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Ocala CX Results

On November 28, 2013 by Super Rookie

We have added the results for Ocala to the Results page.

Please note that we have not uploaded to USA Cycling as we await the results for Saturday’s Single Speed race. The initial update on 11/27 was on crossresults.com

Have a great day!

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

Tally CX Flyer Posted – Registration Open for Tally and Ocala

On November 13, 2013 by Super Rookie

The Tallahassee Cyclocross flyer has been posted!

A new venue…but their venues are always amazing.

Ocala CX is the next stop and online-registration is here.

Check back soon.

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!

 

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.

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!

Season Flyer Updates

On October 23, 2013 by Super Rookie

Wanted to drop a quick note that we have posted the flyers for all the upcoming permitted events on the FLCX calendar.

Make sure you check them all out!

Spooky Cross

Infinity Cross

Ocala Cross

Swamp Cross
In addition pre-registration is open on USA Cycling for all of these races, too!

Spooky Cross

Infinity Cross

Swamp Cross

We can’t wait to see you out at the upcoming races!

Training for Cyclocross III: Longer Intervals

On October 19, 2013 by Christian

In the first article on intervals I outlined some short, intense sprint-focused blocks aimed at preparing you for the highest-order output cyclocross has to offer.

In this one I lay out some less intense suggestions. These are geared toward training the body to go hard, but not 100%, for the full 30 to 60 minutes of race. One set in particular is aimed at simulating the efforts of different parts of a race; the other is simply aimed at pushing your threshold upward.

The race lap intervals:

Think about the first lap of a race-balls out for a minute or more, then another several minutes of easing back a notch but still being well above your 45-60 minute pace, then finally settling mercifully into that pace. Let me first give credit to Josh Thornton who suggested the structure of the first-lap effort to me earlier this year—he is a smart guy, a wicked fast racer and has some fantastic ideas about training. Anyway, each of these efforts looks much like a certain part of a common race rhythm. Note: take 10-15 minutes recovery interval between each of these.

1st lap: I call this the 1-4-4 and, again, thanks to Josh for the idea. Once you’re well warmed up, the interval begins with a minute at ~130-150% of your FTP if you train with power. If not, it is a nearly all-out effort much harder than a threshold effort. Then, you drop to 105-110% of FTP for 4 minutes—this is the VO2 level effort, or if you train by heart rate just above your normal race average. The final 4 minutes is at race pace or at your threshold. Let’s say your FTP was around 300 watts. You’d spend a minute at 390-410 watts, drop down to 315-330 for 4 minutes, then down to around 300 for the final 4 minutes. It hurts.

“Middle lap” effort or the “2-7-1”: Depending on your fitness level or the time of the season you might do one, perhaps 2 of these. First two minutes is back at your VO2 level; then 7 minutes at threshold, then a final minute back up at VO2. Note these aren’t maximal levels—again, during the middle chunk of a race this is less common. We often get into the selection group at the start, settle in there, and then things shake back up in the last 10-15 minutes.

“Last lap” or 5-5-30-30: five minutes at your threshold followed by 5 all-out 30 second efforts, each of which is followed by 30 seconds at endurance/tempo pace. At first you will likely need to drop to full recovery pace for each of those 30 second recovery periods, but ask yourself: do you have that luxury in a race? No—stay up at your tempo pace and tell your body to get with it.

More standard threshold efforts are 12-20 minutes at your functional threshold power or 60-minute/LT heart rate. The point of these steady-state efforts is simple: the threshold is the one number that is most amenable to movement by proper training, unlike your VO2 max, for example. That’s why we push and prod it so much—because with the right training you can push that number closer and closer toward your VO2 max, making it possible for you to handle a harder baseline pace during a race. And that’s the name of the game.

Sometimes I have cyclists start a hard workout with a sprint block, then do one or more of these lap efforts, and finish with a threshold effort. Others they’re just one kind in a day, depending on the kind of training block going on at the moment or what kinds of racing are coming up. The point here is that all of these efforts—and the maximal sprint ones too—have to be fit appropriately into a longer cycle, whether one week, 3-4 weeks, or even the entire CX season.

Often a cyclist with some experience is really intelligent about a training day and perhaps a training week too. Harder is to build those smaller cycles into the meso- and macro- cycles that make for a great season, and this is what I think coaches are well placed to do. I am one, but I now have first-hand experience with Drew Edsall (coachdrewedsall.com), Jeb Stewart (Endurofit) and Josh Thornton (email Josh) and would recommend any and all of them. All three of these gentlemen have tons of experience in CX and beyond and I’ll speak to their graciousness and generosity as coaches.

Last thing: if you try one or more of these workouts, let me know what you think—I am always eager to get feedback so please drop a line.

Ben
ben@legsmith.com

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.

Masters

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.

P12

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 .

m45

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

w4

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

M3

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

w123

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

Start

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.


Josh


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 Floridabicyclelaw.com 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 Yourkey.com) 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.

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