Your Saturday Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

August 5, 2017

In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Poels wins final stage of Tour of Poland, Teuns takes overall victory; Barbero sprints to victory on stage 4 of Vuelta a Burgos; Wiebes and Gazzoli become junior European champions, Matthiessen completes U23 double; Hansen not selected for Vuelta a España, Grand Tour record streak ends at 18; Adam Hansen’s fear of flying; Gaviria and Richeze continue with Quick-Step Floors; Roelandts moves to BMC Racing Team to help Van Avermaet; Jongewaard favourite for Australian men’s cyclocross title, women’s race wide open; Jones inks contract with Delko – Marseille Provence – KTM team; Video: Team Sunweb’s Chad Haga shows off piano skills; Video: Copenhagen shows way to safe cycling; Video: Brian Cookson at the Tour of Poland; Video: Katie Compton helps out with Trek phone support, with mixed results; Video: European championship competitor brought down by spectator

Jongewaard favourite for Australian men’s cyclocross title, women’s race wide open

by Simone Giuliani

It’s time for the first national championships of the 2017/18 cyclocross season, with the battle for the green and gold striped jersey of Australia taking place in wet and muddy conditions at Zombie Park, Adelaide, on Saturday.

Just like last year, Chris Jongewaard (Flanders-JBlood) is the overwhelming favourite to take the men’s Australian Cyclocross National Championships, which would add a third cyclocross national title to his long list of mountain bike national titles. He has won every Australian National Series round this year, but a period of ill health earlier this year and a recent mountainbike crash means he may not be in the same  form as last year.

Podium regular Gary Milburn (Speedvagen MAAP), former under 23 Australian champion Chris Aitken (Focus Attaquer) and Shaun Lewis (Focus Attaquer) are all bound to push hard to expose any weakness. Paul van der Ploeg (Giant) took the Australian jersey from Jongewaard two years ago, but is short on form this time.

In contrast to the men’s, the women’s field this year is wide open.

What a ride it has been in my First 12months of cyclocross. Starting with the 2016 Aussie cx season then the ????????jersey followed by racing the European cx season and then the world cx champs this year. It has been an absolute honour to represent the jersey and my country. The Aussie cx season thus far hasn't been what I hoped for but given my year I've had it was to be expected.. but I'm finally finding some legs so I'll be putting it all on the line tomorrow. Regardless of the result it's been such a awesome year watching the sport grow around Australia and the awesome women racing it.. Thanks to @teamwillylocke sponsors that have supported us in the Last 12 months. Without you guys I wouldn't have achieved any of this. ???? @jeffcurtes ???? NOW ADELAIDE BRING ON THE MUD!

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Defending champion Rebecca Locke (Team Willy Locke) has fallen out of the top three in all three rounds of the Australian National Series while April McDonough (Flanders-JBlood) and Natalie Redmond have both taken to the podium in two out of the three races.

The big wildcard in the women’s field is 2016 second place finisher Peta Mullens (Focus Attaquer) who has just arrived back home after four months on the road in the United States with Hagens Berman-Supermint, where she stood on the podium 28 times. She has clearly been carrying good form, but her very recent return to Australia means she hasn’t had time to do any cyclocross racing.

Mullens told CyclingTips that not overdoing it after a long season meant she was coming in “very fresh, possibly underdone,” but that she just couldn’t resist the opportunity to join her team and race. “The mud, rain and cold aren’t really my thing but I don’t want to be at home on the couch with FOMO!”