Craig Richey raced to a 46th place.

Craig Richey is happy to return home after representing Canada at St. Wendel.

Canadian Craig Richey ( p/b Blue) has packed up his bike and made the trip home from his European tour. Read on as he reflects back on his season and looks on to the next. In case you missed it, check out Richey’s last diary on the Cyclocross World Championships.

by Craig Richey

Cross season is officially over (for me anyhow) and I have been back in Victoria for a week. The trip home was an epic 27-hour journey that left me weak and broken. I understand completely why Jonathan Page didn’t make the trip back to the West Coast for US Cyclocross Nationals.

Overall I am happy with my cross season. It was a full one, with 28 races over five months in seven countries. Making the trip to Europe for the last three months was definitely a good decision and I learned a huge amount from my 16 European races. I saw some progression throughout the season and have made huge gains over last year.

Looking back, my race reports all had a similar theme: Technical course, tons of fans, deep mud, crazy start, super fast field and occasionally a crash or two. That pretty well describes the European Pro cyclocross scene. My “Holy Sh*$” meter is now a few notches higher.

For anyone considering tackling Europe on a ’cross bike and increasing their “Holy Sh*$” meter I would definitely say it is worth the time and money. That being said, having the right gear makes a huge difference and without it your trip could be a frustrating one. The general rule of thumb is to have two of everything. That might be a little excessive but an absolute must is: Two bikes, two sets of good mud tubulars, two pair of shoes, lots of brake pads and sealed cable systems if possible.

It has been ten days since my last race and I have done zero physically but still feel tired and sore. Stacking a full ’cross season on top of a full mountain bike season has broken me down pretty good. After 13 months of training and 10 months of racing with no real break, I probably shouldn’t be surprised by my current state of fatigue. Now my focus is rest, recovery, and catching up with friends. I am already missing the Belgian beer but am enjoying crunchy peanut butter and thick bread. Cross training starts in March and I will get back on the bike in April.

Thank you for the reading my journal and stay tuned for more this summer as a ’cross racer tries to fight it out on the road and mountain bike.