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Field Notes: Namur and Zolder with Emily Maye
photography by Emily Maye
If you have been following photographer Emily Maye for the last couple of weeks you may have noticed that she is in Belgium. The 'Christmas Cross' week of races provide more than enough cyclocross action to fill up the hours during the holidays. Although you may have been feasting on all the cookies, cakes and candies you can get your hands on, Emily has been busy capturing the best Cyclocross racing in the World. In the past week she caught up with Team Rapha-FOCUS as they took on two UCI World Cup races — Namur on the 23rd of December followed closely by Heusden-Zolder on the 26th. These two races put everyone a few steps closer to the World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky on the first weekend in February. Each high profile race between now and then will be a test to see who might take the Rainbow Jersey as the Worlds race moves away from mainland Europe for the first time.
The steep, muddy run-up at Namur.
Jeremy Powers carries his bike through the muck at Namur.
Julie Krasniak on the attack.
Team Rapha-FOCUS continue to be a force in both the Men's and Women's races. Jeremy Powers showed the US National Champion stripes early on at Namur by slotting himself into second at the top of the gruelling start stretch. Hopes were high as he put in what was looking to be one of his best showings on the world stage. However, as it goes in Cyclocross, it was not to be his day and he finished Namur in 28th. Zach lined up with the Elite Men for the first time on that day as well. There was no official U23 race happening and he stepped in to test his mettle in a new race situation overseas.
The Women's side of things continues to heat up as Swiss rider Jasmin Achermann — read her recent Field Notes interview — continues to work it out with the front end of her race. She was taken out early on in the Zolder race by eventual second place finisher Katie Compton. They both came into the first steep downhill section faster than expected and Compton tumbled off her bike causing Achermann to do the same. The baker (she is a pastry chef as her full time job) was not to be thwarted for long and pushed through a tough course to finish with her teammate Julie Krasniak.
Just a few of the many fans at Zolder.
Elite Women's start featuring World Champion Marianne Vos and Swiss Champ Jasmin Achermann.
Krasniak equalled some of her best World Cup performances (15th and 11th) and continues to ready herself for the French National Championship race on January 13th in Nomay, France. Her teammates will all do the same in their respective countries on that weekend and Team Rapha-FOCUS will be represented in the USA, France, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland.
These races have done nothing but tell us that when it comes to the World Championship, it is anyone's game. With a fast and technical course in Kentucky the lead will change from minute to minute in each race. Keep a lookout in the coming weeks as we start to build up to the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.
Follow Emily Maye on Twitter & Instagram as she continues to shoot Belgian Cyclocross over the next week and then heads to Worlds. You can also find her site at: EmilyMaye.com
Team Rapha-FOCUS Namur Results
Jasmin Achermann - 12th
Julie Krasniak - 15th
Sabrina Schweizer - 20th
Gabby Day - 21st
Jeremy Powers - 28th
Zach McDonald - 47th
Team Rapha-FOCUS Heusden-Zolder Results
Jasmin Achermann - 10th
Julie Krasniak - 11th
Gabby Day - 13th
Sabrina Schweizer- 20th
Jeremy Powers - 37th
Zach McDonald - 16th
- RT @IonaNiDhalaigh: Yahhh mountain jersey in the bag!!! Nice one @mike_cuming!!! @raphacondor http://t.co/GrGqSL0Kgl
- RT @CondorWarehouse: Nice to see the @raphacondor JLT team bike on display @campagnolosrl HQ with so many top pro teams http://t.co/5CgE0tY…
- RT @anpostras: GC after Stage 4: Bialoblocki,, McConvey, Guldhammer, Handley, Pelletier-Roy, Hunal, Simon Yates, Fodor, Roger Aiken, Archbo…
- Spare a thought for @Porterelliott who punctured out of the yellow jersey group, when will he get some luck!
- Took the @anpostras on today. Didn't quite pull it off. @RichHandley90 4th on GC and @mike_cuming in the KoM jersey.
- Tour series update from Stoke up on the site http://t.co/aVdcnGnkOX
- RT @elstopbanana: Here's Kristian House @raphacondor at last night's @TourSeries picture by Sue Howlett Great racing! @SoTCityCouncil http:…
- RT @sticky_bottle: Meant to say, to be eligible for the @raphacondor team car compeition you have to be a stickybottle twitter follower!
- RT @sticky_bottle: OK folks; nice morning for it. To win a day in the Rapha Condor JLT team car on the Rás last stage, Sunday, just retweet…
- Third team overall for the Men in Black at Stoke last night in the @TourSeries