Carl Decker Climbs and Descends to Win Raleigh’s Midsummer Night’s Cyclocross Race – Updated: Report, Photos, Results, Captions
Bike Controversy and Missing Race Official Brings Confusion and Compromise
by Andrew Yee
2013 Cyclocross National Champion Jonathan Page (Fuji Bikes / Competitive Cyclist) crossed the line, and rode up to Carl Decker (Giant Bicycles), who finished just nine seconds prior on a dual suspension mountain bike to take the win at the 2013 Raleigh Midsummer Night’s cyclocross race. There weren’t any threatening glares, no punches attempted or thrown. Instead, Page just muttered to Decker, “That sucked.”
Did Page mean the course sucked, the race sucked, or using a mountain bike in a cyclocross race sucked?
Page, resplendent in his new National Championship jersey with a fresh slew of sponsors, had just been beaten by a rider and bike combination that was better suited to the stair-filled and rocky descent-laden cyclocross course. Decker had swapped from his (borrowed from Adam Craig) SRAM hydraulic disc brake-equipped Giant TCX Advanced prototype cyclocross bike to his new Giant Anthem 650b dual suspension mountain bike after just half a lap, and proceeded to surge through the field, bombing the descents with abandon and riding the two flights of cement staircases (video here) as if they were curbs. It was the right tool for the course, but it was not a cyclocross bike.
“First cyclocross racer out there!” Page told Cyclocross Magazine, giving us a hint of what sucked. “Last time I checked it was a cyclocross race.”
The Raleigh Midsummer Night’s race is not a UCI-sanctioned event, nor an NRC event or National Championship. Decker checked with announcer, promoter and official-by-default Richard Fries at the start of the race if his mountain bike was fair game, and Fries assured Decker it was under the USA Cycling-sanctioned race. But with a USA Cycling race official missing from the event, confusion over the rules would impact the prize money distribution if not the final race result.
“Cheater!” some yelled at Decker as he raced by and floated over the stairs.
“He’s a great rider, so it wasn’t bad to lose to him,” Ben Berden (Raleigh Clement) said, after finishing third behind Decker and Page.
“Mountain bikes aren’t allowed in any USA Cycling-sanctioned race for Cat 2 and above,” a Page supporter told this surprised and at-the-time feeling uninformed reporter.
“I didn’t know you could race a mountain bike race in a cyclocross race,” Jonathan Page said. “I have to ride these skinny tires, it’s a cyclocross race.” Page understandably may not be completely familiar with non-UCI event rules, as he spends most of his time racing in Europe, and typically only competes in UCI races when racing domestically.
UCI races and National Championships play by the UCI rules that ban flat bars, suspension and fat tires (greater than 33mm, or 35mm for Masters at Nationals) from a cyclocross race, but at a standard USA Cycling cyclocross race? That was news to some of us non-rule-book studying cyclocross fans, racers and reporters.
Page inquired with Fries, the acting official, about the bike rules, but the results were posted, the podium ceremony about to begin, no official in sight to clarify the cyclocross bike rule variations, and one giant check making its way to the podium to be awarded to the winner.
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Richard, we are grateful you brought the even here. Next year, look me up ahead of time...or Page...or Driscoll...or Chris Mackay. We'll all be happy to help with course design.
people, calm down. you are complaining about the outcome of a cx race in July. Try to improve your mood by riding your bike rather than getting angry on the internet. if you feel compelled to engage in douchebaggery then you and your comments belong somewhere else like road racing.
Yes you could ride up the stairs. Youdidntmuch more skill and it would require a MTb. But having said that I still love simply getting on a bike so temper your any complaints.
....hmmm..."lame????" really?...I'm looking at the names on the comments and I don't recognize one person who is associated with a great event. Please educate me as to their great achievements in promotions. As I always say, there are folks who "know everything" and then there are folks who "do everything." Funny, ya know, they're never the same people.... We had a blast. This was an industry pageant. CX 2013 is on....
As a USAC official who has also officiated most of the cyclocross races in Utah (even unsanctioned ones) for the past 10 seasons, I wish someone had let me know that an official was needed and I would have been there. As pointed out in the article, USAC rule 1I1(e) indicates that bikes must meet UCI specs at National Championship, NRC, and national team selection events, but in a USAC only race any mass-start legal bicycle is eligible for use in competition. That said, there is a letter of the rules view and a spirit of the rules view, regardless of how anyone feels about that, I think the solution worked out at the venue was a decent compromise, considering the situation.
@tonny ynnot dunno what you mean about "this site", but yeah, cx should be mostly fun. Although @cyclocross content certainty not about promotions...
Lame. If the course was better suited for a mountain bike then the course was bad.. Pros do not need to be riding a mountain bike in a cross race. Beginners who have that as their only option, fine. Anyone else...
Don't take this site serious ,this is just about promotions and for the rest bla bla bla from people who know nothing about cyclocross.......American style !!!!!
He should go see his priest or what ever...shouldn't feel good about a performance enhancing bike....
you keep on posting this win - do you honestly promoting racing on MTBs in CX??? This must be a joke!
@nealrogers Cycling is already a dollar intensive sport and requiring 'correct' equipment at the non-elite level discourages participation.
@nealrogers At the elite level riders should be on the 'correct' bike. At the amateur level, ride what you've got.
@RichardFries hear. hear. CX racing is supposed to be fun not another thing to bitch about on the internets.
@pgball When it’s 23F out and 5" of snow on course, equipment isn’t discouraging participation; ability to race MTB encourages participation