As Cyclocross Magazine was first to report, Brian Matter (Team Gear Grinder) was awarded one of two discretionary positions on the U.S. national team for his 2008 promising season. Matter attended the Geoff Proctor’s Euro Cross Camp this past December and is preparing to head back over the pond to race in the world championships on February 1st. Cyclocross Magazine briefly caught Matter while he’s stateside to ask him a few tough questions about sponsors, training, and – most importantly – ham and cheese sandwiches.
CXM: Congratulations on going to the Euro-camp and being selected for the national team! Was this a season-long goal or just an “icing on the cake” for a well-fought season?
Racing in Europe has been something on my mind for the last few seasons. This year worked out perfectly because my wife and I bought our first new house in March! It was a fixer upper and training time was really down early in the season. By the time I started feeling good it was cross season. I was still fresh so I decided to go give the Euro scene a try.
CXM: After breaking into the top 25 at Baal a few weeks ago, are there any specific results or goals that you’re aiming for at Hoogerheide?
My goal for cross worlds is to be as prepared as possible, race well, learn a lot, and have fun. As for a specific finishing spot I’m not sure. My best result in Belgium was the GVA in Baal at 25th. If I could duplicate that I would be thrilled.
CXM: You’ve moved from road cycling more into mountain biking and cyclocross. Are you going to be changing disciplines again or keep with ‘cross?
Cross will definitely be a bigger focus moving forward. The scene is growing and there is a great vibe at all the races. At the same time the Midwest mountain bike scene is also thriving and I won’t forget my roots.
CXM: We’ve got some crazy ‘cross fans over here but Europe is a totally different scene. Any good stories so far?
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say! Ham & cheese sandwiches, Leffe, and Radio Donna!
CXM: I hope that’s not some code that I have to break to figure out the secret to being a fast ‘cross racer. Moving on to your team and sponsors: you race for GEAR GRINDER, a cycling clothes company based out of Wisconsin and have been riding Trek ‘cross bikes, another “local” company, but rumor has it that you’ll be switching bikes for 2009 and riding Blue?
I race for Gear Grinder, an online casual clothing company. I guess Blue and Gear Grinder spoke during Interbike and are planning on working together for the 2009 and 2010 season. I have been talking with them about ‘cross for Worlds and the 2009 season, but as of right now I am still riding my Treks.
CXM: Thanks and good luck!
To follow Brian’s Euro cross crusade, check out http://b-matter.blogspot.com