The Big Picture: Derby City Cup 2016

[Ed. Note: Ethan Glading checks in from the 2016 Derby City Cup with spectacular photos and a slew of rider quotes and reactions. Every picture may tell a story but the captions do a hell of a job filling in the gaps. Some nice insight here, cyclocross friends.]

“So during the race I had tried a few little attacks to see if I could get away from Lane but he was riding really strong and we stayed together until the last lap. I was planning to try to pass him on the long straight-away before we dropped into the stair jump. Right before we got to that section though, Lane slipped his foot going up the stairs on the flyover and I got a small gap and went really hard to try to keep that until the end. So I went into the stair jump and the off-camber part with a small gap and I felt like I could have won the race but I hit a sharp rock on the last off camber part before climbing up to the finish straight and flatted. I knew as soon as I flatted that there was no way I could out-sprint Lane but I still ran as fast as I could up to the road. Then all I could do was ride in for second. I was a bit disappointed that I had that bad luck but that's racing and I just stayed positive and knew that there was still Sunday's race.” - Denzel Stephenson, Boulder Juniors Cycling
“So during the race I had tried a few little attacks to see if I could get away from Lane but he was riding really strong and we stayed together until the last lap. I was planning to try to pass him on the long straight-away before we dropped into the stair jump. Right before we got to that section though, Lane slipped his foot going up the stairs on the flyover and I got a small gap and went really hard to try to keep that until the end. So I went into the stair jump and the off-camber part with a small gap and I felt like I could have won the race but I hit a sharp rock on the last off camber part before climbing up to the finish straight and flatted. I knew as soon as I flatted that there was no way I could out-sprint Lane but I still ran as fast as I could up to the road. Then all I could do was ride in for second. I was a bit disappointed that I had that bad luck but that’s racing and I just stayed positive and knew that there was still Sunday’s race.” – Denzel Stephenson, Boulder Juniors Cycling © 2016 Ethan Glading
“Going in to the last lap I felt good and knew that in order to win I had to lead up the final ride-up before the sprint. I led most of the last lap and I realized throughout the race that Denzel was strong on the stairs on the flyover and I had to run those very fast. I attempted to come in a little fast and run up them faster but ended up tripping up, allowing him to come around and attack. He gapped me by 1 or 2 seconds heading into the final wooded section. I was able to close the gap and get back on his wheel in the final turns of the race. The moment I got his wheel again I remember seeing his rear wheel go flat instantly from hitting a loose rock just before that final ride-up. I knew that with the flat there was no way he could sprint for the win. When I saw his flat I felt disappointed. We had fought hard for the entire race. And for it to come down to a flat that would prevent us from battling it out on the final straight was a little disappointing.” - Lane Maher, Hands On Racing p/b Giant
“Going in to the last lap I felt good and knew that in order to win I had to lead up the final ride-up before the sprint. I led most of the last lap and I realized throughout the race that Denzel was strong on the stairs on the flyover and I had to run those very fast. I attempted to come in a little fast and run up them faster but ended up tripping up, allowing him to come around and attack. He gapped me by 1 or 2 seconds heading into the final wooded section. I was able to close the gap and get back on his wheel in the final turns of the race. The moment I got his wheel again I remember seeing his rear wheel go flat instantly from hitting a loose rock just before that final ride-up. I knew that with the flat there was no way he could sprint for the win. When I saw his flat I felt disappointed. We had fought hard for the entire race. And for it to come down to a flat that would prevent us from battling it out on the final straight was a little disappointing.” – Lane Maher, Hands On Racing p/b Giant. © 2016 Ethan Glading
“I tucked in to the far left grid on the first row, silently visualizing a clean start. I reached a max speed of 30mph, pedaled down the grass straightaway and found myself at the front. 365 days ago I went from 30 to 0mph in a heartbeat as I tumbled under the start/finish banner and watched my bike somersault away from me in a broken mess. All I wanted was a clean race this year and you could sense my dread of the pavement as I took off to ensure everyone stayed away from me. The rest of the race was a blur as riders sped past me through technical features on the course, leaving me fully aware of my lack of experience in some areas. But I gave it my all, learned more about fear management and was simply happy with the opportunity to race.” - Amanda Nauman, SDG-Muscle Monster
“I tucked in to the far left grid on the first row, silently visualizing a clean start. I reached a max speed of 30mph, pedaled down the grass straightaway and found myself at the front. 365 days ago I went from 30 to 0mph in a heartbeat as I tumbled under the start/finish banner and watched my bike somersault away from me in a broken mess. All I wanted was a clean race this year and you could sense my dread of the pavement as I took off to ensure everyone stayed away from me. The rest of the race was a blur as riders sped past me through technical features on the course, leaving me fully aware of my lack of experience in some areas. But I gave it my all, learned more about fear management and was simply happy with the opportunity to race.” – Amanda Nauman, SDG-Muscle Monster. © 2016 Ethan Glading
“Have a great start and just try to stick wheels. That was my strategy. Try to keep everything clean but aggressive. I think I did a pretty good job of that. Maybe too aggressive in corners just because I started bobbling a little bit. Then the smile came on my face and I just started really enjoying the ride. And I was really happy with the result in the end.” - Sunny Gilbert, Van Dessel Factory Team
“Have a great start and just try to stick wheels. That was my strategy. Try to keep everything clean but aggressive. I think I did a pretty good job of that. Maybe too aggressive in corners just because I started bobbling a little bit. Then the smile came on my face and I just started really enjoying the ride. And I was really happy with the result in the end.” – Sunny Gilbert, Van Dessel Factory Team. © 2016 Ethan Glading
“It's on like Donkey Kong!” - Dave Towle
John Gatch, Shawn Brett, Dave Towle and Phil Miller call, cover and officiate the weekend’s action. © 2016 Ethan Glading
Derby City Cup
“I guess I would say I was exhausted from travel and illness and that course managed to be fast, unforgiving yet still fun!” Rebecca Fahringer, Amy D. Foundation. © 2016 Ethan Glading
“Katerina and I just raced together pushing the pace off the front. I think we were both waiting for the final sprint. I tried to attack a little bit too soon. I attacked off the last sand pit going into the part of the course where you have the little stair jump and then that ride up to the finish. I attacked hard and then she actually was able to come around me again right before the turn. And yeah, she won the race there. And then we got to the pavement and she had enough of a gap that I just couldn't close it.” - Katie Compton, KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache
“Katerina and I just raced together pushing the pace off the front. I think we were both waiting for the final sprint. I tried to attack a little bit too soon. I attacked off the last sand pit going into the part of the course where you have the little stair jump and then that ride up to the finish. I attacked hard and then she actually was able to come around me again right before the turn. And yeah, she won the race there. And then we got to the pavement and she had enough of a gap that I just couldn’t close it.” – Katie Compton, KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache © 2016 Ethan Glading
“It's a nice technical course. It doesn't have much elevation and stuff like that, so for me it was hard to get away. I tried but Katie was just glued to my wheel and I was glued to her wheel. We traded pulls throughout the race. The last lap I just stayed up front. Not ideal strategy but I thought “well, maybe somebody will make a mistake, and in a corner...” But nothing happened. Katie just stayed perfectly on my wheel. Then she passed me in the decisive moment right here after the sand pit. And I was like “oof, this is gonna be hard,” because I wanted to dive into the last section in first place. I managed to squeeze by her on the long straightaway and just gave it all I had. I never looked back and I crossed the line first.” - Katerina Nash, Clif Pro Team
“It’s a nice technical course. It doesn’t have much elevation and stuff like that, so for me it was hard to get away. I tried but Katie was just glued to my wheel and I was glued to her wheel. We traded pulls throughout the race. The last lap I just stayed up front. Not ideal strategy but I thought “well, maybe somebody will make a mistake, and in a corner…” But nothing happened. Katie just stayed perfectly on my wheel. Then she passed me in the decisive moment right here after the sand pit. And I was like “oof, this is gonna be hard,” because I wanted to dive into the last section in first place. I managed to squeeze by her on the long straightaway and just gave it all I had. I never looked back and I crossed the line first.” – Katerina Nash, Clif Pro Team © 2016 Ethan Glading
“I started on the back and I didn't want to put a huge effort in sprinting for 40th place so I was trying to conserve that peak energy and hopefully rip it up halfway throgh that first lap. I got boxed in a few times on that first lap and by the time I started having chances to move up, on the second lap, the gaps were just so big it was really hard to move up. “This is pretty much the one time a year I see sand like this. It's so hard but it's so awesome. I really changed my mindset from years past going into the sand where I was always redlined going into the sand before and it exaggerates the mistakes you can make. So now I was focusing on kind of resting just a little bit going in so that I could hit the sand really hard and focus on getting through it the right way.” - Michael Dutczak, The Pony Shop “I started on the back and I didn't want to put a huge effort in sprinting for 40th place so I was trying to conserve that peak energy and hopefully rip it up halfway throgh that first lap. I got boxed in a few times on that first lap and by the time I started having chances to move up, on the second lap, the gaps were just so big it was really hard to move up. “This is pretty much the one time a year I see sand like this. It's so hard but it's so awesome. I really changed my mindset from years past going into the sand where I was always redlined going into the sand before and it exaggerates the mistakes you can make. So now I was focusing on kind of resting just a little bit going in so that I could hit the sand really hard and focus on getting through it the right way.” - Michael Dutczak, The Pony Shop “I started on the back and I didn't want to put a huge effort in sprinting for 40th place so I was trying to conserve that peak energy and hopefully rip it up halfway throgh that first lap. I got boxed in a few times on that first lap and by the time I started having chances to move up, on the second lap, the gaps were just so big it was really hard to move up. “This is pretty much the one time a year I see sand like this. It's so hard but it's so awesome. I really changed my mindset from years past going into the sand where I was always redlined going into the sand before and it exaggerates the mistakes you can make. So now I was focusing on kind of resting just a little bit going in so that I could hit the sand really hard and focus on getting through it the right way.” - Michael Dutczak, The Pony Shop
“I started on the back and I didn’t want to put a huge effort in sprinting for 40th place so I was trying to conserve that peak energy and hopefully rip it up halfway throgh that first lap. I got boxed in a few times on that first lap and by the time I started having chances to move up, on the second lap, the gaps were just so big it was really hard to move up. This is pretty much the one time a year I see sand like this. It’s so hard but it’s so awesome. I really changed my mindset from years past going into the sand where I was always redlined going into the sand before and it exaggerates the mistakes you can make. So now I was focusing on kind of resting just a little bit going in so that I could hit the sand really hard and focus on getting through it the right way.” – Michael Dutczak, The Pony Shop © 2016 Ethan Glading
“I had an ok race on Saturday, maybe not the best I was hoping for but not bad. The start on that course is super tricky to get right since it's so long and fast and even after you get onto the grass it stays wide and fast for a good long while. It's actually like a whole second start really once you hit the grass and with so many young riders now who just aged into the Elite category, the jockeying for position was no joke. In any case, after all that I was actually decently positioned in the top 15-ish, but a few bobbles from people that I got caught behind kept putting space in between the front of things and myself. After getting caught behind some people stalling out on that last kick onto the pavement the gap just got too big to get back up to the front, or the chase group really. So I spent most of the race just picking a few people off and working on getting myself into the points. I tried to stay smooth, and did, which I was happy about since that course has a lot of choppy, tricky, transitions that you need to stay super focused for. Overall I would have liked to have made that initial split and been racing for 5-10th or so, but I just didn't have it to bridge that gap on such a fast course.” - Justin Lindine, Apex/NBX/Trek
“I had an ok race on Saturday, maybe not the best I was hoping for but not bad. The start on that course is super tricky to get right since it’s so long and fast and even after you get onto the grass it stays wide and fast for a good long while. It’s actually like a whole second start really once you hit the grass and with so many young riders now who just aged into the Elite category, the jockeying for position was no joke. In any case, after all that I was actually decently positioned in the top 15-ish, but a few bobbles from people that I got caught behind kept putting space in between the front of things and myself. After getting caught behind some people stalling out on that last kick onto the pavement the gap just got too big to get back up to the front, or the chase group really. So I spent most of the race just picking a few people off and working on getting myself into the points. I tried to stay smooth, and did, which I was happy about since that course has a lot of choppy, tricky, transitions that you need to stay super focused for. Overall I would have liked to have made that initial split and been racing for 5-10th or so, but I just didn’t have it to bridge that gap on such a fast course.” – Justin Lindine, Apex/NBX/Trek © 2016 Ethan Glading
Derby City Cup
Overall, I’m feeling stronger each weekend since charm, where I knew before I lined up, it was going to be a hard win. I did have to back off my training post crash to regenerate and rebuild a bunch. I have some sharpening to do still, but I’ve done great work. My confidence in the fast technical sections is coming back too. I would say that’s the biggest thing I’m overcoming now & Louville is fast, very fast. Because ribs are ribs and my crash was enough to remind me that I’m human, I’ve had to really push myself mentally to keep pushing my speed up. At this point I’m happy I’m racing hard and back as quick as I am. I’m not taking anything for granted because it could have been worse. I could have had no racing, no podiums, it’s made me a better person/athlete to go through the injury.” – Jeremy Powers, Aspire Racing © 2016 Ethan Glading
“I had an ok start. Like top 15. I stayed there for a little bit and then I moved up after the sand and tried to settle in around 5th or 6th place. I thought that was gonna be a good position for me. I stayed there for a while and then Hyde went to the front and went hard. Everything got strung out a bit more and I messed up a bit on the back and I tried to chase back on. I couldn't close the gap on the long flat sections and I got gapped off the front group. I tried to look back for the second group to try to ride with them and close the gap with them. We almost made it but not quite there at the end. I finished seventh. Which is a solid race for me after not having a very good start of the season. I'm happy with the result I got.” - Yannick Eckman, Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo
“I had an ok start. Like top 15. I stayed there for a little bit and then I moved up after the sand and tried to settle in around 5th or 6th place. I thought that was gonna be a good position for me. I stayed there for a while and then Hyde went to the front and went hard. Everything got strung out a bit more and I messed up a bit on the back and I tried to chase back on. I couldn’t close the gap on the long flat sections and I got gapped off the front group. I tried to look back for the second group to try to ride with them and close the gap with them. We almost made it but not quite there at the end. I finished seventh. Which is a solid race for me after not having a very good start of the season. I’m happy with the result I got.” – Yannick Eckman, Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo © 2016 Ethan Glading
“I started well. I think I was like fourth or so when we got through the first corner. I found the course kind of hard to follow on. There were so many little roots and ruts in the sand. It's kind of tricky when you can't see the ground. For no particular reason it just didn't quite go the way I wanted. I fell back a bit in about the middle of the race ad I ended up in the second group. And then even from there a couple guys got away from me. No issues but it wasn't really the race I was looking for.” - Travis Livermon, Maxxis Shimano
“I started well. I think I was like fourth or so when we got through the first corner. I found the course kind of hard to follow on. There were so many little roots and ruts in the sand. It’s kind of tricky when you can’t see the ground. For no particular reason it just didn’t quite go the way I wanted. I fell back a bit in about the middle of the race ad I ended up in the second group. And then even from there a couple guys got away from me. No issues but it wasn’t really the race I was looking for.” – Travis Livermon, Maxxis Shimano © 2016 Ethan Glading
“The start was wide open per usual but I feel like the Louisville start is even more so. There were some guys tailgunning from the back coming into the second straightaway here, so I just wanted to try to not get swallowed up by a second swarm. The front group kind of established itself, by the third lap or so. Once I was in there it was just a matter of being smart and not making mistakes in the technical stuff. Stephen was obviously the guy to watch. He looked really comfortable all day. So the rest of us were either waiting for him to make a mistake or other guys to make a mistake. Everybody knew he was gonna go and then it was just a fight for second. “On Thursday Tobin, Stephen and I went on a road ride together. And after the race Stephen was like “you know, we can ride together on Thursday, but today... I don't know you guys.” (laughs) It's cool to be able to have friendships like that because it makes racing fun. We all respect each other out there. It's been cool to see Tobin come up right from U23 and be somebody to watch right away.” - Kerry Werner, Kona Endurance Team
“The start was wide open per usual but I feel like the Louisville start is even more so. There were some guys tailgunning from the back coming into the second straightaway here, so I just wanted to try to not get swallowed up by a second swarm. The front group kind of established itself, by the third lap or so. Once I was in there it was just a matter of being smart and not making mistakes in the technical stuff. Stephen was obviously the guy to watch. He looked really comfortable all day. So the rest of us were either waiting for him to make a mistake or other guys to make a mistake. Everybody knew he was gonna go and then it was just a fight for second. On Thursday Tobin, Stephen and I went on a road ride together. And after the race Stephen was like ‘you know, we can ride together on Thursday, but today… I don’t know you guys.’ (laughs) It’s cool to be able to have friendships like that because it makes racing fun. We all respect each other out there. It’s been cool to see Tobin come up right from U23 and be somebody to watch right away.” – Kerry Werner, Kona Endurance Team © 2016 Ethan Glading
“It was pretty fast from the start and I wanted to stay toward the front as much as I could. I knew it was gonna really suck coming into the twisty sections, the tight sections, if you were far back and had to deal with that kind of rubber band snap every lap. So I tried to stay toward the front. Maybe two or three laps in Hyde decided to come up there as well and starting drilling it. And then Hyde put in a dig and I wasn't really able to go with him. He gapped off and then he sort of crashed. Well, not a crash. But something happened so we caught back on to him and kind of had another shot. With probably two to go Hyde also punched again and had like a ten or 15 second gap. Kerry Werner, Alan Krughof and myself were just battling for second. On the last lap I tried to really keep the pace high because there was another group trying to catch us. The Curtis White, Jeremy Powers group. I didn't want them to catch us so I drilled it and then Kerry started drilling it. Going through Pit 2 on the last lap I punched around Kerry. There weren't too many places to come around people and I expected that the first person onto the pavement would win the sprint so I made sure I was there. And that was good enough for second.” - Tobin Ortenblad, Santa Cruz Factory Racing
“It was pretty fast from the start and I wanted to stay toward the front as much as I could. I knew it was gonna really suck coming into the twisty sections, the tight sections, if you were far back and had to deal with that kind of rubber band snap every lap. So I tried to stay toward the front. Maybe two or three laps in Hyde decided to come up there as well and starting drilling it. And then Hyde put in a dig and I wasn’t really able to go with him. He gapped off and then he sort of crashed. Well, not a crash. But something happened so we caught back on to him and kind of had another shot. With probably two to go Hyde also punched again and had like a ten or 15 second gap. Kerry Werner, Alan Krughof and myself were just battling for second. On the last lap I tried to really keep the pace high because there was another group trying to catch us. The Curtis White, Jeremy Powers group. I didn’t want them to catch us so I drilled it and then Kerry started drilling it. Going through Pit 2 on the last lap I punched around Kerry. There weren’t too many places to come around people and I expected that the first person onto the pavement would win the sprint so I made sure I was there. And that was good enough for second.” – Tobin Ortenblad, Santa Cruz Factory Racing © 2016 Ethan Glading
“Having won both days at Louisville the year before meant that I would be going in with a big ol target on my back. I’ve had some great form and was pretty confident but we all know what kind of trouble confidence can get you into. I needed to play the race pretty smart and not let on my tactics and intentions. So, I played it cool and stayed pretty far back for the first few laps and let the younger guys fight it out for a while. I’m confident in my ability to ride moves back mid race and kinda banked on that in case anything happened. I needed to make sure that every one was riding the way I thought they would and not let anything unpredictable happen. So, when I got to the front I knew what to do. I put in a big dig with five to go, but when I got back to the pavement a stick jammed my rear deraileur. So, I stopped and calmly removed it and reset. I got my new bike and got back to my plan. I launched a second attack and went clear. I was able to move at my own pace and ride the lines I wanted to ride. I just needed everything to be smooth. It was. I was so relieved to take the win again. I love the Louisville race course and the people there. Ever since I watched Worlds there as an amateur I have wanted to make something of myself there. I feel like it’s a proving ground. I have now raced on it four times and won four times. I think I did what I came to do. I really cannot thank Stu and Joe and everyone at Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.com enough for how much they believe in me and make what I do possible. They are a driving force and it feels amazing to have the behind me and my teammates.” - Stephen Hyde, Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.com
“Having won both days at Louisville the year before meant that I would be going in with a big ol target on my back. I’ve had some great form and was pretty confident but we all know what kind of trouble confidence can get you into. I needed to play the race pretty smart and not let on my tactics and intentions. So, I played it cool and stayed pretty far back for the first few laps and let the younger guys fight it out for a while. I’m confident in my ability to ride moves back mid race and kinda banked on that in case anything happened. I needed to make sure that every one was riding the way I thought they would and not let anything unpredictable happen. So, when I got to the front I knew what to do. I put in a big dig with five to go, but when I got back to the pavement a stick jammed my rear deraileur. So, I stopped and calmly removed it and reset. I got my new bike and got back to my plan. I launched a second attack and went clear. I was able to move at my own pace and ride the lines I wanted to ride. I just needed everything to be smooth. It was. I was so relieved to take the win again. I love the Louisville race course and the people there. Ever since I watched Worlds there as an amateur I have wanted to make something of myself there. I feel like it’s a proving ground. I have now raced on it four times and won four times. I think I did what I came to do. I really cannot thank Stu and Joe and everyone at Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.com enough for how much they believe in me and make what I do possible. They are a driving force and it feels amazing to have the behind me and my teammates.” – Stephen Hyde, Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.com. © 2016 Ethan Glading
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