Quiansen Trophy UCI C1 Cyclocross 2017 Round 1
Posted by auscxmag
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Now in its fifth year, the first of two races of the Quiansen Trophy UCI C1 cyclocross was held in Beijing on Sunday. The course in the south eastern part of Beijing has a unique set of challenges as the dry dusty course in challenging in the late summer heat and humidity. This presents challenges for both Australians closing out their winter series and also northern hemisphere competitors just starting their season and also being more accustomed to much colder conditions.
This was the second year I have been in attendance for Australian Cyclocross Magazine, but this year is different as our magazine is supporting three Australian riders under our banner for the trip meaning that I spent race day working the pits. So my race report will be from that view.
The women’s race was held early in the afternoon at the hottest part of the day and among riders on the front row of the start line were Australia’s Rebecca Locke and Naomi Williams while Stacey Riedel was on second row and Joanne Easson further back. With a 100 euro prize for the holeshot on the line Naomi William just missed claiming the money as she rounded the first corner in second. As the race settled in it was Ceylin Alverado (NED) who led the field just like last year, while Locke, Williams and Riedel were all hovering in the top 15. It was only three lap into the race until the conditions started to claim contenders starting with Alverado who pulled into the pits unable to breathe causing her to abandon the race. The heat was also affecting both Naomi Williams and Stacey Riedel as they were both drifting towards the back of the field unlike their normal race positions with Williams finishing 23rd and Riedel finishing 30th. While Joyce Vanderbeken (BEL) took the race by the scruff of the neck she had USA’s Emily Kachorek and Serena Gordon in pursuit for the entire race with Vanderbeken taking the win while Gordon claimed second and Kachorek third. Further back, Rebecca Locke finished just out of the points in 17th place while Joanne Easson had a good ride to finish in 22nd after her back row call up.
For the men’s race there were 60 riders on the start line of which Australia had seven. For myself and Peter Arch working the pits for all the Aussies that meant four spare bikes and another five sets of wheels for a crazy hour of double pit side to side cheering and support. From our view in the pits as the riders passed after the first half lap it was last year’s winner Marcel Wildhaber (SUI) who was leading the field. Ben Walkerden was the best placed rider with Nick Smith right behind him both hovering in the top 20, While Tom Chapman and Shaun Lewis were making ground through the field after a call up towards the back of the field. After a very fast start from Wildhaber, Yorben van Tichelt (BEL) lead a chase group back up to the front of the race by lap three and by lap four van Tichelt had attacked off the front to clearly lead the race with Wilhaber in pursuit and Anthony Clark (USA) in clear third. This would be the final finish position at the head of the race. While the race was playing out in front all the Australians were racing hard through the heat and dust in mid pack. Walkerden held his position with a clean race, while Nick Smith also had a strong performanc but suffered due to the heat in the final two laps to lose some positions. Tom Chapman made ground through the race and also required two bike changes in the pits to adjust tyre pressure (the american’s were impressed by the slick changes performed by the aussie pit). Michael Howson was also riding strong but suffered not one, but two punctured rear wheels ending his race. After a back of the grid call up Shaun Lewis made excellent ground through the field and at one stage was racing in front of Nick Smith, but the effort caused an issue in Lewis’ back and he drifted back in the second half of the race eventually finishing a lap down. Angus Dickson was the other Australian in the race but a back row start made a tough job more difficult and he would eventually finish 44th.
The second race of the Quiansen Trophy series now heads to the town of Yanqing which is two hours north of Beijing and will be held on Wednesday.