As the cyclocross season comes to an end we’d like to share our favorite stories and photos. From Kevin Carter’s amazing season with 6 wins to filming for RaceDots launch video, it was a Fall to remember.
Something about cyclocross has always fascinated me: everything from the racing to the atmosphere, and of course the beer. This past summer I made the decision to put down the road bike a little early and pick up some knobby tires. Thanks to Gripped Racing, Cannondale, and FreshBikes I was able to grab an awesome new cx bike for the season: a 2013 Cannondale CAAdX Ultegra Disc. Can’t say enough about how sweet that bike is. It’s durable, reliable, and straight up sexy. Two months and nine races since getting it, my cyclocross season has come to a close. I have a full-term pregnant wife with a little girl on the way any day. Although shortened slightly, it was a successful season. Three podiums, six top 10’s, and a final race finishing 15 seconds off the podium in a field of 100+ at the biggest race of the year, DCCX. I got my rear whooped one week, and turned around and spanked the competition the following week.
That’s what I love about cross–every week brings a new course with new conditions, giving the advantage to different types of riders every week. Cross has got me hook, line and sinker. One week after my last race and I am already thinking about next year. My dreams are filled with 15-second intervals and which tubular wheelset to build for next year. Cyclocross is the next big thing in American bike racing, and I intend to be a part of the growth for years to come.
If you’re not fighting to hold down your lunch you’re not going hard enough!
Racing cyclocross is the most miserable, painful, fun thing I could ever do. I usually forget how hard and frustrating it is during the season, and then have to do a couple races each year to remind myself that it’s not really one of my strengths as a racer. But, I keep coming back, because it still puts a smile on my face to play in the mud and drink a beer after/during. The atmosphere and the crowd too, always the best among any type of bike racing…
Kevin Carter (excerpt):
In the first Open race, I got a good start, and after the 3-minute men imploded, it looked like I would have options I wasn’t used to. Conserve and try to win barely, or ride away and make a statement. Without much technical aspect there wasn’t much experience to be gained by pushing hard so I settled in with #2. A few laps to go, the leader lapsed in the deep soft sand and went over the bars. I sat up to soft pedal so we could continue to ride together. The efforts seemed to tax him, and he soon fell off the pace. My first Open win!
Before single-speed, the sky opened up and brought rain and cold. Near the end of the wait ,they announced that the single-speed would start right after the previous race. I hustled to the car to get my pre-pinned jersey. Seeking shelter under a tent back at start/finish I’m watching the stragglers finish when I notice a tight pack of men head up a hill on course?! WTF?! Every race I started over the weekend was held up at least 5 minutes because the racer count didn’t match and someone was late. Hmmm.
I leapt on my bike, sprinted, and stripped off my warm-up jersey. It would have been a super slick cross ninja move if only my race jersey had been zipped up also. After a few minutes of thinking how invisible two layers felt to the wind and rain, I realized I only had on a thin undershirt with bibs on top. Haha. I grabbed the wad of clothes on the ground on the next lap and did my best to dress on the roll.
The adrenaline of the moment took over, conservation be damned. I strutted three monster heads and tore after the leaders like they stole my baby. A lap and a half later and sitting in first, I realized I could have probably spread that effort out just a weeeeeee bit longer. 1st place!
Sunday the big guns showed up. I got lazy Day 1 was so easy, slept in and ate late. Josh Thornton, the local hero formerly from New England, is a veteran cross racer stateside and in Europe. All eyes were on him to reestablish status quo. First lap he blasted to open up 10 to 15 seconds, but then it seemed to hover. Banking on an endurance edge, I tried to just whittle at that. Tried, and failed. The whittler became the whittled as my world closed down. The legs hurt from the day before, but it was the core that disintegrated. I’ve gotten a sore back before, but this was the back and the abs. It was that feeling you get when you do sit ups to exhaustion only it never went away. I died a thousand deaths slowing to a crawl. Second place from Sat blew past with 3rd in tow. I hung on for 4th, but I was going backwards so fast even that was threatened in the final minute.
I got heckled a bit in the races. It seemed to be an extension of some internet chit chat and trash talking. It was rude, and I would have been offended, but then it dawned on me they were “fans” of cyclocross and viewed watching the race with interest, passion, and a fair dose of pride. I had not talked smack, but since some speculated I was a threat to their hero, I was the antagonist. Being disliked was a compliment. Twisted?!
From Jason for Kevin:
Part of what makes Kevin Carter so special is his ability to juggle. He juggles a high pressure job, wife, two girls under 10, a Vizla and his addiction to pouring over power data from his training and racing. And then he spends countless hours training and racing. All the time sporting fantastic hair in any situation.
As a team manager one of the things I love most about Kevin is his lack of boastful statements. He is that rare breed of guy who can walk the fine line of confidence but not step over into cocky. So for Kevin I wanted to give some much due credit and post the results from his cross season:
6 wins including MABRA Single Speed Open Champion
9 Top 3
14 Top 5
South Germantown Cyclocross Men Cat1/2/3 Master 35+ 10
Charm City Cyclocross Day 2 Men Masters Cat 1-2-3-4 35+ 12
Winchester Apple Cross ELITE 1/2/3 12
Psycho Cross Cyclocross Race Men Cat1/2/3 Open 6
Hyattsville CX Men CAT 1/2/3 13
Seneca Creek Cyclocross – SCCX Men Cat1/2/3 Open 3
Tacchino Cyclocross Men Cat 1/2/3 9
AACX – Race 5 in the Sportif Cross Cup Series Men Cat1/2/3 Open 4
Ed Sander Memorial Cyclocross Men CAT 1/2/3 11
First State Velo Sport Xross @ Fair Hill Men CAT 1/2/3 5
Schooley Mill Cross Men CAT 1/2/3 5
Schooley Mill Cross Men Masters CAT 1/2/3 35+ 1
All Hallows Cross Men Single Speed Open 6
All Hallows Cross Men Cat1/2/3 Open 5
Rockburn Cross Men Masters CAT 1/2/3 35+ 1
Luray Caverns CX Men Cat 1/2/3 2
MABRA Cyclocross Championships Men Single Speed Open 1
MABRA Cyclocross Championships Men Cat1/2/3 Open 7
FLCX: Swamp Cross 2013 Day 1 Singlespeed 1
FLCX: Swamp Cross 2013 Day 1 Cat1/2/3/4 1
FLCX: Swamp Cross 2013 Day 2 Cat1/2/3/4 4
Dade City 35+ 1st
Dade City Pro 123 2nd
That’s a lot of racing!
Also of note was Kevin’s wife, Melanie, who started racing cross for the first time this season and wrapped it up with a win in Dale City!
I had to put the ’13 cross season on hold as I focused 100% of my energy on launching RaceDots. I managed to get out to spectate and cheer at some races and film at others. I loved seeing my team having fun and doing well, but it was painful to just watch. Look for us again next season and get your RaceDots here! #nomorepins!