My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Horner considers cyclo-cross campaign

Category: Cyclo-Cross

Airgas-Safeway's Chris Horner may compete in some cyclo-cross races next fall. He is interested in trying.

"I'm working it out with Marin Bikes right now to set up some 'cross stuff, and we'll see how much Airgas-Safeway as a whole, because I think there are a few kids who do it, too, wants to get involved,” Horner said.

Horner lives in Bend, Oregon, which has hosted the national cyclo-cross championships multiple times. And the Cyclo-Cross Crusade series are hosted in Oregon. The series brings in 1,200-1,500 competitors each race for its amateur and pro events.

“I've got a new big RV rig, so if the kids want to come we've got a place to stay at the races,” Horner said. “We've got a place to stay warm, get it going good and put on a show for the fans. I like doing 'cross.”

Harris extends with Telenet-Fidea

Category: Cyclo-Cross

British cyclo-cross champion Nikki Harris has extended her contract with the Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team for two years until December 31, 2015, her team announced. Harris' goal is to become cyclo-cross world champion.

"I had to other options including one from Specialized," Nikki Harris said. "I thought about both options because I wanted to try racing on the road for 100 per cent. After a few weeks I realized that I'm cross rider first and I will remain a cyclo-cross racer. I made a lot of progress and have gotten better over the whole line. This deal gives me the ambition to get even better results."

"I want and hope to become world champion, that's my main goal. That's why I will stay at Telenet-Fidea because that's the best place to be for that perspective. This is by far the best cyclo-cross team. Also importantly, I was able to improve my contract. Hans [Van Kasteren, team manager] was in a good mood when I signed."

To become cyclo-cross world champion, Harris will have to beat Marianne Vos (Rabo Women). Currently Vos is taking a break to undergo minor surgery on her back, but she will be for the Christmas races and the rest of the cross season.

Harris won the first round of the Bpost Bank cyclo-cross series in Ronse two weeks ago. On Friday, she finished third in the second round at the Koppenbergcross. This means that she remains the overall leader of the series.

"I'm not happy with my race. I felt tired and couldn't fight up against Helen [Wyman] and Sanne [Cant]. I didn't start well too. Hopefully it'll be different at the European championships on Sunday."

Ferrier-Bruneau and Denuwelaere retire

Category: Cyclo-Cross

For two high level riders, the Koppenbergcross was the last race. Christel Ferrier-Brunea (Faren-Kuota) and Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) will now retire.

34-year-old French rider Christel Ferrier-Bruneau finished her career after nine years. In the last couple of races, she seemed to be in good form, but she decided the Koppenbergcross would be her last race.

“First I wanted to end with the road world championships in Firenze but I left the race ill in an ambulance. So I decided to add some ‘cross racing to conclude my career,” Ferrier-Bruneau said.

“I wanted to retire at the European championships next weekend but the French coach decided to send only one rider. After this weekend it’s a long time before there’s another big race and the sand of Koksijde isn’t my thing. That’s why I chose the Koppenbergcross. I’ve never done it in the past.”

“It’s too bad that I wasn’t able to get on the podium. I realized that three others were stronger than me. It was hard to deal with that but I went to the limit. That’s also why I crashed at the end of the second lap. I wasn't lucid enough,” Ferrier-Bruneau continued. Now, she is looking forward to spend time with her family, but also to start a family.

Ferrier-Bruneau won two French titles on the road in 2009 and 2011.

“Riding in Beijing was a highlight too, finishing thirteenth. In cyclo-cross the world championships in Treviso come to my mind. I led the race with Hanka Kupfernagel. On the last lap Marianne Vos and Laurence Leboucher overtook me and I fell off the podium.”

Jan Denuwelaere won a round of the Bpost Bank cyclo-cross series in Essen last year. In the race, he was first taken down by Zdenek Stybar, but was then awarded victory as the Czech rider was relegated. Denuwelaere also took wins in Bredene (2012) and Zonnebeke (2009).

“Last year I already noticed that I wasn’t enjoying my life as a professional rider as I was supposed to do. During training camps, I noticed most other riders are passionate about the bike and that’s what I’m lacking. I’m crazy about many other things, as long as it’s fun. It’s not necessary physical but more technical,” Denuwelaere said on Sporza.