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
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
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
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
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
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
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!