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…

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.

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!

States Photos 2

On January 21, 2014 by Christian

Timothy Hunt published a ton of great photos on his website. Additionally, there’s some great photos from Michelle Blake on her website.

Saturday Pics


Rich and Dino, pic by Karyn Dybdahl


W123 Podium – Parsons, Apotsos, Plotkin pic by Karyn Dybdahl


John Hovius in a sea of red tape. pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Harrison and Clayton Knight sandwich Jackson Mehr. pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Women’s 4 podium, Rebecca Laborde, Erica Richards, Nicole Carson pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Obvious camper joke. Sorry for so much Dybdahl coverage, but there are very few people who love FLCX as much as he and his family do, and they makes me smile. Pic by Apotsos.


The elusive Michael Davis on the steps pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Robert Marion and Ryan Woodall on the horse track pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Addison Zawada on the pavement pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Master’s 35 podium Darien Angelier (1st), Tim Shank (2nd) and Graham Partain 3rd) pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Master’s 45 podium Vitor Alexandre (1st) Scott Atkins (2nd) and Kelby Roberts (3rd) pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Masters 55 podium Brian Davis (1st) Mike Szabo (2nd) Dan Sullivan (3rd) pic by Karyn Dybdahl


My “daughter” and the Kung Fu Panda pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Pete Hill and Jordan Miller from Velo Champ worked the pit all weekend. On behalf of every single person who raced, THANK YOU GUYS. pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Robert Marion takes the win in P12. pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Kelby Rogers charges out at the front of the combined MTB/Men’s 4-5/Women’s 4 start pic by Karyn Dybdahl


Robert Marion made a bunch of new fans this weekend. He even brought his mom up on the podium with him! Thornton and Woodall round out the lower steps. pic by Karyn Dybdahl

Sunday Pics


pic by Kristin Apotsos


pic by Dan Milstead


pic by Steve Sykes


pic by Kristin Apotsos


Graham Partain pic by Michael Toth.


Kristin Apotsos takes the bacon by Timothy J Hunt


Tent Village pic by Kristin Apotsos


Rolly Weaver takes the bacon from Michael Ploch while Jody Alexander shows the way. Pic by Timothy J Hunt

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!