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Field Notes: Cross Season Kick Off
Photograph by Dan Sharp
To say that cyclocross has "kicked off" already might be a bit of a stretch. Cross Vegas, the bike industry show pony turned international cross race, is usually the holder of that esteemed honour. However, it takes a little bit of time on the cross bike to get yourself ready for the races. There are a variety of ways to make this happen. One of them is to simply start racing your bike. There are plenty of races happening throughout the country (check BikeReg and AthletePath for races all over the US).
Aside from that, some frothier ways to get your cross legs back are to attend cyclocross clinics, read a book or two and pick up some fresh new gear (this one always does it for me). So here is a quick guide to help you dust off your skills as well as enhance your style going into this season.
Sept 7 - 9th
KC Cyclocross Clinic with Zach McDonald and Steve Tilford presented by Source Endurance
Steve and Zach team up to bring you, presumably, the perfect combination of new- and old-school cyclocross dynamics. Friday will see a film study with these two racers, followed by two days of hands-on cyclocross skill development and even some one-lap mock races.
Sept 7 - 9th
Fulcrum Coaching & JBV Coaching Cyclocross Camp.
Spend three days with your Elite national champion. There will be a talkback session on Friday, followed by a skills lesson on Saturday and then the perfect place to test your newfound skills — a cyclocross race — on the Sunday.
And if that isn't enough, or if you can't make it to any of these, check out what else is in store from the one and only Jeremy Powers:
Sunday Sept 9th
Wednesday September 19th
This year the race will feature not only the insanely fast men's and women's UCI races, the even faster Wheeler's and Dealer's race, but also a host of non-UCI races that are open to allcomers.
Rapha Super Cross
This year the Rapha Super Cross series returns at the end of October, with three races to tantalise your cross taste buds. There are even more antics featured in this year's races, including the mysterious "Wall of Foam" and a waffle/ fries eating competition. For those racers who weigh in at more than 90 kilos, the 'Clydesdale' category also makes its return. Stateside, this can be one of the most hotly contested categories as these large men (and women) take the battle of the biggest very seriously.
(No word yet as to whether or not the singlespeed category will make an appearance in the overseas races.)
Mud, Snow, and Cyclocross: How 'Cross Took Over US Cycling.
Besides the clinics there are a multitude of other options for getting (and understanding) "cross." Molly Hurford, better known as 'The Girl with the Cowbell Tattoo' for her column of the same name at CX Magazine, has pulled together a comprehensive guide to cyclocross. The book, Mud, Snow and Cyclocross fills a void in the US cyclocross scene, with an interesting read that melds the history of the sport with interviews, racecourse analysis and short bios of some of the more colorful competitors in the sport. As bonus material, Molly's book includes delightful sections about Rapha-FOCUS racers Zach McDonald and Jeremy Powers and the collective effect they have had on the sport.
Photograph by Dan Sharp
NEW CROSS CLOTHING
There is no better way to get yourself psyched for the start of a new season than with a new collection of clothes. The fashion world does it this way, cycling teams and clubs do it this way, so why should the cyclocross world be any different? Team Rapha-FOCUS went out to Colorado to shoot the new season's offerings a few weeks ago and while it is not all available yet (word on the street is the end of this week) take a look at the new collection. Plus, here's a sneak peek at the new Merino Drawcord Hat.
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