes Brewery Cup race in 2011.


2012 US Gran Prix of Cyclocross