Lindine took his first win of the season at NBX Day 1 2013. © Todd Prekaski

Lindine took his first win of the season at NBX Day 1 2013. © Todd Prekaski

Redline ’cross and MTB racer Justin Lindine took the overall win at the Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race in State College, Pennsylvania, last year, and this year, he’s heading back to defend his title. But before he left Utah for rural Pennsylvania, we caught up with him to ask a few pre-race and ’cross offseason questions.

Cyclocross Magazine: How are you feeling going into TSE this year?

Justin Lindine: I’m feeling pretty good. I think I’ve done a little less racing overall this season so far, but there has been a lot of prep for this week, so we’ll see. It’s going to be a super competitive field and I think probably more aggressive racing than in the past, but it should be exciting.

CXM: Do you think the race will be different than last year, with Bishop back and more top-level talent?

JL: Well, it will definitely be a different dynamic. Having Jeremiah there really sets the bar at a different level, but that’s true of a lot of guys who are going to be there this year. I think personally I probably won’t have the opportunity to ride a “defensive” race like I did last year, but hopefully I can still be up there and competitive. Sometimes having more fast guys can spread the pressure out a little too… I’m not necessarily the one with a target on my back quite so much. Ultimately though, I think it’s just really exciting to see this race have grown so much over the last few years.

CXM: How are you liking the new Redline full-suspension MTB?

JL: The new D880 from Redline is a blast! I’ve never had a full suspension bike for an extended period of time before and I am really enjoying it. The Binary Link suspension design is really well thought out and offers a really plush yet efficient feel… Even in the fully open shock position. I think it should really help on some of the rougher stages of this years race, and help me bring a little excitement to the downhills out there on course!

CXM: You’ve been on a whacky schedule this season with MTB, gravel, road and ’cross—what prompted it and how are you picking races?

JL: Well, Redline and I started this MTB season with the three big goals of Trans-Sylvania Epic, BC Bike Race, and Breck Epic. Beyond that, there was a lot of flexibility for what I wanted to do, cool events we might be interested in, et cetera. So I’ve sort of been cherry-picking races that I thought had a good vibe, or a unique twist… like Barry Roubaix and Paris-Ancaster. I like the gravel racing segment a lot, so I appreciate the chance to do some of those events. Beyond that there was Sea Otter and some local MTB racing. Then, I’ve been doing a little bit of guest riding with a Utah-based road team (Intermountain LiveWell), which has been a fun way to build race fitness as well as a friend/training partner network. So it’s been not the most traditional MTB season, but lots of quality events and training. Plus doing all this different stuff keeps it fresh and exciting, which I’ve found for me is always good for motivation.

CXM: It’s a few months away from ’cross season but are you thinking about it yet? Any plans?

JL: Oh, I start thinking about next ’cross season the second Nationals is over. I think my season will be similar to last year, with a block of racing in New England, one in the Midwest, and some other assorted events around that. I’m looking forward to being able to do Rochester again this year, because I think it’s one of the best courses around and really well organized, plus this year, it’s a C1. I’ll also be making my way down to Cross Vegas again, which I didn’t do last year… So that’s exciting. It should be good, I know I’m looking forward to it.

Check out Redline’s latest 2015 cyclocross models here for a sneak peek at what Lindine will be riding in September.