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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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;

Dade City State CX Championship Course Preview

On January 12, 2013 by Christian

UPDATE

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Probably as close as I’ll get to one of these: The medals for the FLCX State Champs

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The Start/Finish line

The Start Finish area is in the same place that it’s been for the past few years, with a long grassy entrance and exit. The one sided pits are here as well. Head along the flat top of the hill, then down the hill, into a fast, long left hander…

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The holeshot dumps into this fast downhill left hander.

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After the fast downhill left hander, the course heads right back up the hill, and then down again.

…Which eventually points you back up the hill to lose all that precious momentum, before a hairpin at the top sends you back down along the horse track fence, across the dirt road, and into a fast, gravelly, muddy corner, which then gently climbs into a single barrier, some tight corners with big scary wooden poles, and then into some lumpy grass. Then a sharp left, a short straing, and the off camber hairpin with the swamp/bog awaiting anyone who doesn’t stay to the inside. Even if you do stay to the inside, the ground is quite lumpy in this section, as it exits the bog and climbs out of the swamp. As the ground levels out, you enter the dirt road, gently downhill, and the long run down to the barn. This is a pretty decent recovery section. There’s a tricky 180 with a three foot tall lump on it, and then you have to bunnyhop over the door sill as the course enters the barn. Another bunnyhop to exit the barn, then a gentle bend to the left, an esse turn through a couple of fence gates, and a slog onto the horse track, which is all false flat and not nearly as fast as you want it to be.

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The exit of the horse track portion of the course, into the corral, and then up the stairs.

There’s an extra little section that loops around and ends up pointing you right at the stairs, which are two sets of 5 stairs, then remount, and then down a gentle hill.

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A gentle descent into a hairpin.

At the hairpin, you go most of back up the hill, hairpin at the top, and then down into a fast, flowy section of corners.

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Out of the hairpin, up the hill, and around another hairpin, leading into a fast complex of corners.

That leads to the other recovery section of the course, a flat section of dirt road, and the short paved climb, and then a long section of grass, a hairpin, and the double barriers. They are tall. Dan swears they are only 40cm. I forgot my ruler. After the barriers, you finish off the paved climb, and then sweep onto the grass, a bit of mild off camber, a short enough climb to screw up a sprinter, and then the line. 1.6 miles of fun.

Here’s my Garmin track of the course. Bear in mind that I will hopefully be going at least 45-60 seconds a lap faster than the pace I was going here. We also changed one of the corners after the horse barn to make it flow a little better, but it isn’t a huge change from what you see here.

Overall, it’s a power course that suits roadies to a certain extent, as the technical sections aren’t overly technical.

I’m taking all of these from Dan’s Millstead’s facebook, so you may have seen them, but you’ve never seen them all on the same page before, so GET EXCITE.


The Barriers with the Kung Fu Panda.


New climb section on the back of the start/finish area.


Off Camber hairpin with mud/swamp water at the exit. Technical and probably messy.


When you see this sign just north of Dade City on US 301, TURN.

We’ll be out riding the course this afternoon, and come back with more pictures and maybe even some video.

Clermont CX Spyshot

On January 4, 2013 by Super Rookie

Our good friend, @crosscopter, has taken a spy photo of the Clermont CX course at the National Training Center in Central Florida.

Off-Camber (Photo: @crosscopter)

Take a look at that elevation and the off-camber goodness that awaits us this weekend.

We are having more fun than anyone on bicycles in Florida.

Tell your friends.

The Swamp Cross Sand Pit and Communique!

On December 14, 2012 by Super Rookie

Swamp Cross is right around the corner and the crew from 352 Racing has some new course features in store for you. Perhaps the most noticeable is the all new sand pit. We were able to score a spy video of the sand pit in action!

Make sure to view it in full-screen!

The promoters also released this race communique this morning:

PRE-RACE COMMUNIQUE

1) We do not have running water at the course. We wish we did, but we get the best course in Florida in exchange!

2) We have a ton of free parking at the course. It is at the bottom of the hill. We do not allow parking up top. Only official race vehicles and vendors are allowed to drive up top. Sorry.3) Please do not interfere with riders that are racing while you are warming up. Please do not ride past the finish line while warming up. If this happens you will be PUBLICLY SHAMED by the old guy on the microphone.

4) We really love our course. We really love hanging out with our cycling friends. In exchange for the awesome opportunity to race at this course we ask in your help in keeping the grounds clean and the atmosphere friendly. Pack out what you brought in and keep the sailor talk at home.

Tampa RiverFront CX Course Preview

On November 19, 2012 by Christian

TampaRiverfrontCX from Gob Carlqvist on Vimeo.

Course map!

Savannah Super-Prestige Preview

On October 24, 2012 by Super Rookie

Yes, we know that Savannah isn’t in Florida.

However, it is really close and a lot of Floridians are heading north to get in two days of racing action prior to the FLCX season opener in Miami on the 2nd and 3rd of November. So, if you plan on racing study up. If you plan on staying home and hanging out with your hobby shop friends at a Helicopter Fly-In than you can read this and try to live vicariously through us.

This is a top notch race. You don’t want to miss it.

GeorgiaCX: A Primer

The Georgia Cyclocross scene is a little further along than ours. The series has a functioning website at georgiacx.com that is full information. The series also has a lot more racers than ours with attendance averaging above 175 racers per event. The races are structured a little bit differently with more category options to help facilitate the larger number of participants.

The folks in Georgia also have a set payout structure for the cat1/2 race with payout on a sliding scale dependent on participants. It should also be noted that the Single Speed race in Georgia is specific in stating that racers can not have a deraileur on their bike!

They claim to be the “premier series” in the Southeast, so we have now set the goal to prove them wrong here in the Sunshine State.

GeorgiaCX: Racers

The racers in Georgia seem to have a lot in common with those in Florida. A quick venture over to crossresults.com shows a bunch of racers of different quality, just a lot more of them. The fastest of them all is Thomas Turner (Jamis). He was able to get second at Masters Worlds last season in Louisville and he seems to be on track this season with three wins in three tries. So, yeah, get on that guys wheel.

Savannah Super-Prestige Saturday Preview

The race takes place at the Oglethorpe Speedway on the outskirts of Savannah. The course is centered around the dirt racing track and it features a long start onto the backstretch which leads into a spiral. We here in Florida feel this is lame, but we are guests and we keep our mouths shut when in a guests house. After the exit from the spiral you hit some barriers and then a bunch of off camber stuff before leading into a long stretch into the main feature of the Savannah race, THE FLYOVER!

Not the Savannah Flyover. (Photo: Brady Prenzlow via MNCX.org)

The flyover is basically some scaffolding with plywood. It is cool, but have you seen this? Yeah, Florida 1, Georgia 0. After the flyover you hit up the coolest section of the course which features a cool little run-up of three steps prior to hitting up the last section that leads into the pinwheel. It is a great course and the size of the fields ensure some great racing action, regardless of your skill level.

Savannah Super-Prestige Sunday Preview

It is pretty much the same as Saturday, but they add a woods section which is a little bit more technical. Ah, just take a look at the drawing below!

Race map. Featuring spiral of lameness. (Photo: Savannah Super Prestige)

Advice:

Get there early. Pre-ride the course. Take advantage of the beer stand in the grandstand. Have a lot of fun. Repeat on Sunday. This is the biggest race within driving distance of Florida. Why would you miss this? Unless it is to improve your #crosscopter skills you should make your way up Interstate 95.

HOLY FLYOVER, BATMAN!

On September 26, 2012 by Super Rookie

We don’t know how they are going to move it, but take a look at what the gang in Miami has made for you at Tropical Cyclocross this November:

It is our understanding that this is the first flyover of its kind in the Southeastern United States. Other flyovers in the region (Savannah, GA and Melbourne, FL) are of the ramp-to-ramp variety and do not feature a stair run-up. We have been told that the flyover is 9ft high which allows for more than enough room to travel under and it appears to be more than wide enough.

Major kudos to the folks at Tropical Cyclocross for stepping up their game and helping to take cyclocross in Florida to the next level!

P.S. Who wants a quarter pipe on the backside and not the planned 16 foot ramp?

Tampa Rou Bay 9.23.12

On September 10, 2012 by Christian

Guest post by David Horst

There are plenty of other Sundays for scenic jaunts and smooth asphalt ribbons. Sunday, the 23rd of September, is for fun and pain and dirt and rivalry and pride, the Tampa Rou-Bay (Click for map and GPS instructions). I don’t want to overstate my enthusiasm for this race; summer days in San Antonio, FL are not great. If it’s not raining, it’s hot and usually muggy. The roads are not well maintained and there will be more than one beat up dually driven with the intent to harm. The hills are really just thinly covered sand dunes. Even if you just hauled your bike to the start line and sat there for a couple hours, you’d probably be pretty well tired by the end of it. It’s in this hot and uninviting spot that we cut almost 80 miles of racecourse and it’s where we are going to run it just to prove that we can.

The course opens up easy. It’s a road section with some rolling hills and a few potholes. The cool morning ride might be just will be just long enough to lull you into thinking that you made a good decision to enter the race. The first dirt section reassures you that you didn’t. It’s not picturesque; you’ll be running along the interstate on a sandpit of a road for several miles. Bikes don’t belong there and this is just the start.

Road sections will follow dirt sections and blur together. The sand will push your bike handling skills and the climbs and heat will push your fitness. There’s a mostly flat section of paved trail towards the middle that should provide a place for the pack to carry some speed, shattering the hopes of anyone struggling to catch the pack. The rare break from rough roads and looming trucks is followed by more dirt, more asphalt, some of the climbs that everyone knows and some that no one is expecting.

If you’re starting to get excited by reading this then you are just the type of thrill seeking, mildly sadistic, cyclist that shouldn’t miss this race. It doesn’t cost anything and we aren’t giving you anything for doing it. There won’t be a podium presentation but if you’re lucky enough to be with the couple of cyclists to finish first, you’ll know who won and lost.

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