Panda’s POV: Asheville Happy Pill

Race day… A morning spin in the Feedback tent. The usual breakfast. I sat in the car and watched the live stream of the previous categories on my phone as the nerves grew. It was cold. It was windy. The course was muddy but drying up as the wind blew. Normally I would have no problem eating my regular second breakfast (yes, I am a hobbit https://youtu.be/XkzvHtjnNOs) but my nerves were getting the best of me and I struggled to put down some extra calories I knew I would need in a couple hours. The venue was buzzing. The crowds were growing. The anticipation was escalating and my Dad was in attendance so I knew I had to shine. Continue reading “Panda’s POV: Asheville Happy Pill”

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AFI: Diegem

On the fourth day of CXmas we got the floodlights of DIEGEM.

Last year we stood in freeing cold ice and snow and despite my feet being frozen blocks I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. This year the weather is unseasonably warm and I still haven’t had to wear gumboots to a race. Last year also, I came by train and met up with The Guys by Niels Albert (yes, we used Niels as a PLACE to meet!) This year we drove right past Niels and headed for the top of the course by the beer tent straight away! Well, it was a late start and by the time we got to the course it was well past beer o’clock! In fact, by the time we got there Jappe Jaspers was well on the way to overwinning again and much of the spectatorship were about 4 or 5 sheets to the wind! (That’s nautical misspeak to say a bit squiffy with the intent on becoming totally plastered) Continue reading “AFI: Diegem”

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The Big Picture: 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals (Bill Schieken)

I brought camera gear with me to Asheville. I bring camera gear to every race. More and more, though, it never makes it out of the bag. I’m afforded this luxury because I have an amazing group of contributors who make my camera wielding unnecessary. Bruce Buckley, Brett Rothmeyer and John Kavouris crushed Nationals. The proof is in the pictures. And video? Yeah, I shot a ton of video at Madison and was planning to do the same at Austin until I ended up watching the elite races in an airport. For this year I brought all of the gear yet didn’t shoot one frame of video. And even if I had, I’m not sure I’d bother editing it after seeing the great work the next generation, including Noah Bell and Gentry Jefferson, are creating. Continue reading “The Big Picture: 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals (Bill Schieken)”

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The Big Picture: 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals (John Kavouris)

The afterglow from the US Cyclocross National Championships continues to warm my soul, as temps here in Boston and elsewhere around the US continue to dip. For the past week, I’ve been trying to unpack exactly why, and I think I’ve come up with a succinct enough answer: Nats in Asheville was precisely the experience that top ‘crossers in the US deserve. The hype around the event is absolutely justified—the venue amenities were top notch, the whole parking/admission price ‘issues’ foreseen simply weren’t, and the course was phenomenal. At best, US cross racers will typically encounter a World Cup feature on their otherwise domestic course. No. Not here. Course designer Tim Hopkin crafted absolutely a World Cup-level course, packed with off-cambers, climbing, as well as sick descending. Even the weather cooperated perfectly – dumping just enough rain on course the night before, staying cold and dry all day, and developing into light flurries during the culminating Elite Men’s race. For a racer or fan in attendance, I don’t think one could have asked for better. Continue reading “The Big Picture: 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals (John Kavouris)”

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The Big Picture: 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals (Brett Rothmeyer)

As the moments grew closer to the start of the Single Speed race on Friday afternoon on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate I was reluctant to head to the starting grid. I stood and stared into the French Broad River as it swelled closer to the banks from rains early in the week, I thought about the overwhelming heat of the opening weekend in Rochester and how unbelievably refreshing a dip in a river like this would have been. I thought about the 155 crazy bastards I was about to line up with and how I just wanted to get through the first lap without getting my bike mangled in a stroke of bad luck, and how this was it, no race next weekend, nor the weekend after. I stared at the water and continued to hesitate as the familiar voice of Richard Fries called us to staging. Just as I stared at that river I have been staring at this blank page on my computer screen off and all day. I am reluctant to start typing because much like the race efforts I would put out a week ago this will likely be my last post for the season, much like the French Broad River ends in Douglas Lake, cyclocross season ends in January.  Continue reading “The Big Picture: 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals (Brett Rothmeyer)”

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Panda’s POV: Goals and European Dreams

[Editor’s note: This Panda’s POV was written by Amanda as she traveled to the 2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals in Asheville, North Carolina. If you watched that race, you know how she did and that experience will be detailed in full in the next installment. But for now, this is a really great recap of an amazing season … so far.]

I am currently on a Southwest flight headed from LAX to ATL on Monday, January 4th. USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals looms in the near distance and I reflect on a full season of racing and what’s still in store for me. Continue reading “Panda’s POV: Goals and European Dreams”

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2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals Video: Noah Bell

Man, I just stink at e-mail these days. After putting out a call for crowd-sourced Cyclocross Nationals video clips I got an email from Noah Bell, who is the son of my teammate and Rock Creek Velo coach, Mike Zoeller. It was a modest e-mail letting me know that I could use any of the clips Noah shot and that he posted video on You Tube. I thought “awesome,” and moved on to the next email without looking at the clip. That was a mistake. Noah’s work makes me think “why bother with the crowd-sourced video” along with Gentry Jeffereson (another Mid-Atlantic young guy) they pretty much nailed it.

[Update: This version of the video shouldn’t be geo-restricted.}

Continue reading “2016 U.S. Cyclocross Nationals Video: Noah Bell”

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