USA Cycling Clarifies UCI Cyclocross Mandates

In case you missed it, the U.S. cyclocross scene suffered a heavy blow last week after the UCI decided to strictly, yet selectively, enforce its rules regarding the creation and recognition of a cyclocross series. The effect of the international governing body’s decision was the banning of the Verge and NACT series from the 2011-2012 UCI calendar.

Until now, USA Cycling has not released any statement pertaining to these events from last week. This left many of us in the dark without much substantive information. Many of us learned of the events as they happened by following the contemporaneous tweets by Cycle-Smart and Verge Series boss, Adam Myerson. In addition to a visceral blow-by-blow of developments on the ground, Myerson’s Twitter feed is also a fascinating 24-hour microcosm of the stages of grief, give or take one or two. I’m pretty sure Denial, Anger and Depression are present, but I don’t believe Bargaining or Acceptance ever made it into the mix. I think it is safe to say we would all be a little let down if they had.

As a disclaimer, I will start the Myerson timeline with two tweets Adam sent when I asked him if it was okay to republish his contemporaneous thoughts. First:

  • @CXHairs I wouldn’t count my tweets as always reliable, informed, official statements. This is where I think out loud and complain, too.

One of the reasons Myerson has a large Twitter following is because he’s not afraid to speak honestly without filters. However, in the end, he cares as much, and possibly more, than anyone about the sport and wants to maintain an amicable working relationship with all parties. The night of December 1st was a shock to many and we shouldn’t hold accountable anybody for their contemporaneous thoughts. Along those lines, I received one final tweet from Adam before publishing this post:

  • @CXHairs I guess just remember that these are people I’m trying to work with, not against, despite everything.

With the disclaimers and warranties behind us, here is what went down December 1, 2010: Continue reading “USA Cycling Clarifies UCI Cyclocross Mandates”


Through the Eyes of the Chaser

[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!”

-Ricky Bobby

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.

Schempf battling in the sand at Charm City.

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”


Charm City Cyclocross: Adam Myerson Interview

The interviews from this past Sunday’s Charm City Cyclocross that took place at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland, are coming in fast and furious. Because several pro riders from the elite field were kind enough to take time out of their incredibly busy schedules to share some knowledge, I am going to change the format of race interviews a bit and push a couple posts out ahead of the field. The first interview I’d like to share is with Adam Myerson. 

Adam has been a professional bike racer since 2003. He races on the road for Team Mountain Khakis and dons the kit of his coaching business, Cycle-Smart, for cyclocross season. Myerson hit the first two races in the MAC Cyclocross series days after finishing third on the road in the Texas Tough criterium, September 17. He placed second at the MAC opener, Nittany Lion Cross, September 19, and finished third in Sunday’s Charm City Cyclocross. 

Myerson and the elite men chill before the start

I had an opportunity to ask Adam about the Charm City race. If you are new to racing, or even if you have been at it a while, give this interview a careful read. The amount of coaching, tactics, strategy and training advice stuffed into his responses to eight questions is incredible. 

Thanks for reading.  Continue reading “Charm City Cyclocross: Adam Myerson Interview”