Quiansen Trophy UCI C1 Cyclocross 2017 Round 2
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words: Sean Couley photography: various Aussie riders
The second race of the Quiansen Trophy UCI C1 Cyclocross Series was held in the town of Yanqing approximately two hours north of Beijing in close proximity to the Great Wall of China.
Conditions on race day were hot, with a fair amount of humidity thrown in too. After the local racers had their go in the morning the course was dry, dusty and looking very fast. The course at Yanqing follows the river on an out and back course that naturally leads to fast racing but with sections in the shade of the tress having tacky ‘hero dirt’ racers were expecting the event to be even faster than last year’s event on the exact same course.
In the women’s race it was Ceylin Alverado (NED) who started fastest, but she also punctured as she dropped onto the dirt from the start straight leaving Australia’s Naomi Williams to claim the 100 euro prize for the official holeshot at the top of the second stair section. By the time the field had completed the first lap an eight person lead group had formed consisting of round one winner Joyce Vanderbeken (BEL) along with Americans Emily Kachorek, Samantha Runnels and Serena Gordon. This group would stay away and slowly dwindle during the race until the last lap when Joyce Vanderbeken made her move attacking and staying away to win her second race of the week. The podium would also be the same with Serena Gordon in second and Emily Kachorek third.
The Australian women had mixed results with Naomi William the best finisher in 15th to claim the last of the UCI point(s) o offer while Riedel had a strong race for 21st and Joanne Easson also finishing in 28th on the lead lap. Unfortunately Rebecca Locke registered her first ever cyclocross DNF with an early race ending mechanical.
In the elite mens race it was a very fast start that had the entire field strung out in single file as the followed the trail along the river on the first half of the course. With a few short and sharp ups and downs on the particular section riders needed to be wary as the exited the short drops on occasionally squirming cyclocross tyres. Unfortunately for Nicholas Smith as he hit the bottom on one of those drops he burped his clincher tyres and crashed heavily. Shaun Lewis was two positions behind and called it as a very heavy crash, but Nick recovered and ran to the pits for a bike change and continued the race. At the head of the race it was playing out similar to the womens race with a large bunch at the front consisting of all the round one high placegetters. A group of seven rolled together at the front for the first seven laps until race one winner Yorben van Tichelt decided it was time to attack with two laps to go – and just like that, he was never seen again. The power and skill the rider from Belgium possesses is a sight to behold and I am looking forward to watching him during the upcoming European season. Marcel Wildhaber (SUI) would again finish second while Thijs van Imerongen (BEL) would claim third.
For the Australians Tom Chapman looked to be the fastest finisher after racing solidly in the top 20 until he did not pass my vantage point again with 2 laps to go and registered a DNF. Shaun Lewis bounced back from his round one result to be Australia’s highest finisher in 26th with Ben Walkerden close behind in 29th. Michael Howson had more punctures on the day than humanly possible to finish in 38th while Angus Dickson finished 43rd just two positions ahead of unlucky Nicholas Smith in 45th. Unfortunately Nicholas Norden also registered a DNF but that does not show how well he actually rode during the race.
As a personal note I found race day difficult. At 2am I awoke with what was either a violent stomach bug or food poisoning. Either way, it made my day more than challenging, and I apologise for my lack of usual live online coverage. Don’t worry, I assure you there will be a corker of a story based on the events of the week coming to you in the next issue of Australian Cyclocross Magazine.