Tobin Ortenblad, by any account, has had a successful season. At last count, he won over half of the road, cyclocross and gravel races he’s entered this offseason, and if his domination of the early-season Lobster Cup is any indication, he doesn’t plan on letting up any time soon.
The U23 Cal Giant rider was pre-riding the CrossVegas course yesterday in preparation for his first Elite World Cup, and even played cameraman in our exclusive CrossVegas course preview video with Adam Craig. We caught up with Ortenblad for some impressions on the course and the event.
Cyclocross Magazine: First Elite World Cup for you, first World Cup in America. What do you expect?
Tobin Ortenblad: It’s going to be really fast. All the big guys are here. It’s going to be exciting for sure. There’s a lot of grass, and it’s going to be different than other World Cups. It’s going to be totally fitness tomorrow.
CXM: What’s your personal goal?
TO: Lead lap would be great, top 30 would be sweet. It sounds big, but there are a lot of fast people here.
CXM: Who do expect to be up at the front?
TO: Sven Nys for sure, Lars van der Haar could do well, I bet he’ll win tomorrow. He’s got road fitness right now.
CXM: Any Americans?
TO: Powers will be there for sure. If Powers can hang like last year and stick with the moves, he could be up there.
CXM: A few course changes this year. Anything catch you by surprise?
TO: Not too much by surprise. The metal fences don’t move when you hit them. I figured that out.
TO: Already. And there’s more climbing, with less momentum going into the climbs so they hurt a lot more.
CXM: Grass still thick and slow as usual?
TO: Super thick!
You can lose little children in the grass. -Tobin Ortenblad
CXM: Tire choices?
TO: File tread in the rear and a little more grip up front.
CXM: How did you prepare specifically for this event?
TO: Just a couple races in the weeks prior, and a month of training before that. And a lot of time behind the scooter, motorpacing.
CXM: And who drives that scooter?
TO: That’s my dad. We’re a dream team right there.
CXM: Some good father and son time?
TO: Oh yeah. I think he has a smile on his face when I’m grimacing. I can see him, but he doesn’t think I can.
CXM: Thanks much. Good luck out there.
TO: Thank you very much.