interviews by Cindy Brennan and Andrew Reimann
Feelings are mixed about the new, compressed schedule for Sunday’s postponed race categories at Cyclocross Nationals. With Monday’s races starting late, USA Cycling decided to run Junior Women 15-16 and 17-18 races with the Junior Men 17-18 race. Pre-ride times will be extremely truncated, with no riders allowed on course until a twenty-minute course preview window begins at noon.
We caught up with Katy Ryan, a junior racer from Bend Endurance Academy. This is her last year as a junior before moving into the Collegiate races next year. She’s travelling with a crew of seventeen other Oregon juniors, many of whom are affected by the change. The Oregon racers were lucky enough to get a deal from their airline on the bulk ticket changes, since they had planned to leave Austin tonight.
The racers were well into their pre-race routines when they arrived to the race, only to learn that there would be no race. The juniors will have to start the routine over again tonight to get geared up to race tomorrow.
“Last night, we spent time going over race strategy and pinned numbers of skinsuits. We got up early today, had a good breakfast… but when we got to the course to pre-ride, they were saying races were cancelled, maybe postponed, back and forth.” said Ryan. “It’s hard to come back from that.”
About the truncated schedule and combined races, Ryan felt confident; her home races combine fields frequently, giving her a unique advantage over those unused to the traffic. “In Oregon, I race with the 15-16 women and the 17-18 men. I’m comfortable racing with other people.” However, Ryan did feel her race would be affected by the leaders of the 17-18 men’s race. She’s also unsure how the change will affect the outcome within her own race, since some of her nemeses might have been unable to stay for Monday’s races.
We also caught up with Donny and Melissa Seib right before her race was slotted to officially start. Like the Seibs, some families got to the course early enough to beat the police through the entrance, unaware that the races were being cancelled. The interview took place an hour before the official cancellation, and two hours before riders were notified of the Monday racing:
Cyclocross Magazine will be on hand to report as the race unfolds tomorrow. The Junior Women 15-16 and 17-18 races, along with the Junior Men 17-18 race, will be underway tomorrow at 12:15pm EST, with a one-minute gap between the race starts.