Vicki Thomas can't wait to pin some numbers back on. Photo: Joscelin Ryan

Canadian Elite crosser and Cyclocross Magazine contributer Vicki Thomas checks in with us as our favorite time of year draws near. Mud on your mind, Vicki?

Wow, long time no talk! Guess this is what happens when the cyclocross season ends and the heat of the summer sets in. Well, it has been a long time coming, but finally cyclocross season is just around the corner.

Thought I’d update you on what has been happening up here in Ottawa as I get ready for the upcoming cyclocross season. Well, after the World Championships, I took a much needed break and didn’t touch my bike for a solid four weeks. At first I was a bit antsy and really wanted to ride, but by week three, I was pretty comfortable with not pulling on the spandex and sitting on the narrow bike seat.

I started training again in March and, luckily for me, we had an easy winter here – which meant minimum trainer time. In fact, I don’t think I rode the trainer once – pretty unheard of for us Canadian bike racers. The focus this “off-season” has been on building, building and more building. This meant lots of long rides and big weeks of riding. Now as we get closer to the race season I’m into the intensity and mixing things up with lots of different intervals, time on the ’cross bike, time on the mountain bike and, of course, the road bike.

The season itself is shaping up to be a good one. My racing starts on September 11th at the Nittany Lions ’Cross race in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. I’ll be racing in the US for a few weeks with ’CrossVegas being a new race for me and then I’m off to Aigle, Switzerland and Plzen, Czech Republic for the first two World Cups of the season. This year, Canadian Cyclocross Nationals are close to home with only a short four drive down the 401 to Toronto. After this Nov. 6th race, I’ll be on a plane and firmly planted in Blauberg, Belgium for another season.

On the sponsorship front, I’m pretty stoked to tell you that I’ve got an amazing group of companies helping me out:

-KingsBridge Disaster Recovery: the leader in business continuity and disaster recovery planning software.
- The Cyclery: this Ottawa bike store has all your cycling needs covered and the friendliest mechanics in town.
- Stevens Bikes: the fastest cyclocross bikes around. Just ask the current Women’s World Champion.
- Outdoor Gear Company: dealers of fine Giro helmets and sweet Mavic shoes and wheels.
- Clif Bar: tasty Shot Bloks, Clif Bars, and Luna bars. You’ll never go hungry with Clif in you jersey pocket.
- Champion Systems: custom sublimated clothing for an affordable price – now there is no excuse for bad kit.
- Bell Lap Coaching: coach Steve has the skills, the knowledge and the dedication to take you to the next level.
- Oakley: Jawbone, Radar, Full Metal Jacket, Enduring… Plus smooth t’s, luggage, caps. Be fast and look good.

So, all this to say: is cyclocross season yet? Looking forward to seeing you out at the races and having some good times. Nothing quite like the community and spirit of cyclocross.

(To keep tabs on me, be sure to check out http://ottawa.cx. I’m on Twitter: @vickitopcrosser.)