Two years ago, Allen Krughoff took an impressive fifth place at the Raleigh Midsummer Night Cyclocross Race and won a spot on the Raleigh-Clement team. When we last caught up with him, he had recently placed a breathtaking fifth at Nationals and represented the United States at Worlds in Hoogerheide. At the start of this week, we discovered that he is a co-owner of a new cyclcross team sponsored by Noosa Finest Yoghurt.
When we connected with Krughoff, he was just finishing an impromptu computrainer workout. He told us he would rather be outside, of course, but in Colorado, rain can cause the weather to drop over 20 degrees, forcing riders to find warmer climates indoors.
Cyclocross Magazine: Creating a co-owned team is a huge step, can you tell us how the last six weeks played out?
Allen Krughoff: The last six weeks can best be summed up by saying that I have a new 20 hour per week job and that Meredith Miller is officially a member of my friends and family plan. I had to upgrade my minutes from the amount of time I spend on the phone with partners and potential partners for the team. I always thought Noosa would be good for a team. They do some local team sponsorship, and I asked if they would be interested, and they said they would like for us to be a part of their marketing plan for the coming year.
CXM: Do they have any races they want you to target?
AK: We approached them with a proposed schedule, and they are a nationwide brand. The season works well because they are working on getting into markets in Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; and cities on the East Coast. We will be doing every C1 weekend around the country, so I think we’ll only be able to get to one or two non-UCI races. Eleven weekends makes for a full schedule.
CXM: But just domestic C1 races? China’s expense-paid UCI race is not in the schedule?
AK: It would be if it was just a week earlier. It’s so close to Vegas, and the time you spend traveling to and from, and the possibility of getting sick, is not worth it in my opinion. Meredith thinks so as well. There’s just too much risk right before that four week wing of race season which is super important. I’d actually love to go, but our commitment with our sponsors puts pressure on doing well here, and we can’t just say, “Well, just for me, I’d love to go to China.” If I was racing for myself with “Allen Krughoff” on my back I would definitely be in.
CXM: Talking about working for a team, many of our American readers remember the end of last season culminating with that awesome teamwork alongside Jamey Driscoll at Nationals. Will you miss racing with him as a teammate?
AK: That will be a bummer. I will miss Jamey a lot, I loved working with him. But what we are getting in return is ownership and total control of the team.
CXM: What do you think the biggest pros and cons are when you compare this route to being a member on an established team?
AK: That’s pretty straightforward, and I’ll start with the bad side. The cons are that it’s no longer just “show up here, get ready to race, here’s the gear we’re going to use.” Usually just that and negotiating contracts. Now we have to think about buying a vehicle, what insurance are we going to get, who are we going to hire as mechanics, working on contracts directly.
The pro is that you can make whatever agreement you want with yourself as a rider. You have to decide what is viable from a salary perspective and getting the job done as a team at the races. Every positive that comes out of this team is something we created with the help of our partners. With a bigger team, you have to watch things happen, even if there’s a different way you think things should get done. Now we have the power.
CM: What are the biggest challenges that remain before the season gets underway?
AK: Filling out the ideal budget for the team. We’re past the tipping point of what we need for this team to happen at a professional level, so this team will happen regardless. There’s ways to save money if we can’t come up with additional funding, but that is the current challenge. There are directions we would love to see this go, like build to the big teams like the Raleigh-Clements and the Rapha-Focuses. We would like to be at that level with our presence and success at races.
The biggest benefit is that I have experience creating an LLC linked with a business checking account. It helps with things like starting the team, getting insurance for vehicles, riders’ salaries, mechanics’ salaries.
CXM: Talking about teams with a large presence, why the separation with Raleigh-Clement?
AK: They couldn’t offer me a returning position on the team; they’re streamlining their expenses. Obviously running a team with four or five riders gets very expensive. But now they’ll have the opportunity to support the rider selected for the Amy D. Foundation, and I’m really happy about that. If there was a single consolation for not being on the team, that’s really the best possible reason I could think of. I can’t wait to meet the new rider and help in any way I can.
CXM: That’s great to hear, and it sounds like it provided you with this opportunity with Noosa.
AK: Absolutely, it’s going to be great.
CXM: And do you have any hopes for the long-term future of the Noosa Cyclocross Team?
AK: I know that Meredith is excited about racing for this year, but she could also see herself moving into a management position after this year or beyond. I plan on racing cyclocross at this level for a while, and I think this will be the testing year. Our goal is to make our sponsors happy, and I think we can do that. I would like to see the program be around for years to come.
Stay tuned to cxmagazine.com for more information on all the cyclocross teams heading into this season. Also be sure to subscribe for Issue 26, where riders like Meredith Miller and Allen Krughoff share their favorite races and destinations.