It was hard to not be stoked about Cyclocross Nationals this year. After having spent a couple years abroad watching the French version it was great to be home watching a whole collection of hometown hero's duke it out. Besides, if you are going to have Nationals somewhere, Boulder was not a bad place to do it. Takeaways from the weekend.
+1 for lots of Cool People.
See those two dudes above? Pretty cool. Evan Murphy - fresh off of the best cyclocross photo campaign that I've ever seen — Human Athlete Visual Showcase #1 — and of Walton Brush of MASH fame. These two actually stopped their pre-ride so that I could take a picture of them. At which point Walton showed me his bike that our friend Garret Chow customized specifically for Nationals. Which was cool.
But they weren't the only cool people that we ran into that weekend. So, shout out's to EVERYONE that made that weekend awesome. Mad Alchemy Familia, DWP, John Bayley, HB Stash, the Mosaic crew, Kevin specifically for red bearded hugs, the Fabulous Nie Bros, Jack and Jolene, Matt and Mo for being great, J. Heeney, Velo News for throwing an office party, Vecchio's for throwing a shop party, Jessica for throwing up, Meyerson for throwing his back out humping your mom, then getting married, Pearl Velo for throwing gang signs everywhere and of course that random girl who threw a female condom on our table (full of married men). That last part was weird. Did I forget anyone?
+1 - For the New Format
Once a year and then move on. Boulder did it. Boulder brought it and it was fucking awesome. People showed up and cheered and it was great. Now, let's move on and see what Austin has to offer. Maybe it was just the nagging cold that Wisconsin brought in it's two year stint, but it seems like people were excited to be in Boulder, and the same time excited to move on to a new venue next year. And then maybe take it straight back to Boulder?
+ 1 - For Women's Racing.
This was the only real photo that I got of the Elite Women's Race. Well, there was one of Katie, but it was more blurry and Mo's pretty much the coolest anyway, so this works for me. However, this photo doesn't do the race justice. The depth of the Women's field was fantastic. With something like 115 starters it was one of the largest fields of the weekend. Hell, it was one of the largest Women's fields I have ever seen. Sure, Colorado and Boulder itself had a lot to do with this, but to make the jump from 28 starters in Wisconsin a couple years ago is just downright crazy. Of course I haven't confirmed this low number of Wisco starters, but it was a number that was bandied around throughout the day. But, I would not be lying if I said that I stood there with tears in my eyes while I watched these women tear up this windy course.
Please please please - women of cyclocross - I implore you. Go to Austin, let's make it bigger next year!
+1 - Venue Food: The Kitchen Sink - Skratch Labs
I think "The Kitchen Sink" is what you say when you want everything that they make stuffed into one bowl. Rice, beans, chicken curry, french fries, all topped with an egg. It was amazing and hearty enough to keep me going in the fierce winds of the Boulder plains. When you see this truck next, make sure that you get one. It amazes me that more people haven't latched on to the simplest idea known to man - people like good food - ergo - fit, healthy people at bike races would also like to eat good food while they are there.
Side Note: We used Hyper Hydration this weekend when running and while the results are not yet in I can say this - it works! Bonus: If you have met a crew that smiles more, let me know, because I haven't.
+1 - Developmental Team = Rad Racing is Rad.
Lead by Jim Brown, the fireman, these guys won a National Title in the shape of seventh grader Calder Wood. And that is amazing. They are the future of our sport and they are enthusiastic. Plus, Mr. Brown is always teaching them cool things, like when to be in the drops (when you're sprinting) and how to be polite and gracious. Which, if you didn't know, is pretty important. They also send out Christmas cards and are big fans of Jeremy Powers and Gabby Durrin equally. Thumbs up to the future!
So, that was pretty much it. Katie Compton won, yes she did. Jeremy Powers did as well in one of the most decisive races that I have ever seen him ride. But Boulder, damn you Boulder, you done good. A bunch of plusses in that column and no minuses equals a lot of plusses. Boulder came out to represent and whether it was 6 or 6,000 people out there to cheer on those final races it was their enthusiasm that made the difference. We like enthusiasm.