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Full Squad for World Cup Round 2 in Tábor, Czech Republic

With Zach‘s latest status update: “Hmm, Europe for 70 hrs? Why not…” we are all hands on deck for Round 2 of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup this Sunday on the site of last year’s Cyclocross World Championships in Tábor, Czech Republic. Jeremy and Julie will be looking to improve upon their phenomenal rides last week, and will this week be joined by Chris and Zach.

This will be the first time this 2011-2012 season the team has fielded the entire roster at a race and we could not have picked a better, faster, or more international field to do it in. Zach will be racing at 11:10am, Julie at 1:30pm, and Jeremy and Chris go at 3pm (all times Local, GMT+2).

Jeremy strong and Julie debuts at first UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Plzeň, Czech Republic

Plzeň, 90 km west of Prague and the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic, played host to round one of the most prestigious and hotly contested series of cyclocross in all the world, the UCI World Cup. Team Rapha FOCUS was well represented by Jeremy Powers hot off his big win in Fort Collins, CO and the team’s newest member, making her first appearance in the team livery, Julie Krazniak.

Julie Krasniak toed the line for the first time this season coming straight off of the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen, DEN. And the first World Cup event of the season is quite the place to do it! Julie managed a strong ride, coming in 25th in easily one of the strongest women’s fields ever to start a World Cup. After the race, Julie reflected on Facebook:

Première coupe du monde, premiers repères en cyclo cross, un peu de mal avec… tout! le double shift qui bloque, le boyaux qui se décolle, le moteur en mode super diesel!… Une 25ème place en coupe du monde pour commencer une longue série de course et débuter l’entrainement cyclo cross!

First World Cup, first cyclo cross benchmark, a bit of trouble with… everything! [such as] the double barriers, the engine is [strong] in super diesel mode!… a 25th place in the World Cup to start a long series of cyclo cross racing and training!

You could tell it was going to be a good day when Jeremy starts off the day with a tweet like:

I woke up and said to myself. “I’m going to suffer today, a lot.” Ready for a good day, thanks for all the messages.

After an interesting start where Jeremy was luckier than many and did not get blocked at the start of the race, we saw Jeremy play it smart and stick with the front group getting ahead of the initial splits in the field, getting as high as 7th place on the stairs in the first lap. Jeremy spent much of the middle of the race with former World Champion Niels Albert chasing a hard charging front group containing the current World Champion and perennial strongman, former World Champion, and eventual winner Sven Nys. Jeremy closed out the day in 10th place, his highest career finish in a World Cup! Jeremy later reflected on twitter:

Thanks everyone for all the messages, it was a great day, met my goal of top 10. Couple [of] things to work on I’ll try for a little better in Tabor!

Back home, Chris Jones held down the fort in Southern California at Spooky Cross, recovering well from his Tour of Britain injury that kept him off the bike for the early part of the season, coming in 4th and 5th in the excellent Southern California weather.

Chris and Zach will join Jeremy and Julie next week on the site of last year’s UCI Cyclocross World Championships for World Cup #2 in Tábor, CZE.

photos by: Balint Hamvas

UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup kicks off Sunday in Plzeň, CZE

The biggest and most prestigious international series in cyclocross kicks off Sunday in the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic, Plzeň. Jeremy was identified in the pre-race press release from the UCI as someone to watch out for, the results of the past few weekend speak for themselves: Gloucester, Fort Lewis. Joining Jeremy in the Czech Republic will be our newest member’s first race for the team, Julie Krasniak, Chris and Zach are representing in Irvine, California at the two days of Spooky Cross before crossing the pond and joining Jeremy and Julie at the second World Cup race in Tábor, Czech Republic the site of the 2010 Cyclocross World Championships.

Julie Krasniak joins team Rapha FOCUS

The Rapha-FOCUS professional cyclocross team announces the addition of Julie Krasniak for the 2011-12 season. Ms. Krasniak will be the first woman on the Rapha-FOCUS cyclocross team, joining Jeremy Powers, Chris Jones and Zach McDonald.

Ms. Krasniak, a French National rider, is representing France at the Road World Championships this weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before becoming a professional on the road, Ms. Krasniak competed at a World-level on the mountain bike. This will be her first full-season of cyclocross as a professional, but her palmares on both the road and mountain give her a strong foundation for racing this winter.

“We’ve come to know Julie this year as she has been a key member of a European women’s road team that Rapha is involved with,” commented Slate Olson, General Manager of Rapha, NA. “That Julie is coming slightly out of nowhere to ‘cross is exciting, we expect that she might surprise some people this season.”

Planning a short break after Road World Championships, Ms. Krasniak will begin her cyclocross season in the Czech Republic, racing the UCI World Cup events in Plzen and Tabor. Holding a base in Portland, OR for most the season, her first US races will be at the Boulder Cup (Oct 28-29) in Boulder, CO. From there she will target the remaining Exergy USGP of Cyclocross series races in Louisville, KY and Bend, OR.

“Focus Bicycles is excited to have Julie on the team for a number of reasons; for starters we think that Julie epitomizes the sort of talent that is coming into the fields of women’s cyclocross”, said Scott Rittschof, CEO Of Focus Bicycles, USA. “Her nationality emphasizes the importance for Focus and Rapha to be recognized as global performance brands.”


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