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

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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;

Free The Zip Tie.

On September 25, 2015 by Christian

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The FBRA board has voted to allow riders using ZipTies for Single Speed race to accumulate points for the FLCX Season Series. This means you can take the battery out of your DI2 bike, or zip-tie your SRAM bike. If you have Shimano mechanincal, you must demonstrate to the official that your bike is completely incapable of shifting, whether you actually only have one cog on the back. All bikes in the single speed race are subject to inspection by the official.

Do not make us regret this decision. Do not be sneaky gear changers. Don’t be the guy that makes us take away the zip tie privilege. The points series is based on your best 9 finishes. There are still a ton of chances to get in there and make it count. Maybe we’ll even have double points at one of the events for all riders with zip ties. Who can say what the future will hold?

PS I’m totally kidding about the double points, don’t start freaking out legit single speed bike owners.

EDIT: Riders at all FLCX Single speed races starting tomorrow are eligible. Yes, this is happening in the middle of the season, except it’s only two weekends into the season. No, we will not be back-dating results from the first two weekends. This decision was made to attempt to bring Florida in line with several other regions of the country that have much higher participation numbers. We want more of you having more fun, and if a zip tie or lack of battery will get you there, then perfect.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or Graham Partain.

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.

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


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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


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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…

Ripped from the pages of MYFBRA.COM

On September 26, 2014 by Christian

FLORIDA CYCLOCROSS SEASON IS IN FULL SWING!

The Florida Bicycle Racing Association, as the recognized local association of USA Cycling in Florida, is proud to announce the 2014/15 Florida Ranking System for Cyclocross.

****Updated to add 11/1-2 Tally CX in Tallahassee****

Upcoming Races:

For complete calendar of races and more information on Florida cycloscross races visit the cyclocross page on FBRA.org


There are a few changes for the 2014/15 season. Junior age categories have changed to 9-11, 12-14, 15-18. FRS-CX awards will be 3 deep for individuals and 1 deep the overall team across all categories. The number of races that count for an individual is set at 8 and for a team 10.

For more information on categories, race requirements and points system click here.

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!

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Ocala CX

On November 22, 2013 by Christian

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

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

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

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Ocala CX

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


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

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

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

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

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


Sweet Skid Brah! Pic from cyclonesia.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Infinity CX

On November 7, 2013 by Super Rookie

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

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

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

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

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

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Infinity CX

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

millsfirefighter

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

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

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

Go ahead, feel bad about yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

kraatz

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

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

Enjoy your time in the limelight, Jennifer.

You have earned it.

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

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

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

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

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Addison getting extreme. (Photo: Orion Pictures)

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

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

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

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

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

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

ednigma

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

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

For you, our friend, we salute you!

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

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

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

You’re move, Mills.

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

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John Kingham, Bicycle Messenger (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

2013/14 FLCX Sandbagger Of The Week: Infinity CX

sandbagger

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

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

 

OFFICIAL FLCX POWER RANKINGS – Spooky Cross

On October 24, 2013 by Christian

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

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

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

2013/14 FLCX Power Rankings: Spooky Cross

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


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

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


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

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


pic by On The Rivet.

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

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


pic by Michael Ploch.

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

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


pic by Forward Set

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

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


pic by Kristin Apotsos

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

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


pic by Jennifer Hoyles-Kraatz.

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

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


pic by Tripple B Photo

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

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


pic by Ryan Woodall.

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

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


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

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

On the verge, trending up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Falling Off: Ed Dunne, Lachlan Hovius

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

See you all in Winter Garden on Sunday!