Category Preview: Single Speed Up For Grabs

On August 21, 2012 by Super Rookie

Who will be the king of the one cog in 2012/13?

This is a question on a lot of people’s minds as the 2012/13 FLCX season kicks off later this fall. A new race day schedule ensures even more racers will toe the line, and more importantly, two departures of top racers have thrown the category into the great unknown.

By popular demand, the 2012/13 season will feature a later Single Speed category, allowing racers to enter the Single Speed race after they conclude their other category (e.g. Cat3, 35+, etc.).  The Single Speed racers will race with the Juniors at the end of the day. Riders are now able to easily race in two races on race day – they just have to make sure to rock the one cog!

Pete Young (66 Fixed) rides off to greener pastures with the ’10 and ’11 titles. (Photo: Ryan Fisher)

Perhaps the biggest news related to the Single Speed category for the upcoming FLCX season are the departures of 2010/11 and 2011/12 Single Speed Champion, Pete Young (66Fixed) and 2011/12 3rd Place finisher, Andrew Bridgman (66Fixed). The departures of Young and Bridgman are huge, especially considering that Young was the 2011 Southeast Single Speed Cyclocross (SESSCXC) Champion, after taking the title at Swamp Cross in Gainesville.

Who will fill the void left by Bridgman and Young?

The early money has to be on 2011/12 2nd Place finisher, Taylor Norton (Orange State Cycling), if he is able to continue his consistent form near the top of the Single Speed category throughout the season. Norton had mixed success in 2011/12 as he usually found himself in the top10s in the Cat3s, but mechanicals kept him from finding the top step, while the Single Speed category found Norton always on, or near, the podium in 7 of the 8 races he entered last year.

Eric Stubbs hopes to prove his 2010 SESSCXC victory wasn’t a fluke. (Photo: Super Rookie)

Consistency will be key in taking the title this year and Drew Smith (VeloBrew), Michael Davis (Orange State Cycling) and Patrick Maier (U/A) traveled the state in search of precious points last year to finish just off the podium. It should be noted that these racers, like Young, Bridgeman and Norton also found themselves racing after the Single Speed races in their classic category.

What about the wild cards?

The later Single Speed start has opened whole can of worms. Lots of racers who focused on their classic category are now looking to add an extra event on race day and they can’t be discounted. These racers include 2010/11 SESSCXC Champion Eric Stubbs (352 Racing), 2011/12 FLCX Cat1/2 2nd place finisher Keith Richards (352 Racing), 2011/12 FLCX Cat 1/2 3rd place finisher Jason Guillen (Gearlink), 2011/12 FLCX Cat1/2 4th place finisher John-Paul Russo (Colavita), and 2011/12 FLCX Cat3 2nd place finisher Christian Ahrens (352 Racing).

Ryan Woodall (First Place Racing) has been known to show up from time to time. (Photo: Cathy Bester)

All of these racers have expressed a desire to take the top step in the Single Speed category. That is all fine and good, but the Single Speed category is also prone to the random appearance of top racers like Ryan Woodall (First Place Racing), Martin Cox (Super Cool Bike Shop), and Drew Edsall (Kenda/Felt), which can turn disastrous for those on the hunt for points.