Former National Champions Tim Johnson and Jonathan Page’s careers are intertwined, vastly different, and continue to cross paths. The two are “enjoying” different experiences at the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships, and while fans in Austin can see both racers, only one will be kitted up at the start line today.
The 38-year-old Jonathan Page is hoping to continue his late-season resurgence and add a fifth Elite National Championship to his resume. Talking with Page on Friday, he told Cyclocross Magazine he felt strong and confident after a rough early season and was excited for Sunday’s predicted rain and mud. There’s no doubt Page would have been a favorite if the racing was held on Sunday, and still may be at the front today.
“I need to be in bed by 10pm,” Page said at the premier of For the Love of Mud, clearly focusing on the racing that was scheduled to start 40 hours later on Sunday.
Page, hailing from New England, had early success at cyclocross as a Junior, and has been an American pioneer by dedicating much of his racing season over in Europe. Page has raced as a one-man program for many of his professional cyclocross years, and until last year, was a sure bet at a top five at Nationals with an impressive streak dating back to Napa in 2002.
Never felt this healthy and strong post Xmas Series. Ride in the sun today was the perfect bonus. Now bring the rain and snow!
— Jonathan Page (@thejonathanpage) January 6, 2015
Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Tim Johnson, nursing an ailing back, is attending parties, commenting on live coverage, and generously hosting U23 and Juniors at a dinner. He told Cyclocross Magazine he’s glad that he can attend Nationals this year and enjoy and experience it, as opposed to worrying about the race or trying to add a fourth Elite National Championship. “It really hurts,” he said about riding a bike, whether training, racing, or just riding around.
Johnson isn’t sure whether he’ll return to racing, and while surgery could be an option, he doesn’t want to go that route to continue his cyclocross career.
Johnson also hails from New England and had much success as a Junior and U23, but spent several years as a road pro before also becoming a pioneer by becoming arguably the first professional cyclocrosser to focus full-time (and make a living at) racing a domestic cyclocross season.
While their two impressive careers may be coming to an end in the next few years, here’s a fun, interactive look at the two racers, through a photo from earlier this season at CrossVegas. Who would you like to focus on? Click on your favorite racer, or heck, the fans behind. And let’s celebrate the two legend’s contributions and careers while both are still at Nationals.