Crystal Anthony starting strong and snagging the holeshot. © Mike Albright

Crystal Anthony starting strong and snagging the holeshot at Nationals. © Mike Albright

We caught up with Crystal Anthony, who stormed her way through the 2013 ’cross season, ending with a fourth place spot at Nationals, and a slot on the Worlds team. While her time in Hoogerheide was marred by mechanicals, the Spanish teacher-by-day, racer-by-weekend has been making up for it with a stellar offseason.

Cyclocross Magazine: You’ve been doing some MTB racing this offseason. Best results? Are you mainly racing local?

Crystal Anthony: I finished fourth at the Whiskey 50 crit and sixth in the pro race. I’ve won five New England cross-country races and set a women’s record at Domnarski Farm.

I’ll do a few more local races and then head to the Colorado Springs and WORS Cup PROXCT races as well as XC Nationals.

CXM: Once school is out for the summer, any big plans, racing or otherwise?

CA: I’m looking forward to relaxing a bit! I’ll race through XC Nationals and then start to focus on training for cyclocross season. Also, I hope to continue to launch some Junior women/women’s clinics. My friend Jordan and I started with a school-based ’cross clinic in the fall and continued with a Junior women’s MTB clinic this spring. We hope to expand these opportunities and really generate interest among Junior women in particular.

CXM: Are you still on Optum for ’cross this fall? Any clue what bike you’ll be on?

CA: I have not signed a contract yet.

CXM: What are your plans for prepping for ’cross this summer? And what are your best tips for new ’crossers?

CA: I’ll race MTB through mid-July and then take a little break and begin base training for cyclocross season.

It’s good to go into the season with solid base fitness because with the double race weekends I find that my volume decreases in the fall. Naturally, it’s easier to get volume in during the summer with the longer days and good weather. Mountain biking and just riding a cross bike around the woods and exploring are both great for developing handling skills. Ride with people who are better than you and learn! For races, pick one thing to work on and develop a mantra to help keep you focused on that one goal for the race. For example, early on I really needed to work on being more aggressive with my starts so I came up with the mantra “Clip and explode” and just said it over and over as I waited for the whistle to get myself primed to go. There’s so many aspects to cross racing so it helps to work on one thing at a time.

CXM: Have you thought about goals for the ’cross season yet?

CA: I have! I am currently working on my plans for next year which will hopefully include an exciting change for me. (I don’t have anything in writing officially yet so I don’t want to announce details at this point.)