AFI … Oostmalle

[Editor’s Note: Before we dive head first into this year’s A Fan In … (AFI) series, we had some unfinished business to tidy up. Here’ is Cat Armour’s final dispatch from the 2015-2016 season. Stay, tuned, though, the 2016-2017 is but a breath away.] 

I love this race.

Last year was my first time as, without private transport, it’s a bit of a bugger to get to. If you don’t know, this race is held on an old airfield. The landing strip today is a giant public carpark, the taxi lanes for the rider parking and the course is on half sand and half forest at the side of the airfield. Like the start of the Belgian season in Neerpelt this course winds its way through the carpet of pine needles. The only art installations here though are the gorgeous trees. Alas, some of them have had to be removed, but now you can see right across the lake from the beer tent! Continue reading “AFI … Oostmalle”


Crosshairs Radio Episode 45: Kerry Werner

For episode 45 we talk to Kerry Werner about, among other things, his transformation from top-level mountain-biker to pro cyclocross racer. Kerry has some great stories about his adventures in cycling. He is a person who comes across as pretty laid back but there’s definitely an intensity there that drives Kerry to constantly analyze his performance and strive to improve. He’s also got a bit of a prankster side and a good sense of humor, which makes for a fun conversation. Continue reading “Crosshairs Radio Episode 45: Kerry Werner”


Crosshairs Radio Episode 44: TDDTIE (ITCH Tour)

Scott, David and Bill catch up on everything that happened during the ITCH Tour (ITCH=In The CrossHairs). From Trek CXC Cup to CrossVegas and the three race-day finale at Jingle Cross. We get in the weeds on all of the C1, C2 and World Cup action and some of the behind the scenes stories that made the week a memorable one. Continue reading “Crosshairs Radio Episode 44: TDDTIE (ITCH Tour)”


Cyclocross Gear Check From Interbike

[Editor’s Note: Skills Drills and Bellyaches co-author and ITCH Tour crew member Dan Tille walked the floor at Interbike and catalogued some of the fresh cyclocross gear on display. For those just tuning in now, ITCH Tour = In The CrossHairs Tour. In the feature photo above, Dan’s on the left and Rusty is on the right. Together they are Fulcrum Coaching.]

In the past three years heading to Interbike as well as CrossVegas has always proved to be interesting. Interbike always has fresh and interesting gear and CrossVegas continues to be a fantastic and exciting race. This year proved to be no different. Continue reading “Cyclocross Gear Check From Interbike”


The Big Picture: Jingle Cross Sunday

Sunday at Jingle Cross offered up another spectacular day of racing. Two competitive elite races pitted a strong field of world class riders who stuck around following Saturday’s World Cup race. Despite the high level of competition, the crowd definitely was not the same as it was the day before. There was a bit of a cyclocross hangover in the air for Sunday’s race, which was a shame, but not a surprise. If this were just a C1 race weekend, the crowd would have been huge, like it was for Friday night’s C2 and Saturday’s World Cup. But the Sunday C1 just seemed like a bit to much to digest for most spectators who had already hit the road for home. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Jingle Cross Sunday”


The Cole Chronicles: Nittany CX

Woah! Where did the summer go? Mountain bike season has come and gone and after taking to the start line at last weekends Nittany CX, my UCI Cyclocross season is now fully underway. My opening weekend was a bit of a mixed bag, I had a blast finally seeing all of my cyclocross family in one place again after the summer but my results left a little to be desired. While it was only my first major race of the year, it still feels like a bit of a letdown to not meet my expectations after a long buildup to the season.

Continue reading “The Cole Chronicles: Nittany CX”


The Big Picture: Jingle Cross World Cup

The Iowa City Jingle Cross World Cup course is legit. Muddy conditions, big climbs, fast descents, technical off-camber sections … Johnson County could be plopped down in the middle of Belgium and not be out of place. The number of exciting features on the course meant the crowd was spread out over the entire venue, so if it looked like the crowds weren’t huge on television, it was only because there was too much good stuff to see. Along those same lines, Iowans know how to have a good time. That was some fun good-natured spectating. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Jingle Cross World Cup”