It is hard to believe we’ve almost had a full month of UCI cyclocross as we head into the first weekend of Holy Week with the Rapha Super Cross of Gloucester, yet four weeks ago, some of the best in the world were preparing to duke it out in China’s QianSen Trophy Race. Thijs Al may have defended his title out from retirement, with Ryan Trebon pressing hard to make the case for an American victor, but we also were able to get an introduction to a cyclocross team with the unlikeliest of sponsors: Sonic. We also got a First Look at the rigs that rider Andrew Reardon choose for the race.
Even without the flagrant red of many pro teams using Focus bikes, the blues, oranges, and blacks look high-end, which is interesting when you look closer and discover the workingman’s Rival 22 set up on Reardon’s bike. Just like when we had a first look at the SRAM Rival 22 much earlier in the year, we guessed that even the highest of caliber teams wouldn’t shy away from this groupset. Trickle-down technology is one thing, but the guts of the Rival are completely identical to those of Force and Red, only differing in that the paddles and levers of the more expensive models are carbon fiber.
Andrew Reardon was a top ten American finisher, taking 22nd overall in the QianSen Trophy race, losing in a sprint finish to fellow American, Stephen Cummings. Their pace might have been four minutes back on the leader, but they certainly made their presence known throughout the length of the race.
Andrew Reardon, like Justin Lindine, was one of the few men last year at Cyclocross Nationals in Boulder to take advantage of being a master’s level racer and an elite, racing day-after-day. He pulled off a top-20 in the 30-35 field, and finished around mid-pack in the elite race the following day. This year in Austin, Reardon will have to choose between one race or the other with USAC’s new regulations. If he picks up a UCI point or ranks in the top 90 racers on the PRO CX calendar, our money is on him competing on Sunday.
Although he missed out on getting a top-15 for a UCI point in China, Reardon is usually on the cusp of points from most races around the United States.
When looking at all riders who use the Focus Mares, you’ll see some impressive results, especially between Meredith Miller’s win at CrossVegas 2014, Jeremy Powers’s dominance for the last several weekends, and Miller’s teammate, Allen Krughoff, who has been nipping at Powers’s heels.
One of the more unique features on Reardon’s bike was the wheel set he opted for: Martindale Cycling Components (MC2), a small wheel-building company with a diverse lineup of everything from tubeless disc wheels to carbon tubular wheels.
While the CX1 setup appears to be the popular choice in the pro fields, although Helen Wyman told us right after she won the first day of Charm City CX that the double was the smarter choice for European race courses, the Sonic cyclocross team shows off a Focus with their internally routed front derailleur cable.
The QianSen Trophy race was Reardon’s first time donning the blacks and hi-viz yellow/green of Sonic’s team kit; he rode for Bob’s Red Mill team before the season began. He looks most at home in the PRO CX series in the mid-west and south, annually visiting Louisville, Cincinnati, and North Carolina. This year, we even got to catch a view of him at racing both days in Baltimore last weekend, and we’ll likely see the Sonic kits getting dirty with American mud all season.
Stay tuned to cxmagazine.com for more team profiles and the races at Holy Week.