cyclocrossworld

CyclocrossWorld/SuperX Raffle for Cooper Willsey and Austin Vincent

After successful seasons racing from New England all the way to Europe, both Cooper Willsey and Austin Vincent were selected by USA Cycling to represent their country in the 2014 World Championships in Hoogerheide, NED.

This trip, however, comes at quite an expense to the riders and their families. After traveling around the globe (Cincinnati, Louisville, Belgium, Italy, Boulder) to meet the qualification requirements, they are now faced with more fees and travel expenses to compete in their ultimate goal, the World Championships.

Stu Thorne (CyclocrossWorld.com) has offered to support these youngsters in their cyclocross endeavors by donating two 2013 Cantilever Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod Frames to this fund raising raffle. One is a like-new, 52cm Frame/Fork/Headset combo and the other is a brand-new, 54 cm Frame/Fork/Headset combo.

These are the green/black paint schemes the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com Pro Team raced on last season, but they are built for cantilever brakes.

How does it work?

Simple: For each dollar you donate, you will receive one raffle ticket for the frame/size of your choosing. $1 donation = 1 raffle ticket. $50 donation = 50 raffle tickets.

Donate for a chance to win here:

http://www.bikereg.com/superxraffle

We thank you for your support and wish you luck in the drawing!

vimeo

If you look closely, you can see the power being produced by Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld rider Christian Heule during these first 1.5 laps at NBX Day One, where he was narrowly beaten to the line by Luke Keough.

I Will Smash You Down For Ever.

Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld rider, Christian Heule, snuck a GoPro into the World Cup at Lievin this weekend.

The course looks surprisingly greasy in Christian’s footage. Many referred to this race as a “grass crit,” but this footage indicates it was a little more complicated than that…

As much as I hate to promote the Twitter account of Christian Heule (we have been in a heated battle for followers, until he posted this stupid video and has since run away in the race), my “love of the sport” leaves me no choice.

That, and he says things like this to me:

singleWHAT?

After finishing second diddle to Nate Morse in the Cat 3 race, Todd and I took to the course with camera and camcorder for the Elite Men’s race.

As I mentioned earlier, Christian Heule showed up to test out his legs before he flew out to Vegas (where I now sit, writing this post).


Photo: Todd Prekaski

Recently recruited rider, Dylan McNicholas, had every intention of winning this race, and while I sensed disappointment and a hint of concern in his eyes upon learning of Christian’s presence, I also so some excitement at the opportunity to race against one of the World’s elite European riders; Christian was 7th at Worlds last year and is the current, six-time Swiss National Champion.

I told Dylan I would waste my fingers’ energy if he could stay with Christian for the length of the entire race. He only stayed with Christian for about 50 of the 60 minutes, but that’s good enough, I guess. Especially since he rode hard enough to go “completely numb from the neck down,” as he put it.

In all honesty, it was an impressive ride by Dylan and I think he had a lot of people asking themselves if Dylan might actually be able to pull this one off. Especially after he bridged from a chase group, alone, to Christian. And then he took the lead.


Photo: Todd Prekaski

Enough about the stupid Elite race, let’s talk about my first ever SingleSpeed race.

Shortly after the finish of the elite race, I saw Todd kitted back up and working on his bike.

“What the eff?”

“I got peer-pressured into doing the single speed race. And it was only $10.”

I turned to the #weenar of the Elite Race, and, technically, my new teammate, Christian, and asked him to borrow $10.“

"I have to go to the car….”

His voice trailed off as I lost interest in his tall tale so I asked the next victim.

I registered, kitted back up, asked for some gear selection advice, thank you, Bruce Kapsten, zip-tied my shifters and took to the start line in the last row next to David “I have the World fooled into thinking I am actually a nice guy, but I’m actually 70% evil” Wilcox and Todd.

The whistle blew, as it typically does, and we were off. I sliced and diced my way to the top ten, where David Wilcox was pretending to be exhausted from riding for 60 minutes, 10 minutes earlier, with Mark McCormack. Big deal, the guy’s old enough to be a Grandfather.

So, this was the first time I have ever entered a single speed race, and it was weird. One gear? Never feels right.

I had been concerned about it being to hard, but once we hit the back stretch/fire road I was doing about 130 RPMs to maintain some speed.

Jerry Chabot bitched about something back there. What else is new?

As we entered the single track I was in about 5th or 6th place, behind Doug Kennedy, Matt Myette, Mike Rowell, Curtis Boivin and CJ Congrove.

I have made it clear in the past that running is not an option. So this meant I was going to be sprinting at 100% at the entry to every rise on this course to ensure making it over every rise on the bike.


More pics at Russ Cambell’s Site

I think I might have figured something out, because I was catching people. Slowly, but surely. This is something I have never, ever done, in any race of any kind. I typically choose to do the opposite.

Speaking of choosing:


Thank you Tim Johnson and Tosh.0

Long story short, the race continued on and I managed to catch people I have never been able to finish anywhere near…for example, Doug Kennedy here. I watched him disappear into the horizon many a time last season, until he upgraded to a Cat 2 and left me all alone with the youngsters in the B Race.


I can hear you breathing hard, Doug. You should consider getting one of these bikes.

With about two or three laps to go, I finally caught the leader, Matt Myette.

Then it was just me and the open grass, dirt, pavement, and sand.


Sand?

I continued doing my little micro-bursts of 130 RPMs on the faster sections of the course and maintained speed heading into the rises and it seemed to be working.

As a matter of fact, I think I was going so fast I was like a dog with his head out the window on the freeway as I went through the barriers at Mach 3.


The wife will say, “That’s not very flattering, Chan.” And I will say, “Weenar.”

I thought about puking.

I thought about giving up.

But there were too many people counting on me out there. So I did what they needed to carry them into the work. I won.

That’s right. I was the Weenar. First time ever.

To this, my dear friend, peer, and teammate Tim Johnson Twittered:


Haha. Still need to win a B Race, Tim, so not just yet.

I am a little confused about what to do now, since I have reached yet another lofty goal.

Do I try to win with no training? Is training even necessary with these bikes and wheels setups?

Oh wait, what am I talking about? There’s a little ol’ lady looking to steal my thunder soon…I better stay focused to defend the honor of all those with honor.

You can count on me, America. And by me, I mean the Weenar.

Oh, and one more thing, Nate Morse suggested I look at the Race Predictor for the opening weekend of the Verge Series in Vermont this weekend.


cycloWHAT?

Elite World Cyclocross Championships Preview

Wow, so much going on here and so much to do the last two days…it has been a whirl wind.

The stress of missing some footage and not getting what you had planned to get on camera is overwhelming. Add unruly, drunken European fans and it can get complicated.

As the race draws near, Tim becomes more focused and busy, and in turn, harder to follow. We can sense space is needed in the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com team house. While no one would ever say anything to us, you would need some serious blinders up not to pick up on the energy.

We spent the last two days gathering as much content as we could without getting in the way, which, when you are really focusing on this, can be stressful in its own right. Being responsible for interfering with Tim’s Worlds preparations in any way is something none of us want on our conscience.

Now, more than ever, the differences between the Pro and the Rookie are abundantly clear. The amount of focus, determination, and preparation Tim has put into this race - mind you this is still just one, albeit a pretty important one, of many races in a long season - is almost exhausting as a bystander. Throw the fact that this is all being done in a part of Germany where almost no one speaks English and this feat is truly admirable.

Tim and his team make it look simple and flawless, but now viewing this from the perspective of someone who has struggled at times to make what seems like a fairly simple film about this whole process, it should be understood how difficult it really is over here to do the simplest of things.

Let me give you an example: There is no laundromat within 50 kilometers of Sankt Wendel. This isn’t an exaggeration. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have just washed two pairs of socks, two pairs of underwear, and two Zipp Speed Weaponry t-shirts in my sink. Good thing my Rapha merino wool layers don’t stink and the stretch pants are so easily wiped clean. I looked for a laundromat for 5 days. It’s not that I couldn’t find one, it’s that there isn’t one.

Do you realize how many kits a professional cyclocross team dirties in a week?

I can go on and on about this, but I will just finish up by saying I truly am impressed with Tim, Stu, Troy and the Cannondale guys (and gal) and what they do. They are a well Pedro’s-Lubed machine, and I look forward to Tim strapping on his custom Red Bull painted Lazer helmet tomorrow and making these Euro Fans turn to me and say, “Ayeyyeyeyeyeye! Go, Timmy!”

I give you our last installment before the big event. Go, Timmy!

PS - Go Meredith, Katie, Kaitie, Jeremy, and Jamey, too.

Top-Secret Silly Season CyclocrossWorld Elite Negotiations

Each year, since we really started focusing on this program three years ago, we have had increasing interest from riders across the country.  This interest comes from aspiring amateur racers seeing riders like Crystal Anthony (Optum Pro Cycling) and Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team) graduate to the Professional ranks after just one season with us.

A few months ago I was contacted by a rider I have been watching fairly closely for a few years now.

If I were to describe this rider, I would start by calling him a bit of a Wild Man - a non-conformist, so to speak.  Rumor has it his peers once found him in the woods, shirtless, and on his cyclocross bike in the middle of a raging hurricane.

Notoriously a man of few words, his email was direct.

“If there are any opportunities associated with CyclocrossWorld.com, I would like to have an opportunity to discuss them with you.”

His resume was attached.  So I read it. 

It was impressive.  There were things I didn’t know.

He had summited a Mountain in Ireland that left certain (one) members of his group trembling, unable to reach the top with him. 

I wanted to know more.

His 2014 goals?  Ambitious. 

Or were they?

We traded emails a few times and finally arranged for a meeting at his hotel in Boulder, Colorado after he finished contesting his National Championship event.

When I got the lobby of his hotel, I was greeted by his management team and people I can only assume were his entourage. 

His manager stood and said, “We’ve been asked to leave." 

I found myself sitting alone, face to face with a rider who, according to his resume, had finished at the front of every nearly every race he had entered since 2010. 

He was a leader. 

He was an extreme athlete, and he was even a film star.

I asked him a few questions and his answers were poignant.

I asked about his commitment to cyclocross.  How rich did his blood run with this sport?

"I thought, for a short time, that I wanted to play traditional sports,” he said.  “You know, baseball, basketball…but I don’t want to do that.  I race cyclocross.  This is my sport.”

I asked him to compare himself to a European Cyclocross Professional.

“Kevin Pauwels." 

I asked why.

"Because he is humble.”

“If you are chosen to ride for our team, can we use images of you racing on the internet?” I asked.

“Of course,” he replied.

With most of my questions answered, there was just one more thing I wanted to know.

“Do you have a nickname?”

“The Bear Cub.”

Is this the backside of the head of the newest recruit to the 2014/2015 Cyclocrossworld.com Elite Team?  Maybe.

The Tim Johnson Mud Fund is LIVE.

We made excuses for 18 months…but the moment has finally arrived.  All the hard work (and the patience from our Das Pro und The Rookie Kickstarter backers) is finally paying off.

So, without further ado, we can say, with much excitement, the Tim Johnson Mud Fund Scholarship is officially live.  Please share this application with any Juniors, U23s, and families who can benefit from the assistance of the Mud Fund.

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of Das Pro und The Rookie.  100% of proceeds benefit the Mud Fund.  You can also support the Mud Fund by picking up a stylish I Cowbell CX t-shirt.  $5 from every shirt sale benefits the Mud Fund.

The deadline for all application submittals is December 15th, 2012.  No applications will be accepted after this date.