Ever since we covered our first USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City in 2007, Steve Tilford has been part of our lives, and will continue to be, despite his sudden, shocking and premature passing yesterday.

Tilford was a joy to speak with and interview, as he was never afraid to speak his mind on a topic at a race or on his blog, and often it was to the benefit of the "average" cyclocross racer.  Tilford offered reasoned opinions on anything from USA Cycling rules to packing for cold weather races. Some considered his post-race words to be cocky, but when considered in the context that he was so dominant in his age group, they were simply honest.

Journalists and media hope athletes will speak their minds instead of reciting clichés and rehearsed soundbites, and in Tilford we found a reliable, informed, accomplished and opinionated interviewee.

In memory of the cycling and cyclocross legend, we've put together a few of our interviews (in text and video) with Tilford over the years. Relive a tiny bit of his life, wisdom and spirit in the clips below.

Steve Tilford Interviews Over the Years:

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Golfing to a World Championship

After his 2012 Nationals title, Tilford turned in his stars and stripes for the rainbow stripes of a Masters World Champion.

After his Masters Worlds title in Louisville, Tilford described his victory, “Pretty much like I thought it was, I got a pretty good holeshot, didn’t really have too many mistakes other than lapped guys…other than that, pretty easy.”

Tilford went on to share his words of wisdom:

“Cyclocross is like golf…if you don’t have all the clubs, you’re not a very good golf player. Same thing with cross, if you can’t ride when it’s dry, when it’s icy, when it’s muddy, you’re not a very good cyclocross rider.”

As Pete Webber said, Tilford had all the clubs.

Interview After an Easy Victory at 2012 Masters Worlds:

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