Praises from the Pastor

On October 4, 2014 by Pastor Politz

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

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

Edinburgh Cyclocross Challenge 9/27-9/28

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


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

Roman and Graynor Law Firm

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

Petra Missourai

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

Jason Guillen

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

Cabe Crisler

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

Eric Ehrenberg

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

Jennifer Kraaz-t

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

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

May the shred be with you all,

Pastor Politz

Rat Pack Race Report: Wicked Awesome Racing No. 1

On October 1, 2014 by Professor Collins

Welcome to the first ever edition of the Rat Pack Race Report. Our focus here is on the men and women at the back of the pack. This report is about the first Wicked Awesome Racing (WAR) event in Dade City the weekend of Sept. 20-21, which was both wicked and awesome. A special thanks to promoters Kaleigh and Josh Thornton and all their sponsors.

Rider of the Week: Mark Schwab. A traditional back-of-the-packer, Mark made Saturday’s mountain bike podium in third place. Making Mark’s accomplishment more impressive are two important facts. 1. He completed the Cat 4/5 race moments before starting the mountain bike race. 2. He rode “Frankenstein,” a single speed contraption of his own making. Mark also distinguished himself as MC. He’s no Christian Carlqvist but who is?

Newcomers of the Week: Michelle Toth, Robert Fenderson, and Liz Hardy Addams. All three completed their first CX races this weekend and did so in style. Already a mainstay at CX races as Michael Toth’s pit chief and moral support, it was nice to see Michelle join the fun on the other side of the tape. Addams distinguished herself on Saturday by asking me if I was in fact racing (that stung a little because I was) as she passed me just before the run up on the first lap. On Sunday, Fenderson held off a furious charge by yours truly to take 25th place and the final point in the FRS-CX series standings.

Shenanigan of the Week: That would go to yours truly. Shenanigan No. 1: I didn’t realize when I decided to double up and race both Cat 4/5 and mountain bike on Saturday that the only thing separating these two races was the kids race. Shenanigan No. 2: I was still sitting in a comfy chair when I realized the race had just started. Kudos to Josh Thornton for holding the race tape above his head (which it turns out isn’t that high) so I could sneak under and join the race.

We say goodbye to: Nicole Carson and Rebecca Laborde. We’ve enjoyed racing with these ladies while they were Cat 4’s, but their respective bags called to say they wanted their sand back. As such, both ladies are moving up this weekend. They were always too fast to be members of the Rat Pack, but we enjoyed getting passed (and occasionally lapped) by them.

We have our eye on: John LaManna and Carlos Iglesias. Sandwiched between Stuart Poe and Mark Schwab in the FRS-CX rankings, these two guys have serious Rat Pack potential.

States Photos 2

On January 21, 2014 by Christian

Timothy Hunt published a ton of great photos on his website. Additionally, there’s some great photos from Michelle Blake on her website.

Saturday Pics

Rich and Dino, pic by Karyn Dybdahl

W123 Podium – Parsons, Apotsos, Plotkin pic by Karyn Dybdahl

John Hovius in a sea of red tape. pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Harrison and Clayton Knight sandwich Jackson Mehr. pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Women’s 4 podium, Rebecca Laborde, Erica Richards, Nicole Carson pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Obvious camper joke. Sorry for so much Dybdahl coverage, but there are very few people who love FLCX as much as he and his family do, and they makes me smile. Pic by Apotsos.

The elusive Michael Davis on the steps pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Robert Marion and Ryan Woodall on the horse track pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Addison Zawada on the pavement pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Master’s 35 podium Darien Angelier (1st), Tim Shank (2nd) and Graham Partain 3rd) pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Master’s 45 podium Vitor Alexandre (1st) Scott Atkins (2nd) and Kelby Roberts (3rd) pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Masters 55 podium Brian Davis (1st) Mike Szabo (2nd) Dan Sullivan (3rd) pic by Karyn Dybdahl

My “daughter” and the Kung Fu Panda pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Pete Hill and Jordan Miller from Velo Champ worked the pit all weekend. On behalf of every single person who raced, THANK YOU GUYS. pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Robert Marion takes the win in P12. pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Kelby Rogers charges out at the front of the combined MTB/Men’s 4-5/Women’s 4 start pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Robert Marion made a bunch of new fans this weekend. He even brought his mom up on the podium with him! Thornton and Woodall round out the lower steps. pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Sunday Pics

pic by Kristin Apotsos

pic by Dan Milstead

pic by Steve Sykes

pic by Kristin Apotsos

Graham Partain pic by Michael Toth.

Kristin Apotsos takes the bacon by Timothy J Hunt

Tent Village pic by Kristin Apotsos

Rolly Weaver takes the bacon from Michael Ploch while Jody Alexander shows the way. Pic by Timothy J Hunt

States Photos

On January 20, 2014 by Christian

There will be several posts recapping all the action this weekend at states, but to start with here’s what I’ve managed to pull off of facebook. All images belong to the respective photographer, please do not re-use them without permission.

Unicorn Sass by Erica Richards.

Marion duels with Thornton on the steps by Adam Wiggall.

Diane Blake takes the bacon by Timothy J Hunt.

Josh THornton’s haul for the weekend by Josh Thornton.

Sunday Morning at Little Everglades Ranch by Zach Fout.

WUT. Robert Marion rides the tallest barriers in Florida by Jay Fratello.

Cat 4 Women overall FLCX Points series by Nicole Carson.

Cat 4 Women State Champion by Rebecca Laborde.

Keith Richards on the steps by Jo An Weaver.

Masters Race Start on Sunday by Karen Dybdahl.

Tic Bowen and Andy Mills two man pain train in M35. Andy would prevail after a late final lap attack. Pic by”> Karen Dybdahl.

Thornton, Marion, and Eric Stubbs hit the steps off the horse track early in the Pro 1-2 race. Pic by Karen Dybdahl.

lil kids race podium by Karen Dybdahl.

Men’s 4/5 race start by Karen Dybdahl.

by Karen Dybdahl.

Justin Deleo and John Kingham battle on the steps. by Karen Dybdahl.

Nicole Carson and Michael Ploch on the steps by Karen Dybdahl.

Masters 45 State Champion Vitor Alexandre by Karen Dybdahl.

Masters 55 State Champion podium by Karen Dybdahl.

The mis-spelled Dirk Hofmann banner lives on by Karen Dybdahl.

I had to have at least one pic of me in here. by Karen Dybdahl.

Laura Parsons on the steps by Karen Dybdahl.

These guys. Rich Dybdahl and Greg Politz by Karen Dybdahl.

These ladies. Melissa Isenmen and Kristin Apotsos by Karen Dybdahl.

Men’s Pro123 FLCX Points Podium with Addison Zawada (2nd), Josh Thornton (1st) and Ryan Woodall (3rd) by Karen Dybdahl.

Orange State sweeps the Men’s 3 Podium FLCX Points Series by Karen Dybdahl.

Juniors FLCX Points Series by Karen Dybdahl.

Men’s cat 3 State Championship by

Swamp Cross!

On December 20, 2013 by Super Rookie

We had a wonderful weekend of racing in Gainesville. We have posted results on the results page and all series standings have been updated.

While we could write you a recap, we have the best in the business covering our little corner of cycling in the form of a helicopter. So, take it away CROSSCOPTER!


Day One:

Winter Garden Spooky CX Race Report

On October 31, 2013 by Christian

When Jason Guillen and I began planning the Spooky CX race, we really weren’t expecting a huge turnout for it. The Florida State Road Race Championships were the same weekend ten or fifteen miles down the road in Clermont, after all. So, we didn’t do a huge amount of promotion for the race, other than our normal carpet bombing of the Florida Cyclocross Facebook page. Boy, were we surprised when we had 50 plus riders pre-registered and then the registration table was BUZZING all morning with walk up traffic on race day. It being the weekend before Halloween, and it being a CX race, there was a costume contest and plenty of lunatics racing in costume. There was a lot of great costumes, which I will mention in greater detail soon.

Spooky Cross 2013 from @CrossCopter on Vimeo.

We set the course up on Saturday afternoon, so we had an easy morning of it on Sunday. Jason promoted a race at this same location a couple of years ago, so we had a pretty good idea going into the event where we wanted the course to go, but we changed it up somewhat. The grass seemed thicker this year, and the park certainly has its share of burrowing rodents, making the straightaways seem slower, although a lot more corners really broke down and turned to sand soup, forcing a lot of tip-toeing, tripodding, and washing out in the later waves. The lap started on a wide-ish straight on grass that narrowed down to fit between the 10 foot wide fence posts of a split rail fence, leading onto some hard packed sand with scattered roots and a gentle bend to the left. Then onto the grass, and the first series of corners around some trees, around a big hairpin and then a fast straight leading into a wide, sandy 90 degree left hander (the best line was all the way right) that would bog you down pretty good if you tried the inside. The next section of the course was by and large fast and smooth, on hard packed sand under a canopy of big old oaks with assorted roots and some 6″ ridable barriers placed immediately after a 150 degree hairpin corner. The next corner after the barriers got pretty loose as well, but then it was fast and out of the canopy and onto the inner hairpin on the soccer field. Once off the soccer field, a lumpy straight up to a capital “R” shaped series of corners that led to a short grassy straight, the DEEP sand pit of the volleyball court, and then a long grass straight. At the end of that straight lay the Labyrinth, a section of off-camber and tricky-tight hairpins and loops over and around a 3 foot high grass mound that snakes it’s way around the park’s playgrounds. The off cambers got pretty torn up, as well as the same nasty hairpin next to the fence that gave everyone fits the last time we raced here- this time it got even worse. Once you exited the Labyrinth, there was a relaxing jaunt across the pavement of the basketball courts, a lump you could get boosty off of, and one more tight series of corners, before you trekked back to the soccer field to do the outer hairpin. The 8″ high barriers were placed right at the exit of the hairpin, then all there was left was a fast 150 meter long horseshoe shaped bend back to the finish line. I’m biased, since I had a lot to do with the course design, but I thought it was a super fun, fairly fast, and pretty fair course.

Masters getting a negative review for their costumes, pic by Kristin Apotsos

The first wave of the day got off 5 or ten minutes after the scheduled time with a big field of 35 masters racers toeing the line. Allow me to say that the Masters 35 field is getting pretty legit, their first lap was SCORCHINGLY fast. Zach Fout (GearLink) was close to the front for the first lap, but his lack of a proper warmup doomed him to his seemingly usual fade towards the end and he finished 4th. Jack Rich had his hands full, and finally looks a bit mortal. He ended up third. Tic Bowen (The Fit Lab), one of the local strava kings, showed up for his first CX race ever and after a slow start that saw him fall as far as 6th or 7th, then figured out the whole churn through the grass thing and began to pick off riders on his way up to 2nd by the finish. Andy Mills (The Fit Lab/PowerBar) continued his reign and took the top step convincingly, and had the fastest lap of the day to boot. In Masters 45, Steve Noble (Infinity) and Scott Atkins finished within a couple of seconds of each other with Noble getting the silver medal, and Victore Alexandre cemented his status as THE 45 PLUS GUY to beat with another win.

pic by Kristin Apotsos

In 55 plus, it was all about the guy in the Riddler costume, Ted Hollander, who called his shot by putting wanted posters up all over the park that said he was last seen on top of the podium. Ted is scary fast, even when he’s not wearing a green body suit with question marks all over it. Brad Scott had a strong ride for second, and John Torrey was third, both with a couple of minutes of Ted, which is quite respectable. I’m not even 45 yet and I doubt I could finish within a couple of minutes of Ted.

The Ryan Fisher trailing Chris Slack, pic by Paul Troyer.

Wave Two saw 10 123-Open men stand and deliver, including the triumphant return of Ryan Fisher (Swift Cycles/Captain Planet/ICE WORLD) to FLCX. Well, it was triumphant for about 10 minutes, then the heat from the long sleeve Captain Planet Skinsuit caught up to him and he yanked the ripcord (and hiked up his shorts because OF COURSE) to start an inexorable slide to the back of the race. Rich Dybdahl (Pure Cycles) battled with Tim Hayes (Swift Cycles) for a lap or two early, but it didn’t last and he went back towards Fisher. Chris SLack (Infinity/Pinnacle Wheelworks) hung out for a LONG time in the Behind Tim Hayes Zone, and there are still those who claim that he never caught Tim. In his 60 minute debut, Wojtek Dyszkiewicz (Birdsong Brewing) finished one spot ahead of Tim in sixth. In fifth was CLint Bridier, while in fourth, making his 2013 FLCX Season debut was Professor Ben Smith, getting out of his Master’s Racing comfort zone. In a fine third place, Dustin White from Jacksonville came in about 11 seconds after Andy Mills, who had already won the Masters race and might have been a little tired. Your winner was none other than the pride of Ocala, Ryan Woodall (Top Gear), who was never really threatened at the head of the race.

When the Wave Three riders lined up in staging, I looked at the how wide they were (as a group, that wasn’t a fat joke) and how narrow the gap was between the fence posts about 75 yards away, and made an executive decision that for the first time at a race other than the State Championships, we were going to do some call ups, to reduce or eliminate the chaos at that point of the course. I used the highly-scientific method of the order that riders pre-registered, and instead of a front row that was 20 riders wide, we had three rows of 8 or 9. Thirty-Three! Cat 4 and 5 Men toed the line, as well as 7 riders in the MTB class and 11 cat 4 women- it was a huge group! Thankfully, there were no incidents once we waved the green flag, as Kris Kouvaros destroyed the holeshot, as you can see in this video clip from Bob Croslin. Kris stayed up front for a little while longer, and then deployed a parachute and plummeted down the standings to 24th by the finish. The problem with holeshotting is that once you win it, you still have at least 29 minutes left to race. Rather quickly, the cream of this current crop of 4/5’s rose to the front of the race, however, with 4 of the eventual top 5 all in the top five by the end of lap one. William Shoulders ended up 5th. Justin Dileo (352 Racing) climbed as high as second, but slipped back to 4th by the end. Jayden Eckroth was third, and Cliff Kugler was second. Your winner was John Kingham (Bent’s Cyclery).

4/5 podium by
Paul Troyer.

In the MTB Class, there was a pretty good dogfight between Ted Hollander and Paul Lewis, but at the end it was Hollander with the victory. Michael Ploch was third.

In the Women 4’s, Nicole Carson led for the first couple of laps, but the inexorable pressure from Jennifer Kraatz and Melissa Isenman was too much and Nicole faded back to third by the end. Jennifer got the win over Melissa, which is three victories in a row, and should be enough for her to earn a trip up to the cat 3’s in the near future.

Next there was the under 10 year old’s kids race, which which continues to gain in popularity and contained adorable little children dressed up in halloween costumes for just about as much cuteness as anyone could possibly stand. It was around this same time that Rich Dybdahl unveiled his complete halloween costume: He was me. I’m him. Rich took it as far as he possibly could including dying his black hair a crazy shade of auburn/purple, augmented with a fake beard and an Orange State Cycling kit.

IT’S UNCANNY, RIGHT??? pic by Karen Dybdahl

Rich is rapidly becoming the awesomest dude in FLCX. Also, for the record: No one came dressed in a Tim Hayes/Super Rookie costume.

Wave 4 was my race, the Men’s Cat 3 and Women 123 Open. A small field of ladies took the start, including the long-time FLCX supporting Mother-Daughter team of Diane and Michelle Blake. It was Kristin Apotsos (Infinity/Biergarten girl) who took the win from Kate Adams (Gear Link/Bumble bee) with Michelle (Sassy Witch) in third. In the 11 dude M3 race I was third through the fence gap, and stayed towards the head of affairs until a bunch of people ran past me in the sand pit after I foolishly tried to ride it using the worst sand riding technique I’ve ever attempted. My defense is that I was pretty much at my limit at that point and if I didn’t get passed there, it would have been somewhere else. Mike Weimar (Orange State) snuck past me and rode away from me a little later, and ended up a fine fifth. Daniel Cleaver was fourth, and Taylor Norton (Orange State) showed that his form continues to improve with a strong third place. The real battle, and probably the best race of the day, was between Bob Croslin (Orange State) and Addison Zawada (FWD Set/Red Bull), who traded the lead back and forth several times until Addison managed to escape. At some point Bob ran into Addison and they tangled up, which may or may not have caused Addison’s tubeless tire to burp some air, which allowed Bob to finally get away for a well fought victory. Here’s the story in Bob’s own words:

let me set the record straight: Addison and I were riding together and actually having a nice chat believe it or not when I decided to throw myself sideways over the barriers in the woods catching Addison up with me. Somehow I managed to pop my rear wheel out of the frame and I had to loosen up my QR to remount the wheel giving Addison a solid 10 secs on me. I then preceded to claw my way back within spitting distance of Addison over 2 laps when his tire burped with half-a-lap to go. I felt awful passing him within site of the finish but that’s racing. Here’s the takeaway from the Cat 3 race: Addison is freaking fast and he’s going to continue to dominate the 3’s and then he’s going dominate the 1/2’s.

Allow me to add that Bob is going to continue to do that whole dominating thing that Addison is.

As far as my race went, I went as fast as I could in an anaerobic state, which allowed Drew Smith (Velo Brew) to catch and pass me with two laps to go, but to my surprise he never plunged the dagger in and was content to leave me in his wake. On the last lap, another rider was catching us gradually, and indeed had caught up to us at the final set of barriers, but by that point I was already back on the bike and in the drops and locked into the inside lane around the final corner, so I was able to outsprint them both for 7th place. Yay me!

m3 podium by Kristin Apotsos

Kate Adams, Kristin Apotsos, Melissa Isenman by Kristin Apotsos

The final race of the day was Single Speed and Juniors, and it was as much of a Halloween weekend goofball extravaganza as you would imagine it to be. John Hovius in a cheerleader’s outfit. Ryan Woodall in a wrestling singlet. Zach Fout in a tutu. Mike Weimar as The Jesus, Todd Leedy as the Dude, and Ben Smith as Walter, all from the Big Lebowski. Todd even did the entire race carrying a bowling bag. Taylor Norton as Ace Ventura. Brian Jenson as some hideous monster with a smaller hideous monster perched on his shoulder. Somewhere in the midst of all this silliness the Juniors raced- Eric Meucci took the win in 15-18, and Lachlan Hovius (AAA Tri Camp) stood on the top step with Jackson Mehr (Swift Cycles) and Joel Hovius (AAA Tri Camp) in third. In the single speed race, Woodall and Fout hung out together for much of the race, with Wojtek and Dybdahl-as-me slowly drifting backwards as the race progressed. There were all sorts of cookies and Little Debbie’s and who knows what else getting handed up at the barriers, but I never made it over that far. It ended up with Ryan taking the win from Zach, then Wojtek and Dybdahl as Me.

Jason and I really weren’t expecting a huge turn out for this event, considering that the Florida State Road Race was being held 15 miles down the road. Instead, we had 115 unique riders and 143 total entries, making this the second best attended regular season FLCX race in history. Imagine how big this event will get when the road promoters finally stop putting on championships in the middle of Cyclocross season.

Tampa Riverfront CX Day 2 Race Report

On October 16, 2013 by Christian

Sunday morning went a lot smoother than Saturday, as most of the course was unchanged from Saturday. The only big change was the addition of a steep rideable run up to the top of the amphitheater mound with a steep drop off the back side of it. There were a few new turns added, but if anything the course got a little bit faster. The first FLCX Points Series race of the 2013/14 season had 125 unique riders, which is an all time high for a non-state championship race in Florida. We’re all very excited that all of you came out, we hope you had as much fun as we did.


Thirty-Five Masters 35, 45, and 55 toed the line for wave one, so as you can imagine, there was some traffic on the first few corners. From Left, Todd Leedy (352), Steve Noble (Infinity Racing), Chris Stevens (Pinnacle Wheelworks) Todd Frobish (Brick City) jockey for position early in the race.

Rob Robins tip-toeing along the tip of a ridge on his fancy new Giant. I am pretty ambivalent about the need for disc brakes, or at least I was until I saw this bike in the flesh. So sweet.

Steve Noble in his familiar position in the drops.

doing it wrong

Pete Miner (Swift Cycles), most certainly not suitcasing his bike over the barriers. Kids, don’t do it this way unless you like making your arms extra tired.

Chris Stevens did an entire lap with no seat post. What an animal.

Zach Fout took of from the gun, with Andy Mills and Jack Rich chasing him. After two or three laps, Zach burped his tubeless tires and was gone. Mills and Rich traded the lead a few times, but a loss of tire pressure in his own tubeless tires slowed Jack’s pursuit leaving Andy Mills the winner. Steve Mace finished a strong third, riding just off the pace of Jack and Andy, but never in any danger of getting caught. In the 45 plus, Steve Noble held off the furious pressure of Vitore Alexandre and Brian Knight. They were riding well enough to come in 5th, 6th, and 7th overall in the wave, very impressive indeed. In the 55 plus, John Torrey took the win over Paul Schwartz and Brad Scott.


Eleven riders lined up for the Pro 12 Open field, including 13 year old Mike Mace, who is apparently not only wickedly fast but also a glutton for punishment. Mike stayed out there all 60 minutes, which is even more impressive, because 60 minute CX races hurt more than the 90 minute MTB races Mike is used to. Round two of Thornton VS Woodall was over almost as fast as round one, with the same result. Josh is just riding so well right now, and Ryan can barely lift one of his arms above his head. Even so, Ryan was never in any danger of coming in any lower than second. The real race was for the third step on the podium, between Walker Owen (Swift Cycle) and Michael Danish (Rose Bandits.) They dueled for the last half of the race, but Danish had a little more at the end and took third. Walker was fourth, and Keith Richards was fifth, although if Jason Guillen could have kept air in his tires, it could have been a different race- Jason flatted twice and mounted furious chases to almost catch Keith by the end. Back in the giggling group, Tim Hayes took his revenge on Rich Dybdahl for his shocking defeat at Dunedin.

Walker Owen

podium by aliyah ryan .


An absolutely huge (by FLCX standards) field of 36 Cat 4/5 / First timers came running to the line when I announced that it was time to stage them, including a Dad and his three sons. Of course, Rich Dybdahl had a ringer in the mix as well. Where does he find all of these guys? The ringer on question, Alexander Lonsdale, pretty much took off from the word “go” and just kept expanding the time gap back to second place. Justin DeLeo and John Kingham rounded out the podium.

start line pib by Brick City Bikes


Eleven! women lined up for the Cat 4 race. Jennifer Kraatz took the ball and ran with it for her second win of the weekend. Maybe she will show up on next week’s Power Ranking? Yarrow Greggus from Gaineville was second, and Erica Richards and Melissa Isenden were third and fourth respectively. It sure looks like Cat 4 women will be pretty competitive this season.

W4 start by Dave Horst.

Dana Putney by Dave Horst


Category 3 Mens featured the debut of Addison Zawada as a major force in FLCX. He’s so fast that he’ll be racing for 60 minutes before the end of the year. He’s so fast he has a Red Bull helmet. Look for him on the Power Rankings next time. A dominating day for him. Wojtek Dyszkiewicz showed that as the weather cools off, he’s just going to get stronger with a solid second place. In third place was Mark Pettingill.

Michael Davis by Dana Putney


In the Women 123 Open, Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) took off like she was shot from a cannon that shoots people and bicycles really fast and rode away for the win. Duffy Danish (Rose Bandits) managed to keep her tires inflated unlike Saturday and took second from consistant rider and drinker Kristen Apotsos (Infinity), who supplied most of the photo’s used in this update, so thanks to her for not only kicking ass on her bike, but also for the pics.

Kids Race


For someone with no kids of his own, Tim Hayes sure loves to yell at kids through a megahorn while they’re racing. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that he’s a teacher, and the Principal at his school has a desk drawer full of Tim’s megahorns. We had the kids go around the tennis courts and around the Old Oak Tree to give them some technical riding, too.

Tim encouraging the kids race.

SS / Juniors

Since I hadn’t really raced all weekend, I decided to do the Single Speed on Sunday. I zip tied my shifters and had a decent start, and was 5th or so at the holeshot. I passed Michael Weimar at the run up, and then proceded to destroy a tubular that I had filled up with caffe latex the day before on the sidewalk of doom. I changed the tire and then I hit something else and knocked my front wheel loose. and that was pretty much my race. Sigh. I guess I shouldn’t have talked all that crap about the tubeless guys having trouble keeping air in their tires. Josh Thornton, operating on that really fast planet that few people in Florida are capable of operating on, rode away from everyone on one gear almost as quickly as he does it on multiple gears, and won the Bulleit 10 year. Woodall and Richards rounded out the podium. Melissa Isenman won the badass of the day award for flatting on the last last and running with her bike for the majority of the lap.

In the Junior race, Jackson Mehr (Swift Cycles) was the winner in 10-14, followed by Jake Thornton, who I’m pretty sure I dragged up to the top of the amphitheater at one point, when he got stuck halfway up the run up. Brandon Isenman came in third place. In 15-18, Eric Meucci was the only rider, and if he’s even remotely as fast as his older brother, then expect to see his name at the top of the results page again.


dybdahl and richards

Sidewalk of doom, pic by Mike Weimar

Many thanks to Jordan and Chelsea from Velo Champ and all of their volunteers for the hard work they put in to make the second edition of the Tampa Riverfront CX even better than the first. You will be seeing more of this venue, it was phenomenal.

Tampa Riverfront CX Day 1 Race Report

On October 15, 2013 by Christian

Saturday dawned bright and early and not horrendously humid, which was a welcome change from the race three weeks ago, when it was hotter than the sun but as humid as your average kitchen sponge. The Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park across the river from downtown Tampa provided a venue that with a few relatively simple changes could host a national caliber event- the course was that good. Course designers Mike Weimar (Orange State) and Jordan Miller (Velo Champ) did a great job of utilizing the unique terrain to its utmost to provide a course that was both technically challenging and lightning fast, with surprisingly few places to make a clean pass.

Tampa Riverfront CX from @CrossCopter on Vimeo.

The Official Cross Copter Montage.

It started on grass with a long straightaway that went around some tennis courts, over some roots and onto the fake cobblestone sidewalks. There was a 90 degree corner on pavement that led into some grass straighaways and hairpins, a tiptoe along the top of a small (3 feet) ridge, and then meandered along some curves and onto a sidewalk along the water itself. A short staircase, some off camber curves up and down a huge mound, and back down the sidewalk. There was some roots and dirt and a section of side walk with faults and cracks and uplifted section that caused the air to go out of several unwary rider’s tires. Then a rideable run-up, a sweeping long offcamber that finally dumped out onto a rock hard baseball diamond for a tight complex of corners. A fun section of swoops up and down another little ridge led to a hairpin and the barriers. Then, yet another off camber straightaway into a tricky hairpin with a small drop-off at the entrance, a long, sweeping esse turn that shot you up a small hillock and then down into the base of the volcano. Around the top and down the backside of the volcano for another fast, sweeping turn, a hairpin in pretty loose but not deep sand, and back around to climb the back of the volcano, drop down the front, a short stretch on pavement, and a hairpin around the Old Oak Tree (we really need to start getting more sponsors for course features) that finally led back to start finish. The preceding week of dry weather made it a hard packed, and even a bit dusty. While there was the volcano and the amphitheater “climbs”, it was otherwise pretty flat, fast, and thought-provoking course. Fantastic course.

Here’s the Cat 4/5 men and Cat 4 women from Jay Fratello’s Go Pro, in case you find my description lacking.

The first race of the day got off almost an hour late, due to the wooden stakes taking longer to hammer into the ground than was planned, but to be honest the wooden stakes do look better than the plastic stakes and they are biodegradable. So they have that going for them, which, as we all know, is nice. A big masters field was pretty patient with the delay, and when they finally went off, Zach Fout (Gearlink), Jack Rich, and Steve Mace went to the front and drilled it. Zach got a gap pretty quickly, but Jack waited patiently for Zach to begin to feel the lactic acid building up, and when the Zach popped, Jack pounced, and that was that for the drama. Steve Mace was blazing along in third, but could never close it down, and they finished Jack, Zach, Steve. In the 45’s, Steve Noble (Infinity) had to battle with a bunch of roadies and/or recent CX converts, and in the end Vitore Alexandre (Colavita) proved the fastest, followed by Steve and Pablo Santa Cruz (Florida Velo). In the 55’s, State Champion Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) took the win ahead of Brad Scott and Gordon Myhre.

The Pro 12 Open field would provide the long-awaited battle between Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage PB and Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear). Jason Guillen (Gear Link) and Michael Danish (Rose Bandits) rounded out the field. Josh is clearly on raging form right now, form so good that he should take it out of state and beat up on some other kids. Ryan is clearly still coming back from a recent injury, because it wasn’t much of a battle. Much like Josh did last week at the state crit championship, he simply rode away from everyone. Josh was your winner, followed by Ryan, who was still fast enough to stay away from Jason and then Michael.

Category 4/5 Men and first timers went off with the Category 4 women, and this was another huge field, as you can see from the video above. Thirteen year old Mike Mace (First Place Racing) has a 4 on his CX licence, but only because of a lack of starts, because in spite of the fact that I warned the entire field on the start line what was about to happen to them, he took off like a scalded cat and just disappeared. Mike’s pretty fast on his MTB, so his success shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Second and third place were riders on one-day liscences Billy Finley and Joe Gilman, respectively. In the Cat 4 Women, Jennifer Kraatz was your winner over Melissa Isenman (Infinity Racing) and Erica Richards (Orange State).

The Women 123 Open race saw the return of Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) to FLCX, and I think she might have been a little peeved with being left off the Superrookie’s Power Rankings last week. Laura unleashed her fury and finished third overall in the wave, beating all of her female competitors and all but two of the Male Cat 3’s. She was followed by the consistently riding (and beer-drinking) Kristen Apotsos (Infinity Racing) and feline enthusiast Amy Plotkin (Rose Bandits.) In the men’s race, we had a pretty good dogfight with Bob Croslin (Orange State) and Taylor Norton (Orange State/Flying Fish Bikes) duking it out at the front. It went back and forth a few times, but Taylor ended up on the top step, with Bob trailing. Dave Horst (Orange State) was third, to complete the Orange State podium sweep.

In the last race of the day, a decent Junior field toed the line with a small field of Single Speeders, which was surprising, since the SS guys were racing for a bottle of Bulleit 10 year old bourbon. There were no 15-18 juniors, but there were 9 10-14’s so there is hope for the future there. Ryan Woodall took off for the single speed holeshot with Michael Mace in the Junior category, and they chased each other around for a few laps, and at the end of 30 minutes, they were the winners. Harrison Knight and Ava Sykes rounded out the Junior podium, and Michael Toth and Ben Pridgeon rounded out the SS podium.

All in all, we were able to make up for the late start of the first race so the last race started more or less on time, which made the day not as much of an endless ordeal as it could have. The course was so much fun, the turnout was great (89 unique riders), the riders were stoked.

Edinburgh CX Race Recap

On September 25, 2013 by Christian

As you might be aware if you follow Florida Cyclocross on Facebook Tampa Bay Cyclocross aka Zach Fout promoted the Edinburgh CX in Dunedin last Sunday. You were probably made aware of it by Zach’s relentless promotion, by far the most relentless that Florida Cyclocross has ever seen. Zach was repaid for his relentlessness with a fantastic turnout of over 100 riders for a one day CX race in the blazing heat of September. He also sold out his CX clinic the night before the race.

In addition to promoting the race like a veteran race promoter, Zach and his crew also set up a fantastic course at Highlander Park in Dunedin.

This is Jay Fratello’s view of the Cat 4/5 race. Skip to about 1 minute in, and the first lap is over at about 8.30 in. Rain the night before created a mudhole, there were plenty of hairpins, and a good bit of running. The technical front side of the course with it’s barriers, sandpit run, collection of hairpins, and all of the hijinx around the mud pit gassed you, but then the back side of the course provided plenty of recovery with it’s long, flat straightaways. Overall, a well balanced and fun course that I wish I got to race on myself.

As far as the racing went, I missed out on the first wave of the day, so I don’t know how the Masters race went down. Sorry, old guys. The final results in M35 have Jack Rich (Ryder Bikes) over Joel Gorman (Flying Fish) and Greg Apotsos (Infinity). M45 saw the triumphant return of Steve Noble (Infinity) to the top step, over Vitore Alexandre (Colavita) and Pablo Santa Cruz (Florida Velo). In M55, Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) took the win from John Torre (Cyclonauts) and Rickey Howe.

Kelby Roberts (Gearlink) leads early, pic by Michael Ploch.

I did arrive in time to see the Pro12 Open race go off without Ryan Woodall, who had been talking an inordinate amount of smack in the weeks leading up to the race. With a sizable $50 holeshot preme on the line for the first rider to exit the sandpit, Jason Guillen (Gearlink) attacked hard and took all the cookies.

Jason taking the holeshot, pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Jason, Josh Thornton (Dunedin Cyclery), and Chris Slack (Pinnacle Wheelworks) would have a pretty decent tussle for the next lap and a half or so, until Josh does that thing that former Professional cyclists do where they remind everyone they are riding/racing against just how much more they can hurt than everyone else can, and pretty much ride away unhindered. Slack and Guillen dueled for a bit for second, but the bill for Guillen’s early heroics eventually came due in the brutal heat and he lost ground to Slack. They would finish Josh, Chris, and Jason. Meanwhile, in the party bus at the back of the pack, Rich Dybdahl (Pure Cycles), making his 60 minute race debut, put a pretty thorough spanking on the still jet-lagged from Vegas Tim Hayes (Swift Cycle, Internet), in spite of a barrier bunnyhop going very, very wrong.


Yeah, Rich, I saw that.

We had an awesome 30 riders in the Mens category 4/5 race, and an equally awesome 10 women 4’s, which is a fantastic sign for the future of Florida Cyclocross. As you can see from the video above, the start was pretty smooth, other than Chris Kyle (Top Gear) dumping his bike at the exit of the second hairpin. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mention people crashing, but Chris is all over the Facebook group, so I figure he likes the shout-outs. Matthew Drury (unattached) came to the front (on a mountain bike) and stretched out his lead to finish up 47 seconds ahead of Nickolaos Psilopoulos (Orange State) and a further 20 seconds ahead of William Shoulders. In the women, Melissa Isenman (Infinity) took the win from Orange State’s Erika Richards and Sam Tromley.

An unusually small field of Cat 3’s came out, but it was still a hard fought race at the front. From the gun, Wojtek Dyszkiewicz (Uptown Brewing) took off and looked like he wasn’t coming back, until the Florida heat does what it does and he retreated back into the dogfight that was already occurring between John Hovius (AAA) and Bob Croslin (Orange State), making it a three man race. It was the most tactical race of the day, with all three attacking each other and getting reeled back in, until Hovius does what he does and was able to sneak away. Wojtek (pronounced Voytek) held on for second, with Croslin in third. All three of these guys are likely to be on the podium again this year in the threes, super strong riding from all three of them.

Three Pro123 Open women toed the line, including the return of Brooke Rich (Infinity), but in spite of her control of the forces of darkness, she ended up abandoning. It was Kristin Apotsos who led the race from the gun, and showed that she plans to be a factor in the fast women’s field all season. Katherine Adams (Gearlink) took second place.

Single Speed and the Juniors started together with some ominous storm clouds overhead, and indeed, it began to rain just after the start. We took down the sensitive electronic equipment and the clouds got darker. In SS, Zach Fout (Gearlink) shook off all notions of promoter legs by attacking with Slack and Wojtek, but it was Slack who ended up on top at the finish, ahead of Zach and Wojtek. In the Juniors, Lachlan Hovius (AAA) battled with Ava Sykes (TBTS Juniors) for a lap or two, but ended up getting the best of her. Jackson Mehr (Swift Cycle) ended up in third. And John Hovius ran over his own kid (Joel).

pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Overall, for a first year event, and the first race of the season, Zach Fout did a great job on the event. Here’s hoping the rest of the races are as well promoted, organized, and attended!

Neutral Corner: A View From The Pits – Clermont CX Gran Prix

On January 12, 2013 by VeloChamp

Ed: The addition of Velo Champ and their sponsorship of the FLCX Series was one of the most successful additions of the 2012/13 season. They helped out countless racers and even provided quite a few heckles to all of the racers involved. Makes sure to stop by their shop the next time you are in the Tampa area and say hello!

View from the Pits – Clermont CX Gran Prix

If I am to judge how much fun was had at last weekends race, only by the mechanicals that came into the pit, I would say Clermont Cyclocross Gran Prix 2013 was one hell of race..!

Considering the location of the race, I suspected the normal combination of flats, punctures, and other dry/sandy course issues I have seen all season. With some confirmation of this from our fearless race promoter earlier Saturday morning, I expected a trouble-free, fast course. I am still amazed with how quickly this expectation was blown out of the water!

The Velo Champ wheel pit was in a perfect location to view the racing in Clermont. (Photo: Jordan Miller)

Day 1 of the Clermont CX Gran Prix started of mostly trouble-free. The cold weather, massive run-ups and overall rad course design seemed to keep speeds low, and riders spent plenty of time off their bikes. The day was spent addressing mostly minor issues including some wheel swaps, brake cable re-routing and general cable-stretch related shifting work. To my amazement, the number of tire/tube punctures were quite low and not a single rolled tubular tire. I truly expected the more technical features of the course to help roll at least a few tubulars. Oh, does separated shoulder/clavicle/AC separating count as a mechanical..?

The off-camber turns made for fun spectating at the pit. (Photo: Jordan Miller)

Day 2 proved to be be strikingly different from the previous days race. Before lunchtime (beer time) we were alarmed by the how many catastrophic mechanicals/crash-related failures came into the pit. Punctures and pinch flats were far more prevalent. This seemed in line with the course changes that took place for Day 2 that took the riders into the rough, ridge areas surrounding the previous days course. Only two rolled tubulars made their way into the pit. Wheel swaps came into pit throughout the day. Among the flats and failed cassette bodies was a Lightweight Meilenstein rear wheel with broken spokes. This wheel damage came along with one of many broken derailleur hangers. It seems crash-related, rear derailleur issues were one of two trends we noticed on Sunday’s race. The other being a surprising number of similar, front derailleur shifting issues. These came in the form of stretched cable/compressed housing, derailleur impact and even a loose, drive-side crank arm.  We certainly noticed a number riders having issues with dropped chains throughout the weekend. In our opinion, chain-guides/chain-keepers are a worthy upgrade for any cross bike. In addition, improperly adjusted rear derailleurs proved to be the death of more than one bike.

Keeping watch. (Photo: Jordan Miller)

Our constant presence with pit/spare bikes proved useful again last weekend.  A few riders from several categories hopped on our pit bikes to finish their race(s).

All in all, Clermont Cyclocross Gran Prix proved to be one of the most challenging races all year and we were ecstatic to be able to support such great race. We are excited for this year’s State Championships. See you in Dade City!