Mike Birner made his tough-to-please coach happy October 11 by winning the Men’s Masters Elite race at the first Hyattsville Cyclocross at Magruder Park, Maryland. A lot of times athletes will talk about hearing their coach’s voice while they are competing. I’m assuming this is the case for Birner, who as president of Mid-Maryland Coaching, is his own little voice. In this interview, Mike does a great job breaking down the race and giving some good insight on how to attack a course.
Dave Fuentes (Battley Harley Davidson-Sonoma) is an accomplished road racer that started racing cyclocross last season. He has battled this season in the Masters Elite field taking a second place at Charm City Cyclocross, third place at Kelley Acres ‘Cross, and a win at the Breast Cancer Awareness Cyclocross Challenge. With many of the area’s pro/1/2 men racing in Ohio, Fuentes took the opportunity to test his legs in the elite race at the inaugural Hyattsville CX.
It was clear from the outset that the power output that works to Fuentes’ advantage on the road would translate well on the Hyattsville course. In the early laps only one rider, Adam Driscoll (Adventures for the Cure), was able to keep close as Fuentes put in a string of brutal attacks that depleted the field. The pair stuck together for about 45 of the 60 minute race. But after Driscoll lost his chain, Fuentes established a gap and went into time trial mode to seal the victory.
Following the win and podium presentation, while most racers and spectators made their ways back to their cars, Fuentes and his podium-mates stayed at the venue to escort a group of Special Olympics athletes through the course. The race was able to raise close to $3000 for the Special Olympics organization and it was great to see Dave, Adam Driscoll, Patrick Blair and Chris Consorto take the time to help the cause.
Following the race we caught up with Fuentes to ask him about his day. If you are a hardcore roadie that still hasn’t caught the ‘cross bug, pay special attention to this interview. Here is a guy that is still “learning” the sport of cyclocross (50 psi in the Dugasts??), yet winning races and having a blast. Continue reading “Hyattsville CX: An Interview With Dave Fuentes”