OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ – Swamp CX

On December 13, 2013 by Christian

I missed last weekend’s races in Tallahassee, so I have no idea what’s going to happen in Alachua this weekend for Swamp CX. Yes, this year’s Swamp Cross is happening in Alachua, FL, rather than Gainesville proper, because we lost the usage of our previous venue at The Rock because people who run can’t park their cars in assigned parking areas or something. So we have a new venue, change is good, I don’t fear change, I love lamp.

There is a whole bunch of fast dudes who inhabit the greater Gainesville area who don’t really travel to many of the rest of the events in the FLCX events who show up at Swamp CX and dominate. Dudes like Pete “The Volume” Jones and Dito and Dave Lavenhagen. (We keep hoping on the last one. #LAVENHAGEN2014). So this makes predicting race winners extremely difficult. So I’ve enlisted the assistance of a growler of Ross Glass-Vega’s home-brewed Black IPA as well as a great deal of wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ and plannin’ and dreamin’ to make this week’s edition of the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ a reality.

Swamp Cross is a pretty big deal as far as race weekends go. If you haven’t gone before, and weren’t sure about going, allow me to tell you that you need to get to Alachua/Gainesville this weekend for the festivities, because the course will be great, the nightlife will be hoppin’, and the South East Cyclocross Single Speed Championships on Sunday are not to be missed under any circumstances. Yes, they are 45 minutes in length. It will totally be worth it to you to do the race. I promise.

As always, these rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong.

2013/14 OFFICIAL FLCX Power Rankings™: Tally CX

1. Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Rank: 1

Laura is such a badass that she retains the top spot even tho she didn’t make the ten hour drive (each way) from Miami to Tallahassee last weekend. She’s been that dominant this year. Seriously, who’s gonna show up to challenge her at this point? There are some strong lady MTB racers in Gainesville, but I’m pretty sure that Laura’s diabolical drive to win will be more than enough to overcome all challengers. Plus, it’s Laura’s charming gal pal Amy Plotkin’s birthday on Sunday so Laura should go extra fast. Amy enjoys good beer and toys for her vast collection of kittens if you wanted to get her a present, AND WHY WOULDN’T YOU GET AMY A PRESENT?

2. Ed Dunne (CycleLogic) | M35 | Last Rank: 4

Ed continues his domination of the youngest class of old farts with another strong weekend in Tallahassee. As Andy Mills (Saving Lives/Love It or List It) fades further and further into our collective memories, Ed gets stronger and stronger, and his brogue is still cooler than your southern twang all week long and twice on Sundays. As a Gainesville local, he’s certain to show up this weekend, and thoat ought to just about sew up the title in M35 for the season. Unless it doesn’t, in which case all bets are off.

3. Vitor Alexandre (Colavita) | M45 | Last Rank: 3

To paraphrase the above old Nike commercial with Spike Lee as the legendary Mars Blackmon, almost nobody has been as dominant as Vitor has this year. If he was a younger man, he’d be ranked even higher, but let’s face it, youth sells, so 3rd will have to do for the guy who is running away with the 45 plus points. Yes, Steve Noble (Infinity) is still in dogged pursuit, but he’s gonna need to pull a rhino out of his hat to catch Vitor at this point of the season. And everyone knows that rhino’s are way more difficult than rabbits to remove from headwear.

4. Josh Thornton (Giant/Pioneer Mortgage) | p12, SS | Last Rank: 5

This might seem like a controversial pick, considering that Josh was beaten in his last SS race in Ocala by a handsome rapscallion with a debonaire mustache, but we’re picking Josh for the South Eastern Cyclocross Single Speed Championships this year, and we’re basing it on two things, and two things only. Josh is pretty damn fast, one, and he has no problem whatsoever with getting another tattoo. Yes, he got beat by the aforementioned rapscallion in the SS race in Ocala, but the rapscallion is notably reluctant when it comes to the body modification department. Josh is a mortal lock to win the Pro 12 races, as well, which is reason enough to place him this high in the rankings.

5. Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear/Biemme) | P12, SS | Last Week: 2

As Ryan, the aforementioned mustachioed rapscallion, gets closer to his money-(sort of)-making season of professional Mountain Bike Racing (This is no knock on Ryan’s ability, rather on the meagre pay-outs at the top levels of domestic US MTB circuit,) he is getting stronger and stronger, meaning that by January we should be in for a whale of a race between Ryan and Josh, which is really pretty much all we’ve wanted to see all season. Josh was still able to ride away from Ryan in Ocala at their last meeting, but a lot can change in three weeks, particularly three weeks that have Thanksgiving dinner and the beginning of the Christmas Cookie season.

6. Tony Sigrist (UCF) | M3 | Last Week: We See You


pic from the google/ucf cycling

Tony showed up basically out of nowhere in Ocala and made the rest of the pitifully few Men’s Cat 3 field look like tree stumps as he rode away from us. I like his chances in Gainesville, unless the usual bunch of Gainesville sandbaggers show up, which will almost certainly happen, because college students are lazy and only make road trips for spring break. Right?

7. Josh Lehmann (NECX) | P12 | Last Week: Freezing his ass off in New Hampshire

Total Long Shot pick of the week. Josh is back down here to show us how they do in NECX by saying “Wicked Pissah” and “Holdjya line, ya friggin tool!” He is fast, young, and under the evil influence and tutelage of the greatest finder of talent in FLCX, Rich Dybdahl (Broken Ritte, Pure Cycle). He had to take root beer handups last year at the SECXSSC, and he probably will have to do the same this year, but his northern form will take him far, look for him near the top of the field.

8. Jennifer Kraatz-Hoyle (Garneau FL) | W123 | Last Week: 9

Jennifer moved up to play with the elite women and showed that she was completely at home racing for 15 extra minutes, duelling with the very fast Jennifer Talley of Dustin in Tallahassee. We’ll see how she fares against the South Florida Rose Bandit onslaught, as well as the assumed return of Ms. Consistant Apotsos.

9/10 Cliff Kugler/Kyle Casteline/Joey Gilman/John Kingham | M4 | Last Week: All over the place

This has by far been one of the fairest seasons of Men’s category 4/5 racing that I can remember, with no one rider truly dominating, no one obviously sandbagging, so I’ve decided to add some pressure to these four guys to finally step up and seize the title of biggest 30 minute sandbagger for the 2013/2014 FLCX Season. Enough screwing around, you guys, you’ve all been on or near the podium, all of you are fast enough to be there, we just need for you to put together one friggin hour (over two days) of dominant racing without crashing, breaking your bike, or having a mental meltdown and throwing your bike into the weeds. Is it too much to ask of one of you? Get it together, be the champion sandbagger you were destined to be, and crush your competition as badly as you possibly can this weekend. I believe in you. You can do this.

The racing this weekend will almost certainly have tall barriers, a set of stairs, and the return of the dumptruck loads of sand. There is also a pretty good chance of rain showers, particularly on Sunday, so bring an umbrella. And some xmas decorations. And handups. Lots of handups. This is the weekend to get creative with the handups, so do us all proud.

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ – Tally CX

On December 6, 2013 by Super Rookie

It isn’t very often that the editors of the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ get to meet face to face and discuss the standings for the upcoming week, but the moons aligned and we were able to write the rankings high in the cheap seats in section 303 of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

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Taken immediately before GOB cheap shotted Rookie. (Picture: Emily)

There were some disagreement at first, but with the gloves off we were able to hash out the differences and produce the infallible and 100% accurate OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™.

BTW, if you disagree, you are wrong.

2013/14 OFFICIAL FLCX Power Rankings™: Tally CX

1. Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Rank: 1

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Hmmmm, that isn’t Laura! IMPOSTER! (Photo: Google Image Vanity Search)

When you show up and win two races in dominant fashion against top quality competition you must be doing something right. The only downside to the Laura Parsons cyclocross game is that she lives in Miami, which is as far away from the cycling world as you can get. It makes us wonder how Parsons would do if she lived in a cyclocross hotbed, but who are we kidding? They race in 15degrees on the reg. We know how Miami folk react to the “cold” and that is when it is just 65 degrees.

Well done Laura, you deserve the top spot…again.

2. Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear/Biemme) | P12, SS | Last Week: 4

Four races. Three wins. It was a little tough trying to figure out where to slot Woodall after Ocala. He won three races in dominating fashion, but lost to Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage) when it counted for the FLCX Points. That said, the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ are all about ‘what have you done for me lately’ and Woodall has been showing up week after week and winning at a higher percentage than anyone else in the series.

How good has Woodall been this year? We don’t even have anything snarky to say.

3. Vitor Alexandre (Colavita) | M45 | Last Week: 2

It may look like Vitor has dropped a spot since the last ranking, but in reality it is all an illusion. Vitor continues to win in the stacked 45+ field and has been instrumental in getting more South Florida racers interested in cyclocross. If it wasn’t for the performance of Woodall over the weekend Vitor would be a lock for the #2 spot.

A few weeks back Vitor told me he used to race in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup Series. I felt the need to check up on the mysterious juggernaut and I contacted a few of my friends from the Windy City and they confirmed that Vitor was the real deal and should be a marked man on race day. We then started to talk about Olive Oil. It was captivating.

4. Ed Dunne (CycleLogic) | M35 | Last Week: We See You

Ed Dunne is the real deal. He won the Cat3 FLCX Series last year and has since moved over to the 35+ field where he is currently leading the FLCX Standings. He may not be the fastest racer in the 35+ field, but he is by far the most consistent. Dunne may be able to lock up the FLCX overall with a win in Tally and the absence of Andy Mills (Saving Lives). That said, the 35+ field has really come alive this year and a lot of that has to do with the attendance of Dunne at a vast majority of the races. If a few people skip out on Tally and Dunne does what is expected we may have a new Power Rankings leader heading into Swamp Cross

5. Joshua Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage) | P12 | Last Week: NR

Wheelie Awesome, Josh. (Photo: Internetz)

Uh-oh. He’s back. Took some time off from racing and is back to stake claim to his rightful place at the top of the FLCX Series podium. He showed up on Sunday in Ocala and won when it counted over Ryan Woodall, but he may have left too many points on the table to win the FLCX overall. That is the bike racing side of Josh Thornton, but let’s get to the real stuff, Thornton and his wife Keleigh are entering into the promotion game bringing the Wicked Hardah CX race to Dade City in January!

This is great news and we all owe a big thanks to the fastest man in the state of Florida. The Thornton family stepped up when we needed it most (the NTC in Clermont has changed ownership) and now we get to have an amazing race at a sweet venue thanks to our friends. That is worthy of making the power rankings alone.

6. Duffy Danish (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Week: NR

Reason Duffy Made The OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™:

  1. Amazing Name.
  2. Quality bike racing skills.
  3. Quality husband.
  4. Not Laura Parsons.

Reason Duffy Isn’t Higher On The OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™:

  1. Not Laura Parsons.

7. Steve Noble (Infinity Racing) | M45 | Last Week: We See You

Poor Steve Noble. The legend of Florida Cyclocross. The original Cyclocross Carnie that traveled around the state when there were only six races and five racers in the masters field. Now, after all his loyalty and dedication to the cyclocross promoters in the state he has to deal with Vitor. That said, we are starting to notice a slight change in the way the 45+ field has been turning out and Noble is slowly making up ground on Vitor and he is only 10points down for the FLCX Series overall heading into Tally.

8. Harrison Knight (First Place Racing) | Juniors 10-14 | Last Week: 9

We are not going to lie. We are a little afraid of young Harrison. He is a beast on the bike and can probably beat quite a few folks in the Cat4s. The good news? We still have a few years of respite before he is old enough to bring the pain to those twice his age. Our favorite part about young Harrison is that he is like the rest of the Juniors 10-14 field at FLCX Races, awesome. Think about it, we are pretty lucky to have the likes of Lachlan, Jackson, Brandon, Scott, Caleb, and Jacob racing in our fields. We have a bright future!

9. Jennifer Kraatz (Garneau Florida) | W4 | Last Week: We See You

A few weeks back we mentioned that Jennifer Kraatz was the first ever female recipient of the FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week­­™ Award in OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ history. It was almost as if the pressure got to Jennifer and she was only able to manage two second places at Infinity CX, but the truth is that was all just a flash in the pan and she won two races in Ocala to take back her place on the top step in the ever growing Womens Cat4 field.

10. Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning) | Pro | Last Week: NR

Even pros bobble from time to time. (GIF: INTERNET)

In college Martin was a force for the Vermont Catamounts, twice a finalist for the coveted Hobey Baker Award, but his small 5’8″ frame left him undrafted in 1997. After toiling in the lower categories St. Louis upgraded to the pro ranks in 1999 and hasn’t looked back. A six time All-Star, two time Ross Trophy winner, one time Hart Trophy winner and three time Lady Byng Trophy winner the man has played in over 1,000 NHL games and is a legend in the eyes of his peers and an institution in Florida. It should be noted that St. Louis netted two goals under the watchful eyes of the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ editors, thus deserving mention.

FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week­­™: Jennifer Kraatz (Garneau Florida)

Pretty sure that Jennifer likes being a trailblazer. Because not only is she the only female winner of the FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week™ award she is also the only person to win it twice in one year!

It is time to move up and throw down with the top ladies in the state. We have been around cyclocross for a while and we assure you that you will do an amazing job. Plus, look at the track record of past Sandbagger Of The Week­­™ winners moving up to the next category; Tim Hayes (Swift Cycle) and Rich Dybdahl (Pure Cycles) both have performed ridiculously well in the higher ranks.

We see you: Michael Danish, Beardo, Ryan Fisher, Taylor Norton, Tony Sigrist

Falling off: Addison Zawada, Dustin White, Melissa Isenman, Tic Bowen, Kristin Apotsos, Andy Mills

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Ocala CX

On November 22, 2013 by Christian

A wild weekend of racing in Palm Bay confirmed some suspicions and rejected others, introduced some new powers to the equations, and generally made a bunch of people giddy with anticipation for the next batch of power rankings. Yes, I suppose you can argue that they’re just giddy for this weekend’s races in Ocala, but the egotist in me likes to think it’s just for my wit and wisdom…

The course in Ocala last year was at a different venue, so it’s hard to predict what we’ll be racing on this weekend without some local reconassance, and the locals are being uncharactoristically tight lipped, so we’re going to take a wait and see approach. Last year’s race was a super fun race on and around some atheletic fields with some small yet challenging elevation changes and sharp little ride/run ups, but there’s no telling what we’re in for this time, other than you’re likely to see a lot of cars on 22 inch rims on the way to the
venue, they like them big in Ocala.

What does that have to do with the Power Rankings? Either a lot or nothing, but enough screwing around, let’s get down to brass tacks.

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Ocala CX

1. Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Rank: Falling off (????)


Laura with a floating butt, pic from rose bandits.com

Despite the massive amounts of alcohol that the SuperRookie must ingest before he composes his power rankings, I can assure you all that he’s not a bad person, and he’s not trying to ruin the sport, in spite of his insistance on dropping Laura off the Rankings for the slimmest of reasons. Laura has taken it in stride, however, and used her obvious simmering rage to her advantage and dominated every CX race she’s entered, and I can tell you with certainty that she’s riding even stronger this year than she was last year, because I have to race with her in my wave, and she always beats me senseless. No one else in the state is even close, except maybe that Josh Thornton guy, but we haven’t seen him since Tampa, there’s no telling what sort of beer and donuts mischeif he’s been getting up to since then. This weekend, Laura will also be fueled by the rage of breaking her road bike in an unfortunate indoor trainer incident, undoubtably caused by either a WATTS overload or an errant coffee table, so look out, ladies.

2. Vitore Alexandre (Colavita) | M45 | Last Week: 4

Vitore had a great weekend for himself in Palm Bay at the head of a large and fast Masters 45 plus field. I beleive he finished in the top five of the entire Master’s wave both days, which is something when he’s giving up almost 10 years to some of those guys. Yes, Steve Noble was close to him for much of the weekend, but at the end of the 45 minute event, Vitore was all by his lonesome and was really quite dominant. Two wins, no one else in the finish line picture, that’s exactly what gets you onto the pointy end of the FLCX Power Rankings.

3. Addison Zawada (ForwardSet/NOT RED BULL (For CX) | P12, SS | Last Week: 4


Sweet Skid Brah! Pic from cyclonesia.com.

Remember how we were telling you how fast Addison was back when he was killing us in the threes? He upgraded himself to the 60 minute race and ran away with it on Saturday, winning in impressive fashion. He’s got power, he’s got technical skills, he has 60 minutes worth of endurance- while he had a little more trouble with a much fresher Earl Bradley (Infinity) on Sunday, we’ve certainly added a legitimate podium threat to the 60 minute filed. Will he be able to stay up front when Eric Stubbs and GianCarlo Bianchi make their long awaited CX season debuts in Ocala?

4. Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear/Biemme) | P12, SS | Last Week: 2

This guy. Women love him, men want to be as fast as he is, and he loves kids. The complete package? Only his fiance knows for certain, and she’s not talking to the press. With only a victory over a strong Jason Guillen in the Single Speed and a lowly (for him) third place in the main event, Ryan drops a couple of slots in the rankings, but is sure to reclaim them at his hometown race this weekend. Yes, third place is probably Ryan’s worst FLCX result ever, but a lot of guys will ride their entire career and never come in third place in a P12 field. (HI TIM!)

5. Dustin White (Velo Brew) | P12 | Last Week: NR

When is this guy gonna break thru? He’s been lurking around near the sharp end of the P12 race for the past several races, and ended up on the second placed step twice at Infinity CX. Last week, he was up in Georgia racing collegiate, and thre are various rumours that he won, but that’s collegiate and we all know that stuff that happens in college doesn’t apply in real life and thus carries no weight for our purposes here. With the return of the prodigal roadie children next week, will he hold his own? Time will tell.

6. Melissa Isenman (Infinity) | W4, SS | Last Week: We See You

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Last Rankings, all anybody cared about was Jennifer Kraatz’s string of Women 4 victories, and now she’s been knocked down a step or two. Melissa Isenman won big on Sunday, which is even more impressive considering that I called her shot for her on the starting line, telling her “Today is your day.” She made my prophecy a reality by attacking from the gun, getting a gap, and never looking back. Melissa has been known to race the single speed race as well, just to make sure her kid doesn’t get lost while he’s racing the junior race, and is another one of the people that make FLCX what it is with her positive attitude and excellent attendance record.

7. Tic Bowen (B3 Cafe/Winter Park Cycles) | M35, P12 | Last Week: We See You

Tic has more Strava KOM’s in the greater Orlando area than the average strava junkie does! but as it turns out, massive roadie watts translate pretty well to FLCX, and Tic won his first Masters35 event a couple Saturdays ago. Showing up at one race and kicking ass and then disappearing is an unfortunate FLCX tradition, but Tic appears to be made of stronger stock than that, and seems to enjoy himself enough that we’ll be seeing a lot more of him.

8. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity) | W123 | Last Week: 8

Consistent has been the word we use to describe Kristin’s racing all season, and at her home town race in Palm Bay, she was pretty much everything that the word describes again. Consistently drilling it on the bike, and consistently being awesome off of it. Whether she’s killing rattlesnakes in her back yard with her bare hands, beating on people with her stand up paddle board paddle, or chasing Laura Parsons, She gets it done with a gritty determination we could all take a lesson from. Check out her blog if you want to become more consistently awesome yourself. Also, she has something called a Paddler Profile which I swear is SFW.

9. Harrison Knight ( ) | Juniors 10-14 | Last Week: NR

This kid is just murderous on a bicycle. I don’t have time to do the research, but I’m pretty sure he’s won every single CX race he’s ever entered. Which is impressive. He even finished ahead of Eric Meucci in the wave, and he’s giving up two or three years to Eric, and everyone knows that the entire Meucci family is a lot faster than the average family. And Harrison has a little brother, who is almost as fast as Harrison is.

10. Andy Mills (The Fit Lab/PoewerBar) | M35, P12 | Last Week: 1

Andy stays on the list, barely, soley based on the quality of the cumulative ass kickings he’s handed out this season. Where’s Josh, you ask? He’s been gone for a month, and the power rankings have real and serious abandonment issues. If you don’t show up, we’ll forget you, eventually. If you come back, all is forgiven.

We see you: Steve Noble, Michael Danish, Beardo, Chris Kyle, Jason Guillen, Taylor Norton, Ed Dunne, Jennifer Kraatz, Jackson Mehr

Falling off: Josh Thornton, John Kingham, Ted Hollander, Bob Croslin

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Infinity CX

On November 7, 2013 by Super Rookie

The OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS are meant to be taken seriously. In fact, they are compiled using complex computer models and math (MATH). They are then peer-reviewed by an elite committee of FLCX aficionados to ensure compatibility with the International Power Ranking Standards (IPRS). These standards provide the basic framework for which we base all our decisions.

Spooky Cross in Winter Garden provided a great opportunity for riders to stake their claim to the top of the Florida Cyclocross mountain. It also showed us who takes cyclocross seriously in Florida and who decides to dabble in road bicycling during cyclocross season. This test of cyclocross loyalty was played out in Winter Garden and with 115 racers in attendance we are proud to say that FLCX is “here to stay.”

With the FLCX Series shifting to the Space Coast for the third iteration of Infinity CX in Melbourne, Florida quite a few Miami based riders are expected to make an appearance and re-stake their claim at the top of FLCX, but rankings are based on what you have done, not what you are expected to do on the upcoming weekend. Due to this simple fact we see a few names dropping down on the list this week and a few riders making their first appearance on the rankings.

As a reminder, that while the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS are 100% official and can not be challenged in any way, it is our intent to entertain and bring a little bit of cyclocross happiness to your internet time-wasting before a race weekend.

This is our sandbox and it is open to everyone. Let us know what you think, but don’t think for a second we will actuall read it!

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Infinity CX

1. Andy Mills (The Fit Lab/PowerBar) | M35, P12 | Last Rank: 3

millsfirefighter

Mills immediately after finishing Spooky CX. (Photo: Orlando Sentinel)

Andy Mills is faster than you. Andy Mills is the reason you feel inadequate on the bike and in life. Andy Mills is the kind of guy you wish was your dad so you could take to school on “Take Your Dad To School Day” because he could beat up all the other dads and then proceed to save their lives from the beating he just gave them. Just how fast is Andy Mills? He does the 35+ race against the likes of Jack Rich, Tic Bowen, Zach Fout and Ed Dunne as a warm-up before racing the Pro/1/2/Open race.

Oh, did we mention that he wins the 35+ race with the fastest average lap times on the day? Did we mention that he placed a very strong second to Ryan Woodall in the Pro/1/2/Open race? How did he top this performance from two Sundays ago? He went to work, climbed a ladder, and pulled a kitty out of a tree. Then he delivered a baby with his bare hands.

Go ahead, feel bad about yourself.

2. Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear/Felt) | P12, SS | Last Rank: 9

I am not making this up. Google Image Search ‘Ryan Woodall’ (Photo: Ryan Woodall, Esq)

Let’s be honest. Ryan Woodall is in the middle of his off-season and he is coming out to FLCX races to have some fun. He was also battling a little bit of an injury heading into the highly anticipated showdown with Josh Thornton at the Tampa Riverfront CX Weekend. In short, we haven’t seen the best of Woodall on a cross bike, but we did get to see a glimpse of what he can do at Winter Garden. He managed to be the only non-35+ racer to make the top five in the average lap time standings – despite having to do an extra two laps this is not an easy feat against the likes of Mills, Bowen, Dunne and Rich.

If I was Josh Thornton – I promise I never think about this while laying awake in bed at night – I would be a little worried of Woodall come January when he is in the middle of peak training mode for the upcoming Pro XCT Mountain Bike season.

3. Jennifer Hoyles-Kraatz (Garneau Florida) | W4 | Last Rank: 7

kraatz

Super-Mega bonus points for the Garneau branded team bike with pink accents. (Photo: Facebook)

Easily one of the biggest highlights of the 2013/14 FLCX Season has been the amount of women racing. In years past you could count the number of ladies on a single hand and this year we have seen double digit fields in the Women 4s at three races and the numbers are continuing to trend upwards. Jennifer Hoyles-Kraatz has quickly laid claim to the fastest newcomer in Florida Cyclocross with three straight wins. This also means that we have reached a point in Florida Cyclocross history that we never thought possible – more on this later.

Enjoy your time in the limelight, Jennifer.

You have earned it.

4. Vitor Alexandre (Colavita) | M45, Cat3 | Last Rank: NR

The single most competitive field from top to bottom in Florida Cyclocross is the Masters 45+ field. Stacked with the likes of Steve Noble (Infinity), Scott Atkins (GearLink Racing), Biron Keefer (Infinity) and Jeff Zipperer (Infinity) this field has long been one to watch. Now with the addition of the 35+ Masters to the wave the 45+ competition can get a little overshadowed, but astute observers have noted the appearance of Vitor Alexandre sporting the Colavita colors at the races this season and his slow and steady ascent to the top of the throne (he was listed as ‘trending up’ last week). Coming to Florida by way of Chicago he has quite a bit of experience with large, fast fields. It is no wonder that he has become a force to be reckoned with in the 45+ fields.

Oh, he was the reason that a bunch of racers earned some fresh Colavita Olive Oil for their racing troubles in Winter Garden!

5. Addison Zawada (Forward Set / Red Bull) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: 5

KeanuReevesairguitarLS

Addison getting extreme. (Photo: Orion Pictures)

Bad luck and Bob Croslin (Orange State Cycling) were the only things keeping Addison from climbing to the top step of the Cat 3 race at Spooky CX. It was no surprise that Zawada found himself at the front of the race early in just his second cat3 race of the season, but it is the adversity that he displayed riding the final half lap with a blown out tubeless tire (what did we tell you about tubeless at Tampa, Addison?), that keeps Zawada at step five this week. If you correct for his final lap his average lap time would put him squarely in the top5 overall after Winter Garden.

Closed Circuit To Addison: PLEASE DO NOT UPGRADE TO CAT2 OR EVER RACE IN CAT123s. YOU WILL NOT ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE. K? THNX BYE.

6. Bob Croslin (Orange State Cycling) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: NR

You may be wondering why Croslin is not ranked higher than Zawada in the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS this week despite winning the epic showdown in Winter Garden and the answer is quite simple. First off, Zawada is starting to put together a quality race resume with consistent performances dating back to the Jacksonville Training Series in September. Secondly, Bob was riding a mountain bike. Sure, it was a Santa Cruz (available at Swift Cycle – Gainesville’s Number One Source For All Your Bicycling Needs), but we are talking about cyclocross, not monster trucks.

Croslin is a staple in the cat3s. He is the type of rider we need more of. He consistently puts out quality performances and helps make the up-and-coming racers stay honest. Congrats on making the list Bob and helping make Florida Cyclocross a better place.

7. Ted Hollander (Florida Masters) | M55+ | Last Rank: NR

ednigma

The Riddler showed up to Spooky CX and stole the race. (Photo: Kristin Apotsos)

We could put Hollander on this list strictly because of the size of his cajones for calling out every single rider at the Spooky CX event with the Wanted Posters he put up all over the Spooky CX venue, but his performance in the 55+ class last week did more than enough to earn this place. He called his shot like Babe Ruth – we can not confirm reports that Hollander saw Ruth play live while in High School – and delivered.

For you, our friend, we salute you!

8. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity Bike Shop) | W123 | Last Rank: 8

Consistency is what works and Apotsos has been the definition of consistency in Florida Cyclocross over the past two years. With her win in the W123s in Winter Garden she has staked her claim to the top of the FLCX Standings after two races. A few more top three results and we could see Apotsos making a play for the overall.

Oh, how can we forget to mention that Kristin won the Spooky CX race while sporting a full costume?

You’re move, Mills.

9. John Kingham (U/A) | Cat4/5 | Last Rank: NR

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John Kingham, Bicycle Messenger (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

Kingham has put together a solid resume of racing this season in the large category 4/5 fields that we have seen across the state. Winter Garden was the first time he tasted the top step after solid top-ten performances in Tampa and Dunedin. A former Chicago based bicycle messenger, Kingham, surely has what it takes to transition into the higher fields and will be among the top cat3s by the end of the season. Like all cat4/5s he does find himself in the strange position of being on the verge to upgrade and with the way he is earning points it will be just a matter of weeks, but Cliff Kugler (Colavita) and Jayden Eckroth (Brick City Bicycles) will be making him earn it the old-fashioned way.

Lots of great racing going on in the cat4s right now!

10. Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage p/b Your Key) | Cat1/2 | Last Rank: 1

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Thornton has reigned supreme at the top of the Power Rankings since the season started in Dunedin over a month ago. With a recent dabble in road bicycling, he missed out on the excitement at Winter Garden, so he dived in the rankings faster than David Beckham at the 2011 MLS Cup. If it wasn’t for his ever impressive cyclocross race resume over the past two years – sure, he is an okay road bicycler, too – Thornton would find himself outside of the rankings for the first time in over a year.

 

We See You: Mattheu Pourbaix (Beardo Enterprises), Ryan Fisher (Mayo Clinic), Cliff Kugler (Colavita), Melissa Isenman (Infinity), Tic Bowen (Compass), Dustin White (VeloBrew), Entire Pure Cycle Team

Falling Off: Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits), Jack Rich (Infinity Racing), Steve Noble (Infinity Racing), Michael Mace (Brick City Bicycles)

2013/14 FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week: Infinity CX

sandbagger

We have reached an important point in the growth of cyclocross in this state. The ‘winner’ of this week’s FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week Award is a testament to our growth this season. It brings a tear to our collective eyes to announce that we have our first ever female recipient of the bag of sand, Jennifer Hoyles-Kraatz (Garneau Florida). With three straight wins in the past three races over the likes of cat4 powerhouses Melissa Isenman (Infinity Racing) and Nicole Carson (Pinnacle Wheelworks) it is no question that Hoyles-Kraatz is ready to step up and battle the likes of Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) and Kristin Apotsos (Infinity Racing) in the W1/2/3s.

It is a badge of honor. Now wear that badge proudly in the W1/2/3s!

 

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Spooky Cross

On October 24, 2013 by Christian

The results of the first race of the FLCX Points Series in Tampa shouldn’t have really surprised anyone that was paying attention to Tim’s Power Rankings, with one major exception of course, as detailed below. A great course that had a lot of unique technical sections by Florida standards, it was still flat enough and the straightaways were long enough that technically challenged riders (roadies) weren’t at a complete disadvantage.

Looking ahead to Winter Garden, the parcours is a lot slower, with thicker grass, softer dirt underneath it, and more turns than Tampa. It’s more of a power course, with a deep sand pit and shorter straightaways with tight corners on the end of most of them. There is approximately 11 feet of elevation change per lap, so it’s basically flat. The Florida State Road Race is being held the same day, because the last weekend in October is the perfect time of year to hold the championship after a season that started the last week of January, so some of the favourites on this list will be 20 miles away riding with their roadie friends, so if you don’t care about winning a road State Champions jersey, or you have little chance of winning one, you should have a better chance to make some points in the FLCX Points Series.

As a reminder, these rankings are 100% official and can not be challenged in any way.

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Spooky Cross

1. (tie) Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage p/b Your Key) | Cat1/2 | Last Rank: 1


pic by Relentless Bicycles.
Josh is on devastatingly dominant form right now. I don’t know for certain about Road, but there’s no question that he’s stood on the top step of every CX podium of every race he’s entered for the month of October. Josh is so fast right now that he should probably go do some big out-of-state races because no one down here can even get within a minute of him. Two words: Fah Hast.

1. (tie) Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | Cat W123 | Last Rank: NR


pic by Jimmy Campbell.
Tim must have simply forgotten about Laura when he prepared the Tampa Power Rankings, which I suppose I can possibly understand, because Laura is pretty quiet on the internet, not posting about every pizza she eats or kitten she pets or beach in Puerto Rico she surfs like some other people from Miami I could mention. But holy crap, Laura let her riding do the talking for her at Riverfront with two wins that were every bit as dominating as Josh’s were. Her seething resentment for being left off the list was the obvious source of her prowess, and probably didn’t have anything to do with her being in terrific form or anything.

3. Andy Mills (The Fit Lab/PowerBar) | M35, P12 | Last Rank: NR


pic by On The Rivet.

There are two kinds of Master’s racers. Those who found cycling later in life and want to dip their toes in the racing pool without all those screaming 22 year old Cat 4’s, and those who’ve been racing long enough to qualify for the Senior Leagues. The latter can be further separated, much like the oft-mentioned mullet hairstyle, into those who are SERIOUS BUSINESS, and those who enjoy pulled-pork chimichangas and lots of flavourful beers from semi-obscure craft breweries more than they enjoy 50×20 intervals and bare chicken breasts for dinner. All of this is to say that Andy is super fast, fast enough that he beat the heretofore unbeatable Jack Rich on Sunday in the M35’s. There’s a new fire chief in town, old guys.

4. Jack Rich (Infinity Bike Shop) | M35 | Last Rank: 4


pic by Michael Ploch.

Jack stayed at 4th this week in the Rankings, and it was more bad luck caused by that evil sidewalk on Sunday than any personal failing on Jack’s part. He did win a canny victory on Saturday over Zach Fout, and still managed second to Andy on Sunday even with about 15psi left in his front tubeless tire, so the Rich Magic™ (not to be confused with the Rich Dybdahl Magic™, which is totally different) is still intact, but it looks like Jack is going to have a more difficult time repeating his FLCX M35 championship. Not to say that he can’t do it, he’s just going to have to work a lot harder.

5. Addison Zawada (Forward Set / Red Bull) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: NR


pic by Forward Set

Addison has been beating up on the fields at the Jacksonville CX Training series for the past several months, so he decided to try his hand racing outside of Duval County, and found it to his liking. He got away early in the Cat 3 race on Sunday, and never looked back. Look out Cat 3’s, there’s another new dominator in town.

6. Steve Noble (Infinity) | M45, SS | Last Rank: 5


pic by Kristin Apotsos

Steve was back both days in Tampa, and it was only getting beat (by noted road cycling enthusiast Vitore Alexandre (Colavita)) on Saturday that moved him down a notch. Consistant, strong, smooth, aero, wily, all of these and more describe Steve’s riding. Great to have him back.

7. Jennifer Hoyles-Kraatz | W4 | Last Rank: NR


pic by Jennifer Hoyles-Kraatz.

Can we talk about how awesome it is when you get to ride the Pave D’Arenburg? Cause if that isn’t a dream of yours, you should probably take the time to google the Pave D’Arenburg and then add it to your bucket list. Never mind, I googled it for you. Anyway, it’s also awesome to win a bike race. Therefore, it’s twice as awesome when you win two bike races. SCIENCE. Try to argue with me. Jennifer won the W4’s on both days, so it would certainly appear that she’s on the Kristen Apotsos Cat 4 domination plan. If she keeps it up, then she’ll be chasing Laura and the rest of the fast women (not like that, don’t make it weird) around for 45 minutes by December.

8. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity Bike Shop) | W123 | Last Rank: 8


pic by Tripple B Photo

Can we talk about how ripped Kristin is? When she’s not out-paddling sailboats, she’s totally living the rock star blogger lifestyle and traveling all over the country being awesome with her family in her Airstream. Rad. She’s also pretty handy with her CX bike, getting on the podium both days in Tampa with a second and a third. She’s consistently consistent, 8th on the power ranking last time, and 8th again this time.

9. Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear/Felt) | P12, SS | Last Rank: 9


pic by Ryan Woodall.

There was much anticipation for the Thornton vs Woodall battle leading up to Tampa Riverfront, but Josh answered that question about two laps into the race when he opened up about a 30 second gap that continued to go out the entire race. Why didn’t this drop Ryan off the list, you ask? Stop questioning my motives, didn’t you read the sentence at the top of this column? Get off my yard. Since you so rudely asked, it’s because Ryan was racing with one arm, essentially. He couldn’t raise one arm above his shoulder without significant pain due to a recent crash. And he was still an unchallenged second place in both P12 races, and one of the SS races. He won the other SS race. And he’s as kind and gracious in person as you could ever ask an elite athlete to be.

10. Mike Mace (First Place Racing) | Jr | Last Rank: NR


pic by Steve Mace who barely missed making this list himself.

First of all, Mike is THIRTEEN. Mike is an elite junior MTB racer, and he’s also faster than a lot of grown ups. A lot faster than a lot of grown ups. He started the weekend in the Men’s 4’s because he’s raced CX once before. (He won that one.) I warned everyone on the start line what was about to happen. I told them Mike was going to ride away from them. And then I said GO and Mike went, and rode away from everyone. I told his (also fast) dad Steve that we were upgrading him to Cat 3. USA Cycling needs to listen to me more often. I know things. In the Junior race, Mike was hanging out with Ryan Woodall (who was racing Single Speed simultaneously) for the first 20 minutes or so. On Sunday, Mike raced with the P12 Open race, and while he wasn’t dominant, he wasn’t last, either. Incredible talent from such a young rider. I hope we see a lot more of him (and his dad) this season.

On the verge, trending up:

Wojtek Dyszkiewicz (Birdsong Brewing) | M3, SS | Last Rank: 6

Second in the 3’s and 5th in SS on Sunday. The cooler temps should help Wojtek. Look out, 3’s.

Taylor Norton (Orange State Cycling) | M3, SS | Last Rank: NR

Battled with Bob Croslin (Orange State Cycling) and won on Saturday, 4th on Sunday. Decent rides in the SS. Fueling his speed is his rage at the building code violations of his new home’s former owners.

Vitore Alexandre (Colavita) | M45, M3 | Last Rank: NR

New to CX this season, he’s quickly proving himself a force to be reckoned with, particularly in M45.

Falling Off: Ed Dunne, Lachlan Hovius

SANDBAGGER OF THE WEEK:
We should just call this the Rich Dybdahl Magic™ Award, since it almost always goes to some guy that Dybdahl has dug out of the woodwork who is faster than everyone but has (supposedly) never pinned a number on. In this case, Alex Lonsdale, COME ON DOWN! Alex utterly destroyed the 4’s race on Sunday. Something tells me he’d have a lot more fun in the 3’s.

See you all in Winter Garden on Sunday!

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Tampa Riverfront CX

On October 11, 2013 by Super Rookie

The summer hiatus from cyclocross racing in Florida ended three weeks ago at the inaugural Edinburgh CX Challenge in Dunedin. The race marked one of the first forays of cross racing in September in Florida Cyclocross history and it was a huge success with quite a few large fields. That turnout gave us the opportunity to take a look at who is hot and who is not going into the first full weekend of racing on the Florida Cyclocross calendar.

As a reminder, these rankings are 100% official and can not be challenged in any way.

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Tampa Riverfront CX

1. Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage p/b Your Key) | Cat1/2 | Last Rank: N/A

Thornton looking smooth. (Photo: Michael Ploch)

Josh Thornton is a pretty nice guy. If I had to ask him to bail me out of jail (GUILTY OF BEING AWESOME) I bet he would be there in a heartbeat. Making it even worse is that Josh will be super polite when he is coming around to lap you in the middle of the race (we know from experience). The Tampa weekend will mark the third and fourth race of the season for Thornton. He got an early start at the UCI Nittany Cross race in Pennsylvania and featured well in the main chase.

The big question is not if Thornton has what it takes to continue his dominance in Florida Cyclocross, but if there is anyone that can compete against him in the category 1/2 field week in and week out.

2. Chris Slack (Infinity Bike Shop) | Cat1/2, SS | Last Rank: N/A

Slack has added a few pounds in the offseason. (Slack Family Archives)

Chris Slack looked extremely strong in Dunedin a few weeks ago with a strong second place in the 1/2 field and an easy win in the Single Speed race. When Slack isn’t busy not eating anything of substance he is working on opening his very own boutique shop and wheel building emporium in Sarasota. After taking second place overall in last year’s FLCX Series in the 1/2s he may feel like he has something to prove, but with a new shop on the horizon he may join the ranks of the slow bike shop owners that populate  Florida Cyclocross.

3. John Hovius (AAA Triathlon) | Cat3, SS, 45+ | Last Week: N/A

Hovius and Dyszkiewicz took the top two steps in the cat3s at Dunedin. (Photo: John Hovius)

John is a machine. He will race three times in one day and every time he will feature in the race. His efforts must be applauded and his diesel engine is reminiscent of the great Jan Ulrich. When John isn’t busy winning his category he is training for triathlons. He has probably beaten someone you know. He is the real deal. He is a horse of a man.

4. Jack Rich (Infinity Bike Shop) | 35+ | Last Rank: N/A

If you have been racing cyclocross in Florida for the past four years you know about Jack Rich. You have seen Jack Rich and you probably have wished that you were Jack Rich. He has graced the top of the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS on a few occasions and has consistently dominated the 35+ field to the point that many racers have refused to show up. When the 35+ field was combined with the 1/2s for 60 minutes of racing action Jack found himself on the overall podium many times. The biggest question about Jack Rich and the upcoming season is the one from all the other masters racers, “Can you please stop hurting us, Mr. Jack?”

5. Steve Noble (Infinity Bike Shop) | M45 | Last Rank: N/A

Was it for real? Did we actually see Steve at a cyclocross race in Dunedin three weeks ago? We hope that was him and we hope that he will return to the ranks of cyclocross carnies that have crisscrossed the state for years. If he comes back to Tampa look for him to dominate the ultra-competitive 45+ category. Steve only did one race in 2012/13, but the year before that he was one of the most consistent performers on a cross bike in the Southeast. With his impressive win at the season opener one can only hope that we get to see Noble at more races this season.

6. Wojtek Dyszkiewicz (Birdsong Brewing) | M3, SS | Last Rank: N/A

Wojtek is the new guy on the block. Having moved to central Florida from Charlotte, North Carolina he is bringing some experience and speed into the category 3 and singlespeed field. Carrying a fair amount of ranking points on both CrossResults.com and the USA Cycling database. If it wasn’t for Hovius in the cat3s in Dunedin he would have walked away with the win and would be on a fast track to compete in the 1/2s. Dyszkiewcynmtzclkcxwnic is a man of mystery in these parts, but a little internet research tells us to be ready.

7. Lachlan Hovius (AAA Triathlon) | J10-14 | Last Rank: N/A

All you need to know about Lachlan is that he has won every single cyclocross he has ever entered except for one. Oh, he has also probably beaten someone you know in a triathlon or three. This should come as no surprise since his dad is number three on the list this week.

8. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity Bike Shop) | W1/2/3 | Last Rank: N/A

Kristin is the best and most consistent woman in Florida Cyclocross. She started racing last year and spent the first half of the season in the W4 category before upgrading and still ended up getting second overall in the FLCX Series. With only half a season of racing in the W1/2s last year she made quite the impression on the category standard bearers and has dedicated herself to being a force this season. You have been put on notice.

9. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles) | Cat1/2 | Last Rank: N/A

We don’t know what is going on here, but it was posted on Twitter a year or so ago. (Photo: @ryan_woodall)

The best mountain biker in Florida history, or the biggest internet troll in Florida Cyclocross history? The jury is out, but we have proof that he is pre-registered for the Tampa CX weekend and the expected showdown between Thornton is sure to be one to watch. The problem? We don’t even know if Woodall has a cross bike, or if he has ever actually done a dismount. The past times we have seen Woodall race cyclocross he was sporting an evil mustache and a metalic boa while taking no prisoners at Swamp Cross. If he is in it to win it, watch out…

10. Ed Dunne (Cycle Logic) | M35+ | Last Rank: N/A

Ed Dunne may have the best shot at defeating Jack Rich this weekend in what is turning out to be the most competitive field on paper. Dunne was a force last year in the cat3s taking the FLCX overall title and missed out on taking the cat3 state title by a wheel after a bobble on the last lap. He didn’t race a few weeks ago, but he is definitely a man to watch heading into Tampa.

Falling Off: Ryan Fisher (CLEVELAND), Mattheu “Beardo” Pourbaix (Puerto Rico)

2013/14 FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week: Tampa Riverfront CX

There are quite a few on our radar entering the season, and with word that Giancarlo Bianchi (AG – Guttenplan) has upgraded from Cat3 to Cat1/2 there is ample room for a new sandbagger to emerge. What we do know is that a certain bike shop owner* is a candidate if he enters another cat3 race again after putting on quite the performance in the cat1/2/open field in Dunedin. Then again, he crashed trying to bunny hop the barriers for the second year in a row, so we will give him a pass, for now.

*rhymes with “Dichard Rybdahl”

FLCX Power Rankings – State Championship Weekend

On January 9, 2013 by Christian

We have reached the final race of the year and it is the Great Granddaddy of them all the Florida State Cyclocross Championships!

The final weekend of racing in the FLCX Series showed us who is hot and who is not heading into Dade City. Like most things in the world the Power Rankings are constantly in flux and one bad weekend can change the rankings lickety-split. It is also important to remember that the Power Rankings are based on individual performance within your respective category. So, just because you are a fast cat 1/2 doesn’t mean you will always be high on the most important list in Florida Cyclocross. Last week’s ranking were all about series standings. This week’s standings are all about who’s gonna win at States, but bear in mind that we have to assume that some crazy sandbagger action doesn’t happen, which is, of course, completely delusional- it’s a State Championship Jersey, there’s always going to be sandbaggers.

So, without further ado, here are your Power Rankings/Prognostications for the State Championships:

2012/13 FLCX Power Rankings: State Championship

Cat 3 | Ed Dunne (Cycle Logic) |

Ed completely dominated the most competitive field in Florida Cyclocross with two impressive wins, handling everything 352 Racing could throw at him on the toughest courses of the season in Clermont with relative ease. Super smooth, and deadly efficient, Ed should be your winner on Sunday, and an immediate force in the 60 minute race next season.

W123 | Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) |

Has a state championship waiting for her, assuming that Brooke Rich hasn’t been in her fortress of solitude, doing secret training, meditating and gathering her evil forces to make one huge push to salvage something out of the wreckage of her 2012/2013 season. So far, no other woman has even been close to beating Laura this year, so I’m thinking that this one is a reasonably safe bet.

M35 | Jack Rich (Infinity) |

We haven’t seen Jack since Day 1 at Swamp Cross, other than some at-work hijinks…


image stolen from Jack’s facebook.

…so it’s anyone’s guess how he’s riding at the moment, but it’s hard to envision a scenario where he doesn’t win on Sunday, assuming, of course, he shows up. He’s been completely dominating this season, winning every race he showed up for.

M45 | Scotty Graham (West Coast Cycling)

Won by a clear 3min on Saturday and 25sec on Sunday. Favorite for the title. Has actually been training, I’ve seen him getting what he thought were secret training miles in, so he’s peaking at the right time. Is racing a category that is pretty susceptible to crazy fast dudes coming out of the woodwork, however.

M55 | Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling)

Dan’s been pretty dominant this year, and Dade City isn’t too far from his Tampa Bay area home, so as long as he shows up, he should win. Having said that, M55 got more competitive every week, with more and more racers almost every weekend, so there’s no telling who might show up.

Cat1/2 | Josh Thornton (St. Pete Bike and Fitness)

Thornton finally made his FLCX series debut, and dominated everyone as comprehensively as Eric Stubbs dominated the previous 4 races. Josh is a favorite for the title on his home turf, maybe the surest bet of the weekend, although if Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear) or Drew Edsal (Felt MTB) show up it could get interesting, and Stubbs should provide more of a challenge on the presumably less technical course in Dade City as well.

Single Speed | Eric Stubbs (352 Racing)

Single Speed has been all over the place this season which is probably how it should be, so this race is difficult to pick. Stubbs won 3 of the races, so he’s probably as close to a favourite as exists, but there’s no telling what will happen on Sunday, who will show up, who will take it seriously, and who will screw it up for the rest of the guys. That there will be at least one guy from 352 Racing on the podium is all but a foregone conclusion, however.

Women 4 | Amy Plotkin (Rose Bandits)

I’m going out on a limb on this one, as Amy has only done one cross race in her life, but that race was the very difficult Clermont CX Gran Prix Day 2, and she won that one, leading it from wire to wire. This gives me confidence in her.

Men 4 | IMPOSSIBLE TO PICK

The Cat 4 race at States could be won by literally any sandbagger, and the guy who wins it will almost certainly be a sandbagger. I’d be stoked if a legit Cat 4 guy won it, believe me, but I don’t think it’s happened in several years, so I see no reason to believe this year will be any different. We’ve had almost 100 different guys race in the 4’s this year, which is tremendous, hopefully ALL of them show up in Dade City and we have a huge battle royale.

Junior 10-14 | Lochlan Hovius (AAA)

A Stone Cold Lead Pipe Take it to the Bank Certain LOCK to win the Junior 10-14. Lochlan is lethal on the race course.

NOTABLE RIDERS WITH A SHOT AT WINNING

Graham Partain (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More) | Cat3, SS, 35+

Wins the Single Speed race on Sunday and does the Cat3 race for the first time all year. Has been on the M35 podium quite a bit this year. Hard to say what category he’ll race in Dade City, but he’ll be competitive no matter which one it is.

Taylor Norton (Orange State Cycling) | M3, SS

Taylor might be the thinking man’s outsider bet this weekend. A course that’s not super technical that requires decent power is right up his alley. Of course 352 will be throwing the kitchen sink at him, but he’s riding very well right now.

Chase Tennyson (352 Racing) | M3

Chase Crash from @CrossCopter on Vimeo.

OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW. Still, you have to respect his speed and finesse. Well, his speed, anyway.

Jennifer Talley (U/A) | W4

Hailing from Destin, FL and making countless seven hour drives with her gang of gulf coast friends she has dabbled in the 1/2Open fields and has shown to be a racer for the future.

Katharine Adams (U/A) | W4

Katharine has a long list of podiums this season in her first season of CX, maybe Dade City will see her break through to the top step.

2013 – The Power Rankings Awake!

On January 3, 2013 by Christian

Golly, has it really been almost a month since the last Power Rankings Party? I suppose it has. A lot can happen in a month, in this case, Swamp Cross, CXmas and CXhanukah, Ocala Cross, and of course New Years Eve. A lot of form can be gained, lost, or barely maintained in almost a month, particularly a month with so much eating and drinking. As we head into the final two races of the FLCX Point Series, let’s examine who was helped and who was hindered by December’s celebrations. I don’t pretend to know all of the vague mysterious rules that make up the point series rankings, so anything I say here may or may not be true after the points drop, but whatever, I’m making the rankings this week so live with it.

I’m basing this week’s rankings largely off of the rider’s point series standings, versus how they were riding in the last race, since it’s been so long since Gainesville, and so many people skipped the most recent race in Ocala, which is too bad for them since Ocala was AWESUM!

2012/13 FLCX Power Rankings: Weekend #6

1. Eric Stubbs (352 pb Bikes & More/Vegan Cream Cheese) | Cat1/2 & SS | Last Rank: 1

@epicstubbs did quite well for himself this month. He won the P12 race both days at Swamp Cross, and then did the same at Ocala Cross, in spite of some northeastern U23 ringers who showed up. He won the South East Cyclocross Single Speed Championships and free entry to next year’s SSCX World’s in Philadelphia. He’s within 9 points of Chris Slack (Infinity Bike Shop) in the overall, meaning that Eric needs to beat Slack by at least once position both days at Clermont to win the overall, but based on past performance, and his strong ride in Ocala last Sunday, I think it’s a distinct possibility. It should make for some great racing and stragery.

2. Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Week: 2

Laura missed out on Gainesville, and doesn’t even need to show up to Clermont and I’m pretty sure she’ll still win the overall, and if that isn’t power, then I don’t know what is.

3. Chris Slack (Infinity Bike Shop) | Cat1/2 | Last Rank: #4

He’s barely leading the P12 point series by a slim 9 point margin, but a third and a second in Gville moves him up a spot in the Power Rankings. We’re STILL waiting for a breakout performance from Slack this year, and we didn’t get it in Gainesville either. He battled Stubbs mightily for a couple of laps in the SECXSSC, but his negative body fat percentage came back to bite him in the ass in the whiskey shortcut and he faded, wobbled, dribbled, and finally collapsed to fifth place by the end. He failed to show in Ocala, so we’ll have to wait until Saturday to see if he spent his holidays training or canoodling.

4. Jack Rich (Infinity Bike Shop) | 35+ | Last Rank: 3

Jack slips down a notch since he missed out on Sunday’s racing in Gainesville, but he had little trouble winning M35 on Saturday, so he doesn’t slip too far. Graham Partain (352 Racing / Crosscopter.com) is within lurking distance of Jack in the points, but as long as Jack makes to out to Clermont and wins once, Graham shouldn’t catch Jack for M35 series champion.

5. Ed Dunne (Cycle Logic) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: 6

Ed had a great weekend in Gainesville with a third on Saturday and a second on Sunday behind some MTB sandbagger dude who was throwing down RIDICULOUS lap times that would have put him in spitting distance of the podium in the P12 race. Then again, Ed’s average lap times were only 6 seconds slower, so maybe we need to take a closer look at Ed for the sandbagger trophy. Ed’s missed 3 races so far this year, so any points he scores in Clermont will count towards his points series leading totals, which should make him the winner of the Cat 3 point series, unless Chase Tennyson (352 Racing) pulls a serious rabbit out of his keister and beats him.

6. Scotty Graham (West Coast Cycling) | M45 | Last Rank: UR

Scotty had a fantastic weekend in Gainesville with a third and a first to draw him to striking distance of the point series leader Jeff Zipperer (Infinity), who had a less than stellar weekend. Scotty’s win on Sunday in Gainesville was his first of the year, but could indicate he’s peaking at the right time, while Jeff struggled on the hilly Gainesville terrain. As Clermont is even steeper, it looks a little better for Scotty then it does for Jeff, but again, there’s the whole holiday wild card to throw, so who knows who was training and who was eating all the gravy.

7. Chase Tennyson (352 Racing) | M3 | Last Rank: 5

Chase falls a couple spots after an inconsistent and uncharacteristic showing at Swamp Cross, but he’s still within a point of Dunne for the series lead in the 3’s. It’s going to take a big effort to beat Ed both days in Clermont, but that’s what it will take to keep the ownership of the FLCX Cat 3 Series Champion in the 352 Racing trophy case.

8. Paul Schwartz (Orlando Road Club) | M55 | Last Rank: 10

Paul still has the lead by about a million points in the series for the M55’s, and since that’s pretty much the criteria for this week’s rankings, it moved him up to number 8.

9. (tie) Giancarlo Bianchi (Top Dog) | M3/SS | Last Rank: UR
9. (tie) Taylor Norton (Orange State Cycling) | M3 | Last Rank: UR

Giancarlo clings to a slender lead over Taylor for fourth in Men’s Cat 3 for the series, with Ryan Fisher’s current third place in significant jeopardy of being overtaken by one or both, since he’s currently doing polar bear swims in Lake Erie. Taylor finally delivered on the monster form he’s been hiding all season in Gainseville, with a second place in both SS as well as M3 on Saturday, and slightly less stellar results on Sunday that were still better than Bianchi’s. If either of them can put together solid results both days in Clermont, the third step of the podium is there for the taking.

Falling Off: Ryan Fisher (352), Jeff Zipperer (Infinity), Kristin Apotsos (Infinity),

2012/13 FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week: Weekend #6

The 352 guys had a dumptruck deliver an entire truckload of sand for their race, and to celebrate, a veritable dumptruck worth of sandbaggers showed up to Gainesville on their mountain bikes, and raced in the fours, and turned in lap times that were competitive with the riders in P12, which either means the P12’s need to step it up, or the MTB guys need to buy some licenses. Steve Mace (Brick City), Pete Jones (Super Cool), and Mark Pettingill (Pure Cycles) all raced in the 4’s and all turned average laps below 8 minutes on Sunday, which is pretty damn fast. UF’s Dustin White at least raced in the cat 3’s, but he won solo both days, with lap times that would have placed him in 4th in P12.

Fantastic planning on the part of the 352 guys to award the winner of the Cat 4 race with an actual bag of sand, and then give a Lazer Helmet to the second placed guy.

Honorable Mention:

Jeff Zipperer (Infinty) had pretty poor day on Saturday, but rebounded somewhat on Sunday in M45, but his lead in the overall over Scotty Graham has shrank to only 27 points. No pressure, Jeff.

Josh Lehman (Pure Cycles) Josh showed up in Gainesville fresh off a season of racing in New England, and took the holeshot in the day’s premiere event, but couldn’t handle the Florida heat and detonated soon after. He a somewhat better day on Sunday, battling hard with Stubbs in the SS race, but being only 19, couldn’t do whiskey shortcuts and so had to do 5 pushups per lap to take advantage of the shortcut. In Ocala, they made him ride with the Cat 3 field, and he lapped almost all of us.

2012/2013 FLCX Power Rankings: Pre Gainesville Edition

On December 13, 2012 by Christian

After a great weekend in on some technically challenging but flat courses in Melbourne, we head up to Gainesville to climb up on top of the Rock two or three times a lap. There will probably not be a lot of tight corners, but there will be stairs, there will be a new sand pit, there will be another boosty ramp, there will be a pump track, and of course, on Sunday, there will be the South East Single Speed CX Championships, with the winner claiming not only a new tattoo, but also getting a free entry into the 2013 Single Speed CX Worlds in Philadelphia. This is sort of a big deal.

2012/13 FLCX Power Rankings: Weekend #5

1. Eric Stubbs (352 pb Bikes & More/Vegan Cream Cheese) | Cat1/2 & SS | Last Week: 6

In the absence of last ranking’s leader Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear/ApocalypseMilitiaSupply.com), who was riding MTB’s at home, Eric went three wins and one second in four starts, which is pretty dominant by pretty much anyone’s definition of the term. His battle with Earl Bradley (Infinity) on Saturday was a great one, with the two of them endlessly launching and covering attacks right up until the final lap, when Eric’s collarbones screamed at him to stop ramping up the jawn on the BMX course leading into the finish. Eric took his revenge on the single speeders later that day, and then attacked and cracked Earl early in Sunday’s P12 race. It will be a glorious battle indeed between Stubbs and Woodall, and the rest of the ringers that show up this weekend.

2. Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Week: 3

Laura didn’t have any competition from other women this weekend, but she still rode quite strongly against the rest of her wave (Men’s 3’s and Masters 45/55). In spite of car troubles that kept her in Melbourne until tuesday, she shook off the distractions to finish 5th or 6th overall in the wave both days. If we ever get a fit Brooke Rich (Infinity) back, it’s going to be a great battle- remember, this is Laura’s first year racing CX. Also, she will have some company from some of the more dominant Cat 4 women when the upgrade fairy gets done with them. Somehow, I think Laura will do fine.

3. Jack Rich (Infinity Bike Shop) | 35+ | Last Week: 2

Jack slips down a bit since he missed out on Saturday’s racing, but he still had the holeshot and won M35 on Sunday, so he doesn’t slip too far. A resurgent Ben Smith should make it a little harder on Jack as he rounds into fitness, but Jack is still the man to beat in M35.

4. Chris Slack (Infinity Bike Shop) | Cat1/2 | Last Week: #5

He’s still leading the P12 point series by a steadily diminishing 24 point margin, but a pair of thirds moves him up a spot in the Power Rankings. We’re still waiting for a breakout performance from Slack this year, he’s been lurking about in the margins for the most part, and we hope he didn’t peak for Miami. He rode with Stubbs and Bradley on Saturday briefly, but took a lap off mentally and lost a bunch of time. He had a similar race on Sunday, but he never gave up, never got lapped, and didn’t make a bunch of lame excuses. He’s still freakishly skinny, and thus looks terribly PRO.

5. Chase Tennyson (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More) | Cat 3 | Last Week: UR

Chase won his second race of the season after a tough battle with Rich Dybdahl, who was clearly riding out of his mind to even stay with Chase, much less have a chance of winning with 2 or even 1 to go on Sunday’s go kart track of a course. With Chase being a wily veteran, and Rich being on the pointy end of a cat 3 race for the first time in his life, the result was sort of inevitable, but what it means is that in addition to leading the Cat 3 rankings, Chase and his fancy bike will probably have to start preparing for 60 minute races next season. Of course, he’s already threatening to retire, but hey, Tim Hayes needs someone else to chase to keep him motivated, so Tennyson will be back.

6. Ed Dunne (Cycle Logic) | Cat 3 | Last Week: UR

Ed had a big win on Saturday over style maven and the people’s favourite Ryan Fisher as well as Tennyson, after threatening the top step of the podium for several weeks now. Ed was heckling Fisher as he rode him down again on Sunday, which takes stones, and stones are what get you onto the power rankings. Ed should climb higher with strong results in the final weekends of the Series after Fisher leaves for Cleveland on 1 January. (What kind of moron moves to Cleveland in January? I know, that’s Dr. Moron to you.) Ed does need to work on his JQ scores, as he’s so polite off the bike that I almost feel bad talking badly about him.

7. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity) | W4 | Last Week: UR

Kristin might be a cat 4 in CX, but I’m guessing this isn’t her first time at a bike race of some sort, since she has four wins in four starts, which guarantees her an armchair ride from the upgrade fairy into the W123 field. She’s riding a late 90’s Specialized MTB, so we hope that Santa hooks her up with a real CX bike, but the MTB hasn’t slowed her down any. She’s a mom, tho, who brings her kids to the races, so we’re unlikely to see her raise her JQ numbers, and I even over-heard her telling one of her competitors that they needed to “get some more women to come out and race with us!” so she’s heading in the right direction there.

8. Ryan Fisher  (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More) | M3/SS | Last Week: #UR

Fisher is working hard to become everyone’s favourite cyclocross rider in the state, because he’s leaving the state for Cleveland in three weeks. I don’t get it either, unless he’s just trying to make sure he has plenty of couches to crash on down here when he can’t take the cold or the rust or the potholes of northeastern Ohio any longer. He’s second in the Men’s cat 3 points, he was 2nd and 4th in the weekend’s races, but he was soundly thrashed by BUNNNNING in Single Speed, so maybe we shouldn’t mention that any longer. To his credit, once he cracked, he hiked up his shorts to reveal his tanlines, unzipped his jersey, and began to play Mastodon on his phone for the last few laps. Keeping it classy.

9. Jeff Zipperer (Infinity Bike Shop) | M45 | Last Week: #9

Jeff had a less than stellar day on Saturday, but bounced back with a strong second place on Sunday in M45, keeping him 51 points ahead of his nearest challenger (Scotty Graham) in the series points. He’s also willing to go out and punish himself in Single Speed.

10. Paul Schwartz (Orlando Road Club) | M55 | Last Week: UR

With the largest lead of any category in the series points, Paul is finally getting some recognition in the Power Rankings. He was second on Saturday, and skipped Sunday, but still leads the points by 134, so he can probably afford to skip a couple more races if he’s got other plans.

Falling Off: Alex Meucci (Bent’s), Christian Ahrens (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More), Clint Gibbs (Bike Works of Jonesville), Ryan Woodall (Top Gear), Ivan Castillo (Miami Velo)

2012/13 FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week: Weekend #5

I’m not going to award a Sandbagger of the week, there was no standout winner of this coveted award this week. I am going to warn several people that they are dangerously close to qualifying for the award. I’m watching you, Michael Hernandez, and you, Kristen Apotsos.

Honorable Mention:

Rich Dybdahl (Pure Racing), in only his third M3 FLCX Series race, absolutely killed it on Sunday, latching onto the Chase Tennyson freight train and not letting go for 42 minutes or so for an outstanding 2nd place. It was only last year we were heckling Rich for riding a carbon Ritte with carbon hoops and Dura Ace in the cat 4’s, so Rich has progressed really well for a guy who runs a bike shop during the week. Well Done, Rich.

Earl Bradley (Infinty) Earl won on Saturday, and was second on Sunday to Eric Stubbs. Earl had to cover about a million attacks on Saturday, and managed to keep it close enough to school Stubbs on the jumps and the berms of the BMX track. If he shows up to any more races, he could be a wild card.

2012/13 FLCX Power Rankings: Weekend #4

On December 3, 2012 by Christian

Editor’s Note: Carlqvist steals the Power Rankings away from Super Rookie this week and provides you the rankings. Not to be outdone the Rookie inserts a long awaited feature at the end!

Having finally attended my first two races of the FLCX 2012 season, I think I’m ready to take a crack at the Power Rankings this week.

Heading into a flat sandy weekend at Melbourne, we’ve had a pretty good variety of courses to keep it interesting and challenge every aspect of a Florida cyclocross racer’s capabilities. We’re starting to see patterns, to draw order from the chaos, to separate the wheat from the chaff. Patterns are emerging from the primordial slime of the early season, gauntlets are being thrown down, and lines are being drawn in the sand.

In addition, we are proud to announce that we have a new feature on the Power Rankings this week, “Sandbagger of the Week.” It takes a lot of skill and know-how to be recognized as the top sandbagger in the FLCX and it is only right that we reward certain individuals with this distinction!

Here we go.

2012/13 FLCX Power Rankings: Weekend #3

1. Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear) | Cat1/2 & SS | Last Week: UR

The pride of Ocala entered 4 races during the Tampa Weekend and stood on the top step of the podium 4 times. It wasn’t really close for any of them, other than a certain 17 year old Cat 4 who sat on his wheel for 25 minutes of Sunday’s 30 minute Single Speed/Junior race. Going from the super technical and tight Saturday course to the wide open velcro grass slog of Sunday had little effect on him.

2. Jack Rich (Infinity Bike Shop) | 35+ | Last Week: UR

Jack actually looks a bit human this year, but still managed to dominate the Masters 35 category in Tampa. He’s this high on the list with a strong showing in Jerk Quotient (JQ) numbers. It’s somewhat amazing he’s riding as well as he is considering that his previously invincible wife Brooke Rich has proved quite vincible this year because (she claims) she’s constantly battling toddler-transmitted influenzas that she’s presumably transmitting on to him.

3. Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) | W123 | Last Week: UR

You sweep the weekend’s races by simply riding away from the rest of your field, with lap times at Sunday’s Tampa Cyclocross Classic that put her in the top 10 of the men’s cat 3 race, you get on the Power Rankings. The formula is that simple sometimes. Laura get’s a very low JQ rating, however- she said “thank you” and “I can’t believe this” about a billion times when we told her she won a Cinelli Zydeco CX Frameset from Cinelli USA and Velo Champ at the Tampa Riverfront CX.

4. Clint Gibbs (Bike Works of Jonesville) | Cat 3 | Last Week: UR

Another rider who swept the podium in Tampa, Clint punched his ticket to ride for 60 minutes next year by going to the front and drilling it early and often. He’s quiet and efficient, with a correspondingly very low JQ number, but in spite of only having done 2 races so far this year, he’s sitting 6th in the points series.

5. Chris Slack (Infinity Bike Shop) | Cat1/2 | Last Week: #3

He’s still leading the P12 point series by a commanding 39 point margin, but an early flat on one of a billion stupid rocks a long way from the pits on Sunday took some of the wind out of his sails and doomed him to a disappointing finish to go along with his strong 2nd place at Riverfront CX. High numbers for his JQ solely due to his absurd power to weight ratio- only a mammoth jerk could be so skinny and yet be so fast. Looks pretty pro, too.

6. Eric Stubbs (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More) | Cat1/2 | Last Week: #2

Stubbs dueled with Woodall and Slack all weekend, but an on-camera tumble on Saturday and a late race (brain?) fade on Sunday conspired to move him to the lowest step on the podium both days. Nothing to sneeze at, but after Tallahassee’s sweep, something of a let down. Will he ever make it to the top of the power rankings?

7. Alex Meucci (Bent’s) | Junior 15-18/Cat4 | Last Week: UR

Alex is 17 years old. He won the Junior 15-18 race both days. He won the Cat 4’s on Saturday, and pretty much didn’t race 4’s on Sunday because we would have forced him to upgrade, because he didn’t just win the cat’s 4s, he DISMANTLED them. His average lap times on Saturday were the 12th fastest laps ALL DAY, faster than Keith Richards (SS), Tim Hayes(P12), and Ken Vida(P12), to name a few. They were also only 47 seconds slower than Ryan Woodall’s(P12). On Sunday, he was hanging out with Woodall at the front for at least 20-25 minutes of the 30 minute SS/Junior race.

I’d say the kid has a shot at a future in this sport.

8. Christian Ahrens  (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More) | SS | Last Week: #7

Two second places to Woodall, or first mortal in Single Speed, and massive 67 point lead in the points keeps Ahrens on the list, along with his creeper mustache inflating his JQ. Doing a superman across the finish line on Saturday also adds to his luster. Pretty sure he took a coconut rum handup on Sunday.

9. Jeff Zipperer (Infinity Bike Shop) | M45 | Last Week: #10

First on Saturday, 2nd on Sunday. It’s a pretty good indication that Jeff is back after his injuries last season. See what I did there? Lost some JQ points by performing first aid on Darren Dowling’s crushed hand. Probably jumped the jump, however. Does wheelies on demand.

10. Ivan Castillo (Miami Velo) | M4 | Last Week: UR

Ivan has been showing ever-improving form in the cat4s all season. A strong performance on the tight and twisty Saturday course was a preview of the power that the “Pride of Hialeah” was planning on putting down on Sunday when he took a dominant victory. Despite the performance the biggest factor in making the rankings this week is his ability to travel with Beardo.

Falling Off: Ben Wilson (Super Cool), Chase Tennyson (352 Racing p/b Bikes and More), Martin Cox (Super Cool), Regan Woodall (Top Gear), Jodi Alexander (Top Gear)

2012/13 FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week: Weekend #4

Past winner of the Sandbagger of the Week Award and now racing for Garmin/Holowesko Partners. (Photo: Tim Hayes)

Alex Meucci (Bent’s) | Cat4

Sure, Meucci may be a junior, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t cool, calm and calculated for when it comes to winning bike races. After a dominating performance on Saturday that put his lap times near the top of the cat1/2 field the young man was told of a non-existent USA Cycling rule that states, “racers are forced to upgrade to cat3 if they win two races.” Being a man beyond his years the junior opted out of racing in the cat4 race on Sunday in order to preserve his cat4 licence before the state championships in January. He then proceeded to race the entirety of the Junior race at the front with Ryan Woodall, who was competing in the Singlespeed category.

Stand tall young Meucci. You are wise beyond your years and you are the winner of this week’s Sandbagger of the Week Award.

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