Jonathan Page Interview: Talking New Team, New Home, Race Schedule, Flat Bars and Fat Tires
2013 Cyclocross National Champion Jonathan Page (Fuji – Competitive Cyclist) hails from New England, but his two current homes are in Belgium and Utah. Last year, at the 2012 Raleigh Midsummer Night’s cyclocross race, Page took third behind Ryan Trebon and Tim Johnson, but this year, Page battled Raleigh’s Ben Berden for the lead for much of the race, until Giant’s Carl Decker passed him with just under two laps to go to take the win.
Page was less than thrilled after the finish, partially due to confusion of the rules on bikes in non-UCI races, but partially due to Decker’s equipment choice being such an advantage on the stairs and the descents.
“First cyclocross racer! Last time I checked it was a cyclocross race,” Page explained. “But yeah, it was good, good day.”
Page tried to be diplomatic in recalling the race, but couldn’t hide his frustration in (temporarily) losing the $1,500 check for first place to Decker and his dual suspension mountain bike. “If you can ride stairs, you don’t have to get off, it’s a huge advantage,” he reflected. “When you can bomb the descent, that’s a huge advantage. Actually, I don’t know if that’s fair, but…It was a great day in Utah.”
When asked about whether he had an issue with the USA Cycling rules that allows mountain bikes, or the course design that favored a mountain bike, Page said, “I didn’t know you could race a mountain bike in a cyclocross race.” Page could be forgiven for not being familiar with non-UCI rules, since until this, all the domestic races he’s recently competed in have been UCI events or USA Cycling National Championships.
“He has straight handlebars,” Page said sarcastically, holding up his bike to the camera. “This is a cyclocross bike, different brakes, different handlebars. See these tires…Let’s see his: three times the size.”
In hopes of clarifying the rules and Decker’s bike choice, the 2013 National Champion spoke with announcer, promoter and official-by-default (because the USA Cycling official did not show up) Richard Fries. In the end, event sponsor Raleigh and Fries agreed to split the first and second prizes between the two racers.
With a handful of new domestic sponsors for the 2013/2014 season, including Fuji Bikes, Competitive Cyclist, and Sommerville Sports, we asked Page if he would expand his American race schedule. ”That’s yet to be determined,” Page said. “I think I’ll still go back to Europe at the end of September, and I’ll come back here, it just depends when I come back to America for the National Championships.”
In terms of cyclocross goals, each year, his goals are pretty much the same, and this year is no different. “Win Nationals again, and do really well at Worlds,” Page revealed. In early 2013, Page was well on his way to accomplishing both of those goals, until a mid-race mechanical at the World Championships in Louisville literally derailed his chances of a top ten finish.
Page moved to Utah just days before last year’s Raleigh Midsummer Night’s race, and has finally been able to settle into his new adopted home since he returned to the States in early March and appears to be enjoying life. “The weather is good…I’ve had nothing but a great time training here, and racing here,” he said. “I don’t have to travel much, which is great, so it’s pretty nice to be in my new place in America and enjoy the awesome area.”
Jonathan Page Interview, 2nd, 2013 Raleigh Midsummer Night’s Race
See also our interview with Ben Berden, third place.
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By my understanding, it wasn't a UCI event and they were running under the local club rules which allow mountain bikes. Thus, Decker's bike switch was legit, and Page also had the same option available to him but chose to use a cross bike and lost as a result. Too bad. If it was run with UCI rules requiring a cross bike, then Page would have a legitimate gripe. "Last time I checked it was a cyclocross race" just makes him sound like a whiny sore loser. He must not have actually checked...
Yeah...but Decker probably could have rode those stairs and railed the downhill on his CX bike, too.
Maybe Page should have ridden his mountain bike if it was such a huge advantage. But he didn't. Not knowing the rules is usually not a usable excuse, and I find it amazing that it worked for him.
Greg, we think there was some honest confusion around the rules, especially without an official present. For a brief moment people even had us doubting our own knowledge of the rules.
which is why it is pathetic that Page was able to bitch and moan enough to get Decker/event organizers to split the proceeds with him. Decker played by the rules and won fair and square. It makes Page look like a whiney little kid that someone stole a toy from his sandbox.
4th paragraph from the bottom: "In hopes of clarifying the rules and Decker’s bike choice, the 2013 National Champion spoke with announcer, promoter and official-by-default (because the USA Cycling official did not show up) Richard Fries."
Utah is beautiful, I hear, but I think if Page was going to commit to a more robust US racing schedule, he would have located himself on one of the coasts, closer to the real cross hotbeds to minimize travel stress on his family, no?
I think we're all missing the "real" story here. A bicycle race that attracts some of the top pro athletes, top pro announcer, but happens WITHOUT a USA Cycling official. WTF? I think OBRA just found a new T-shirt slogan, "OBRA--Our Officials Show Up."