Logan Owen on the runup at U23 UCI Cyclocross World Championships 2014. © Thomas Van Bracht
Last season, Logan Owen left the Juniors and joined the ranks of the U23 riders. Some young riders can find the move intimidating as they transition from the big fish to the youngest of the pack. Owen, however, both continued his form and had a dominating 2013-4 season, which included a solo U23 win at 2014 Nationals at Valmont Park. He went on to take a top 15 at 2014 Worlds in Hoogerheide, and most recently, found success on the road with the Bissell Development Team. We’ve caught up with him to find out some of his plans for the 2014-5 cyclocross season.
Cyclocross Magazine: Congratulations on an seventh place at the U23 Paris-Roubaix and fourth place at the team time trial in Isard. Should I even ask how you’re keeping busy in the cyclocross offseason?
Logan Owen: Yea, I’m trying to pursue my road goals and really develop on the road to set me up well for the ’cross season.
CXM: Looks like there will be some great potential races ahead, including the possibilities of the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Any races you are trying to focus on this summer?
LO: Really I’m just trying to get used to the U23s since this is my first year. I’m really trying to learn new things and helping out the team as much as possible with whatever race I’m in: whether it’s the national team or Bissell. I’m just there to learn and help out; that way in the next couple of years I can start to hit some goals for myself and have good results in the future.
I like Bissell. There’s a lot of really great guys, although I have only raced one race with them at Roubaix and that went really well. I really enjoyed the team camp, too.
CXM: At Cyclocross Nationals at Valmont Park, you told us you aspired to make a living as a cyclist. Now that you’ve survived half a road season as a U23 cyclist, are you still set on this path?
LO: I would love to make a living doing this because it’s what I love to do and I’ve known that since I was really young. It’s cool that I get to pursue my goals and have people support me. I was four and a half when I started racing, and connected with Redline when I was five. I was with them for eight years, originally for the BMX side of things, and they got me into cyclocross when I was either nine or ten. I started racing nationals. As time went on, I started enjoying cyclocross more. I met up with my coach, Joe Holmes, when I was 13, and he got me involved in road cycling. From then on, I have wanted to do both [road and cyclocross racing].
CXM: Dare I ask what you enjoy more?
LO: I honestly don’t have a favorite!
CXM: With college starting in the fall, do you think you’ll be able to juggle everything come ’cross season?
LO: I sat down with my coach and we talked about what would be possible and what wouldn’t. Racing professionally on the road and in cyclocross won’t give me enough time to go to a formal college. I’m going to attempt to take online courses during the winter. I need a home base, and traveling from home to a college wouldn’t give me enough time to train and let me pursue my goal of becoming a professional cyclist.
CXM: Will there be any targeted races besides Nationals?
LO: There’s always the World Cups; I’ve always wanted to do well there. I’ve heard something about the Pan-American games having something for cyclocross. If that’s true, I want that to be something of a goal. Other than that, I just try to do well, and have fun.
Ben Berden and Logan Owen at the front on Day 2 of Jingle Cross Rock. © Michael McColgan
CXM: You are a nine-time cyclocross national champion, are you feeling any pressure to grab the elusive tenth win?
LO: [laughs] Yea, I’ve always felt the pressure to keep the streak going, but I can’t let that get in the way of doing what I have to do. I just need to be motivated to go out there. I try and keep the streak out of my head and just focus on what needs to be done.
CXM: Are you planning to return to Cal Giant in the fall?
LO: I still have another year on my contract, so I will be riding with them come the Fall.
CXM: You grabbed 14th place at Hoogerheide and were the top American finisher. As this was your first U23 at Worlds, was there a different set of expectations?
LO: Honestly, no. Top 15 for me, with what happened during the rest of the season, was the best part of last year. I was battling for top 20 at the world cups. Things weren’t going as planned at those races; I was aiming to get a top 10, but I think that a top 15 is still pretty good for my first year.
CXM: How are you feeling for Worlds for the remainder of your U23 years?
LO: Well, perhaps not this year, but maybe next year, I’ll have a good chance to crack one of the medals, or at least top five. I know a lot of the top guys are moving out to the pro ranks, which will leave some spots open. I’m also developing as well, which should help!
CXM: Absolutely, and we look forward to seeing you again come cyclocross season. Good luck in the remainder of your road races.
LO: Thanks, and sounds good!