Greg Gunsalus of the AP Junior Development p/b Corner Cycle team had a memorable ride close to home at the 2017 Hartford Nationals. Gunsalus finished eighth against a tough Junior 17-18 field and returns this year looking for more. ” I’d love to have a top five. I was eighth last year, so a top five would be killer,” he said about his goal for Sunday’s race.
Cyclocross is a family affair for the Gunsaluses of Dudley, Massachusetts. Greg’s father Mark races ’cross and his younger sister Lizzy will be racing in the Women’s 15-16 race this Saturday. The 2017 Montana Cross Camp was Greg’s second, while Lizzy attended the first women’s edition. Like a good older brother, Greg helped prepare his little sister for the running and Sven Hills of Montana. “I showed her some of the stuff we normally do, so she could get in the rhythm a little bit,” he said about the pre-camp training.
All kids dream of the day they can beat their parents in sports, but for Gunsalus, that transition has gone a bit differently. His father used to coach him, but recently, Gunsalus has found a coach and his dad is now his training partner. Being part of a big cyclocross family also has its perks, “We have a cyclocross course in our yard, so we do that a lot,” said Gunsalus.
At camp last summer, Gunsalus showed off his hopping skills, and on Tuesday while pre-riding the Reno course, he did so again.
We chatted with Gunsalus at the 2017 Montana Cross Camp to ask about his strong cyclocross upbringing and goals for the upcoming season.
Greg Gunsalus 2017 Montana Cross Camp Interview
Cyclocross Magazine: I understand this your second year in a row?
Greg Gunsalus: Yeah, I was here last year as well.
CXM: What was your motivation to come back?
GG: I thought last season it gave me a huge boost for my cyclocross skills and my racing ability with a lot of the other Juniors that were here. I think it helps camaraderie and it pushes us more.
CXM: Did you learn anything new this year?
GG: Yeah, I am always learning new stuff. New training tricks and everything during the days.
CXM: What’s the biggest takeaway from this year’s camp?
GG: How important running is in cyclocross. It’s very important. It boosted me a lot last season.
CXM: You did a lot of running every morning right?
GG: Every morning at 6:30 a.m.
CXM: From last year’s camp, did you incorporate that into your training?
GG: Yeah, I did that a lot throughout the spring and the summer.
CXM: What about all those other drills like hip openers?
GG: Yeah, and the agility ladder I thought helped me a lot to find footholds on run-ups.
CXM: Were there any new drills added to this year’s workouts?
GG: We did one where we planked and jumped over each other. That was a new one.
CXM: After four full days of workouts how are you feeling right now?
GG: Pretty smoked. I’m pretty tired right now.
CXM: Your sister Lizzy attended the first Women’s camp. How did it go for her?
GG: She had a lot of fun. She said that she’d love to come back again. It was awesome.
CXM: Did you prep her at all?
GG: I showed her some of the stuff we normally do, so she could get in the rhythm a little bit.
CXM: So you gave her a cram session before?
GG: Yeah, about four or five weeks before we did a few sessions.
CXM: Even though you do some of that running after camp, are you still sore the first few days?
GG: I’m not sore, just tight and tired. The first year I was really tired, for sure. I was expecting a little bit of what we were going to do, so I was a little more prepared.
CXM: Knowing how much running is at the camp, do you prepare?
CXM: Does this kind of officially kick off your cyclocross training?
GG: From now on, we’re in ’cross mode.
CXM: What keeps you busy in the offseason?
GG: We did some mountain bike racing, and I did a couple road races. I did a lot of the Kenda Cup races this year.
CXM: Do you and your sister train together?
GG: We train together all the time. We have a cyclocross course in our yard, so we do that a lot.
CXM: Do you guys share a coach?
GG: My dad coaches my sister and I have my own coach right now. My dad coached me until last year.
CXM: So you decided it was time to change it up?
GG: I think we decided it was better that he be more of a training partner than a coach. I think it’s more fun.
CXM: What’s your biggest goal for the season?
GG: I would love to get to Europe and race a World Cup or even a Superprestige or DVV race. That would be my dream.
CXM: Any goals for Nationals?
GG: I’d love to have a top five. I was eighth last year, so a top five would be killer.
CXM: Besides cyclocross, what keeps you busy?
GG: School. School’s pretty important right now, so it takes a lot of time.
CXM: Is college on the horizon?
GG: I’m looking at colleges too. I just took the SAT.
CXM: Schools or a major in mind?
GG: I’m not really sure yet. I’m still looking at colleges.
CXM: In one word, how would you describe Geoff Proctor? You can use more than one word if you want.
GG: I think his dedication to the sport is superior to anybody else’s. He really shows that he loves it and he cares about the future of cyclocross.
CXM: Now that Geoff has U23s at this camp, will you come back?
GG: Hopefully. I would love to come back. That would be awesome.
CXM: Awesome. Thanks so much for your time.
GG: Thank you.
For more from Reno, see our continuing coverage of the 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals on our dedicated Nationals page.