CE: I would be first place. But I’m not saying that because I have to be first place. I’m saying that because I want to respect the person who beats me, and I kind of don’t respect any of the people that beat me. I hate to say it, I just don’t. [Ed. note: Etheridge revised his first place estimation, see the update at the end of this post]
Not that they cheated, they won. They beat me. I got beat. Straight beat, like everybody who just beat me, just beat me. But I don’t think they belong there.
CXM: Even though Kappius has done this event for a bunch of years in a row?
CE: OK great. Then do it more. If nobody did this race through the year, then we wouldn’t even have it. There wouldn’t even be a race. There’s not even a question about that. There wouldn’t even be a race if we all did that. So why would I respect the people who do that?
CXM: Looking at the start list, what did you expect to do?
CE: I really went back and forth about registering. I don’t want to do this race next year.
CXM: Before this race, with a start list of 153 people; did you think you had a shot at the title, or were you already writing yourself off?
CE: Oh, I already wrote myself off. Oh yeah.
CXM: That also affects your race.
CE: Oh it totally does. I’ve been super depressed about the whole week. I got ramped up at the end because I’ve got really awesome support, this amazing girlfriend, my team, they’re all like you belong there, you should do it.
I’m like, thank you, and I want to do well, but like in the end and I just finished, I’m kind of disappointed.
So a season of good racing, all that feeling to be sort of just thrown away at the very end…
Notes: This conversation was held just after the singlespeed title race, right before the podium as we were heading to grab photos of the winners of the title races on Day 1 of the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships. Etheridge would also race a geared race in the form of the Masters 35-39 race two days later, and would finish an impressive tenth place. Tim Allen, 2014 Winner finished third this year, and had the opposite opinion, wishing Jeremy Powers would race the singlespeed event.
What are your thoughts on the Craig Etheridge’s opinion and the (lack of) qualification criteria for the Singlespeed National Championships? Answer the poll above or drop a comment.
Update: Craig Etheridge posted this comment on our thread on Facebook, saying “I would like to add that after some very limited research Troy Heithecker (5th official) is now the National Champion of SS Cyclocross (to me at least). Congrats!“: