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!