Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling) had the surprise ride of the today, starting in 18th spot and ripping through the field to pip Duke for second. © Meg McMahon

Here, Jade Wilcoxson (Optum Pro Cycling) had the surprise ride of the today, starting in 18th spot and ripping through the field to pip Duke for second. © Meg McMahon

by Kat Statman

We’ve talked about the Giro a little bit, particularly with their almost ’cross like weather for the past two weeks: cold, wet and cancelled for snow. OK, maybe that last bit wasn’t very cyclocross-like. But in the US, things were a little different at the Amgen Tour of California: scorching temperatures and dry air greeted the primarily European peloton with a rather uncomfortable couple of days. But other than racers falling over in the heat, what happened that was potentially of interest? We saw the women’s TT with Jade Wilcoxson and Katie Compton. One big note was the former ’cross rider and mountain biker Peter Sagan taking the sprinter’s jersey. Ted King, the honorary ’crosser, sat on the front all day. Alex Candelario scored a top 10 on Stages 3 and 5. And Massachusetts’ Jake Keough in California with an eighth place in the last stage.

’Crossers Wilcoxson and Compton Take On the Women’s TT
For all the griping about the Women’s TT at the Tour of California, for the record, the TT is not enough and there should absolutely be a full-length race, so come on, folks! Let’s get that going. That said, we would be remiss in not mentioning what happened, and with two ’cross women in the mix, we would be truly remiss, so hats off to both Katie Compton and Jade Wilcoxson (more of a roadie, but with a silver at ’cross Nationals, we can claim her as a ’crosser) for making a showing and Wilcoxson snagging fourth place!

Candelario Snags Top 10s
Alex Candelario, former ’crosser, reborn ’crosser for a good reason, and just overall a chill dude, took home top 10’s in multiple stages against those World Tour crazies last week. Looks like coming back to ’cross was a good thing! Keep it up, we definitely need more dirt riders putting together good results.

Jake Keough Takes Eighth in Final Stage
Jake Keough and UnitedHealthcare headed to Cali, and for those of you who don’t know, Keough is yet another ’crosser who cut his teeth in the New England ’cross scene, making his way up to the big leagues. This is important stuff here, folks, especially with UHC’s record of dropping folks to big teams, like Rory Sutherland. With a little bit of hard work and some more off-season dirt fun, we’re betting he gets that World Tour shot and then we can really start testing out our theory that ’crossers kill it and it’s a necessary development tool for road racing.

Ted King’s Honorary Mention
Ted gets a little Cyclocross Magazine respect because, well, he’s from New England and we all know that New England is awesome and because Cannondale lets him race a little ’cross in the off-season, even though he hates it. While we all think an hour of suffering is way better than six, apparently Ted is a little bit of an odd duck and likes it the other way around, sitting on the front all day almost everyday and then on Stage 3 still being able to deliver Sagan to the front at 1k to go. Nice job!

 A Theory on ’Cross
Maybe it’s time to sport a little theory: those who raced ’cross at any time in their career just do better. Just look at the facts: Sagan won two stages this year, and a million last year; Frances Mourey is killing it over at the Giro; and while Wiggo may be an Olympic and Tour de France champion, when the weather got rough, he drops out of the Giro. All the evidence for why that was going to happen is this video courtesy of Cyclocosm. Maybe if he’d done a few seasons in the mud, he would have been more equipped to finish out the race.