Meredith Miller and Allen Krughoff are not the only elite-level cyclocross racers with new team news. Cody Kaiser recently released that he will be forming a one-man team, sponsored by the LangeTwins, a nationwide family winery and vineyard.
Kaiser placed third at the U23 race during 2014 Cyclocross Nationals and crossed the line at 30th at the U23 World Championships in Hoogerheide. Last season was his final year as a U23 rider, and many remember him as the internet sensation of last January, when our video of him hopping up the Belgian steps during nationals went viral. If you’ve been wondering about his technique since nationals, he gives a great explanation of the skill involved.[youtube o0oGMix5X44 590 332]
“It was so awesome to see how that blew up and how people have reacted to it,” he said. “I think I‘m the first ever viral CX video…so that’s rad.” [Ed. note: We were also involved with an earlier viral cx video with a guy named Joey.]
The video has certainly provided entertainment for viewers and for Kaiser himself. “I’ve had some good stories but by far my funniest is one that doesn’t even involve me, yet it’s hilarious,” Kaiser explains. “My dad is at World Champs last year and he comes across a crew of drunk guys at a hotel bar and they start chatting about why he’s in Europe to watch some silly bike race. He explains my racing and they immediately blurt out in their different accents ‘You’re Cody’s Dad?!’ and freak out. They start taking pictures and sending them to their friends and posting on Facebook. They couldn’t believe they were hanging with my dad.”
Leaving California Giant is a big change, but with the switch to the Elite Men category, Kaiser realized he had a perfect opportunity to do something that really hadn’t been done before. He had a longstanding relationship with Joe Lange of the LangeTwins winery, who is no stranger to cyclocross. Together Kaiser and Lange had been promoting and organizing races on the vineyard property. He told us that the Lange Family is full of active cyclists, and are excited to give something back to the cyclocross community, especially as they have seen a boost in local Northern California sales due to their presence in the NorCal cycling scene.
He will still be riding an S-Works CruX at the start of the season, as well as using Specialized’s Body Geometry products. SRAM will also be a familiar face, providing Kaiser with the new CX1 component group and Zipp wheels. Alex Wassmann, Director of SRAM Road Sports comments, “We’re proud to be continuing our relationship with Cody this coming cyclocross season. Among Cody’s varied and valuable attributes is his strength in both pacing our products and translating that critical ride and tech experience to our tech group.”
Although a single-man show might allow Kaiser to pick and choose his races more carefully, he mentioned that he is looking to keep his travel schedule the same. He will be focusing on many of the domestic C1 races, and is targeting a first-ever UCI win. As far as weekend by weekend goals go, Kaiser would like to see himself acting as a force in the front groups at races, providing a presence among his competitors. The biggest difference between last year and this year will be limiting his abroad travels. Although he hopes to make the world’s team, Europe is less of a factor in his schedule.
The Elite category doesn’t scare Kaiser. In fact, quite the opposite: he’s looking forward to the new fields. “You know, being an elite this year hasn’t really changed my approach,” he told us, “because it’s the same racing just with a different set of names around me on the results page.” He is excited to no longer worry about the secondary U23 race that often occurs within the larger races. He has been preparing for cyclocross more than ever this year now that he is a part of a team that provides him with the opportunity to focus on Fall racing. He still spends a large amount of time training on his road bike, which is the only setup of all his bikes with a double chainring. He has been running a single chainring up front on his mountain bike, and told us he is a huge fan of SRAM’s CX1 for his cyclocross bike.
The folks here at Cyclocross Magazine couldn’t let him go without asking him if he was becoming a wine connoisseur due to his new sponsorship. “I have not been a wine connoisseur,” he answered, “but I am developing a taste for it and am starting to recognize all of the different varieties. I went to a winemaker’s dinner last month and really got to appreciate how wine and food go together. I am a fan of the Midnight Reserve and the Caricature Red Blend.”
We also asked Kaiser about Nick Weighall, a former California Giant teammate whose resume includes a U23 win at Cyclocross Nationals, and his noticeable absence from cyclocross. As for Kody’s thoughts on Weighall’s return, Kaiser said that the two of them have been chatting about racing, and he hopes to see it go well this winter. Kaiser figured he should start a Facebook page dedicated to showing support since everyone keeps asking him where Nick is at. (Cyclocross Magazine answers that question in our upcoming Issue 25).
Check out more information about LangeTwins Winery.