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Field Notes: Pétange, Luxembourg
Photos by J. Dunn
You can count on a few things in the New Year and one of those would have to be the GP Hotel Threeland in Pétange, Luxembourg. Current world champion Marianne Vos has taken part in this race for going on nine years and this year was no exception. She had the run of the front followed only by Team Rapha-FOCUS racers Jasmin Achermann and Julie Krasniak. This was Julie's second time at the race which takes place 70km away from her hometown of Metz, France. It is one of the closest things to a 'grassroots' cross race here in Europe as the cars and vans of the riders themselves line the steep start of the race.
The muddy, slippery track is punctuated by one of the longest, steepest ascents in cyclocross. The riders climb what amounts to be three or four minutes of steady climbing which is somewhat unheard of in cyclocross circuits. The only thing that breaks up the long climb through the finish line is a stair run and an off-camber slide through the woods, then it's on with the climbing.
Jasmin took over the chase for first about halfway through the race and she and Julie held their ground while a mixture of Belgian, French and Luxembourgeois fans cheered them on. Her brightly colored Swiss champion's kit was soon pocked with mud as a steady rain kept the conditions tricky.
There were multiple races happening on this day as racers prepare for the final rounds of the World Cup this weekend in Rome and the later in the month at Hoogerheide, Belgium. With a month to go the build-up to the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky USA is officially underway.
Now, if you are looking to keep your cyclocross excitement alive with the women of Team Rapha-FOCUS, then turn your attention to the most recent segment of Jeremy Powers' internet cyclocross show, Behind the Barriers.. Jeremy was taking a break from the racing during the last round of the USGP of Cyclocross in Bend, Oregon, so the show follows Julie Krasniak through her weekend of Elite Women's cross racing.
- 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
- 2 be clear that was @johnherety decision to not let @AaronBuggle start. Tour of Korea and Irish National Champs will be his next rendezvous
- Happy to report @AaronBuggle is as good looking as ever after 13 stitches in his chin. Sorry to report not letting him start tomorrow though
- @flammecast @AaronBuggle His Shrone is fine !!!