On a humid day where continuing unseasonable warmth saw yet more riders overheat and abandon, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Katie Keough and … Continue reading Recap: Charm City Cross C2
On a day where high temperatures reached the mid-80s in degrees Fahrenheit, Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey … Continue reading Recap: Charm City Cross C1
This third of five interviews with top U.S. cyclocross course builders features the man behind this weekend’s Charm City Cross in Baltimore, Md. Jay … Continue reading The Course Creators: Charm City Cross
Hurling my car down interstate 70, precisely pinning the needle of the speedometer just under the 80mph mark, hoping that theory of 10 miles an hour over the limit is actually the limit. Five pm, then six, the Breezewood interchange onto the Pennsylvania turnpike, back to pinning the speedometer at it’s needed location. With my stomach empty in synchronization with the cars gas tank, the need to stop was pressing, but there was no time to waste. In a mere two hours Dinosaur Jr, would be taking the stage at Mr. Smalls Theater in Pittsburgh and I was still an hour and forty minutes away. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Charm City Cyclocross (Day 2)”
On day two of the UCI C2-rated Charm City Cross weekend in Baltimore, Maryland, we were treated to a harder course, blazing fast laps, and Elite results that were both surprising and somewhat expected. Continue reading “Charm City Cyclocross Day Two”
Mid-Atlantic cyclocross has, over the past decade, become synonymous with Druid Hill Park in Baltimore and an early appointment with Charm City Cross and the MAC Series. Rather than its traditional early-September date, which generally offered heat and humidity, the 2015 iteration of Charm City was raced under cooler, and most would say, more pleasant conditions given the new mid-October date. With some 1600 racers tackling the tough course, made soggy and slow by Friday evening thunderstorms, it was sure to be an exciting day of competitive racing. Continue reading “The Big Picture: Charm City Cyclocross Day 1”
This past weekend’s Charm City Cross used to be known as opening day for Mid-Atlantic cyclocross. But with the early … Continue reading Charm City Cyclocross Men’s Elite Video
There was this ice cream truck, no doubt drawn by the crowd of seemingly undernourished folks in the middle of … Continue reading Charm City Cyclocross Day 2
The seventh running of the Charm City Cross happens this weekend in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. What started as a … Continue reading Charm City Cross Course Preview With Kris Auer And Bad Andy
[Ed. Note: Periodically we have guest columnists here at In The Crosshairs. One of our favorites is Jay Morali, who last penned an article for us about this time last year. Jay returns with a column about the internal battle most of us find ourselves in each week on the cyclocross course. Simply put (and I’m paraphrasing Adam Myerson, here) the battle boils down to this: is the physical pain of trying to hang on to that wheel in front of you less or greater than the mental pain you will feel later if you let it go?]
“If you ain’t first, you’re last!”
Too often in life we subscribe to Will Ferrel’s lovable character’s motto from the movie Talledega Nights and we focus solely on the “winner” or “champion” and forget about the rest of the competitors. Look at the great Laurent Fignon, who just passed away. He will be remembered more for the one memorable race he lost instead of the many he won. And it’s not just on the professional level. Just last year I came home from a race after turning myself inside and out to come in second place. I get out of my car and my neighbor, who has no idea what a tubular tire is, asked me how the race went. I proudly told him I crossed the finish line a few seconds behind the winner to claim the second spot on the podium and his response was, “Great, first loser”.
If you race cross long enough and move through the various categories you will find yourself at some point in many different positions in the race. One year you might be fighting it out each week for a podium spot and the next just trying not to come in last. I am currently facing the latter. Last year, I was getting front row call-ups, winning holeshots and picking my own lines. Now, I am five rows back and “rubbin’ paint” as we fight to get past the prologue! (my second NASCAR reference. What do you expect from a Mississippi boy?) But as we all know, unless you are lucky enough to be leading a race, it doesn’t really matter where you are because one thing is always certain in cross: there is always someone in front of you to catch and pass. This is where most of us spend 100 percent of our race.
The purpose of this article is to look into the minds of a couple of the prominent racers across the Mid Atlantic and get a sense of what they are feeling during the “chase.” Do these guys hurt like we do out there? Do they have negative thoughts and consider packing it in? I think you will enjoy their insights and may even learn something from their experiences.
Wes Schempf, a fellow C3-Athletes Serving Athletes teammate, is considered one of the best in the area. He is a former overall MABRAcross and MAC Elite title winner. Wes has had a few memorable experiences racing against pro mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop. Wes explains what it is like for him to fight it out with the former U.S. Champion in MTB short track and marathon in a cyclocross race.
“As you mentioned, Bishop and I have had some experiences,” Wes told me. He explained that his battles with Jeremiah fall into a routine script. “I know that mental preparation is almost as important as physical preparation,” Schempf said. “For some reason, Bishop has a mental voodoo blocker on me. I just can’t seem to get around the fact that he consistently beats me. This has led to a negative feedback loop where if I know he’s racing then I start to think that I’m racing for second.” Continue reading “Through the Eyes of the Chaser”