2012 Preview DCCX 2012 Preview from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo. 2011 Highlights DCCX 2011 from In The Crosshairs on … Continue reading DCCX: A Video Compilation 2009-2012
Ed Sander Memorial cyclocross went down yesterday at the Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, Md. Although an early shower had … Continue reading Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross Elite Men Interviews
Those that raced cyclocross this past season in the Mid-Atlantic already know Joe Dombrowski. The eighteen year old Haymarket Bicycle/HomeVisit rider could be found in the front group of most MABRA races he entered this year. He usually finished on the podium and captured some impressive victories along the way.
While most of us have hung up the ‘cross bikes for the season, Joe is spending his second consecutive Christmas in Belgium racing bikes against the best cyclocross competition that the world has to offer. As an invitee to Geoff Proctor’s Euro Cross Camp, Dombrowski is living in the Team USA House—along with a group of U-23 and junior racers, as well as a handful of elite riders—and competing in up to nine races in 14 days.
We caught up with Joe to see how his second season is progressing, learn a little more about racing in Belgium and get some insights into life at the Team USA house.
How was your travel to Belgium? I saw where Jeff Bahnson’s bikes didn’t make it on the same flight as him. Any similar issues for you?
The travel was rough. Belgium was getting snow that they haven’t seen in years. I spent 14 hours in the London airport, which made for a total travel time of 37 hours without sleep. Jeff and several others were missing bikes, wheels, and various other pieces of luggage.
Take us through a typical day in which you are not racing. When do you wake up, train, eat, etc. How do you spend the downtime?
Geoff comes by each room and wakes us up in waves. Juniors first, U-23s next, and Elites last. He wants us to be on the same schedule on non-race days as we are on race days. I usually get up at 8:30.
Training starts after breakfast. It doesn’t get light here until 9:00, and we usually are on the bikes around 11:00. After training, I just try to keep the legs up and get a nap in if possible. Els [Delaere (House Directress and Head Chef)] cooks a delicious hot dinner each night.
With another year of racing under your belt, is there anything about Euro Cross Camp that is easier than it was in 2008?
I came into this year’s camp with a better perspective on the level of racing. It’s a bit of a shock when you first start doing big races here; this is definitely not a forgiving place.
Guys at the camp are racing juniors and U-23, right? Do you all travel to the race together? What’s the pre-race routine like?
The camp is mostly juniors and U-23s, but we do have three Elites as well though. Each group travels to the race together, and comes back together. If it is a late race, usually we are on the rollers in the morning keeping the legs loose. If the race is earlier in the day, we will grab breakfast and jump in the van and go to the race.
Usually we can get back from our race in time to watch the Elites race on TV. Continue reading “Euro Cross Camp: Joe Dombrowski Interview”
The conventional wisdom is that it takes a couple seasons for an established series to spawn a successful spin-off. The … Continue reading Interview-A-Tron: The Spin-Off
Joe Dombrowski (Haymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit) may only be eighteen years old but he has already made his mark on the Mid-Atlantic cyclocross scene. He currently leads the MABRA ‘Cross series in the elite category and is coming off a nice win at last Sunday’s Tacchino Ciclocross at Rosaryville State Park, Maryland. Joe only started racing cyclocross in 2008, coming from a mountain-biking background to the road. Although his time in the sport may be short, he has crammed in a whole lot of experience in that time. This includes a two-week stint of Euro-style cross in Belgium, where he raced against some of the best young ‘crossers in Europe.
I talked with Joe about racing, training, and his experiences in Europe. Here’s one takeaway for those among you that are easily offended by a slight touch of wheels or getting squeezed off your line. That ain’t nothing compared to Belgium. As Joe explains below, if you aren’t chopping, elbowing and shoving, you’re just not racing.
Thanks for reading.
You come to cyclocross from an MTB background; do you consider either discipline your primary focus?
At this point, I think I am a little to young to specialize in anything. However, I think I will probably focus more on road and ‘cross in the future. The switch to the road would be purely because of support; there are not nearly as many opportunities in mountain bike racing.
What do you think your strengths are as a cyclist? Do you think this favors MTB over ‘cross or vice versa?
I definitely excel at climbing, particularly on the road. This is probably more beneficial to mountain bike, and some road racing than cyclocross though. Unfortunately bike racing isn’t all uphill time trials. Continue reading “A Chat With Joe Dombrowski”
DCCX took place October 18 at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington D.C. It may have taken a bit longer than planned to get these interviews posted, but they are by no means out of date. Lots of great stuff here by some of the fastest men and women in the Mid-Atlantic.
Thanks for reading.
How long have you been racing ‘cross? Did you come from a road or MTB background?
Joe Dombrowski (Haymarket Bicycles/Home Visit, 2nd Place Men’s Elite):This is my second season racing cyclocross. I come from a mountain bike background, but will probably split most of my time between road and ‘cross in the future.
Dave Fuentes (Battley Harley Davidson/Sonoma, 1st Place Masters Elite): I have about 17yrs of road racing under my belt. I started racing cross last year. I got my first taste at Kelly Acres in the Cat 4 race. They upgraded me to Category 1, which matched my road category, immediately after that race. This has been my first full season of cross.
Jay Morali (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes, 1st Place Men’s Masters 3/4): This is my 2nd season. I have a minimal road background.
Lenore Pipes (Unattached, 3rd Place Elite Women):I started racing road and cross last year. Road is my main focus but I love cyclocross.
Keith Rohr (Adventures for the Cure, 3rd Place Masters Men 3/4): This is my third year of ‘cross and what will be my first full season of racing. The past two years I only jumped in 5 or 6 ‘cross races. I’ve dabbled in some road racing, but really enjoy mountain biking and totally love the camaraderie of ‘cross racing.
Becky Frederick (Kelly Benefits Strategies/LSV, 2nd Place Women Cat 4): I picked up cross last year once I figured out what it is. A buddy mentioned at a mountain bike race (I was new to that last year, too) that I’d like it. He wasn’t wrong.
Now that we are in the thick of the ‘cross season, what does a normal training week look like for you? Do you do any off-the-bike training during cross season?
Mike Birner (Ben’s Performance Bikes/BMC, 3rd Place Elite Masters): In the week leading up I only did a light ride on Wednesday, some hills and short motorpacing session behind public transit on Thursday and a short ride with some openers on Saturday. All of about 4 hours not including race day.
Joe Dombrowski: Less volume and more intensity than the mountain bike season; this is more true as the season progresses. Typically, I reserve Mondays and Fridays as easier spins, with intervals on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is my longer, endurance pace ride for the week. I also incorporate core work, plyometrics, and cx skill sessions during the season.
Lenore Pipes: On Tuesdays, I run up the Philly Art Museum steps like in that film Rocky … except shouldering a bike. On Thursday nights, I race at Fifth Street Cross (formerly the coolest cyclocross ever®) where I’ve won Schick Smooth Move Rider of the Night for gracefully crashing into the barriers and I was Lantern Rouge for the entire series last year which might be partly due to the fact that I still have yet to take a PBR Shortcut.
Jay Morali: I try and get two good weekday workouts in. I try and focus on rest and recovery.
Dave Fuentes: I am fortunate to have enough time mon-fri to do 5-6 hrs if I want. I usually peak out at about 25-30 hrs a week for road racing, but after a long road season, I can get by with about 12 hrs a week for cross races. Since the races are shorter, my training is much shorter, but very specific, depending on what I want to do for the day.
Keith Rohr: Usually an easier Monday and Tuesday followed by a more aggressive Wednesday and Thursday then easier Friday and Saturday. My off the bike training usually includes some running with sprints as well as upper body weight training and core work. Continue reading “DCCX: Podium Interviews”