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2015 FLCX Power Ranking™ Edinburgh CX

On September 25, 2015 by Christian

Holy Moly, W.A.R. #1 in Lacootchie last weekend did not disappoint, and not only because I ended up on the podium. See, Hayes, I told you I’d find a way to mention that in the first sentence. You owe me a trip to the tiki bar. Actually, as an aside, Tim is getting ready to do his podcast live onstage in front of actual people as I type this, so he’s probably super nervous and awkward with flop sweats right now, so you all owe me for painting that mental picture for you. You’re welcome.

Wow, there was a lot of digressions in that paragraph. Where were we? Oh yeah, Lacootchie. So Josh Thornton managed to top himself again with one of the best courses ever in FLCX. It was simply brutal. And not just because of the heat, which was bad, but not as bad as the first week. The course was a masterpiece of bumpy grass fields, tricky downhill to uphill zig zags, more grass, some super sticky sand that was alternatively rideable one lap and then quicksand the next, some more grass, some more downhill, the best run up in Florida, (which was almost a non-factor this year) some super bumpy lumpy woods riding, a ditch crossing with a little mud at the bottom, a little deeper mud that kept getting deeper, some shallow but sticky and thick mud for about 20 meters, some soft grass, another muddy ditch crossing, a 100 meter SLOG/run/waddle through ankle deep cowshit flavoured mud, some more soft grass, another short section of soupy mud that was ridable if you hated your drivetrain, then this crazy toilet bowl off camber sequence that ended up forcing you to driveside dismount, some more slow lumpy bumpy woods, finally coming back out of the woods and dropping into and them popping back out of the ditch, all super off camber, then back onto the grass, out onto the pavement for a second, over the barriers, and finally back to start finish. I know I didn’t break 10 minutes a lap, and it probably took me less time to ride it that it did to write it, so you get the idea. I thought it was too much during my pre-ride. I loved it at 20 minutes into the race. It was hard, it was tricky, and it made you drive your bike a lot. Kudos’s, Josh.

Looking back at the volumes of data, one thing becomes clear, and that is that the Power Rankings™ have utterly failed to predict who will even show up that the next race, much less who is going to win, other than Ryan Woodall, and how hard is it to predict that happening right now? Historically, we’ve based them on the previous weekend’s racing. But that only paints a picture of the past. We’re trying to look into the future. What I do know is that the data is gibberish. Guys who were cat 3 last week are racing P12 the next and then back to Cat 3, Ava Sykes, a 12 year old girl, is winning the P123 woman’s race and coming in third in the Men’s 4/5 race, I can’t even figure anything out anymore. But I will pull out the magic Power Ranking™ eight ball, drink the blue juice inside, and give you my predictions.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you. As always, please, no wagering.

1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 3


Two convincing wins over Josh Thornton at Josh’s home course are more than enough to vault Ryan back to the top of the heap. Still the nicest guy out there. Still our best hope at Nationals…

2. Ava Sykes (Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services) | Junior women, W123 | Last Rank: nr


Except for Ava, who might be an even better lock for a stars and stripes jersey in Asheville. As mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, I have no idea how Ava did what she did in Lacootchie, winning her own category and coming in third(!!!!) in Mens Cat 4/5(!!!) on Saturday, and following that up with a win in her own category AND Women’s 123 on Sunday. That’s four races on the toughest course we’ve ever raced on, and four podiums. And she just adopted a greyhound. D’awww.

3. Clint Gibbs (unattached) | Masters 45, Mens 3 | Last Rank: NR

12042830_10205941560111720_5585841923194988050_nnot Clint Gibbs.

Clint stacked up a couple of more wins this past weekend in M45. He only needs 5 more for a perfect season… If anyone can do it, it’s Clint.

4. Steve Noble (Sarasota Cycling Club p/b SeaSucker) | Masters55, Cat3 | Last Rank: 8

11260351_992020930839080_3402677048331210810_n pic by hawkdancer via facebook

Two more wins in 55 plus makes Steve the second most consistent Master’s racer so far. Don’t look now, Steve, but your nemesis Dan Sullivan was second both days.

5. Tic Bowen (B3 Cafe) | Master35, Pro1/2 | Last Rank: 1


Tic missed out on Lacootchie, so he plummets down the rankings, but he’s pre-regged for Sunday, so I’m still predicting great things. And he makes sweet art you can buy if you like it!

6. Reed Legg (Unattached) | Junior 12-14 | Last Rank: NA

Reed showed up and beat the usual strongmen on both days in juniors, and that’s good enough for me. Is he related to Mr. Katie Compton?

TIE 7. Chase Forman (Colavita) | Junior 15-18 | Last Rank: NA
TIE 7. Thomas Barbazuk (Unattached) | Junior 15-18 | Last Rank: NA

Chase and Thomas are mostly just beating on each other so far this year. Chase won on Saturday, and Thomas on Sunday. Thomas also beat me on Sunday. I passed Chase on the last lap as he was suffering from a nasty asthma attack, and he sounded like a million times worse than I did, wheezing and coughing and I pretty much figured once I went by him that he was gone. Alas, he wouldn’t let me go, and indeed began pressuring me on the few remaining corners of the course. I led him through the concrete and over the barriers, and figured that as long as I got out of the final corner first that there was no way he could hang with my hopefully semi-impressive 42-11 sprint what with all of the hacking and choking and coughing and wheezing there was going on over my shoulder….

Sure enough the little jerk came around me with 10 feet to the line. Yeah, it wasn’t for position, but still. Jerk Junior kids. This is going to be a fun race to watch the remainder of the season.

9. David Hahn (Steady Spin) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: TIE 5

So David was racing and winning/coming in second in the Cat4/5′s the first weekend, and made the barest mention of sand when I included him in the power rankings, and then the guy just goes ahead and upgrades to 3, and then he even wins on Sunday! Impressive, in a field that has suffered from lack of interest the past couple of seasons. Seriously, guys, I’m a cat 3. You can beat me. It’s not that bad.

10. Darla Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | W123 | Last Rank: NA


Up and coming. Fast connections. Nice.

We See You: John Will Tenney (god, do we see you); Stewart Mackie; Josh Thornton (sick, just got braces (how old is he?)); Mallory Bryan; Mark Chandler; Vitor Alexandre;

Free The Zip Tie.

On September 25, 2015 by Christian


The FBRA board has voted to allow riders using ZipTies for Single Speed race to accumulate points for the FLCX Season Series. This means you can take the battery out of your DI2 bike, or zip-tie your SRAM bike. If you have Shimano mechanincal, you must demonstrate to the official that your bike is completely incapable of shifting, whether you actually only have one cog on the back. All bikes in the single speed race are subject to inspection by the official.

Do not make us regret this decision. Do not be sneaky gear changers. Don’t be the guy that makes us take away the zip tie privilege. The points series is based on your best 9 finishes. There are still a ton of chances to get in there and make it count. Maybe we’ll even have double points at one of the events for all riders with zip ties. Who can say what the future will hold?

PS I’m totally kidding about the double points, don’t start freaking out legit single speed bike owners.

EDIT: Riders at all FLCX Single speed races starting tomorrow are eligible. Yes, this is happening in the middle of the season, except it’s only two weekends into the season. No, we will not be back-dating results from the first two weekends. This decision was made to attempt to bring Florida in line with several other regions of the country that have much higher participation numbers. We want more of you having more fun, and if a zip tie or lack of battery will get you there, then perfect.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or Graham Partain.

2015 FLCX Power Rankings™ Week 2 – W.A.R. #1 Dade City CX

On September 18, 2015 by Christian

The Josh Thornton promoted Wicked Awesome Racing CX series is a 4 weekend, 7 race series series within the larger FLCX point series. The first weekend’s racing will be held at the familiar Stanley Park in Lacootchie, just outside of Dade City, home of one of the greatest run-ups in the entire FLCX series. The course will be great, Josh is a master at finding off-camber corners and every inch of elevation change available.

What we learned in the first installment of the FLCX season up in Hudson was that it is silly hot, first of all, so you’ll probably need to use a bottle cage and bottles and get fed. Since the silliest rule in cycling is still being enforced with the intensity of a laser beam, the only legal feeds are thru the pits, and woe to anyone who the official observes taking a feed from somewhere other than those self same pits. Luckily, there are many places at Stanley Park where one is out of the sight of the official, if you know what I mean, and you ought to, since I’m being about as subtle as a seven year old boy with a new fire truck siren.

We also learned that last week’s Power Rankings were pretty accurate, if you squint real hard. This week’s edition is going to have to be an abbreviated edition, as I’m rapidly running out of daylight. Sorry kids.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you. As always, please, no wagering.

1. Tic Bowen (B3 Cafe) | Master35, Pro1/2 | Last Rank: NR

Saturday Tic won Master’s 35 and then turned around and won the Pro race immediately afterwards. On Sunday he was second to Woodall by about 30 seconds. This is a massive weekend of riding. Respect.

2. Clint Gibbs (unattached) | Masters 45, Mens 3 | Last Rank: NR

In researching Clint’s results last weekend, I discovered that somecrazyhow the results from Zach’s race are all screwy. Not blaming anyone, so don’t start freaking out all you usual freaker-outers. In any case, it appears that Clint won masters45 both days and podiumed in the 3′s on Sunday, so he gets to hang out on top of the Power Rankings.

3. 1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 1

Ryan only did one race, which he won, so he drops in the standings but not too far. Still a sweet dude. Also podiumed the Gainesville-Atlantic 75 last weekend, so his form remains intact.

4. Josh Thornton (WAR) | Pro1/2, | Last Rank: We See You

Promoter legs have been a minor factor for Josh in the past, so my prediction is a win on Saturday in P12 and a 2nd on Sunday. Happy to be wrong here.

TIE 5. John Vega (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law) | Cat 4/5 | Last Rank: nr
TIE 5. David Hahn (Steady Spin) | Cat 4/5 | Last Rank: nr

These two guys traded wins and second places on Saturday and Sunday. It’s far too early to start talking about sand, but then again, this is the Power Rankings…

7. Ava Sykes (Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services) | Junior women, W123 | Last Rank: nr

Ava is multiple time State champion in just about every discipline, and she’s on an even nicer bike this year than she was last year, so I see no reason for her to not dominate.

8. Steve Noble (Sarasota Cycling Club p/b SeaSucker) | Masters55, Cat3 | Last Rank: nr

Won Masters55 both days, and beat me in the 3′s on Sunday. That’ll do, Steve, that’ll do.

9. Brian Davis (Compass Cycling Team) | P12, SS | Last Rank: nr

Second to Tic in P12, won SS both days, and his “kid” is fast too. Look out.

10. Mark Chandler (KBS) | M3 | Last Rank: nr

Lapped me. Jerk. Still somehow slower than me through the sand pit.

2015 FLCX PreSeason Power Rankings:

On September 4, 2015 by Christian

It’s that time of year again, time to see who’s been training and who’s been eating cheesy bacon conch fritters. This weekend’s Veterans Memorial Park Cyclocross in lovely Hudson, FL is the first race of the 2015 FLCX season, meaing it’s time for us to take a look at the movers and the shakers and the bakers and the farmer and his daughters. I sort of got lost halfway through that sentence, it’s been a while since I wrote anything, it might take a bit to work through the cobwebs, sorry.

Anyway, it being the first week of racing, and it being before Labor Day, we have precious few ways to truly divine who is hot and who is not. I mean, we could guess, based on USA Cycling/Cross-Results.com race predictors, but as I understand it the jury is still out on statistics and data. So we will be basing our predictions this week based upon who has been facebooking the hardest this summer. And by “our” I mean “mine”, since Tim Hayes is too busy making The Slow Ride Podcast to help me with the Power Rankings this week.

You are probably asking “How does one facebook harder than another person, Carlqvist?” and the answer to that should be plain once the list is revealed, which it will in another paragraph or two.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you. As always, please, no wagering.

1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 1


Ryan will be wearing the US National Champion’s jersey in all the master’s races he does this year, I think, so he automatically is number one in this listing, and number one in our hearts. Maybe he’ll get to wear it in Pro12, too, but I don’t determine when he gets to wear it, so don’t hassle me if I’m wrong. In anycase, Ryan has been facebooking pretty hard this summer, posting pictures of his swole ass neck and also some cows and a couple of fancy new CX bikes.

2. Mattheu Pourbaix (Trek Travel / PRCX) | Cat 4? | Last Rank: NA


Beardo has been KILLING Facebook this summer with completely ridiculous photographs of himself climbing all of the classic Euro climbs. He is the breathing definition of living the cyclist’s dream. If he doesn’t tear everyone’s legs off once he actually shows up to race, I will be hugely disappointed in him. Don’t let me down, Pourbaix.

3. Graham Partain (Swift Cycles) | Masters35, Cat 3 | Last Rank: NA


Every single one of you needs to say “Thank You for all your hard work, Graham”. While you were training or drinking or playing with your kids or walking your dog, Graham was doing all of the behind the scenes stuff that has to get done to make FLCX happen. Races and point series just don’t happen in a vacuum, someone has to orgainize that stuff and for the past couple of years, that person has been Graham. In addition, CrossCopter.com.

4. Jonathan Bicycle (South Florida Internet Warriors) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: NA


Jonathan has posted a picture that looks a lot like this at least 36 times this summer, meaning he is going to go faster than hell in a straight line this season. He will probably still not be able to turn, however, so he will suffer mightily anytime there are more turns than straightaways, so course designers, you know what to do. Jonathan has also been just about the most active person on the entire FLCX facebook, and for that he gets his recognition.

TIE 5. Pete Miner (Swift Cycles) | Masters45 / SS | Last Rank: NA
TIE 5. Pendulum JoAn (Swift Cycles) | Women’s Cat 4 | Last Rank: NA


These two. In addition to being disgustingly happily in love with each other, they have been riding their bikes a ton this summer, at least according to their facebooks. Both on the road as well as around Gainesville, they’ve been all kissy-faced with each other off the bike and shredding the gnar on the bike. And they are such great people you can’t even really get mad at them.

7. John Will Tenney (KBS/Brew Club of Seminole County) | Cat 4/5 / MTB | Last Rank: NA


John will be the first one to tell you he’s not the fastest guy on his bike, and I will be the second, because it’s fun to needle the people who have fun needling you. John’s internet game has been strong this summer, however, brewing beer and cider and cheering on the rabble rousers both politically and in the FLCX group. We’d be nowhere as a nation and as a Facebook group without dissent, and John is an expert at walking up to the line and not crossing over it.

8. Rotive Xela (Colavita S Florida) | Masters | Last Rank: NA


I don’t think anyone has traveled as much as Vitor has this year, but something tells me he’ll still be faster than most of us. The above pic is from Portugal, and if I’m reading his FB right, he’s in Bangalore right now. Do they have CX in India?

9. Kate Adams (RND Racing / Liv) | W123 | Last Rank: NA


Kate has been doing a bunch of women’s clinics and training camps, in addition to her various farming duties:

Glenna S. Roberts pssssttt boy ducks have a penis. you can look in the vent,

Kate Adams I know it’s in there somewhere but I don’t really want to go looking for it.

With that said, look for some serious crushing this year both on the internets and on her CX bike.

10. Alex Hutchinson (One Cog Warrior) | SS M4/5 | Last Rank: NA


Alex is rocking the internet so hard that he has his own website to keep track of all his rocking. Check it out! Go ahead, I’ll wait, and we’re almost done here. Alex came on the scene last year, and has steadily progressed into one of our more consistent chroniclers of our silly antics. His trademark ponytail provides him with power, in much the same way my huge beard helped me out last season.

We See You: Rich Dybdahl, Josh Thornton, Zach Fout, Ted Hollander, Kristin Apotsos, all the parents of all the juniors

We’ll be back next week with a race recap and the first REAL power rankings of the season based on actual racing, not just me sitting here drinking Not Your Father’s Root Beer and making stuff up.

Have fun, race hard, stay hydrated, and don’t take it too serious.

Florida’s First CX National Champion: Ryan Woodall.

On January 9, 2015 by Super Rookie

Ryan Woodall represented at the National Cyclocross Championships in Austin, TX and won the Masters 30-34 title.

We couldn’t be prouder.


Pro Tip: Why You Should Promote A Cyclocross Race

On December 19, 2014 by Super Rookie

(David Lavenhagen takes a Todd Leedy handup at Swamp Cross 2012. Photo: Matt Staras)

So, you want to be a cyclocross promoter? Well, Todd Leedy, FLCX’s resident long-haired, frisbee throwing, college professor, has the reasons why you should do it and it does not disappoint. Easily one of the best write-ups we have seen in Florida Cyclocross and it should be shared across the internet. Plus, #1 is very true. There were several rude gestures from yours truly towards Todd come race day this past December in Gainesville.


Earlier this year, FLCX Number One Ginger provided a column on how you might put on a CX race: http://flcx.org/how-do-i-promote-the-florida-cyclocross-event/

As a complement to that piece, here are some thoughts on why you might put on a CX race.

1) Design a course – This is a real creative process. Coming up with a course that you feel your fellow CXers will enjoy (i.e. suffer through) on the limited piece of land to which you have access is a challenge and quite a bit of fun. You will have to work with what you are given but there is space to place your own stamp on a course. Someone will always say it was too technical or not technical enough or too much pavement or too easy for mountain bikes. Don’t worry, not every course in Belgium requires the exact same skillset either. But if racers are making rude gestures at the Crosscopter then you’ve probably done it about right.

2) Experience “promoter legs” – A documented physiological condition (unless you are Josh Thornton) resulting from the 2-3 days of serious manual labor you put in right before the event to set up a great course, e.g. shoveling, mowing, raking, staking, taping, etc. etc. Add insufficient sleep as you handle pre-registrations, prizes, and on it goes. And then, if lucky, you commence to racing on the weekend with perhaps 20% of your normal warmup. Oh yes, it feels so so good.

3) Build your team/club – You cannot do it all on your own so you either need volunteers (or you need to pay for assistance, see #6). Done right, putting on a race is a great team building exercise and you will find out skills you didn’t know people possessed and learn how much others are committed to the same goals. People will impress you with their generosity and that should make you happy.

4) Spend time with your family – If you have done most any race in FLCX then you know that they are usually a family affair. Spouses, partners, kids, parents – you need them all out there backing you up. Not only is it more fun, stuff gets done.

5) Become a better planner – Professors tell students “Don’t ever go into debt to get a PhD in the humanities or social sciences.” Well, don’t ever go into debt to put on a CX race either. And you shouldn’t have to if you budget and plan properly. Do this early, as in before you even announce you are holding a race, and certainly before you pull a permit. If the numbers don’t work, don’t say a thing to anyone about wanting to put on a race. Just keep calm and and keep racing. It’s all according to plan.

6) Don’t make any money – OK, you might make some money but you cannot put on a race because of this need/desire. Success is breaking even, anything more is 100% into the bonus. This isn’t your livelihood, although for a few brief days a year you might wish it was, so you do it only because you love the sport and want others to love it as much or more. Still, someone will say the second races are too expensive or the on-site fee is too high or USAC shouldn’t charge for processing online entries. So if you do make some money then you did it the old fashioned way – you earned it.

7) Become “FLCX famous” – Short of winning every weekend or doing sand angels or breaking your teeth on a barrier crash or flying a drone or growing a tremendous red beard or continually ruining the sport, it is hard to get more recognition in our small community than by putting on a good (or, gulp, bad) race. So If you like knowing FLCX people and none of those other options sound attractive or even possible, you might consider an occasional dalliance as an amateur race promoter.

8) Become a better person – As hard as we train, as many hours as we put in on the bike, it is pretty easy to just show up and race. Whether it is your first season or you’ve done a ton of bike races, until you have put on a race yourself, the planning and labor that goes into a smooth event is a mystery. You might moan about why this wasn’t that way or why that wasn’t this way. There’s almost always a reason, and usually the race director will be happy to explain it – at some point when they aren’t also trying to run the event! After putting on your own event, you will most likely become one less person complaining about races in a Facebook group. And that’s a bonus for everyone. But hey, that’s just like, you know, my opinion man.


As always we welcome submissions to FLCX! Email thesuperrookie@gmail.com or gob4522@yahoo.com!

FLCX and MTB’s. The last word.

On November 10, 2014 by Christian

You can ride your mountain bike in any FRS-CX/Florida Cyclocross event, with tires as wide as you like, as long as you don’t have forward facing barends. Fact.

pics courtesy Vital MTB / Cyclocross Magazine

If it is a UCI race, you can not ride a tire wider than 34c, and you must have drop bars (same with a national championship, or national calendar cyclocross race).

Each race promoter decides if he or she wants to include a separate category/class/race for mountain bikes in FLCX. Not one promoter has ever specifically said MTB’s are not allowed that I’m aware of.

There are many CX aficionados who feel that riding MTB’s is against the spirit of CX racing, and they aren’t wrong, but their feelings are just that, their feelings. Those feelings belong to them and do not affect you in the slightest. Even if they say something shitty to you, it’s still them being shitty; those words have no official weight.

With that said, if you have never even tried to race CX on a CX bike, you are cheating yourself of half the fun of CX, the fun of trying to control a skinny tired bike through off camber corners and sharp climbs and descents. Yes, of course it’s easier on a mountain bike. The point is that CX isn’t supposed to be easy. That’s a lot of the fun of it.

No one who is trying the sport of CX for the first time, or indeed even the first season, should feel bad, or allow someone else to make them feel bad, about riding an MTB in a CX race. Bikes are expensive, and spending $1000 or more on a bike to try out CX before you’re certain you’re going to like CX is just plain foolish. So all you beginners out there, don’t take any crap, just run what you brung and have a blast.

If you decide you want to keep racing, then, by all means, I encourage you to borrow a real CX bike and race it a couple of times, and if you decide it’s for you, go down to your local shop and buy a CX bike. They are super-rad, and they’ll make you a better rider on all of your bikes.

If you decide the CX bike scares the dickens out of you, and you just want to keep riding your mountain bike, that’s fine, too. But you shouldn’t feel that any CX promoter is obligated to schedule a specific MTB race- it is a CX race, after all. There are many MTB races on the calender, and I doubt that any of them offer a separate CX bike category. Nor should they, it’s an MTB race.

I hope that once and for all we can move past this topic and move on to more important ones, such as “how can I sucker more of my friends into coming out to race CX” and “who can grow the weirdest beard for CX States”?

That last one is a trick question, y’all. I’ve got that one in the bag.


On October 24, 2014 by Christian

As we enter the heart of the Florida Cyclocross season, we are starting to see some patterns developing, some riders emerging from the sweaty, tangled masses of also-rans and shoulda coulda wouldas. Still others are falling by the wayside, sad and sorrowful, licking their boo-boos and muttering about “jobs” or “family time” or “I gotta start training” or even “go-karts.” But the faithful, the devoted, the committed? They are present, soaking up attendance points and sneaking away to point series leads of surprisingly large margins.

The second of three Wicked Awesome Racing events last weekend was an off-camber masterpiece on a course that was arguably better than the first round. A shorter run up that was perfectly rideable if your named rhymes with “Food awl,” multiple hairpins on hillsides, and several completley rutted out corners made choosing the correct line crucial and deviating from it dangerous to maintaining flow and momentum.

That’s all well and good, because this weekend’s Second Annual Winter Garden Spooky Cross is going to be a slog through some nasty velcro grass. The grass is so thick, and there’s so much of it, that I don’t even think we’re going to use the sand pit, because I have a heart and I don’t want to kill anybody. Ok, I just don’t want to kill anybody. There, I said it. It is a power course, that much is certain. There are a couple of technical sections, but by and large it’s going to be more about watts than it is bike handling. Except for the fast sandy sections. Those will be tricky, and just get trickier as the day goes on, but dead flat.

With all this said, it’s time for the disclaimer:

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything negative we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you.

1. 1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 1

pic from facebook

Ryan maintains his Vice-Grip lock on the top spot with three wins and a second this past weekend. He was also riding up the run-up during the single speed race and at times carrying a sword around with him as well. Riding the run up was pretty bonkers, guys. Pro-1-2 this year has already been so great, we’ve never had two guys battling it out this hard, and now that Josh Thornton (Team Giant) has a few weekends to just race and shake off his #promoterlegs, we have the makings of some fantastic racing. And then there’s the utter demolition Ryan performed on the rest of the Single Speed field, we don’t even need to discuss that any further, it was comprehensive. A well deserved #1 for the man from Ocala.

2. Zoltan Tisza (Colavita South Florida) | Masters 45, P12 | Last Rank 4

Another strong weekend of racing (and winning) in Masters 45 immediately followed by third place in the Pro-1-2 moves Zoltan back into the 2 slot. Giving a free CX clinic before the Single Speed race on Sunday didn’t hurt him, either. Zoltan loves the sport and wants to grow it, and he does the whole walking the walk talking the talk thing. If you haven’t had a chance to talk to him, or at least study him racing- he is a magician on the bike, disappearing from the rest of the field, and an ambassador off it. We need more Zoltans.

3. Clint Gibbs M35 (Bike Works GNV) | Masters 35+ | Last Rank 2

pic from facebook

The only reason Clint fell to 3 is that Zoltan is killing it in masters and in the 60 minute race, while Clint is killing it in masters and then beating up the Cat 3′s. Trust me, it ain’t that hard to go faster than me, but it is tricky to keep the likes of Addison Zawada and Rolly Weaver in your rear-view. But for real, Clint is riding away with Masters 35, and if he keeps riding 3′s he’ll probably keep winning that, since there’s nobody on his level with any plans to do a lot of racing for the rest of the seasson.

4. Allison Linnell (all4cycling) | Women Pro-1-2-3 | Last Rank NA

pic from facebook

This one might start some controversy, but if you feel outraged, read the disclaimer again, and don’t hassle me. No less an authority than Kristin Apotsos told me that Allison hung out on her wheel comfortably for three laps and then rode away from Kristin, which is not easy to do, particularly once the officials start hanging out the lap cards. Were it not for terrible luck with tubeless tires (now where have I heard that before?) Allison would have had a dominating win on Sunday to match the dominating win she had at the last WAR event. I hope she’s able to overcome the mechanicals and race hard for the win for 45 minutes- she’s fun to watch out there.

5. Josh Thornton (Team Giant ) | P12 | Last Ranking: 9

pic from Hawkdancer via facebook.

Winning a Pro-1-2 race will move you up the Power Rankings. Being a perennial winner of FLCX races will help you as well, but the simple fact that Josh only has to show up this Sunday and race makes him the long shot gambling man’s choice to win the 60 minute race. Yes, Ryan Woodall has thus far dominated, but Josh managed to find a weakness on Day 1 of WAR # 2 Electric Boogaloo and exploit it. Can he do it at Spoopy CX? As I’ve mentioned, I think that it’s going to come down to WATTS this Sunday, so it should prove to be one of the more interesting races of the season.

6. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity) | Women Pro-1-2-3 | Last Rank NA

pic from Hawkdancer via facebook

Kristin lives the dream so hard that it’s a wonder we don’t all turn green from envy every time we see her in person. Beautiful kids, sparkling fitness, that bad-ass Airstream, the hunky husband, dominance in whatever sport strikes her fancy, and, of course, drinking slurpees as recovery fuel. Do I really need to type more words to convince you of her awesomeness? Now that we’ve hit the heart of the season, we should be in for quite a duel between her and Allison, and once Laura Parsons gets her legs back under her, look the eff out, we should have one of the most compelling battles in FLCX history.

7. Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) | Masters 55+ | Last Ranking: 6

Dan maintains his “Silent Killer” persona and lead in the FRS-CX with yet another win on day 1 at WAR #2, but there are multiple guys knocking at his door, challenging his early dominance. Brian Davis (Treasure Coast Racing) won day #2 and is loving CX so much he bought a single speed bike, and Paul Schwartz (Orlando Road Club) is not going away either. Plus there’s the looming menace of the youngsters Steve Noble and Biron Keefer (both Infinity) to keep him honest.

8. Clayton Knight (Team Top Gear) | Junior 10 | Last Ranking: na

pic from Hawkdancer from facebook

Clayton and his older brother Harrison are so ridiculously good. I watched Clayton completely lock up his rear wheel and flat out drift the first off-camber 180 hairpin out of the finish line pavement area like he planned it, and even if he didn’t plan it (and he didn’t), it was so insanely smooth and so far beyond what skills any 10 year old has any right to have that I was honestly flabbergasted. The Knight brothers are going to go as far as they want to go in cycling. Great kids, great attitude, and great talent. And they were chasing Ryan Woodall around trying to give him a sword hand-up during the Single Speed race for some reason. Watch them race, it’s a treat.

9. Eric Ehrenberg (VeloBrew) | Men Cat 3 | Last Ranking: 7

How in the shit is Eric still winning cat 3 men? Seriously? I mean COME ON! In the actual races, I’m chasing him (but not catching him.) And I’m not fast. This is PRECISELY how I managed to podium for the season series last year. I guess I’m just pissed that he’s stealing my schtick, but then again, I COULDN’T CATCH HIM last week, even after I got a beautiful holeshot and stayed away from him for three laps or so. Eric is the picture of riding within himself and staying consistent, which is never going to win any races but will win a championship, or at least get him on the podium at year’s end. It’s smart riding, and it’s showing up every race, and it works. Take notes, if you have any designs on winning series honours. As much as I want to beat you, Eric, I doff my cycling cap to you. You’re DOING IT RIGHT.

10. Jason Davis (U/A) | Men Cat 4/5 | Last Ranking: NA

There’s like three Jason Davis with who I have mutual Facebook friends, so I have no idea which one is the one who has done three FLCX races this year and never finished lower than 2nd, but one of those three is my favourite to win in Winter Garden this weekend. Cat 4/5 is such a lottery on an average weekend, and there promises to be a massive field this coming Sunday, with 22 guys already pre-reged as of 10.26pm Friday night, so who exactly is going to stand on the podium is impossible to guess. Except my money is on one of the three Jason’s. I mean, just betting on the averages.

We See You:

Cat 4/5: John Vega (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law)
W123: Diane Blake (Colavita Racing, Inc.)
W123: Rebecca Laborde
P12/SS: Tic Bowen
M35:Vitor Alexandre (Colavita Racing, Inc.) (Don’t call it a comeback?)
M35/M3: Scott Atkins (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law)
M3 Joey Gilman (Locomotion)
W4: JoAn Weaver (Swift)
W4: Darla Woodal (Team TopGear/MuMu)

Sandbagger of the week: None! But we’re still looking out, so don’t try anything funny…


On October 16, 2014 by Christian

As we head into the third weekend of the FRS-CX Schedule for the Wicked Awesome Racing 2: Electric Boogaloo in Dade City, there are many conclusions one could draw, but most of them would be incorrect, because OBVIOUSLY you are reading this, and not writing it, and since as we all know that the Power Rankings are INDISPUTABLE and CORRECT the only possible conclusion is that it’s just too damn early to tell with any accuracy just what the hell is going on. This is the first of three race weekends in a row, so by the end of the three, we should have a better idea just what’s happening.

Right now the points are crazy and confused and some previously dominant riders haven’t even started their CX season, and others have been too busy promoting races to actually ride like their historically badass selves, and still others are searching for the form they enjoyed last season. FRS-CX tabulates points based on your best 8 race results, so they won’t truly paint a picture of who’s dominating whom until everyone has done at least 8 races. After just 4 races total, it’s as much attendance as it is podiums in some categories, but as my 2013 Second Place Men’s Cat three FLCX Point Series Cowbell will tell you, attendance can take you a long way towards podiuming the overall.

Early reports about the course this weekend suggest that a lot of off-camber and thick grass will combine with a classic Thornton run-up to create a tough but fun course, and there appears to be plenty of recovery for every nasty course feature to balance things out. It should be pretty dry, as well, so those mud tires can probably stay home this weekend.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything negative we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you.

As always, please, no wagering.

1. 1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2 | Last Rank: 1

Ryan is batting 1.000 on the season in both Pro1/2 as well as Single Speed. Is this a sign of things to come for the rest of the season? I somehow doubt that Josh Thornton will allow that to be the case, but since Josh will be dealing with #Promoterlegs again this weekend, there’s an excellent chance that Ryan’s streak will continue. At least until the Second Annual Winter Garden Spooky CX on October 25, 2014.

2. Clint Gibbs M35 (Bike Works GNV) | Masters 35+ | Last Rank NA

pic from Clint’s Facebook

Rocketing to the upper reaches of the FLCX Power Rankings, as well as the top of the FRS-CX standings, as well as the top of that mountain, above, is Clint Gibbs, who is quite simply having his way with the Masters 35+ category. Two firsts and two seconds will buy a lot of bragging rights in a town full of SERIOUS BUSINESS MASTERS RACERS, but thus far Clint has had the answers to all of his challenger’s questions.

3. Harrison Knight (Cycle Youth) | Juniors 12-14 | Last Rank: NR

The nicest kid who will tear your legs off? He and his brother probably fight over that title, but the Knight boys are up to their old tricks again.

4. Zoltan Tisza (Colavita South Florida) | Masters 45, P12 | Last Rank 2

Amazing pic from Facebook/Hawkdancer Photography.

Zoltan really makes it look too easy. I mean, I know it’s not easy, but he goes from winning the Masters 45 race to turning around immediately and then coming in 3rd or 4th in the Pro 1,2 race. And he’s still smiling when it’s over. Ben Smith is chasing him in Masters 45′s, but he’s got his work cut out for him to catch the Z-man.

5. JoAn Weaver (Swift Cycles) | Women 4 | Last Ranking NR

Pic from Facebook.

Joanne was dragged to enough races by Mr. Pete Miner that she got a bike of her own and started training. Now the two of them trade semi-cruel heckles and get to wash the sand off each other after the races are over. How romantic! With the departure of Rebecca Laborde and Nicole Carson to the 45 minute Ladies Race, JoAn has grabbed onto the reins in Women 4′s and only time will tell how long her reign will last.

6. Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) | Masters 55+ | Last Ranking: NR

Pic from Facebook.

Even Dan’s own West Coast Cycling team has taken to calling him “The Silent Killer,” so you know that the things you read on the FLCX Power Rankings are incontrovertibly true and real, and we don’t make up any of this stuff. Dan picked up where he left off last season in Masters 55, but now he has the ever youthful but newly 55 Byron Keefer (Infinity) nipping at his heels. As the weather cools off and the racing heats up, I have a feeling that the M55 race should prove to be one of the more competitive fields- there are a lot of fast guys who are still polishing up their form.

7. Eric Ehrenberg (VeloBrew) | Cat 3 | Last Ranking: NR

Eric finds himself leading the Cat 3 point series based on the fact that he’s got two third places AND he’s the only rider to have done all four days of racing. I’m sure he’ll be as surprised as anyone to find himself on top of this heap, as these are the first 4 45 minute races he’s ever done, but hey, beginner’s luck? He will have to work pretty hard to stay in front of Bob Croslin (Orange State), Sebastian Morfin (Interactive Metronome p/b Mega Cycle), and Joel Gorman (Flying Fish), but that’s why they have the races, you never know who’s going to show up or who’s going to have a mechanical.

8. Diane Blake (Colavita Devo) | Women 123 | Last Ranking: NR

Pic by Michelle Blake

Until Kristin Apotsos (Infinity) stops her Stand Up Paddleboarding season and Laura Parsons (Infinity) gets her injury healed (I thought @ajplotz became a Doctor so you’d never get injured again, Laura?!!?!) the Women 123 race is totally and completely up for grabs. Jen KRAAAATZZZ and Rebecca Laborde are proving to be strong challengers in the mean time, but it’s the lady who has forgotten more about bikes than most of us will ever know that currently resides in the hot seat. Nice job, Diane.

9. John Vega (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law) | Mens 4/5 | Last Ranking: NR

Men’s 4/5 has seen a different winner for each of the 4 race days we’ve had so far, so picking a winner is pretty difficult. John Vega has put together the most consistently high finishes, so he gets to be the lucky guy with his name in bold. Who’s gonna win on Saturday? I have no freakin’ clue.

9. Josh Thornton (Team Giant ) | P12 | Last Ranking: 4

pic from Facebook

Based on history, Josh is due for a win, but with the handicap of the dreaded #promoterslegs, it will be all the more difficult for him. Betting on Josh at the Second Annual Winter Garden Spooky CX on October 25, 2014 is probably a safer bet, but who knows how much damage promoting two CX race weekends has done to Josh’s form? Only Josh, and he’s keeping his cards close to the vest for the moment.

We See You: Addison Zawada (P12), Tic Bowen (p12), Leonardo Sandoval (M35), Omar Machiste (M35), Ben Smith (M45), Scott Atkins (M45), Chase Forman (Junior Men 12-14), Ava Sykes (Junior Women 12-14) Mary Oneal (W4)

Sandbagger of the Week: Wes Irons absolutely ran away from the field in the Men’s 4/5 race on Day 2 in Dunedin. It wasn’t even close. Yes, it was his first CX race ever, and yes, he’s racing MTBs this weekend, but he will be doing the 45 minute race before the year is out if he keeps his current form going.

Praises from the Pastor

On October 4, 2014 by Pastor Politz

Welcome to the newest feature of FLCX.org. This regular article will celebrate the athletic supporters of each race. These people, organizations and objects may or may not race and their contributions to Cyclocross may or may not be measurable, but their spirit, drive, dedication, smile and sometimes wallets made this past weekend memorable and awesome.  Seeing as how I can’t be at both days every race or see the whole course, I am constantly looking for outside nominees and ask you the readers, racers and spectators to be quick to inform me of any awesomeness I may have missed. Promoters specifically will be left out from now on, otherwise, I would feel obligated to praise the promoter each week.  Instead, elements of your race (i.e. WAR #1 run up) will be eligible.

If you don’t know me, I am Greg Politz. I am the bearded guy offering you water during the real races and beer or root beer during the SS race. When I am at a CX race I will probably be holding a green heckle-cone close to my mouth and living by two hashtags: #handupsarenotacrime and #davetowlecanttellmewhattodo. Ok, enough introduction – lets jump into it.

Edinburgh Cyclocross Challenge 9/27-9/28

This was year 2 of the Edinburgh Challenge in Dunedin. Last year it was a one day race, the season opener, and my first exposure to you awesome people. I am really glad this race survived the guillotine, but imagine if the race had been in that rain on Saturday night as planned. Just imagine. The following honorees were not paid to be at this event. In fact, most of them paid out of pocket to be there and their impact was felt or seen through out the weekend. I could never prioritize these so they are in no particular order.


Ryan is 8-0 in 4 days of racing, but it looks like he is going to be running a 5th and 6th race every weekend. He tried the 3-fer for the first time this weekend as he jogged along side the woman’s cat 4 race while his wife, Darla, made her much anticipated debut on Sunday. Although performance isn’t a very big factor to this article, you can’t argue with Ryan’s early dominance and the overall presence of the Woodall clan. The youngest of whom looked awfully cute with a hecklecone.

Roman and Graynor Law Firm

2nd year sponsors of Edinburgh were out in full force again which is something the whole scene should be happy about. Happy sponsors create happy promoters which create happy racers. Like them on Facebook, and should you ever need the services of a personal injury attorney.  Make them your first call and make sure you tell them you heard of them through FLCX. We need more non-bike industry sponsors like Roman and Graynor.

Petra Missourai

I am not sure what title to give Petra. I guess she will be team mom soon enough, but for now she is the pregnant woman in the feed zone for over 2 hours each day supporting Zoltan and Vitor and chasing down their discarded bottles. While I would be happy to hand them bottles as well, Colavita is lucky to have Petra.

Jason Guillen

Jason gets the call up for bailing on 6 Gap to race cross. I am a fan of anyone who skips the pavement to ride the dirt. Especially if that dirt is wet and on a CX course. Jason scared me a bit when he seemingly sold off his entire bike collection, including one very poorly cared for Specialized Tricross, and then showed up in Dade City on his road bike. Thankfully, he is back.

Cabe Crisler

Admittingly, I did not witness Cabe’s selfless awesomeness, but when polling my trusted advisers on the topic of awesomeness, Cabe’s name came up multiple times. The story I heard was that Ava Sykes (you know, super rad Jr who just raced up with the woman and won!) had some kind of a catastrophic bike failure rendering it un-rideable on Saturday. Well along comes Cabe, who without hesitation, raised his seat, switched the cassette to an 11 and handed Ava his bike to race. I don’t how much of his heroics were embellished or what parts I made up for comedic effect, but I do know that the ‘without hesitation’ part is true and that’s why Cabe gets a high five. That and his goatee. B-T-Dubs, he won his race on Saturday and finished 2nd on Sunday. Hope to see Cabe more this year, but it might be tough in that camo kit.

Eric Ehrenberg

Eric didn’t have to Cat up to 3s, but he’s a competitor, so he stepped up. On Sunday, he was ahead of Michael Weimar and then got caught near the end. When the preliminary results came out, Eric took a picture on his phone and later realized he was listed ahead of Michael. Eric quickly pointed out the mistake to Michael so he could bring it to the official’s attention. This call up is easy to give and the author would like to call up #MRdoingitright Steve Collins for bringing the story to my attention. Thank you to Steve and Eric.

Jennifer Kraaz-t

Jennifer just had an awesome write up in Cyclocross Magazine about FLCX (find it in this month’s free online edition) and then followed it up with hard fought races with Rebecca and the Jr field on both Saturday and Sunday. “The good news is you’re winning the women’s race, the bad news is you’re fifth in the juniors.” -Steve Collins. Not many people embody FLCX as much as Jennifer; whether that is a good thing or not, you can decide.

Next race is Wicked Awesome Racing #2 in Dade City 10/18 & 19. I am hoping we will take over the local campground Saturday night. Give me a shout if you are interested. Hope to see everyone there.

May the shred be with you all,

Pastor Politz