interviews, profiles and diaries
by Barron Gira We recently caught up with Jason Knauff, series director of the Chicago Cross Cup (CCC) since 2009, at a ’cross practice he …
Brian Joder of BicyclingEvents.com chats to Tim Westmore about this year’s series, sponsors, format and the “smiling dirty faces” of Sacramento.
by Kat Statman Every year, cyclocross and women get a little closer to equality and Rabobank has helped making that transition again. So I hear …
This season, we’ll be following a few racers who have some interesting stories to share. From a freshly-minted elite racer to a newly declared master, …
Throughout Northern California there are many, many cyclists whose personalities add to those idiosyncrasies of the cyclocross community— competitive, relaxed, laid back, perhaps even on the fringe of normal society. Last year, a meandering athlete “found” cyclocross and added her “bent” to the sport. Now, she sets sights on immersing herself in the scene and improving her game.
Pro racer Adam McGrath has gone from international racer to local farmer in the past year, though he hasn’t hung up his bikes just yet. …
Preparation for my trip to Burlington, Vermont and Nor’Easter ‘Cross came with a lot of expectations. After a weekend where I went flying off my bike like Joey hitting a barrier, I was ready to make the three hour plus drive to Burlington worthwhile. I wanted to get a Verge point which would earn me callups at series races for the rest of the year.
From the “Girl with the Cowbell Tattoo” to the philosophical Master’s racer extraordinaire, we bring you a new meeting of the minds. When Lee Waldman …
When watching the big names like Sven Nys or Daphny Van den Brand cross the finish line, you often see someone running towards them with a jacket and water bottle in hand. This “behind the scenes” character is a soigneur – the backbone to most every cyclist on race day.
Paul is ready to ride – stop by and see him at the USGP today! Photo courtesy of Paul Warloski
By the time you read this today, the mwi cross circus will have gathered under the black and green tent near the start line in Sun Prairie, WI for the first weekend of the USGP.
It’s the start of the racing, the travel, the camaraderie, and off-camber downhill turns. The heckling, suffering, mud, and crashes.
Although the cyclocross season is happily getting incrementally longer every year, it’s still more compact than the road season. For those of us whose passion is cross that’s a good thing. For our partners, who have to suffer through mud filled showers, mud stained towels, abrasions, bruises and the occasional broken collar bone, the season is probably about 8 weeks too long already. Bottom line, if it wasn’t for their patience with our obsessive behavior, their moral support as we spend the majority of our time thinking about, talking about, and racing cross, and their physical presence at the races, racing cross would be much more difficult. So, this column is dedicated to them. [More…]
The American ’cross season is in full swing with two full weekends and two Wednesday night extravaganzas completed, the European season is just getting underway and now the first USGP is here. It really is ’cross season. Sometimes I don’t believe it’s real. How can the best bike racing season, which we’ve been waiting so long for really be here already? Didn’t we just finish last season? Anyways, onward we go, there is a long winter coming up and lots of rumors to talk about. In this week’s edition: Euro ’Cross is back on TV, start looking for your live feeds, folks. Kevin Pauwels takes a big win for his new team in Erpe-Mere. Zdenek Stybar will be showing off the new Quick Step rainbow stripes in Stribro this weekend. Enrico Franzoi has found a home with the Guerciotti team, he lines up for the first time this weekend in Switzerland. Is it true that Pro ’crossers actually understand the worth of their equipment? At least Tom Meeusen does. Amy Dombroski heads back to her motherland for the season. With a venerable “who’s who” of ’cross lining up in Sun Prairie this weekend, is there really a favorite? Who should we talk about in this week’s Working Man’ Edition? We’ll go with Justin Lindine, Jake Wells, Bryan Fawley, and Chris Sheppard
Cyclocross rarely knows such glamour, despite richly deserving it. And Vegas had it all: shiny things, light things, new things, expensive things; trade shows were ever thus. Oh, and the hangovers. I’m sure there were some immense hangovers.
A casual glance at this array of goodies might convince you that their purpose was to make you faster. Anyone who has ever pressed a pedal in anger can tell you otherwise. These gadgets exist solely to tell you how slow you are. They can express inadequecy in figures accurate to the third decimal point. The all-consuming guilt that can be inspired by a powermeter is phenomenal. If I ever find myself poor (poor in a serious way, not poor in my current self-proclaimed, irreverent, slightly flippant way) I will qualify as a psychoanalyst and specialise in treating the anxieties of middle-aged bike racers. I would never go hungry again.
Neil is a Masters cyclocrosser in his third season of racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. Bikes and bike racing have always been part of his life, starting with BMX racing as a youngster, evolving into recreational MTB riding in college, eventually ending up in competitive amateur road racing and cyclocross today.
For the 2012 season, his goals are to score points in his local race series, improve his skills, and continue having more fun racing bikes than any adult should rightfully be able to have.
It’s every racer’s dream to upgrade to the Elite field, to line up at the start with the pro racers that we love to read about. Every year, more and more racers are starting in the Elite field, and we wanted to hear what it feels like to go from winning in the lower categories to starting in the back of the grid with racers like Jeremy Powers in the front.
Going to college is great. There is enough parties and beer to make anyone happy. But you have to remember the point of going to school, and that is: to get a degree. Hopefully, that degree will turn into a job. In order for you to get a degree, you need to do your homework.
That homework is keeping me off the bike.
At Interbike on Wednesday, you see beyond the glitz and glamour of carbon fiber road wheels and fixed gear glory. You feel the grass, you smell the dirt, sweat, blood, tears … you know it’s almost time for CrossVegas. You check your watch over and over again, counting down to the moment when you can finally start heading to the event you’ve been waiting for.
It has been whispered that the Women’s field is one of the fastest growing in cyclocross racing today. Looking down the line of the first race in the 2011 Verge Series, Green Mountain Cyclocross, this is visually apparent – a mass of close to 50 competitive cyclists tensely await the whistle. This is ten riders more than last year and while this may not seem like anything more than a tiny victory compared to most other sports, even other types of cycling, that number is huge. If ten new women race every season that means there could be close to 60 next year, and so on. Not to mention that because this is the Amateur Women’s category, most of these women are only a few seasons in and keep coming back or, even bigger, are brand new. We have been talking. We have been recruiting. We have been having fun, seeing results, getting better and telling our friends to join in.
The Belgians came, they saw, and, oh man, have they conquered. Well, an American did grab one win and that was a UCI race, so I guess it counts for something. The first week of the international season is under way and is there ever a bunch to talk about! First is CrossVegas, so much going on there. We can’t not talk about this weekends upcoming races in Seattle, Vermont and Maryland. Did you catch the velo bowl? Jurgen Mettepenningen is confident in Pauwels, Aernouts and Vantornout. National Champ Todd Wells will not defend his stars and stripes this January; London Olympics and Louisville 2013 are the goals. Finally, in this week’s Working Man’s Edition there were just too many of you, so instead, there’s a list of all the riders that deserve some respect!
I’ve been in Texas now for about two months, and I have a confession to make: I’m a little homesick.
Initially the thrill of being in a new place and meeting new people kept me from thinking too much about it, but as the dust has settled and I have fallen into my daily routine, I have to say: I miss my crew.
We were trying to scheme up ways about how to get more of our friends into CX. It is hard to talk somebody into buying a whole new bike set up until they have experienced how fun a race is themselves. We also wanted to create a local mid week series to give us more time on our cross bikes during the racing season and use it as a good work out.
As many of you know, Jesse Anthony has announced that after Gloucester’s race this year, he will be retiring from cyclocross to pursue road racing as his main sport. After the summer he’s had, we can’t say that we blame him, as he’s had some amazing finishes and wins, winning Nature Valley overall to name just one. But we will miss him in cyclocross. Issue 15 will include a reflective piece from Anthony as well as a look back at his superlative cyclocross career.
It’s almost Autumn. Hard to believe when the temperature in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, yesterday was in the mid-90s. Our first ’cross race, the target of all my work this past summer, is in less than three weeks. As soon as I got back from Nationals I began thinking about, planning for, and training towards this season. How many times in my life am I going to have the chance to even consider going to Masters Worlds? With their presence in the US for the next two years, it actually is a reality for me. All of the goals I’ve set, every mile on the mountain bike this summer, each circuit on the ’cross course; they’re now money in the bank. This week I’ll finalize my racing schedule for the season and then, with Louisville firmly planted in my mind, I’ll start racing. One more endurance race over Labor Day weekend, and then, cyclocross. Scraped shins, mud of all varieties, ruts, sand, max heart rate, blood, sweat and drool. What could be more fun?
The Euro’s are coming, the Euro’s are coming. Have we really made that much of an impact or is this just a fluke as everyone is thinking about the 2013 World Champs in Louisville? It is officially here though folks, ’cross season’s big kick-off tomorrow. So with that being said, where are the pros going this weekend and what are they up to if not racing? Jeremy Powers, Adam Myerson, Tom Van Den Bosche, Ian Field, Bryan Fawley, Luke and Jesse Keough, Justin Lindine and Weston Schempf are all lining up for the men at the 6th Annual Nittany Cross. And for the women we have Helen Wyman, Rebecca Wellons, Laura Van Gilder, Vicki Thomas and Gabby Day. Tim Johnson is out training with ’cross buddy and fellow New Englander Jesse Anthony; will we see Jesse hit the dirt much this year? Zdenek Stybar gets serious about ’cross, at least on Twitter. Ryan Trebon starts the competition early at the GP Molly Cameron. Telenet-Fidea looks towards the future with Bart Wellens and an all-new women’s team with Nikki Harris, Sophie de Boer, Nicole de Bie and Pavla Havlikova.
The Euro Invasion has hit the East Coast, and UK-based cyclocrosser Gabby Day has been staying with me in the days leading up to Nittany. This 26-year-old racer has never been to the US, and while maybe the Philadelphia airport wasn’t the best introduction to the country, I’ve been trying to show her some of the nicer parts. Granted, it’s been raining every day, which is going to mean a very muddy start to her US cyclocross season, but she’s taking in stride. With her first US race only a few days away, I wanted to ask her a few questions about her first impressions of the US and how it feels being a woman in the sport.
Two years ago, I started bike commuting to Arizone State University (six miles each way) after not having ridden in a decade. I decided to get a versatile cyclocross bike. It could be easily converted between a road, touring, commuter and light duty mountain bike. While cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sports in America, ’cross bikes are still fairly rare. I starting racing in a local race series with about 50 other people, got hooked and was interested in getting a faster race bike. About 10-50 bikes are listed on the Phoneix Craigslist every day, but a ’cross bike only appears every week or two, and it was never the right size or what I was looking for. So, I started upgrading and customizing my bike over two years, while putting about 5000 miles on it.
Then it got stolen, a comedy of errors ensued, and all was amazingly resolved in less than 24 hours.
I have two of the greatest sponsors in the world. Not only are they both 100% invested in my racing and incredibly enthusiastic about it, they provide services like keeping my bikes in great working condition, making sure that I’m eating enough and if I ask nicely, even doing my laundry.