July 21st, 2014 — 9:50am

Basil as a kid. Still growing into his collar.

Indulge me for a moment as I ramble on for a while about neither bikes nor bike racing. Our dog, Basil, passed away yesterday. He was 13 or maybe 14 years old. And was with us since he was about two, about the same time I started racing cyclocross, to give this the most tenuous of connections to In The Crosshairs. This is Basil’s story.

My wife, Heather, is a veterinarian and at the time we came to have Basil in our life she was working as an emergency vet at a clinic in Annapolis, Maryland. This was 2003.

One day at work, Heather is presented with a dog at the emergency clinic whose owner is convinced has cancer. “He’s scrawny, losing his fur, won’t eat, and is sickly. Dog has cancer,” the owner told Heather.

“Well, let’s examine him and run some test and see if we can come up with a course of care,” Heather responded.

“The kids have already said their goodbyes,” The man told her.

“I don’t understand. You’re dog may be sick, but he’s not dying.”

“The dog has cancer. We’ve said our goodbyes.”

“Sir, your dog doesn’t seem to be suffering and I’m not sure he’s that sick, if sick at all … I’m not going to euthanize him for you.”

“Dog has cancer, doc.”

This goes on for awhile, some initial test are run, and the dog—named Bear—is a bit dehydrated and does have some sort of skin infection. Heather suggests starting the dog on fluids and taking some blood tests.

“We don’t have any money. Our family has already said its goodbyes. Look how scrawny he is.” Refusing to kill this cute yet skinny black lab looking dog, Heather did something she has only been compelled to do one other time.

For most of us at work, there is only so much we can come home with from the office: A couple pens, box of paperclips, on occasion a ream of paper. When you are married to a veterinarian, however, there is always the risk that what comes home from the office is alive and will require feeding and walks. This happened to us once before when living in Rochester, New York. One day, we were the new owners of two ferrets: Teemu and Persephone.

It almost happened again when we were a whisker away from adopting a pit bull who had been shot in the head by a burglar. The dog’s name was Andre Lopez, which was reason enough for me to take on that guy. But he was adopted by some other person in the clinic who got there first.

Continue reading »

8 comments » | Commentary, Uncategorized

Tactics at the front of the Giro Rosa

July 16th, 2014 — 8:49pm

In case you missed it, the Giro Rosa took place the past two weeks and it was great racing. Definitely worth catching up on the highlights and marking the event as one to follow in 2015. In the final stage of this year’s race, mountain classification leader, Emma Pooley, goes off the front on the climb. The always dangerous Mara Abbott, who is 2 minutes behind race leader Marianne Vos, wants to chase her down. Vos’ team, RaboLiv, in an attempt to preserve their spots at the top (Pauline Fernand Prevot sits second and Anna van der Breggen is in third) doesn’t want Abbott up the road. So they don’t let her chase.

Good tactics? This is what you can do when you have a strong team and they are all at the front.

Non-sporting? Should RaboLiv have raced positively instead of negatively even though tactically it was more dangerous, with Vos who has stated she isn’t as good on long climbs?

What do you think? What do you think?

Thanks for watching.

4 comments » | 2014 Races, Commentary, Video

The Week In ‘Cross This Week: Episode 5

June 26th, 2014 — 2:37pm

For Episode 5 of The Week In ‘Cross This Week, I quickly talk about one news item and then explain a joke for four minutes. But it’s all about cyclocross … and firefighting, so watch. Who knows, you may learn something … about firefighting.

Thanks for watching and see you in a couple weeks.

1 comment » | Commentary, Skills and Technique, Video

The Week In ‘Cross This Week: Episode 4

June 20th, 2014 — 3:00am

This week on The Week In ‘Cross This Week we delve into the recent updates to the UCI Cyclocross Rulebook. Oooooh exciting!!! Actually, there’s some interesting items in there. Including a big change to how World Cup teams are selected, and what that means for powerhouse nations like Belgium and a shake up to the daily schedule for UCI races. We also revisit the stop and go rule for riding through the pits. And, of course, no episode is complete without a Moment of Sven. Although, it’s not called that in the episode. But you’ll figure it out.

Thanks for watching.

The Week In ‘Cross This Week: Episode 4 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Comment » | Commentary, TWICTW, Video

The Week In ‘Cross This Week: Episode 3

June 13th, 2014 — 2:48am

For episode 3 of The Week In ‘Cross This Week, we return to the Niels Albert story for the latest updates, check in on Sven and his quest for a top 10 finish at the European Championship XC MTB race, get the lowdown on a PFP kerfuffle, and talk ‘cross racing in Belgium, Las Vegas and Australia. If you have a second, please check out our book, Skills Drills and Bellyaches: A Cyclocross Primer, available at

Thanks for watching.

Comment » | Commentary, TWICTW

The Week In ‘Cross This Week: Episode Two

June 6th, 2014 — 7:31am

For episode two of The Week In ‘Cross This Week we check in on everything from Niels’ heart, Sven’s MTB, Mourey on the road, some young guns’ futures to what the Americans are up to. If you missed Episode One, you can see that, HERE.

Questions, concerns, rants, raves or even a heads up on a story? Hit me up at

Also, follow me on Twitter @CXHairs if you’re into that type of thing.

Want swag? Go here:

Thanks for watching.

The Week in Cross This Week: Episode 2 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Comment » | Commentary

The Week In ‘Cross This Week: Episode 1

May 28th, 2014 — 8:18am

Something new at Here is the first episode of The Week In Cross This Week. A short run down of the top cyclocross news of the week. Or the news that catches my fancy. This week’s episode includes Niels Albert, Sven Nys, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Marrianne Vos and Jen Denuwelaere. Being a test run of sorts, it also includes mistakes. For instance:

(1) I mispronounced names.
(2) I meant to say that the new Silver Lake race in Mol would be on the schedule, not on the course, and that it was similar to the 2013 Belgian Championship course, not the race. But it came out jumbled. Words, how do they work.
(3) I also meant to say World Cup not World Tour race when talking about Jim Aernouts.
(4) I look off the left. That’s where my notes are. It’s annoying, I know. Tweaking that for next time.
(5) Also, other stuff.

And that about covers it. The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Send your thoughts, complaints, tips and recipes to Also, give a follow on Twitter: @CXHairs.

Thanks for watching.

The Week in Cross This Week: Episode 1 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

4 comments » | Commentary, Video

Crosshairs Cycling Throwback Shirt

May 17th, 2014 — 1:59pm

The Crosshairs Cycling Throwback Shirt

Back in 2008, soon after this site started, we had a short run of t-shirts made to show off our then new Public Enemy inspired logo. Over five years later, we are still here and wanted to celebrate by updating that classic tee. So check out the new Crosshairs Cycling shirt and bring the noise. If you want, you can also bum rush the show (Yo!). Just please wear a helmet if you do.

All of the shirts, socks, and other items sold help us bring to you bike racing coverage from Cross Vegas to SVENNESS and LIKEAVOS. Sales of this shirt are no different. The goal is to be around for a long time. And with your help, that will happen. As always, thank you for your support, it means everything.

Shirts (in unisex and women’s sizes) are $20 and up for pre-sale at

We will place the order June 2 with a targeted ship date around June 15.

Comment » | Commentary

2014 Steel City Showdown

May 6th, 2014 — 9:55pm

I had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago and shoot video of the Steel City Showdown for the Appalachian Bicycle Racing Association. The downtown criterium is set in a beautiful setting that crosses the Allegheny River on separate bridges each lap. The race took place on a beautiful day but that didn’t mean the conditions were easy. The exposed bridges are windy and they are far from flat. The racing was great all day long and Pittsburgh played a great host for this event. Check it out next year if you’re into that road racing thing. If not, take a look at some of the other races ABRA organizes. There are some doozies on that calendar:

Music by Turf War:

Thanks for watching.

Steel City Showdown 2014 from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Comment » | 2014 Races, Video

Richmond 2015’s Lee Kallman

May 5th, 2014 — 8:40pm

Lee Kallman is Richmond 2015’s Vice President for Marketing and Development. Richmond 2015 is the organization behind the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, which will take place in the United States next year, for the first time since the 1980s. I caught up with Kallman after a group ride with Tim Johnson on the Worlds’ course in front of USA Cycling’s Collegiate Nationals event this past weekend. Richmond2015 used Collegiate Nationals as a test event for Worlds. This short interview is before the collegiate races and by all accounts, everything went down amazingly well. I hope to talk with Lee again in the coming months to see what the lessons learned were from the test event and the next steps in moving forward towards Worlds in 2015.

Thanks for watching.

Catching Up With Lee Kallman from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Comment » | Interview, Video

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