Tampa Riverfront CX Day 2 Race Report

On October 16, 2013 by Christian

Sunday morning went a lot smoother than Saturday, as most of the course was unchanged from Saturday. The only big change was the addition of a steep rideable run up to the top of the amphitheater mound with a steep drop off the back side of it. There were a few new turns added, but if anything the course got a little bit faster. The first FLCX Points Series race of the 2013/14 season had 125 unique riders, which is an all time high for a non-state championship race in Florida. We’re all very excited that all of you came out, we hope you had as much fun as we did.


Thirty-Five Masters 35, 45, and 55 toed the line for wave one, so as you can imagine, there was some traffic on the first few corners. From Left, Todd Leedy (352), Steve Noble (Infinity Racing), Chris Stevens (Pinnacle Wheelworks) Todd Frobish (Brick City) jockey for position early in the race.

Rob Robins tip-toeing along the tip of a ridge on his fancy new Giant. I am pretty ambivalent about the need for disc brakes, or at least I was until I saw this bike in the flesh. So sweet.

Steve Noble in his familiar position in the drops.

doing it wrong

Pete Miner (Swift Cycles), most certainly not suitcasing his bike over the barriers. Kids, don’t do it this way unless you like making your arms extra tired.

Chris Stevens did an entire lap with no seat post. What an animal.

Zach Fout took of from the gun, with Andy Mills and Jack Rich chasing him. After two or three laps, Zach burped his tubeless tires and was gone. Mills and Rich traded the lead a few times, but a loss of tire pressure in his own tubeless tires slowed Jack’s pursuit leaving Andy Mills the winner. Steve Mace finished a strong third, riding just off the pace of Jack and Andy, but never in any danger of getting caught. In the 45 plus, Steve Noble held off the furious pressure of Vitore Alexandre and Brian Knight. They were riding well enough to come in 5th, 6th, and 7th overall in the wave, very impressive indeed. In the 55 plus, John Torrey took the win over Paul Schwartz and Brad Scott.


Eleven riders lined up for the Pro 12 Open field, including 13 year old Mike Mace, who is apparently not only wickedly fast but also a glutton for punishment. Mike stayed out there all 60 minutes, which is even more impressive, because 60 minute CX races hurt more than the 90 minute MTB races Mike is used to. Round two of Thornton VS Woodall was over almost as fast as round one, with the same result. Josh is just riding so well right now, and Ryan can barely lift one of his arms above his head. Even so, Ryan was never in any danger of coming in any lower than second. The real race was for the third step on the podium, between Walker Owen (Swift Cycle) and Michael Danish (Rose Bandits.) They dueled for the last half of the race, but Danish had a little more at the end and took third. Walker was fourth, and Keith Richards was fifth, although if Jason Guillen could have kept air in his tires, it could have been a different race- Jason flatted twice and mounted furious chases to almost catch Keith by the end. Back in the giggling group, Tim Hayes took his revenge on Rich Dybdahl for his shocking defeat at Dunedin.

Walker Owen

podium by aliyah ryan .


An absolutely huge (by FLCX standards) field of 36 Cat 4/5 / First timers came running to the line when I announced that it was time to stage them, including a Dad and his three sons. Of course, Rich Dybdahl had a ringer in the mix as well. Where does he find all of these guys? The ringer on question, Alexander Lonsdale, pretty much took off from the word “go” and just kept expanding the time gap back to second place. Justin DeLeo and John Kingham rounded out the podium.

start line pib by Brick City Bikes


Eleven! women lined up for the Cat 4 race. Jennifer Kraatz took the ball and ran with it for her second win of the weekend. Maybe she will show up on next week’s Power Ranking? Yarrow Greggus from Gaineville was second, and Erica Richards and Melissa Isenden were third and fourth respectively. It sure looks like Cat 4 women will be pretty competitive this season.

W4 start by Dave Horst.

Dana Putney by Dave Horst


Category 3 Mens featured the debut of Addison Zawada as a major force in FLCX. He’s so fast that he’ll be racing for 60 minutes before the end of the year. He’s so fast he has a Red Bull helmet. Look for him on the Power Rankings next time. A dominating day for him. Wojtek Dyszkiewicz showed that as the weather cools off, he’s just going to get stronger with a solid second place. In third place was Mark Pettingill.

Michael Davis by Dana Putney


In the Women 123 Open, Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) took off like she was shot from a cannon that shoots people and bicycles really fast and rode away for the win. Duffy Danish (Rose Bandits) managed to keep her tires inflated unlike Saturday and took second from consistant rider and drinker Kristen Apotsos (Infinity), who supplied most of the photo’s used in this update, so thanks to her for not only kicking ass on her bike, but also for the pics.

Kids Race


For someone with no kids of his own, Tim Hayes sure loves to yell at kids through a megahorn while they’re racing. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that he’s a teacher, and the Principal at his school has a desk drawer full of Tim’s megahorns. We had the kids go around the tennis courts and around the Old Oak Tree to give them some technical riding, too.

Tim encouraging the kids race.

SS / Juniors

Since I hadn’t really raced all weekend, I decided to do the Single Speed on Sunday. I zip tied my shifters and had a decent start, and was 5th or so at the holeshot. I passed Michael Weimar at the run up, and then proceded to destroy a tubular that I had filled up with caffe latex the day before on the sidewalk of doom. I changed the tire and then I hit something else and knocked my front wheel loose. and that was pretty much my race. Sigh. I guess I shouldn’t have talked all that crap about the tubeless guys having trouble keeping air in their tires. Josh Thornton, operating on that really fast planet that few people in Florida are capable of operating on, rode away from everyone on one gear almost as quickly as he does it on multiple gears, and won the Bulleit 10 year. Woodall and Richards rounded out the podium. Melissa Isenman won the badass of the day award for flatting on the last last and running with her bike for the majority of the lap.

In the Junior race, Jackson Mehr (Swift Cycles) was the winner in 10-14, followed by Jake Thornton, who I’m pretty sure I dragged up to the top of the amphitheater at one point, when he got stuck halfway up the run up. Brandon Isenman came in third place. In 15-18, Eric Meucci was the only rider, and if he’s even remotely as fast as his older brother, then expect to see his name at the top of the results page again.


dybdahl and richards

Sidewalk of doom, pic by Mike Weimar

Many thanks to Jordan and Chelsea from Velo Champ and all of their volunteers for the hard work they put in to make the second edition of the Tampa Riverfront CX even better than the first. You will be seeing more of this venue, it was phenomenal.

Tampa Riverfront CX Day 1 Race Report

On October 15, 2013 by Christian

Saturday dawned bright and early and not horrendously humid, which was a welcome change from the race three weeks ago, when it was hotter than the sun but as humid as your average kitchen sponge. The Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park across the river from downtown Tampa provided a venue that with a few relatively simple changes could host a national caliber event- the course was that good. Course designers Mike Weimar (Orange State) and Jordan Miller (Velo Champ) did a great job of utilizing the unique terrain to its utmost to provide a course that was both technically challenging and lightning fast, with surprisingly few places to make a clean pass.

Tampa Riverfront CX from @CrossCopter on Vimeo.

The Official Cross Copter Montage.

It started on grass with a long straightaway that went around some tennis courts, over some roots and onto the fake cobblestone sidewalks. There was a 90 degree corner on pavement that led into some grass straighaways and hairpins, a tiptoe along the top of a small (3 feet) ridge, and then meandered along some curves and onto a sidewalk along the water itself. A short staircase, some off camber curves up and down a huge mound, and back down the sidewalk. There was some roots and dirt and a section of side walk with faults and cracks and uplifted section that caused the air to go out of several unwary rider’s tires. Then a rideable run-up, a sweeping long offcamber that finally dumped out onto a rock hard baseball diamond for a tight complex of corners. A fun section of swoops up and down another little ridge led to a hairpin and the Floridabicyclelaw.com barriers. Then, yet another off camber straightaway into a tricky hairpin with a small drop-off at the entrance, a long, sweeping esse turn that shot you up a small hillock and then down into the base of the volcano. Around the top and down the backside of the volcano for another fast, sweeping turn, a hairpin in pretty loose but not deep sand, and back around to climb the back of the volcano, drop down the front, a short stretch on pavement, and a hairpin around the Old Oak Tree (we really need to start getting more sponsors for course features) that finally led back to start finish. The preceding week of dry weather made it a hard packed, and even a bit dusty. While there was the volcano and the amphitheater “climbs”, it was otherwise pretty flat, fast, and thought-provoking course. Fantastic course.

Here’s the Cat 4/5 men and Cat 4 women from Jay Fratello’s Go Pro, in case you find my description lacking.

The first race of the day got off almost an hour late, due to the wooden stakes taking longer to hammer into the ground than was planned, but to be honest the wooden stakes do look better than the plastic stakes and they are biodegradable. So they have that going for them, which, as we all know, is nice. A big masters field was pretty patient with the delay, and when they finally went off, Zach Fout (Gearlink), Jack Rich, and Steve Mace went to the front and drilled it. Zach got a gap pretty quickly, but Jack waited patiently for Zach to begin to feel the lactic acid building up, and when the Zach popped, Jack pounced, and that was that for the drama. Steve Mace was blazing along in third, but could never close it down, and they finished Jack, Zach, Steve. In the 45’s, Steve Noble (Infinity) had to battle with a bunch of roadies and/or recent CX converts, and in the end Vitore Alexandre (Colavita) proved the fastest, followed by Steve and Pablo Santa Cruz (Florida Velo). In the 55’s, State Champion Dan Sullivan (West Coast Cycling) took the win ahead of Brad Scott and Gordon Myhre.

The Pro 12 Open field would provide the long-awaited battle between Josh Thornton (Pioneer Mortgage PB Yourkey.com) and Ryan Woodall (Team Top Gear). Jason Guillen (Gear Link) and Michael Danish (Rose Bandits) rounded out the field. Josh is clearly on raging form right now, form so good that he should take it out of state and beat up on some other kids. Ryan is clearly still coming back from a recent injury, because it wasn’t much of a battle. Much like Josh did last week at the state crit championship, he simply rode away from everyone. Josh was your winner, followed by Ryan, who was still fast enough to stay away from Jason and then Michael.

Category 4/5 Men and first timers went off with the Category 4 women, and this was another huge field, as you can see from the video above. Thirteen year old Mike Mace (First Place Racing) has a 4 on his CX licence, but only because of a lack of starts, because in spite of the fact that I warned the entire field on the start line what was about to happen to them, he took off like a scalded cat and just disappeared. Mike’s pretty fast on his MTB, so his success shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Second and third place were riders on one-day liscences Billy Finley and Joe Gilman, respectively. In the Cat 4 Women, Jennifer Kraatz was your winner over Melissa Isenman (Infinity Racing) and Erica Richards (Orange State).

The Women 123 Open race saw the return of Laura Parsons (Rose Bandits) to FLCX, and I think she might have been a little peeved with being left off the Superrookie’s Power Rankings last week. Laura unleashed her fury and finished third overall in the wave, beating all of her female competitors and all but two of the Male Cat 3’s. She was followed by the consistently riding (and beer-drinking) Kristen Apotsos (Infinity Racing) and feline enthusiast Amy Plotkin (Rose Bandits.) In the men’s race, we had a pretty good dogfight with Bob Croslin (Orange State) and Taylor Norton (Orange State/Flying Fish Bikes) duking it out at the front. It went back and forth a few times, but Taylor ended up on the top step, with Bob trailing. Dave Horst (Orange State) was third, to complete the Orange State podium sweep.

In the last race of the day, a decent Junior field toed the line with a small field of Single Speeders, which was surprising, since the SS guys were racing for a bottle of Bulleit 10 year old bourbon. There were no 15-18 juniors, but there were 9 10-14’s so there is hope for the future there. Ryan Woodall took off for the single speed holeshot with Michael Mace in the Junior category, and they chased each other around for a few laps, and at the end of 30 minutes, they were the winners. Harrison Knight and Ava Sykes rounded out the Junior podium, and Michael Toth and Ben Pridgeon rounded out the SS podium.

All in all, we were able to make up for the late start of the first race so the last race started more or less on time, which made the day not as much of an endless ordeal as it could have. The course was so much fun, the turnout was great (89 unique riders), the riders were stoked.

2nd Annual Tampa Riverfront CX

On September 26, 2013 by Christian


The 2nd Annual Tampa Riverfront CX. Oct 12th & 13th, 2013. New ‘modernist, adventure playground cyclo-cross course’ on the Hillsborough river. Two days of CX racing, local craft beer, music & bikes!

Tampa Riverfront CX (#TRCX) is taking place at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, right in the heart of the metro-downtown area. The new cyclo-cross course is being routed through this innovative, architecturally relevant example of 70’s civic park and adventure playground design. Hidden just outside Tampa’s central business district, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park serves as one of few remaining examples of Modernist adventure playground designs pioneered by American architect Richard Dattner.

These ‘adventurous’ designs are precisely the elements of this park that have allowed for us to create such an interesting and challenging cyclocross course. In an effort to not only promote the sport of cyclo-cross, we also look to bring attention to this innovative, under appreciated piece of American civil/playground architecture that has helped to define Tampa’s urban landscape.

The 2-day Tampa Riverfront CX race weekend – a series of races and events that will help to bring attention to the connections between sport, public spaces, and our local communities.