The SpectaCross cyclocross and speed trials races took place July 31 and August 1 at the New Jersey State Fair. Being the only show in town this time of year, we have lots of good stuff to share. But before getting to rider interviews from this past weekend’s races we are going to start our coverage with the man behind the curtain.
Ken Getchell’s SpectaSport LLC spearheads publicity for several cyclocross race series including MAC, OVCX and MABRA, as well as the Gravity East downhill series. Getchell can also be found as a race announcer for many events on the CX calendar. He has been at the publicity game a long time. Ken started SUPERKARTS!USA (now SKUSA) and was the publicist for future three-time Tour de France champion Greg Lemond’s first race as a professional in Wildwood, New Jersey in 1980.
Valentin Scherz, winner of the Capital ‘Cross Classic and the MAC Elite Championship series, is an 18 year old fast man from Switzerland that spent the past couple months going toe-to-toe with many of the top U.S. riders. Scherz (Pro Cycles-Scott-Newwork) took some time for a short interview on how his Capital ‘Cross Classic race went down, racing in Europe compared to the U.S. and his plans for future visits to the U.S.
Thanks for reading.
How did the Capital ‘Cross Classic course conditions and race compare to a typical European race?
Scherz: The conditions here are more or less the same as in Europe. In my country, Switzerland, the courses are known to be very technical, hilly and difficult, as yesterday or in Southampton. In the rest of the Europe—Belgium, Holland, Italy, France—the fashion is now fast courses, more like the most of the races here. So the riders are more riding together and there is more suspense. Until two weeks ago, the weather conditions were warmer here than in Europe in October. But now, the weather is the same.
The level of the riders is my big deal now! I think I progressed a lot this year. But I don’t exactly know where my level will be in Europe. I think that in the UCI C2 or C1, the level here is the same as in Switzerland. And in the regional races, like yesterday, it’s the same as in the regional races in my region too. So the competition level is good enough here for me.
That was an impressive ride. How did you feel about your performance? Did the day play out the way you expected?
Scherz: Thanks. I was feeling pretty good yesterday during the race. My technique and my ability to ride in the slippery turns were good, which is really important for me. I tried yesterday to ride every lap better than the previous one. In fact, the day played out better than what I was expecting. I was expecting a hard race. I spent the two previous days visiting Washington, walked a lot, stood up for long stretches, etc. I did one week of rest without training two weeks ago and I did only slow rides last week.
On Sunday, it was difficult for me to get ready before the race, to go out of the car to warm up, check the course etc. The conditions were the worst it could be: not cold enough to have frozen ground, but enough to get your feet freezing in the really cold mud. So I was not feeling 100% on the start line. But everything always changes just after the start-shot: you become a warrior and give all that you have. And then you see how fit you really are! My feelings on the bike were great, and the legs were good. Continue reading “An Interview With The Swiss Dude: Valentin Scherz”
Cyclocross promoters and racers for the most part get along fine. But every so often issues arise that have the two parties not seeing eye to eye. If you read the recent SpectaCross coverage posted on In The Crosshairs you are aware of one of those instances. It is far from my intent to have this site be a venue for the airing of grievances, so my gut reaction was to let the controversy quietly fade away. But I believe this can be what the president calls “a teaching moment.”
I have talked to both parties involved and I do not believe either is wrong or misguided. They simply interpreted the situation differently and acted accordingly. I believe this is a good opportunity for you, dear reader, to see what occurred from the perspective of the promoter and the racer. So without further commentary here is what happened. Continue reading “A Teaching Moment”
Funnel cake, the midway, 4-H competitions, deep-fried Twinkies on a stick and cyclocross. All staples of the state fair. At least they will be if Ken Getchell, promoter of SpectaCross, has his way. The SpectaCross cyclocross races took place July 31 and August 1 at the New Jersey State Fair. Although fields were smaller than expected, the event was professionally run and featured a fun, tight course. We caught up with five participants to get their thoughts on the weekend.Continue reading “SpectaCross: The One With The Midway”
Did you finish last cyclocross season with an aching back and the feeling that you were fighting your bike every race? Are you looking forward to repeating that same scenario this season? If not, it may be time to consider a professional bike fitting. While it is not going to strengthen your core or increase your VO2 max, a proper fit should make you more efficient and decrease the discomfort inevitable in our sport.
When it comes to cyclocross, the bike fit conundrum comes with a host of oft-repeated truths that anonymous interweb posters insist we must follow. These include buying a smaller frame, lowering your saddle, moving the saddle forward, moving it back, raising your bars. Are these ‘truths’ correct? Honestly, I don’t know. So I asked somebody who does.