November 21st, 2014 — 1:05am

For episode 3.6 we head to Ruddervoorde for the third round of the Superprestige series. The race takes place in a usually quiet neighborhood. It’s a tight course with lots of turns and short climbs. There is nowhere to really escape and more than a handful of riders are in contention as the race winds down. A far cry from the two or three racers we normally see off the front at the end of the race. Riding vs. running is one key (and one that is the topic of discussion in the first episode of Your Moment of SVENNESS available here: The sand, while not treacherous like Zonhoven also plays a role. But more than anything it’s a battle to the end with many different leaders and a great performance by the winner.

SVENNESS is presented by Skills Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer. Check it out at Also please give some love to our sponsor the Cadence Collection. Click through the banner at the top of this page and get 25 percent off with the discount code.

Footage is via Vier:

All music in this episode is available for purchase at


Had Ten Dollaz~Cherry Glazerr:

Move Away~Shambles:

Too Shabby~Rozwell Kid:

Royal Blue~The American Scene:

Cosmic Misery~Martha:

Thanks for watching.

SVENNESS 3.6 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.


1 comment » | 2014 Races, Commentary, SVENNESS, Video

Your Moment Of SVENNESS 1.1

November 18th, 2014 — 12:11am

While we put together the next full-on SVENNESS episode, here is a bit of a return to the SVENNESS roots. For “Your Moment of SVENNESS” the idea is to take one feature on a course, or one specific skill, and concentrate on just that. No race recap, just an analysis of one feature.This is similar to the first six episodes of SVENNESS from two years ago. Except this time with a voice over.

Your Moment of SVENNESS (YMOS) 1.1 is taken from the Super Prestige Ruddervoorde race. It looks at one of the two sets of steps on the course and the multiple off-camber turns directly after. The discussion includes a look at different carrying techniques and then a breakdown of the run vs. ride decision.

Footage is by Vier.

As always, if you like what you see, please visit and pick up a shirt or book. New socks and more SVENNESS shirts should be in stock soon.

Thanks for watching.

4 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, SVENNESS


November 12th, 2014 — 3:38am

For Episode 3.5 of SVENNESS we travel to the Belgian province of Limburg for the Superprestige Zonhoven. The race is a fan favorite known for its two harrowing descents down the side of a sand dune. This year the sand certainly plays a role but it isn’t the dunes. Rather a short off-camber and flat long sandy straight are the features that make the race. Sven Nys is out for redemption after being mired in a finish line controversy the day before at Koppenberg Cross. Tom Meeusen, Lars van der Haar, Kevin Pauwels, Mathieu van der Poel and Klaas Vantornout all are riding strong and this race is up for grabs from the hole shot.

As always, SVENNESS is brought to you by Skills Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer. For more information and to purchase a copy visit

Footage for this episode is via Vier:

All music is available at If you like a tune, go buy it.

Breaker~Chaos Chaos:

Not Bad~Good Shade:

Hot 97 Summer Jam~Chumped:

16 Questions~The No Marks:

Alchemy~Banner Pilot:

Saffron~Cool TV:

Thanks for watching.

5 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, SVENNESS, Video


November 7th, 2014 — 7:01am

For SVENNESS episode 3.4 we travel to the Koppenberg Cross in Oudenaarde, Belgium. The B-Post Trophy race uses the same cobbled climb, the Koppenberg, that features in the Tour of Flanders, but here it is more of a respite than a launching pad. The Koppenberg Cross is all about climbing and descending and those who excel at those skills will have the advantage. We concentrate on cornering on descents, riding mud, race strategy and a controversial finish.

SVENNESS 3.4 is brought to you by Skills, Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer. Check it out at

Video is via Sporza:

Music for this episode is all available for purchase directly from the artist through BandCamp.


I Am The Sea~The Bloody Oranges:

Dead Wrong~Somos:

Rats~Kill Chaos:

Radio Silence~Cosmonaut:

I Want To Waste Away With You~Sports Bar:

Bending Ober Backwards~High-Tails:

Money~Mystery Skulls:

Big Hearts~The Swellers:

Thanks for watching.

9 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, Skills and Technique, SVENNESS, Video


October 31st, 2014 — 7:49pm

For episode 3.3 we take a trip to Valkenburg, Netherlands, for the first round of the UCI World Cup. The Valkenburg course is a tough one. Lots of elevation changes, difficult off-camber sections, a tough descent and a killer run-up. We spend a lot of time on the off-camber inspecting lines and technique. We also take a look at the tricky descent and a great race for the podium. The winner is decided pretty early in this one, so the drama comes from the race for second place. Finally, we spend some time tracking Jeremy Powers who started in the pack but methodically worked his way up to a great finishing spot.

As always, you can support what we do by purchasing Skills Drills & Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer. It makes a great gift and is available at

You can also check out our shirts, socks and other swag at

Video for this episode via Sporza:

Music for this episode is available at If you like a song, buy the song. And maybe send a tweet to the artist letting them know where you heard it.


The Catherdral~Meridian:

Gotta Wait~Childcare:

Just One Of Those Things~Textbook:

Chapters~River Jumpers:

Anyway~Moose Blood:

Hiding from You~Sonic Avenues:

Thanks for watching.

SVENNESS 3.3 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Comment » | 2014 Races, Commentary, SVENNESS, Video


October 26th, 2014 — 4:08am

The first World Cup Cyclocross race also meant the first time this year the pro women were broadcast, and that means we can finally premiere the first episode of LIKEAVOS, season two. Before we get to the race I want to once again address the name of this series. I will not conceal the fact that as much as I love watching Marianne Vos race, if she’s going head to head with Katie Compton, I’m cheering for Katie. Every time. And when you look at their careers side-by-side, it’s really hard to successfully argue who is a better cyclocross racer. Marianne has the World Championships and Katie has 100 UCI victories. So why is the series named after Vos, a cyclist not dedicated full-time to cyclocross, rather than Katie Compton? Both possess that special something that made SVENNESS such a no-brainer. Why go with Marianne over Katie? I have a really hard time coming up with a reason why. But I think, ultimately, it comes down to this: LIKEAVOS … a play on Like A Boss … is just a killer name. So in the end, that’s going to win. If you’ve got something better let me know, but also know that I’ve heard about every possibility. For instance, the series is not going to be called Straight Outta Compton.

Since that is now clear as mud we can move over to the business at hand, the World Cup at Valkenburg in the Netherlands. The course is a brutal one. As you’ll see it rides more like a mountainbike race than a cyclocross race, with many elevation changes and off-camber sections. For this episode we concentrate on a tricky off-camber section, the run-up and descending skills. We also watch Katie Compton deal with adversity and Helen Wyman show great form.

The episode is presented, as always, by Skills Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer, which you can learn more about and purchase at

Footage for this episode is via Sporza:

Music in the episode:

Rabbit Hole~Riot Horse:

10,000 Emerald Pools~BØRNS:

Not Like You~Bleech:

Ready to Go~The Fabergettes:

Bright Eyes~Ashei:

Thanks for watching.

4 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, LIKEAVOS, Video


October 17th, 2014 — 4:17pm

For SVENNESS 3.2 we go to Ronse, Belgium, for the first race in the Bpost Bank Trophy series. After young Mathieu van der Poel’s early season successes, Sven Nys called this race the “Battle of the Generations.” MvdP drew first blood getting a great start and showing some rad moves but in the end it was the old man showing why the harder the track the stronger he becomes. Ronse is a brutal cyclocross course and Sven uses the opportunity to put on a clinic. We take a close look at riding steep off-camber sections and the importance of running.

As always, this episode is presented by Skills Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer. Please check it out

Footage for SVENNESS 3.2 is via Vier:

All of the bands featured on this episode are on BandCamp please do what I do and purchase the music if you like what you hear:

Rita Mae Young~The Record Company:


Come Inside~Metro Delays:


Filthy Luck~Beach Slang:

Gang is Back~Mother’s Children:

Also check out They Don’t Do That In Europe on The Cyclocross Network. It’s like SVENNESS for your ears:

Thanks for watching.

SVENNESS 3.2 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

5 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, SVENNESS, Video


October 9th, 2014 — 6:44pm

SVENNESS 3.1 starts us off at the 2014 Superprestige Gieten, where a trio of Dutch youngsters look to dethrone the old Belgian guard. Lars van der Haar, David van der Poel and his little brother Mathieu van der Poel are all over the front of this race. The brothers van der Poel are also all over the back of the race as they spend time in the pack with Sven Nys who uncharacteristically flubbed the start and is 30 seconds off the pace. We look at riding and turning in the sand, barrier work and race strategy.

Please help support SVENNESS by checking out Skills Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer available

Shirts available at

Footage is via Vier:

Music for this episode:

Birdsong~Cattle & Cane

Like A Hot Knife~The Modern Era

Mood Bomb~Superfood


No Shows~Gerard Way

Summer~The Union Pacific

Thanks for watching.

EDIT: Also, just posted is a weekly segment I’m doing with Scott and David from the Cyclocross Network. If you listen to the podcast audio and watch the SVENNESS video, they sync perfectly. Start the podcast when the lion roars.

6 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, SVENNESS, Video

Lars van der Haar at CrossVegas

September 19th, 2014 — 12:44am
Lars van der Haar ready and waiting at the start of CrossVegas.

Lars van der Haar ready and waiting at the start of CrossVegas.

We had the opportunity to catch up with the 2014 CrossVegas runner-up, World Cup winner and Dutch National Cyclocross Champion, Lars van der Haar, post-race in Vegas. In this three minute interview we cover his season goals, racing on the road, training for cross, and the last lap of the men’s pro race at Cross Vegas in which LvdH and Sven Nys battle it out for the win.
Of course, we weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to ask about the start. That holeshot was for you guys, America.

Thanks for watching.

Comment » | 2014 Races, Interview, Video


September 17th, 2014 — 9:14am

Cyclocross is finally here and we are starting off the season by checking off the top item on our ultimate wishlist: A full on SVENNESS with SVEN. If that’s why you are here and these words are just getting in the way, I don’t blame you. Hang in there for a handful of sentences and you are at the video. But before you get there, allow me to give you the quick and dirty intro: While at Cross Vegas last Wednesday, we had an opportunity to sit down with Sven Nys and watch clips of races together. He was gracious enough to take the time, hours before winning the Cross Vegas men’s pro race, to explain his technique, strategy and mindset for dealing with different cyclocross situations. As you will see, the insight he gives is something special. I want to thank Trek Bikes and Matt Shriver for helping make this happen, Bruce Buckley for filming and stage managing, and Dan Tille of Fulcrum Coaching for being my wing man. Also a big thanks to Brook Watts and Cross Vegas. Okay, here’s the video. If you are interested in how this interview came to be, there are many words on that below the video. Thanks for watching.

SVEN on SVENNESS at Cross Vegas. Photo by Ted Arnold, Division 1 Bicycles, Austin, TX

SVEN on SVENNESS at Cross Vegas. Photo by Ted Arnold, Division 1 Bicycles, Austin, TX

The rest of the story. I had several people ask how this extended interview happened.  Frankly, it’s all still a bit surreal, but I will try and lay it out for you. Here’s the backstory:

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. As I was flying to Las Vegas for Interbike and CrossVegas I was not confident that I’d get the chance to talk to Sven Nys. It’s Vegas so let’s put this into odds. I was giving myself about 50 to 1 odds that an interview would take place. Even less than that for the type of interview I wanted to do. But I pulled out my laptop and spent most of the flight preparing, just in case I did, in fact, beat the odds. Vegas.

In April of this year I flew to Belgium to ride the cobbles, take in Flanders and Paris Roubaix and hang out with my buddies and Skills Drills and Bellyaches co-collaborators, Dan Tille and Rusty Williford. Before heading to Belgium, a friend of mine who works with the Trek Factory Racing Pro Mountainbike team made some introductions and we were able to tour the TFR Service Course. He also reached out to see if Sven was in town and available for an interview. It turned out that Nys left the day we arrived, to train in Mallorca for the upcoming MTB season. In retrospect, I’m glad that interview didn’t happen because I hadn’t yet stumbled onto the SVENNESS with SVEN idea. An April interview, while an awesome experience, would’ve probably been me asking run-of-the-mill questions and getting run-of-the-mill answers. Thank goodness for missed connections.

Fast forward several months and Dan Tille and I are planning our trip to Vegas for Interbike and Cross Vegas and he is constantly badgering me about meeting Sven. “Missed him in Belgium, now’s our chance to get him in the States.” “I know this is self-serving, Bill, but I really want to meet the guy …” “Fine, Dan … I’ll try again …” Don’t tell Tille, but before the badgering began I had already reached out to Matt Shriver, who has worked closely with Sven since he started riding Trek bikes and was instrumental in forming the Trek/Sven relationship. Matt told me “I’ll see what I can do.” That was all I really heard from him. Nothing more firm then an “I’ll try.” That’s what I was basing my odds on. C’mon Vegas.

Along with Dan, my good friend and photographer for Skills Drills and Bellyaches, Bruce Buckley, also made the trip west. We headed out for Cross Vegas on Wednesday afternoon to set up a booth showing off our book and hopefully to sell some t-shirts. After getting set up we started to wander around the venue. At around 7pm, Dan and I were walking around the rider RVs and chatting with some folks. We ended up at the Trek compound talking to Mark Legg about pretty much anything and everything. Somewhere in the middle of an anecdote about Mark getting cut off in traffic and thinking he was still in Europe, someone calls me from across the tent: “Hey, if you want to talk to him, he has time RIGHT NOW …” “Oh, hey Matt … awesome. Thanks!” (At least that’s what I said on the outside. On the inside it was more like “GAHHHHHHH … I’m so not prepared.”) Logistically, what I wanted to do was pretty much impossible RIGHT NOW. So I sent Dan sprinting back to our table to get my laptop and iPad and grabbed my phone to call Bruce who was shooting the USAC amateur races … and then to text Bruce …. and call again … and text again …. no answer … no answer … no answer … so much near panic happening at this point. Stay cool. Vegas. Continue reading »

25 comments » | Commentary, Interview, Skills and Technique, Video

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