The 2018/19 season that has been anything but kind to U.S. cyclocrossers brought a double dose of bad news over the weekend.
Both Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz / Donkey Label Racing) and Jamey Driscoll (Pivot Cycles / Maxxis p/b Stan’s / DNA Cycling) suffered broken bones that will end their respective seasons.
Ortenblad broke his collarbone in a crash during Sunday’s Northern California Nevada District Championships in Sonoma.
Driscoll broke his femur on Saturday during a crash while training.
Both riders have had up and down seasons but were expected to contend for the podium at Louisville Nationals.
In 2017, Ortenblad was one of the top riders in the North American Men’s field. He won 12 UCI races, finished second at the Pan-American Championships in Louisville and took fourth at Reno Nationals.
This season, Ortenblad changed up his offseason training with more volume and less racing, with results that did not live up to the previous year.
He started the season with podiums in the first three races at GO Cross and Rochester Cyclocross but then failed to reach another UCI podium the rest of his abbreviated season. In his last race at Pan-Ams in Midland, he finished ninth and did not factor at the front of the race.
In his post, Ortenblad commented on the season. “Almost a comical season conclusion after a frustrating past couple months of results. I’m really looking forward to putting this all behind me, hitting the reset button and coming back stronger than ever next season.”
Driscoll capped a strong 2016/17 season with a second-place finish—and near win—at Hartford Nationals. During the past two seasons, when Driscoll has been on, he has been a threat to win any race he has been at.
After a slow start in Rochester to start the season, Driscoll finished second at RenoCross and then won Day 2 of Charm City. He missed Pan-Ams but then bounced back with two podium finishes at the Major Taylor Cross Cup in what would prove to be his last race weekend of the season.
“Certainly a bummer, but I’m sure that I’ll be able to come back stronger for next season and already looking forward to it,” Driscoll wrote.
Stay tuned for more on Ortenblad and Driscoll’s bad breaks.
Featured image: Andrew Yee