by Kat Statman

MTB Season Kickoff
Many of the top ’crossers spend their “off-seasons” racing mountain bikes, while many others spend it on the road. This weekend is the kick off weekend of pro mountain bike racing in the US, and many of the top field drivers in North America will be toeing the line. Troy Wells, Georgia Gould, Barry Wicks, Current US National Champion Todd Wells, Bryan Fawley, Geoff Kabush, US Cyclocross Singlespeed National Champion Adam Craig, and Brady Kappius will all be out racing in the dirt this weekend at the Bonelli Park Pro XCT.

Felt to Offer Carbon Steed
Who is Felt going after with its new full carbon ’cross rig? Over the past few weeks it has been leaked via twitter that Felt has been working on a new full carbon ’cross rig for release sometime in the near future, possibly during the 2011 season. In the past Felt has been proud to have two top riders riding their aluminum carbon rigs, Danny Summerhill and Jake Wells, but the company has not had a top ’crosser on one of its bikes for at least a season now. Felt has also spent a significant amount of time developing its mountain bike and road ranges while not spending too much time on its ’cross range. With this new-found effort, will we see them back some top riders, European or American?

Boom in Blue
The Dutch National Champion lost the leader’s jersey in Tirreno-Adriatico today, but is looking for redemption in the individual time trial later this week. I have said many times that I’m pretty bummed to see Lars Boom leave the fields and go to the road, however, I’m still happy to see that not only did he show he is still a world class crosser this year, but he recently spent a day in the blue jersey of Tirreno-Adriatico (an early season stage race in Italy, for those who only follow bike racing from September to March) after his Rabobank squad rode a a perfect team time trial. After the second stage Boom unfortunately lost the jersey to a hard-charging Tyler Farrar, but he has said to watch out during the individual time trial. Maybe Boom can take the leader’s jersey back or take home another stage win.

Ian Field, the young British ’crosser who has been working to make a statement over in Belgium this season, has announced via twitter that in 2011-2012 he will continue to ride for Hargrove Cycles, his sponsor from this past season. With that announcement we expect to see Ian continue to ride his Scott Addict CX bikes with the tried and true Shimano drive trains. Have fun training this fall Ian, we look forward to you taking that next step towards the front of the field next year.

Molly Cameron just announced that there may be another mud tire out there for us to peruse in the future. In recent seasons, the mud tire to use was the Dugast Rhino, though a number of other companies have been nipping at Dugast’s heels. Cameron has always touted the formidable handling characteristics of the FMB Grippo tire, and now that Specialized has a full range of tubular tires (Todd Wells has been testing and racing them all season, winning Nationals on the mud tires) there are many other options out there. But another? Who is the company and what is the tread pattern? We’ll just have to wait and see, but I expect a good tread pattern and of course supple ride qualities.