Jingle Cross World Cup Gallery

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Photos by Ken Sherman/kkimages.us
’Tis the season — it’s not exactly Christmas, there was no snow, but there was a Grinch. The 2017-2018 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar kicked off last weekend with the Jingle Cross festival in Iowa City, Iowa, USA. This marks the second time this long-standing event has been designated as a World Cup race, and only the fourth US race to get such honors.
Late summer in the Midwest of America does not offer traditional cyclocross weather…it’s typically hot and dry. Jingle Cross proved no different. Some riders suffered in the heat, especially if they chose to enter the additional C1-level races on Friday and Saturday nights, as did reigning American National Champion Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld). But others managed to overcome it, aided with ice bags and bottles of water dumped over the head.
The start of this season looked to pick up where last year left off: with a battle between reigning World Champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) and 2015 World Champ Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon). But Van Aert couldn’t overcome the deficit created by a flat, so others were left to pick up the chase.
Another established rivalry looked to play out in the women’s race, between legendary 13-time US National Champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing) and Katerina Nash (CLIF Pro Team). But in this battle, the Grinch, in the form of the steep and treacherous Mt. Krumpit (named after the mountain above Whoville), took Compton’s chances away when she crashed coming down it on the third lap.
The World Cup remains in North America for the next round, 22-24 September in Waterloo, Wisconsin, home of Trek Bicycle.
The Women’s Race

The pro women’s field coming on full-tilt.

Katie ‘F’n’ Compton leading over the bridge.

Eva Lechner (left, CLIF Pro Team) used her mountain bike skills to gain an early lead, but couldn’t hang on to it. Maud Kaptheijns (right, Crelan-Charles) follows her closely over the barriers.

Emma White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), already a veteran road racer at age 21, led the U23 women’s race and came in a respectable 11th overall.

UK homegirl Helen Wyman (Kona) stayed with the lead group for a time, but the heat got to her and she ended up in 16th. “For me, in these conditions,” she said, “that’s…acceptable.”

Katerina Nash (left) and Katie Compton (right) leading the charge up Mt. Krumpit. Compton would later suffer a crash on the way down, which let Nash get away from her.

Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) puts on her game face to ride up Mt. Krumpit while others walked.

Annika Langvad (Specialized Racing), a former mountain bike world champion, stayed with the lead group and finished seventh.

Nash, Sophie de Boer (Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team), and Compton wending their way down the tricky Mt. Krumpit descent.

Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) managed to separate herself from the group chasing Nash; here Sanne Cant is just behind her.

The women’s podium: Nash, Keough, Cant.

This being American cyclocross, there had to be costumes and a heckling…er, cheering section.

The Men’s Race
The men’s field crowded together; Van der Poel took the lead from the beginning.

Bunny-hopping the barriers has become de rigeur for the men’s field. Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles), left, was the reigning champ of American World Cup races coming into this event, having won all the previous three.

Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) led the battle for second behind Van der Poel.

The view from the bottom of the punishing Mt. Krumpit climb.

Van Aert had to pit twice, leading to a large deficit he couldn’t overcome, even with World Champion stripes.

Van der Poel looking remarkably comfortable as he crests the climb with no one in sight behind him.

…and the rest straggle up after Van der Poel.

Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) leading off Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea Lions), who would eventually move up to battle for second.

Hermans and Sweeck played cat-and-mouse behind Van der Poel for most of the race.

American Stephen Hyde placed 7th in the C1 race on Friday night, but that effort might have cost him.

Another heckling/cheering/beer-drinking station along the course.

Mathieu van der Poel giving out high-fives to fans as he cruises in to victory.

The men’s podium: Van der Poel, Sweeck, Hermans.

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