2015 FLCX Power Ranking™ Edinburgh CX

On September 25, 2015 by Christian

Holy Moly, W.A.R. #1 in Lacootchie last weekend did not disappoint, and not only because I ended up on the podium. See, Hayes, I told you I’d find a way to mention that in the first sentence. You owe me a trip to the tiki bar. Actually, as an aside, Tim is getting ready to do his podcast live onstage in front of actual people as I type this, so he’s probably super nervous and awkward with flop sweats right now, so you all owe me for painting that mental picture for you. You’re welcome.

Wow, there was a lot of digressions in that paragraph. Where were we? Oh yeah, Lacootchie. So Josh Thornton managed to top himself again with one of the best courses ever in FLCX. It was simply brutal. And not just because of the heat, which was bad, but not as bad as the first week. The course was a masterpiece of bumpy grass fields, tricky downhill to uphill zig zags, more grass, some super sticky sand that was alternatively rideable one lap and then quicksand the next, some more grass, some more downhill, the best run up in Florida, (which was almost a non-factor this year) some super bumpy lumpy woods riding, a ditch crossing with a little mud at the bottom, a little deeper mud that kept getting deeper, some shallow but sticky and thick mud for about 20 meters, some soft grass, another muddy ditch crossing, a 100 meter SLOG/run/waddle through ankle deep cowshit flavoured mud, some more soft grass, another short section of soupy mud that was ridable if you hated your drivetrain, then this crazy toilet bowl off camber sequence that ended up forcing you to driveside dismount, some more slow lumpy bumpy woods, finally coming back out of the woods and dropping into and them popping back out of the ditch, all super off camber, then back onto the grass, out onto the pavement for a second, over the barriers, and finally back to start finish. I know I didn’t break 10 minutes a lap, and it probably took me less time to ride it that it did to write it, so you get the idea. I thought it was too much during my pre-ride. I loved it at 20 minutes into the race. It was hard, it was tricky, and it made you drive your bike a lot. Kudos’s, Josh.

Looking back at the volumes of data, one thing becomes clear, and that is that the Power Rankings™ have utterly failed to predict who will even show up that the next race, much less who is going to win, other than Ryan Woodall, and how hard is it to predict that happening right now? Historically, we’ve based them on the previous weekend’s racing. But that only paints a picture of the past. We’re trying to look into the future. What I do know is that the data is gibberish. Guys who were cat 3 last week are racing P12 the next and then back to Cat 3, Ava Sykes, a 12 year old girl, is winning the P123 woman’s race and coming in third in the Men’s 4/5 race, I can’t even figure anything out anymore. But I will pull out the magic Power Ranking™ eight ball, drink the blue juice inside, and give you my predictions.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you. As always, please, no wagering.

1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 3

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Two convincing wins over Josh Thornton at Josh’s home course are more than enough to vault Ryan back to the top of the heap. Still the nicest guy out there. Still our best hope at Nationals…

2. Ava Sykes (Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services) | Junior women, W123 | Last Rank: nr

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Except for Ava, who might be an even better lock for a stars and stripes jersey in Asheville. As mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, I have no idea how Ava did what she did in Lacootchie, winning her own category and coming in third(!!!!) in Mens Cat 4/5(!!!) on Saturday, and following that up with a win in her own category AND Women’s 123 on Sunday. That’s four races on the toughest course we’ve ever raced on, and four podiums. And she just adopted a greyhound. D’awww.

3. Clint Gibbs (unattached) | Masters 45, Mens 3 | Last Rank: NR

12042830_10205941560111720_5585841923194988050_nnot Clint Gibbs.

Clint stacked up a couple of more wins this past weekend in M45. He only needs 5 more for a perfect season… If anyone can do it, it’s Clint.

4. Steve Noble (Sarasota Cycling Club p/b SeaSucker) | Masters55, Cat3 | Last Rank: 8

11260351_992020930839080_3402677048331210810_n pic by hawkdancer via facebook

Two more wins in 55 plus makes Steve the second most consistent Master’s racer so far. Don’t look now, Steve, but your nemesis Dan Sullivan was second both days.

5. Tic Bowen (B3 Cafe) | Master35, Pro1/2 | Last Rank: 1

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Tic missed out on Lacootchie, so he plummets down the rankings, but he’s pre-regged for Sunday, so I’m still predicting great things. And he makes sweet art you can buy if you like it!

6. Reed Legg (Unattached) | Junior 12-14 | Last Rank: NA

Reed showed up and beat the usual strongmen on both days in juniors, and that’s good enough for me. Is he related to Mr. Katie Compton?

TIE 7. Chase Forman (Colavita) | Junior 15-18 | Last Rank: NA
TIE 7. Thomas Barbazuk (Unattached) | Junior 15-18 | Last Rank: NA

Chase and Thomas are mostly just beating on each other so far this year. Chase won on Saturday, and Thomas on Sunday. Thomas also beat me on Sunday. I passed Chase on the last lap as he was suffering from a nasty asthma attack, and he sounded like a million times worse than I did, wheezing and coughing and I pretty much figured once I went by him that he was gone. Alas, he wouldn’t let me go, and indeed began pressuring me on the few remaining corners of the course. I led him through the concrete and over the barriers, and figured that as long as I got out of the final corner first that there was no way he could hang with my hopefully semi-impressive 42-11 sprint what with all of the hacking and choking and coughing and wheezing there was going on over my shoulder….

Sure enough the little jerk came around me with 10 feet to the line. Yeah, it wasn’t for position, but still. Jerk Junior kids. This is going to be a fun race to watch the remainder of the season.

9. David Hahn (Steady Spin) | Cat 3 | Last Rank: TIE 5

So David was racing and winning/coming in second in the Cat4/5’s the first weekend, and made the barest mention of sand when I included him in the power rankings, and then the guy just goes ahead and upgrades to 3, and then he even wins on Sunday! Impressive, in a field that has suffered from lack of interest the past couple of seasons. Seriously, guys, I’m a cat 3. You can beat me. It’s not that bad.

10. Darla Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | W123 | Last Rank: NA

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Up and coming. Fast connections. Nice.

We See You: John Will Tenney (god, do we see you); Stewart Mackie; Josh Thornton (sick, just got braces (how old is he?)); Mallory Bryan; Mark Chandler; Vitor Alexandre;

2015 FLCX Power Rankings™ Week 2 – W.A.R. #1 Dade City CX

On September 18, 2015 by Christian

The Josh Thornton promoted Wicked Awesome Racing CX series is a 4 weekend, 7 race series series within the larger FLCX point series. The first weekend’s racing will be held at the familiar Stanley Park in Lacootchie, just outside of Dade City, home of one of the greatest run-ups in the entire FLCX series. The course will be great, Josh is a master at finding off-camber corners and every inch of elevation change available.

What we learned in the first installment of the FLCX season up in Hudson was that it is silly hot, first of all, so you’ll probably need to use a bottle cage and bottles and get fed. Since the silliest rule in cycling is still being enforced with the intensity of a laser beam, the only legal feeds are thru the pits, and woe to anyone who the official observes taking a feed from somewhere other than those self same pits. Luckily, there are many places at Stanley Park where one is out of the sight of the official, if you know what I mean, and you ought to, since I’m being about as subtle as a seven year old boy with a new fire truck siren.

We also learned that last week’s Power Rankings were pretty accurate, if you squint real hard. This week’s edition is going to have to be an abbreviated edition, as I’m rapidly running out of daylight. Sorry kids.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you. As always, please, no wagering.

1. Tic Bowen (B3 Cafe) | Master35, Pro1/2 | Last Rank: NR

Saturday Tic won Master’s 35 and then turned around and won the Pro race immediately afterwards. On Sunday he was second to Woodall by about 30 seconds. This is a massive weekend of riding. Respect.

2. Clint Gibbs (unattached) | Masters 45, Mens 3 | Last Rank: NR

In researching Clint’s results last weekend, I discovered that somecrazyhow the results from Zach’s race are all screwy. Not blaming anyone, so don’t start freaking out all you usual freaker-outers. In any case, it appears that Clint won masters45 both days and podiumed in the 3’s on Sunday, so he gets to hang out on top of the Power Rankings.

3. 1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 1

Ryan only did one race, which he won, so he drops in the standings but not too far. Still a sweet dude. Also podiumed the Gainesville-Atlantic 75 last weekend, so his form remains intact.

4. Josh Thornton (WAR) | Pro1/2, | Last Rank: We See You

Promoter legs have been a minor factor for Josh in the past, so my prediction is a win on Saturday in P12 and a 2nd on Sunday. Happy to be wrong here.

TIE 5. John Vega (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law) | Cat 4/5 | Last Rank: nr
TIE 5. David Hahn (Steady Spin) | Cat 4/5 | Last Rank: nr

These two guys traded wins and second places on Saturday and Sunday. It’s far too early to start talking about sand, but then again, this is the Power Rankings…

7. Ava Sykes (Wizard Racing Development Team P/B Wizard Coaching Services) | Junior women, W123 | Last Rank: nr

Ava is multiple time State champion in just about every discipline, and she’s on an even nicer bike this year than she was last year, so I see no reason for her to not dominate.

8. Steve Noble (Sarasota Cycling Club p/b SeaSucker) | Masters55, Cat3 | Last Rank: nr

Won Masters55 both days, and beat me in the 3’s on Sunday. That’ll do, Steve, that’ll do.

9. Brian Davis (Compass Cycling Team) | P12, SS | Last Rank: nr

Second to Tic in P12, won SS both days, and his “kid” is fast too. Look out.

10. Mark Chandler (KBS) | M3 | Last Rank: nr

Lapped me. Jerk. Still somehow slower than me through the sand pit.

FLCX and MTB’s. The last word.

On November 10, 2014 by Christian

You can ride your mountain bike in any FRS-CX/Florida Cyclocross event, with tires as wide as you like, as long as you don’t have forward facing barends. Fact.


pics courtesy Vital MTB / Cyclocross Magazine

If it is a UCI race, you can not ride a tire wider than 34c, and you must have drop bars (same with a national championship, or national calendar cyclocross race).

Each race promoter decides if he or she wants to include a separate category/class/race for mountain bikes in FLCX. Not one promoter has ever specifically said MTB’s are not allowed that I’m aware of.

There are many CX aficionados who feel that riding MTB’s is against the spirit of CX racing, and they aren’t wrong, but their feelings are just that, their feelings. Those feelings belong to them and do not affect you in the slightest. Even if they say something shitty to you, it’s still them being shitty; those words have no official weight.

With that said, if you have never even tried to race CX on a CX bike, you are cheating yourself of half the fun of CX, the fun of trying to control a skinny tired bike through off camber corners and sharp climbs and descents. Yes, of course it’s easier on a mountain bike. The point is that CX isn’t supposed to be easy. That’s a lot of the fun of it.

No one who is trying the sport of CX for the first time, or indeed even the first season, should feel bad, or allow someone else to make them feel bad, about riding an MTB in a CX race. Bikes are expensive, and spending $1000 or more on a bike to try out CX before you’re certain you’re going to like CX is just plain foolish. So all you beginners out there, don’t take any crap, just run what you brung and have a blast.

If you decide you want to keep racing, then, by all means, I encourage you to borrow a real CX bike and race it a couple of times, and if you decide it’s for you, go down to your local shop and buy a CX bike. They are super-rad, and they’ll make you a better rider on all of your bikes.

If you decide the CX bike scares the dickens out of you, and you just want to keep riding your mountain bike, that’s fine, too. But you shouldn’t feel that any CX promoter is obligated to schedule a specific MTB race- it is a CX race, after all. There are many MTB races on the calender, and I doubt that any of them offer a separate CX bike category. Nor should they, it’s an MTB race.

I hope that once and for all we can move past this topic and move on to more important ones, such as “how can I sucker more of my friends into coming out to race CX” and “who can grow the weirdest beard for CX States”?

That last one is a trick question, y’all. I’ve got that one in the bag.

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – SPOOKY CROSS

On October 24, 2014 by Christian

As we enter the heart of the Florida Cyclocross season, we are starting to see some patterns developing, some riders emerging from the sweaty, tangled masses of also-rans and shoulda coulda wouldas. Still others are falling by the wayside, sad and sorrowful, licking their boo-boos and muttering about “jobs” or “family time” or “I gotta start training” or even “go-karts.” But the faithful, the devoted, the committed? They are present, soaking up attendance points and sneaking away to point series leads of surprisingly large margins.

The second of three Wicked Awesome Racing events last weekend was an off-camber masterpiece on a course that was arguably better than the first round. A shorter run up that was perfectly rideable if your named rhymes with “Food awl,” multiple hairpins on hillsides, and several completley rutted out corners made choosing the correct line crucial and deviating from it dangerous to maintaining flow and momentum.

That’s all well and good, because this weekend’s Second Annual Winter Garden Spooky Cross is going to be a slog through some nasty velcro grass. The grass is so thick, and there’s so much of it, that I don’t even think we’re going to use the sand pit, because I have a heart and I don’t want to kill anybody. Ok, I just don’t want to kill anybody. There, I said it. It is a power course, that much is certain. There are a couple of technical sections, but by and large it’s going to be more about watts than it is bike handling. Except for the fast sandy sections. Those will be tricky, and just get trickier as the day goes on, but dead flat.

With all this said, it’s time for the disclaimer:

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything negative we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you.

1. 1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2, SS | Last Rank: 1


pic from facebook

Ryan maintains his Vice-Grip lock on the top spot with three wins and a second this past weekend. He was also riding up the run-up during the single speed race and at times carrying a sword around with him as well. Riding the run up was pretty bonkers, guys. Pro-1-2 this year has already been so great, we’ve never had two guys battling it out this hard, and now that Josh Thornton (Team Giant) has a few weekends to just race and shake off his #promoterlegs, we have the makings of some fantastic racing. And then there’s the utter demolition Ryan performed on the rest of the Single Speed field, we don’t even need to discuss that any further, it was comprehensive. A well deserved #1 for the man from Ocala.

2. Zoltan Tisza (Colavita South Florida) | Masters 45, P12 | Last Rank 4

Another strong weekend of racing (and winning) in Masters 45 immediately followed by third place in the Pro-1-2 moves Zoltan back into the 2 slot. Giving a free CX clinic before the Single Speed race on Sunday didn’t hurt him, either. Zoltan loves the sport and wants to grow it, and he does the whole walking the walk talking the talk thing. If you haven’t had a chance to talk to him, or at least study him racing- he is a magician on the bike, disappearing from the rest of the field, and an ambassador off it. We need more Zoltans.

3. Clint Gibbs M35 (Bike Works GNV) | Masters 35+ | Last Rank 2


pic from facebook

The only reason Clint fell to 3 is that Zoltan is killing it in masters and in the 60 minute race, while Clint is killing it in masters and then beating up the Cat 3’s. Trust me, it ain’t that hard to go faster than me, but it is tricky to keep the likes of Addison Zawada and Rolly Weaver in your rear-view. But for real, Clint is riding away with Masters 35, and if he keeps riding 3’s he’ll probably keep winning that, since there’s nobody on his level with any plans to do a lot of racing for the rest of the seasson.

4. Allison Linnell (all4cycling) | Women Pro-1-2-3 | Last Rank NA


pic from facebook

This one might start some controversy, but if you feel outraged, read the disclaimer again, and don’t hassle me. No less an authority than Kristin Apotsos told me that Allison hung out on her wheel comfortably for three laps and then rode away from Kristin, which is not easy to do, particularly once the officials start hanging out the lap cards. Were it not for terrible luck with tubeless tires (now where have I heard that before?) Allison would have had a dominating win on Sunday to match the dominating win she had at the last WAR event. I hope she’s able to overcome the mechanicals and race hard for the win for 45 minutes- she’s fun to watch out there.

5. Josh Thornton (Team Giant ) | P12 | Last Ranking: 9


pic from Hawkdancer via facebook.

Winning a Pro-1-2 race will move you up the Power Rankings. Being a perennial winner of FLCX races will help you as well, but the simple fact that Josh only has to show up this Sunday and race makes him the long shot gambling man’s choice to win the 60 minute race. Yes, Ryan Woodall has thus far dominated, but Josh managed to find a weakness on Day 1 of WAR # 2 Electric Boogaloo and exploit it. Can he do it at Spoopy CX? As I’ve mentioned, I think that it’s going to come down to WATTS this Sunday, so it should prove to be one of the more interesting races of the season.

6. Kristin Apotsos (Infinity) | Women Pro-1-2-3 | Last Rank NA


pic from Hawkdancer via facebook

Kristin lives the dream so hard that it’s a wonder we don’t all turn green from envy every time we see her in person. Beautiful kids, sparkling fitness, that bad-ass Airstream, the hunky husband, dominance in whatever sport strikes her fancy, and, of course, drinking slurpees as recovery fuel. Do I really need to type more words to convince you of her awesomeness? Now that we’ve hit the heart of the season, we should be in for quite a duel between her and Allison, and once Laura Parsons gets her legs back under her, look the eff out, we should have one of the most compelling battles in FLCX history.

7. Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) | Masters 55+ | Last Ranking: 6

Dan maintains his “Silent Killer” persona and lead in the FRS-CX with yet another win on day 1 at WAR #2, but there are multiple guys knocking at his door, challenging his early dominance. Brian Davis (Treasure Coast Racing) won day #2 and is loving CX so much he bought a single speed bike, and Paul Schwartz (Orlando Road Club) is not going away either. Plus there’s the looming menace of the youngsters Steve Noble and Biron Keefer (both Infinity) to keep him honest.

8. Clayton Knight (Team Top Gear) | Junior 10 | Last Ranking: na


pic from Hawkdancer from facebook

Clayton and his older brother Harrison are so ridiculously good. I watched Clayton completely lock up his rear wheel and flat out drift the first off-camber 180 hairpin out of the finish line pavement area like he planned it, and even if he didn’t plan it (and he didn’t), it was so insanely smooth and so far beyond what skills any 10 year old has any right to have that I was honestly flabbergasted. The Knight brothers are going to go as far as they want to go in cycling. Great kids, great attitude, and great talent. And they were chasing Ryan Woodall around trying to give him a sword hand-up during the Single Speed race for some reason. Watch them race, it’s a treat.

9. Eric Ehrenberg (VeloBrew) | Men Cat 3 | Last Ranking: 7

How in the shit is Eric still winning cat 3 men? Seriously? I mean COME ON! In the actual races, I’m chasing him (but not catching him.) And I’m not fast. This is PRECISELY how I managed to podium for the season series last year. I guess I’m just pissed that he’s stealing my schtick, but then again, I COULDN’T CATCH HIM last week, even after I got a beautiful holeshot and stayed away from him for three laps or so. Eric is the picture of riding within himself and staying consistent, which is never going to win any races but will win a championship, or at least get him on the podium at year’s end. It’s smart riding, and it’s showing up every race, and it works. Take notes, if you have any designs on winning series honours. As much as I want to beat you, Eric, I doff my cycling cap to you. You’re DOING IT RIGHT.

10. Jason Davis (U/A) | Men Cat 4/5 | Last Ranking: NA

There’s like three Jason Davis with who I have mutual Facebook friends, so I have no idea which one is the one who has done three FLCX races this year and never finished lower than 2nd, but one of those three is my favourite to win in Winter Garden this weekend. Cat 4/5 is such a lottery on an average weekend, and there promises to be a massive field this coming Sunday, with 22 guys already pre-reged as of 10.26pm Friday night, so who exactly is going to stand on the podium is impossible to guess. Except my money is on one of the three Jason’s. I mean, just betting on the averages.

We See You:

Cat 4/5: John Vega (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law)
W123: Diane Blake (Colavita Racing, Inc.)
W123: Rebecca Laborde
P12/SS: Tic Bowen
M35:Vitor Alexandre (Colavita Racing, Inc.) (Don’t call it a comeback?)
M35/M3: Scott Atkins (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law)
M3 Joey Gilman (Locomotion)
W4: JoAn Weaver (Swift)
W4: Darla Woodal (Team TopGear/MuMu)

Sandbagger of the week: None! But we’re still looking out, so don’t try anything funny…

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – WAR # 2 Dade City

On October 16, 2014 by Christian

As we head into the third weekend of the FRS-CX Schedule for the Wicked Awesome Racing 2: Electric Boogaloo in Dade City, there are many conclusions one could draw, but most of them would be incorrect, because OBVIOUSLY you are reading this, and not writing it, and since as we all know that the Power Rankings are INDISPUTABLE and CORRECT the only possible conclusion is that it’s just too damn early to tell with any accuracy just what the hell is going on. This is the first of three race weekends in a row, so by the end of the three, we should have a better idea just what’s happening.

Right now the points are crazy and confused and some previously dominant riders haven’t even started their CX season, and others have been too busy promoting races to actually ride like their historically badass selves, and still others are searching for the form they enjoyed last season. FRS-CX tabulates points based on your best 8 race results, so they won’t truly paint a picture of who’s dominating whom until everyone has done at least 8 races. After just 4 races total, it’s as much attendance as it is podiums in some categories, but as my 2013 Second Place Men’s Cat three FLCX Point Series Cowbell will tell you, attendance can take you a long way towards podiuming the overall.

Early reports about the course this weekend suggest that a lot of off-camber and thick grass will combine with a classic Thornton run-up to create a tough but fun course, and there appears to be plenty of recovery for every nasty course feature to balance things out. It should be pretty dry, as well, so those mud tires can probably stay home this weekend.

These rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything negative we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you.

As always, please, no wagering.

1. 1. Ryan Woodall (Top Gear / MuMu) | Pro1/2 | Last Rank: 1

Ryan is batting 1.000 on the season in both Pro1/2 as well as Single Speed. Is this a sign of things to come for the rest of the season? I somehow doubt that Josh Thornton will allow that to be the case, but since Josh will be dealing with #Promoterlegs again this weekend, there’s an excellent chance that Ryan’s streak will continue. At least until the Second Annual Winter Garden Spooky CX on October 25, 2014.

2. Clint Gibbs M35 (Bike Works GNV) | Masters 35+ | Last Rank NA


pic from Clint’s Facebook

Rocketing to the upper reaches of the FLCX Power Rankings, as well as the top of the FRS-CX standings, as well as the top of that mountain, above, is Clint Gibbs, who is quite simply having his way with the Masters 35+ category. Two firsts and two seconds will buy a lot of bragging rights in a town full of SERIOUS BUSINESS MASTERS RACERS, but thus far Clint has had the answers to all of his challenger’s questions.

3. Harrison Knight (Cycle Youth) | Juniors 12-14 | Last Rank: NR

The nicest kid who will tear your legs off? He and his brother probably fight over that title, but the Knight boys are up to their old tricks again.

4. Zoltan Tisza (Colavita South Florida) | Masters 45, P12 | Last Rank 2


Amazing pic from Facebook/Hawkdancer Photography.

Zoltan really makes it look too easy. I mean, I know it’s not easy, but he goes from winning the Masters 45 race to turning around immediately and then coming in 3rd or 4th in the Pro 1,2 race. And he’s still smiling when it’s over. Ben Smith is chasing him in Masters 45’s, but he’s got his work cut out for him to catch the Z-man.

5. JoAn Weaver (Swift Cycles) | Women 4 | Last Ranking NR


Pic from Facebook.

Joanne was dragged to enough races by Mr. Pete Miner that she got a bike of her own and started training. Now the two of them trade semi-cruel heckles and get to wash the sand off each other after the races are over. How romantic! With the departure of Rebecca Laborde and Nicole Carson to the 45 minute Ladies Race, JoAn has grabbed onto the reins in Women 4’s and only time will tell how long her reign will last.

6. Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) | Masters 55+ | Last Ranking: NR


Pic from Facebook.

Even Dan’s own West Coast Cycling team has taken to calling him “The Silent Killer,” so you know that the things you read on the FLCX Power Rankings are incontrovertibly true and real, and we don’t make up any of this stuff. Dan picked up where he left off last season in Masters 55, but now he has the ever youthful but newly 55 Byron Keefer (Infinity) nipping at his heels. As the weather cools off and the racing heats up, I have a feeling that the M55 race should prove to be one of the more competitive fields- there are a lot of fast guys who are still polishing up their form.

7. Eric Ehrenberg (VeloBrew) | Cat 3 | Last Ranking: NR

Eric finds himself leading the Cat 3 point series based on the fact that he’s got two third places AND he’s the only rider to have done all four days of racing. I’m sure he’ll be as surprised as anyone to find himself on top of this heap, as these are the first 4 45 minute races he’s ever done, but hey, beginner’s luck? He will have to work pretty hard to stay in front of Bob Croslin (Orange State), Sebastian Morfin (Interactive Metronome p/b Mega Cycle), and Joel Gorman (Flying Fish), but that’s why they have the races, you never know who’s going to show up or who’s going to have a mechanical.

8. Diane Blake (Colavita Devo) | Women 123 | Last Ranking: NR


Pic by Michelle Blake

Until Kristin Apotsos (Infinity) stops her Stand Up Paddleboarding season and Laura Parsons (Infinity) gets her injury healed (I thought @ajplotz became a Doctor so you’d never get injured again, Laura?!!?!) the Women 123 race is totally and completely up for grabs. Jen KRAAAATZZZ and Rebecca Laborde are proving to be strong challengers in the mean time, but it’s the lady who has forgotten more about bikes than most of us will ever know that currently resides in the hot seat. Nice job, Diane.

9. John Vega (Gearlink p/b Roman & Gaynor Law) | Mens 4/5 | Last Ranking: NR

Men’s 4/5 has seen a different winner for each of the 4 race days we’ve had so far, so picking a winner is pretty difficult. John Vega has put together the most consistently high finishes, so he gets to be the lucky guy with his name in bold. Who’s gonna win on Saturday? I have no freakin’ clue.

9. Josh Thornton (Team Giant ) | P12 | Last Ranking: 4


pic from Facebook

Based on history, Josh is due for a win, but with the handicap of the dreaded #promoterslegs, it will be all the more difficult for him. Betting on Josh at the Second Annual Winter Garden Spooky CX on October 25, 2014 is probably a safer bet, but who knows how much damage promoting two CX race weekends has done to Josh’s form? Only Josh, and he’s keeping his cards close to the vest for the moment.

We See You: Addison Zawada (P12), Tic Bowen (p12), Leonardo Sandoval (M35), Omar Machiste (M35), Ben Smith (M45), Scott Atkins (M45), Chase Forman (Junior Men 12-14), Ava Sykes (Junior Women 12-14) Mary Oneal (W4)

Sandbagger of the Week: Wes Irons absolutely ran away from the field in the Men’s 4/5 race on Day 2 in Dunedin. It wasn’t even close. Yes, it was his first CX race ever, and yes, he’s racing MTBs this weekend, but he will be doing the 45 minute race before the year is out if he keeps his current form going.

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.

TOTALLY NOT THE PRE-SEASON POWER RANKINGS*

On August 29, 2014 by Christian

*except totally the end of August Power Rankings.

As always, these rankings are 100% officially unofficial, infallible, unquestionably questionable, and obviously 1000% accurate. If you disagree, you’re probably wrong. If you are angry that you weren’t mentioned, or angry that you were mentioned, we suggest that you take a deep breath and remember that we’re totally kidding about pretty much everything we say here. This is for your amusement as much as ours, and when I say ours, I mean every one of you. As always, please, no wagering.

1. Josh Thornton (Giant USA/FLCX BADASS) – P12 – Pretty much nuff’ said. He’s promoting a series of WICKED AWESOME races this year, increasing his rating even higher. You want to get ranked higher than him? Promote a race, and then beat him on the bike. The most powerful man in Florida Cyclocross. Just try to unseat him. Good luck.

2. Laura Parsons (Infinity) – P123 Women – She is already claiming she’s injured, but as the most dominant woman in FLCX history, it’s virtually impossible to count her out. She will win at least 6 races this year. She is the reigning queen, best of luck to you if you plan to unseat her.

3. Zoltan Tisza (??) -Masters – We don’t know much, but his name is Zoltan and if that doesn’t scream “I’m faster than you” than I don’t know what does.

4. Vitor Alexandre (Colavita South) – Masters – Was untouchable last year in the masters 45, and damn competitive in the masters 35’s as well. Engaged in some epic duels with Steve Noble (Infinity), and ultimately emerged triumphant the vast majority of the time. So strong, so fit, so many expectations for 2014, and already claiming that he’s coming into the season undertrained. Yep, sound like an elite Master’s rider to me.

5. Tic Bowen (B3 Cafe) – Strava king of the Greater Orlando area. Man of mystery, be afraid 35+ dudes. Two words describe him. FA. Ast.

6. Dan Sullivan (West Coast Wheelman). No stranger to the FLCX Power Rankings, the 55+ champion figures to continue his reign. The silent killer, he doesn’t talk a lot, but he’s always at the front of the race at the 45 minute mark, when it counts.

7. Ryan Woodall (The Pro’s Closet/Felt/Top Gear Cycles/Chris Kyle) NO WOODALLZ ALLOWED*

8. Ava Sykes (Outspoken?) Ava had an amazing summer, standing on the top step of the podium at the National Crit Championships, and on the lower steps of the podium of the road race, and the time trial. How did your summer go? That 15th at the industrial park training crit highlight suddenly doesn’t feel so special, does it?

9. Keith Richards (Swift Cycling) Won the single speed category based on showing up. MEH.

10. Rich Dybdahl (Pure Cycles) The single most enthusiastic CX supporter in the entire state of Florida. Rich backed up his entirely lackluster race results in 2013 with an undying commitment to the bringing new friends to the sport of Cyclocross. Seriously, love you Rich, don’t ever quit.

11. Mother Effing Beardo (All City/Ritte Racing/Puerto Rico) Dude showed up one weekend and owned it. Even though he finished near to last against the elite FLCX category 4 field, he still managed to podium in nearly every PRCX event he entered. Weird. Love that dude, hope we see more of him this year.

Dis-Honourable Sandbagger Pre-Season Award: Michael Cedeno is so much faster than all of us on pavement, and yet he’s yet to enter the 60 minute event. Being funny on the internet is all well and good, but stealing candy from the kids in the cat 3 race is just mean. See also: Alexander Gil and his world class track sprinter thighs.

On the cusp:

John Paul Russo – This year has got to be his year. Right? Right? COME ON!

Jennifer Kratz Hoyle – Garneau – Killed it in the 4 women, has a tougher row to hoe in the big girl’s race.

Erica Richards – Orange State – When she’s not sueing people, she’s dropping them on her bike. A full season may be just what she needs to get to the top. Recently spent time in Colorado altitude doping- look out.

Brian Davis – Village Idiots – Anyone who drinks as much Duvel as Brian does post race deserves mention.

John Kingham – Swift Cycles – John was one of the best cat 4’s last year- how will he handle his step up to the big kids in the 3’s?

Michael Mace – First Place Racing – Junior National Champion on the MTB has got to count for something on the CX bike.

Kristin Apotsos – Infinity – The only woman to beat Laura Parsons last year is now Laura’s teammate- it should be intriguing to see how team orders play out.

How do I do the Cyclocross: Early-Mid August Edition

On August 14, 2014 by Christian

No. 3 of several in a series hyping up the 2014-2015 FLCX Cyclocross series

Ok, we’ve already discussed getting a bike for a reasonable price, and then we talked about some best practices for CX race promoters. Let’s talk about getting into shape, and what exactly kind of shape you need to get into to race CX.

First of all, if you are the type of person who wants/needs/desires structure and planning in your workouts, there are some great coaches in FLCX. Off the top of my head, I can think of, in no particular order, Josh Thornton, Ben Smith, Zach Fout, Vitor Alexandre, Eric Stubbs, Drew Edsal Jeb Stewart, Zoltan Tisza, and Vincent Cook. If I’m forgetting anyone else, it’s purely unintentional and if you contact me I’ll be happy to add you to the list. There are a lot of current and previous state champions in this list. These guys will make you faster than you currently are, as long as you take their advice to heart and eat right. They can teach you how to eat, train, sleep, and ride like a champion bike racer, and help you with technique and even make sure your bike fits you properly. It’s a relatively small investment to gain a vast amount of knowledge, and if you take your cycling seriously, it makes sense to hire one of these guys.

For the rest of us, who are perfectly happy to finish in the latter half of the standings after we take multiple marshmallow and Fat Tire Amber Ale handups, here’s what you really need to do to get ready for CX season.

First of all, you need to build some base fitness. This requires little more than time and the determination to follow a general plan. It helps if you have at least a small amount of current fitness, like the ability to hang on to a group ride for 30 or 40 miles, but this isn’t an absolute requirement.

To build a base for CX, you should probably start today, if you haven’t started already. If you wait another week, it will probably be too late, and you’ll end up with a palmares like that of Tim Hayes circa 2013. (Yes, I KNOW you beat me the one time we raced head to head last year, TIM.) So, to build base fitness, you need a road bike, or road tires for your CX bike, and you need to ride for 2-4 hours at a time at least twice a week.

Currently, I have Thursday and Sundays off, so my weeks look like:

Monday: 1.5-2 hrs (25-30 miles) recovery ride, easy but steady pace.
Tuesday 1-1.5 hrs (15-20 miles) informal efforts ride- moderate pace with accelerations or CX Skills Practice.
Wednesday: Rest day or easy spin
Thursday: 3-4 hours (50-70 miles) steady pace at the edge of discomfort- look for 19-21 mph on your computer as much as possible
Friday: Rest day or easy spin
Saturday : Easy spin or group ride, 1-2 hours, (15-30 miles), or CX Skills Practice
Sunday: 3-4 hours (50-70 miles) steady pace at the edge of discomfort- look for 19-21 mph on your computer as much as possible.

This is just me, customize it to fit your schedule, and obviously with all the rain we’ve been having it won’t always work out. If you have to miss a day, that’s ok. If you’re tired, skip a day, or cut back the time/distance. You’re an adult, presumably, so listen to your body. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is probably more important than hitting a mileage goal, make sure you’re getting as much as you can. Recovery rides are equally important. Beat yourself up when you feel good. Give yourself a break when you’re exhausted. Be honest with yourself about how you feel. Often, your brain (my brain) will feel like drinking beer and playing video games, and try to fool your body into feeling tired. You (I) should try to tell your (my) body that it can play all the video games it wants after the CX season ends.

I will follow this schedule through the end of August. Once we hit September, I’ll start to dial back the long days, and start to do a little more intensity, maybe even some intervals. Ugggh, intervals. They hurt, but they do so much good. But you need a fitness base before you can take advantage of the physiological benefits of intervals, so you have to put in the saddle time first.

So my weeks in September will look more like:

Monday: 1.5-2 hrs (25-30 miles) recovery ride, easy but steady pace, on pavement.
Tuesday: 1-1.5 hrs (10-15 miles) CX Skills Practice with shorter intense intervals, preferably on a CX bike on grass or dirt.
Wednesday: Rest day or easy spin on pavement.
Thursday: 2-2.5 hours (30-40 miles) fast-ish road ride. A group ride is fine, if you get out in the wind. Sitting in at 18mph does very little for your fitness.
Friday: Rest day or easy spin on pavement.
Saturday: 1-1.5 hours fast group ride, at the front, in the wind.
Sunday: CX Practice Race/ simulation. Find some local guys, and go out and beat on each other for 45 minutes, or two 20 minute sessions, or whatever you all agree on. Warm up properly before hand, and make sure to practice barriers and running steps both before and during the practice race.

CX intervals come in a wide variety. They range from the “sprint out of the saddle out of every corner interval” to the full on 20 minute “Oh my god I want to die because there’s 18 minutes to go interval”. One I’ve always “enjoyed” was finding a 1-2 mile circuit with regularly spaced street lights, and sprinting from one streetlight to the next, then resting til the next, then sprinting again, basically until you want to throw up. Hopefully, this will be after more than 3 sprints. Shoot for a whole lap of this misery, then take a lap off to recover. Then, if you feel like it, do another lap of intervals, or just call it a night. Longer intervals are necessarily less intense, but they hurt more because they last longer. You should rest longer after long intervals than you should after short ones. There’s a whole internet out there with opinions and advice on intervals, so if you want more detail, let me google that for you. Remember, CX is what you make it, and the harder you train now, the more you can slack off once the season starts and you can rely on races to keep you fit.

Some of you are saying, “Christian, surely you can’t be as slow as you have historically been if you are actually doing all of these workouts, and to those of you who are saying this, I can only say that you are very mean-spirited and unkind, and probably correct. But while I feel I corner and handle most of the technical sections as well as most people, I really struggle at the whole pedalling really hard parts of CX, and that’s where I watch people ride away from me.

Also, you should probably keep an eye on what you eat, cutting out a lot of the fat and junk sugar, and adding as many fruits and vegetables as you can stomach, but hey, you’re riding your bike a lot, so this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Remember, as long as you can zip up your skinsuit and/or jersey past your belly, then it still fits you fine.

Follow these most of these steps between now and the first races at the end of September, and I promise that you’ll be at least as mediocre as Tim and Rich Dybdahl and I.

The next volume in this series will contain advice on what a proper CX skills workout should consist of. Look for it this weekend!

OMGWTFBBQOMFUG CYCLOCROSS

On July 23, 2014 by Christian

No. 1 of several in a series hyping up the 2014-2015 FLCX Cyclocross series

Yes, it’s almost August, and that means that there’s less than 30 days until the first date on the Florida Cyclocross Calender at Little Everglades in Dade City. Dan Milstead, promoter, is bound and determined that the entire United States is going to learn about Dade City hospitality, and has managed to get a race in Florida onto the US National Cyclocross Calender. This is exciting, and this is big news!

Hopefully, by now, you have figured out what you’re riding next season, but if not, I have some thoughts on the subject. Particularly if this is your first Cyclocross bike. If you are under the age of 30 and don’t have a job that allows you significant amounts of discretionary income, you are not out of luck- there are still deals to be found out there on the used market for a fancy bike for a flimsy price. We are dangerously close to the danger zone of it being too late to get a bike by the start of the CX season, but we’re not there yet.

So if you don’t have a ton of money to spend, first look at the classifieds on Facebook or craigslist or ebay for someone’s used fancy race bike. You can often find a bike that’s a year or two old for a fraction of its original cost.


Used Empella. image from HERE

Then look at your favourite local shop- even if they don’t have anything in stock they may be able to grab a sweet deal for you. As the manager of a small shop, I encourage you to come to my shop, but I’m a realist, and I understand that you probably have a local shop that you frequent that usually gives you a deal and always helps yo out in a bind. Wait- you don’t have one of those? You buy everything you use online and you know how to work on your own bike already? Then why are you reading this? This is to help out newcomers and people too scared of giving their credit cards to internet retailers. Which isn’t totally irrational. Hackers suck.

If you don’t have one preferred local shop that you frequent, I encourage you to find one. Mine, preferably, but not everyone lives in Orlando, so pick one that’s close to you that’s open when you can get there, and make friends with the manager and/or owner and/or head mechanic. Shopping there consistently, bringing them beer/food/cookies/coffee, and do the shop rides; these are all a good way to start. This will benefit you for years, not just for right now, so choose wisely. Don’t be that guy who chases the best shop team deal to every shop in town every year, nobody likes that guy.

Every single major bike company is unveiling a new gravel-grinder bike for 2015. Yes, they will technically work for CX, but they have a longer wheelbase and more relaxed geometry than a true CX bike, so they will handle a bit sluggishly compared to a true CX race bike. As a beginner, you can certainly ride a gravel grinder bike, but I think you’ll find that as you get more serious about racing CX, you’ll be happiest on a true CX race bike. Particularly on a course that I design with a billion hairpin corners, but

Yes, they are the cheapest way to get a CX bike, but I discourage the $500 Motobecane/Scattante/BikesDirect.com CX bike, because it weighs a million pounds and by the end of your first race you hate CX so much you may never come back. We want you to keep coming back to our party, so do yourself a favor and get a decent bike to start with. Yes, before you accuse me, I admit that I’m a bit elitist in this argument, but I’ve raced a 26 pound CX bike, and a 16 pound CX bike, and the light one was WAY MORE FUN.


The 2014 Jamis Nova Race, MSRP $1300

So, what exactly should I be looking for for my first CX bike you ask. Well, generally, you want a bike that comes with the same number of gears as your road bike, so you can also use your existing wheels as spare wheels. Aluminum or carbon is optimal, steel is real but is heavier. Carbon is lightest, but most fragile and expensive in most cases. Aluminum is pretty light and pretty strong, and usually pretty cheap. As for brakes, disks are the new hotness but they are also heavier and require an entirely new collection of wheels. You should have at least two sets of wheels for CX- think of them as training (The heavier and more durable set, preferably with clinchers/tubeless) and racing (Lighter and tubular, optimally). Tubeless wheels are getting better, so you might want to use them instead for your race wheels, we’ll have that discussion later. If you’re racing, the upper end parts groups are probably best, at least from Shimano and Sram- Ultegra/105 from Shimano and Force/Rival from Sram are optimal froma durability and bang for the buck standpoint. Yes, Dura Ace and Red are both nice, but they aren’t cheap to replace when you tear a derailleur off in the muck of a September mudfest training session.

If you have questions, please feel free to ask, and we’ll see you back here in a few days for the second edition of this series!

FLCX 2014

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ – Florida State CX Championships

On January 17, 2014 by Christian

The final weekend of the Florida Cyclocross season is upon us, and it promises to be a fitting ending to what has been our best season of racing CX bikes in the sun and warmth of Florida yet. Saturday is the final event in the FLCX points series, where there are multiple battles to be fought for the final podiums. Sunday is the the actual Florida State Cyclocross Championships, where you win the right to wear the flag on your jersey for the following year. The races will be held at the beautiful Little Everglades Ranch, which is just a bit north of Dade City on 301, which has hosted the last 5 editions of States, and the course has gotten better and better every year. This year promises even more excitement with food trucks and the same announcer that worked the US CX Nationals out in Boulder last week, Dave Towle. Promoter Dan Milstead has been hard at work on the course, enlisting Josh Thornton and John Hovius to add some technical challenges, and judging by the picture Dan posted a couple hours ago, there will be mud.

Well, then again, there’s still one day of dry air and no precipitation chance, so the mud could very well be dry come Saturday. We also know there’s a longish run up with some railroad tie barriers, some soul-sucking slow grass, and we can assume we’ll go through the horse barn because riding through the barn is something of an awesome LER tradition.

As we have done over the past few years the OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS™ for the Florida State Cyclocross Championships are divided up by category and who we, the experts, know is going to win the coveted jersey. As usual, we are never wrong and none of this can be contended.

Men 1/2:

Winner: Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage)
We See You: Robert Marion (American Classic), Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles), Andy Mills (Backdraft)

This race is Josh’s to lose, much like the rest of the series has been. Woodall’s form is only known to the Ocala locals, and indeed, we aren’t even certain of his attendance. Andy Mills has been filming in an episode of Rehab Addict on the DIY network (check your local listings for air date) so who knows how he’s riding, but he has been faster than a lot of people, plus mentioning him gives us the chance to work in cabinetry jokes. Addison Zawada should be in the thick of things as well, but with one to go, it should be Josh off the front with a good minute back to his nearest competitor.

In light of new information, need to revise things. Robert Marion is a legitimate threat to Josh, as he has been racing the national caliber events all season. While he isn’t a Florida resident, he and Josh are going to have a battle royale, and this race just became a can’t miss instant classic.

There’s virtually no chance (2%) There is now a 25% chance of an un-named rider registering on the day of the race and upsetting Josh’s applecart.

Women 1/2/3:

Winner: Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits)
We See You: Kristin Apostsosososos (Infinity)

Laura was last year’s state champ, and there’s almost nothing that will stop her from repeating, except for a super-motivated Kristin Apotsos. Maybe. Good thing we have one of those. Kristin will have to ride out of her damn mind to make it happen, but she’s done it once already on Saturday at Swamp CX, so there is a chance.

Again, there’s virtually no chance of someone registering day of who can beat these two, however- I’ll rate it at 4%, in case Laura Van Gilder shows up. You never know.

Men 3:

Winner: Michael Cedeno (AG – Guttenplan)
We See You: Robert Croslin (Orange State), Taylor Norton (Orange State), Joel Gorman (Flying Fish Bicycles), Vitor Alexandre (Colavita)

Cedeno is fully capable of absolutely riding away with this race, as long as he can clip into his pedals consistently. An elite rider on the road and the track, his only weakness may be the running, of which there is rumoured to be a lot more of this year. Norton and Croslin will have their hands full, and must get off to a good start so Cedeno doesn’t disappear. Gorman is a super fast starter with some elite skills, and we all know about Vitor.

Of course, there’s no telling who will sign up to race day of, so I’ll predict a 43% chance of someone coming out of nowhere to win it.

Men 4/5:

Winner: Rolly Weaver (Pioneer Mortgage)
We See You: Justin DeLeo (352 Racing), John Kingham (Swift Racing), Michael Hernandez (Hot Tubes)

Rolly is (as best we can figure) a cat 3 on the road who has only entered two CX races, the Cat 4 Saturday race and the Cat 3 Sunday race in Lacoochee two weeks ago. He won both of them. I’m not sure how that works, but it does mean he a pretty strong favourite to win this Sunday. Hernandez is ludicrously fast on the road but hasn’t touched a CX bike all season, and has never been noted for his off-pavement technical ability. That being said, he will probably challenge and could possibly beat Rolly. DeLeo and Kingham have dueled all season, and are legit cat 4 riders, so they will contest the non-sandbagger Cat 4 crown.

Of all the races, this one has the highest chance of day-of registration dood showing up and dominating- I’ll rate it at 84% that a mystery sandbagger happens.

Women 4:

Winner: Nicole Carson (Pinnacle Wheelworks)
We See You: Emily Richards (Orange State), Rebecca Laborde (UA)

Erica and Nicole have dueled at the front of the race all year, but Rebecca won both days in Lacoochee, so this race is really a toss up.

Then again there is a 73.8% chance of a day-of-race-registration ringer showing up and throwing this entire category’s prediction into chaos, so it’s pretty hard to hazard a guess here. I mean a lead pipe lock prediction. Whatever.

Single Speed:

Winner: Keith Richards (Swift Racing)
We See You: Taylor Norton (Orange State), Zach Fout (Gear Link), Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage), Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles)

This one is a real crap-shoot. It comes down to what is accepted at the start line. Will the officials allow for the status-quo of racers being able to line up with zip-ties and removed batteries, or are they going to be “the man” and look down at the little community we have built and tell you that you must rock a one-cog because the suits in Colorado Springs wrote a rule that applies to Portland, Chicago, New England and places that have 50+ fields of single speed cross rigs.

Because of that we are thinking there’s a 67% chance that “the man” is going to show up and take away all the fun. There’s a 71% chance of an as yet un-named mystery day-of rider taking the jersey as well.

Masters 35+:

Winner: Tic Bowen (The Fit Lab/Winter Park Bikes)
We See You: Ed Dunne (Cycle Logic), Andy Mills (Firefighters Union)

You have to feel bad for Ed Dunne. He barnstorms the state looking for victory in all the right places and puts the hammer down day in and day out to get the credit he deserves and then Tic Bowen and Andy Mills show up to ruin the party. If we were Ed Dunne (and clearly we are not because we are not International Playboys) we would request a hard copy of Bowen and Mills’ birth certificates.

Another category that could easily be taken by someone we haven’t even mentioned- we’ll give it a 52% chance of that happening.

Masters 45+:

Winner: Tim Shank (U/A)
We See You: Vitor Alexandre (Colavita), Joel Rierson (Garneau Florida)

The 45+ race is going to be the best on the day. Vitor Alexandre has been throwing down all year and is not going to give up easily and hopes to own that jersey, but the likes of Shank, who has been racing 35+ during the season, and Rierson, who’s been doing the 60 minute race, are going to be tough to beat. One thinks Vitor is going to go all out for the title, but Tim and Joel have the youth in the age group on their side.

I don’t think there’s many mystery 45 plus day of reg guys, so I’ll rate the likelihood of a mystery winner at only 33%

Masters 55+:

Winner: Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling)
We See You: Biron Keefer (Infinity) Brian Davis (Treasure Coast) Ted Hollander (Florida Masters)

Dan Sullivan won the jersey last year, and he’s rounding into form quite nicely to win it again this year. This will be Keefer’s first time contesting the 55 plus crown, so he will have youth on his side. Ted is lightning fast when he’s on form. It should be a pretty great race.

Pretty much every heavy hitter in the category is pre-reged, so the likelyhood of someone other than these guys winning is pretty low- 27%

Juniors 9-14:

Winner: Michael Mace (Whole Athlete)
We See You: Harrison Knight (First Place Racing), all the Hovius kids (AAA)

The Junior 10-14 category has been a mixed bag over the past year with lots of different riders showing up and the consistency of Jackson Mehr in the FLCX Series would show that this field is up for grabs, but 14 year old Michael Mace is still in the category, to no fault of his own, ya know, since he’s 14, and should be able to run away with the victory. However, it should be noted that Harrison Knight is quickly becoming a force out on the bike and he should show very well on the weekend.

There’s a 1% chance that someone other than the riders mentioned wins this thing.

Juniors 15-18:

Winner: Michael Hernandez (Hot Tubes)
We See You: Eric Meucci (u/a)

Eric Meucci has been showing up to a lot of races over the year and we love his enthusiasm and know that he has a future in the sport. Like his brother he is a beast in the Junior categories and will be a force on the mountain bike for a long time to come. Sadly, he isn’t on the older age of the category like road super-star Michael Hernandez who is making his first cyclocross appearance of the season at the State Championships.

Again, there’s almost no chance of anyone beating these guys. 2%.

And that’s it, the final pre-race Power Rankings of the 2013-14 Florida Cyclocross season. We hope to see you out there tomorrow- bring all your friends!

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