For my second time at the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships it was an amazing experience. I went to Verona, Wis. with a few objectives:

  1. Conduct interviews with Paul and Chris both riders for November Bicycles (whom I have a public relations internship with currently)
  2. Watch some awesome cyclocross races including the Women’s and Men’s Elite National Championship races
  3. Pass out my business cards to as many marketing, public relations, and brand managers in the cycling industry as I could.

After arriving, I got down to business conducting interviews with Paul and Chris. I was able to watch Chris’s race and it’s a good thing I’m not a colligate bicycle racer, my university would disown me. After Chris’s race the Elite Women were up.

Katie Compton destroyed from the start and by the end of the race had over a three-minute lead. The race was truly for second place between Kaitlin Antonneau and her teammate Nicole Duke; it was a hard fought race by both ladies but in the end Antonneau was able to break away and secure the second tier on the podium. Congrats Katie Compton on your 8th straight Elite Women’s Cyclocross National Championship and props to Kaitlin Antonneau for delivering an outstanding Cyclocross National Championships for the future of U.S. women’s cyclocross. Shout out to Maureen Bruno Roy for being my favorite women’s racer of the 2011-2012 cyclocross race.

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Finally, on to prize-fight, the Men’s Elite Cyclocross National Championship, the contenders were Jeremy Powers v. Ryan Trebon v. Tim Johnson v. Jonathan Page and man did it start like a heavyweight bout. The first lap Trebon started out of his corner with fists of fury blasting off the front the pack. Eventually Trebon was hit back by the group thanks to Chris Jones and others bringing him back. As the laps (or rounds) stacked up it was Trebon soon to be heckled by blows delivered by Jeremy Powers. Powers’ relentless attacks eventually allowed him to break loose from the pack and gain his first-ever Elite Cyclocross National Championship. Congrats J-Pow and props to Zach McDonald for his 4th place finish and U-23 Men’s National Cyclocross Championship Jersey.

Jeremy Powers on his last lap heading towards his first Elite Men's Cyclocross National Championship win.

Oh, I was able to give out my business cards to a whole bunch of cycling industry folk including Colt from, the guys from Ride Blue, Ian from HED Cycling, Maria from Ridley Bikes and Michael Zellman from SRAM. Hopefully I’ll land a job with one of these people soon. Now that I’m all inspired I will begin training for next year!


First I must explain something about Wisconsinite’s, were known for a few things: The Green Bay Packers (of course), cold weather, and of course beer drinking.

Now on to the story, met up with my buddy Travis and we were on to the Cyclocross National Championships that are actually in Verona, Wis. not Madison as every other cycling news organization and blog keeps reporting. The two-hour drive was on, jamming out to whatever the radio decided to bless us with.

So we arrived in Verona, but not at the Nationals course, seriously we had no clue where it was. We drove around for almost an hour looking for the course and then final I used’s course maps to find a road to through in the GPS to get us there.

Once we arrived we did what any good Wisconsinite does when arriving in a new place, had a beer. Leinenkugel’s Winter Sampler was our 12 pack of choice for the event. While enjoying our beverages we watched the Single Speed Women’s National Championship race.

Let me just say if I could bike as fast Kari Studley with the 8 speeds on my LeMond Poprad I would be ecstatic, wow is she fast, she had it won from the start. If I remember right she won by almost a half lap or like three minutes, it was a huge gap. Congrats Kari on your National Champion Jersey.

I'm on the way far left with Travis to my right. Congrats Aaron Bradford! Photo by

A totally different race was the Men’s Single Speed National Championship. Aaron Bradford and J.T. Fountain slugged it out the entire race until the last lap when Bradford was able take the lead and hold on till the finish (FYI – the picnic table near the end of the lap right after the barriers is a great place to watch the races). But the real star of the Men’s single speed race was Jona, this little kid that had no fear in lining up next to the big gears of the older riders and just kicking it.

Jona who kicked it against the big gear boys. Photo by

Overall it was a great time, Travis and I were able to check out some of the vendors that were setup and even got free cowbells from Shimano, sweet I know. See you Sunday (aka tomorrow) at the Cyclocross National Championships.

Who can name three female Elite Cyclocross racers?

  1. Katie Compton
  2. Katerina Nash
  3. Amy Dombroskci

Okay so maybe I have an unfair advantage as I am addicted to’s Who’s #1? Cyclocross Rankings. The point I’m trying to make here is that cyclocross does not face the same gap between coverage of male and female competitors like many other mainstream sports, like basketball. Can you name three female professional basketball players?

I believe a large part of how these women have become know, besides their amazing cyclocross abilities, is new media. Both Dombroski and Compton maintain a blog about their careers and are quite active on Twitter. I’ve even personally chatted with Dombroski on Twitter about a story she wrote about her sponsors a while ago.

Many believe that the male sex will always be the covered group when it comes to sports. Well that’s not the case in cyclocross. We offer equal rights for all (like on of those cheesey radio hiring ads) here in cyclocross from amateur to Elite Pro from man to woman.

In conclusion cyclocross isn’t a mainstream sport therefore it does not face the diversity issue quite as harshly when it comes to the media reporting on men’s and women’s racing.

Can you think of any other diverse groups in cyclocross or just cycling?

Cyclocross has things that other forms of cycling don’t, including hecklers, barriers, drunken fans, a course great for spectators to watch, and some of the most interesting hand-ups ever. While some of these things can be found in traditional cycling cyclocross takes it to the next level.

First would be the hecklers, while I’ve never experienced them first had I assume they would be quite an interesting experience. Just imagine so crazy guy screaming at you or just making fun of you while you’re trying to ride as fast as you can and concentrate while you’re on your bike.

So who’s up for heckling some guys in tight shorts? (See how easy it is!) What’s your best heckle?

Next are the barriers, which are unique to cyclocross. Barriers are usually made of wood and UCI regulates barriers to be 40 cm high. Usually they’re placed in barriers with only one set per course. Pros can “bunny hop” them if there is a enough room and if they can carry enough speed into them. Otherwise the traditional way of crossing the barriers is dismounting and carrying you’re bike over them.

Traditional Way of Crossing Barriers by Dismounting

Bunny Hopping Barriers

Last put not least there are the drunken fans and interesting hand-ups in cyclocross. While the drunken fans are present in almost every sport around the world, what cyclocross fans do when they’re drunk is unique. There has been everything for $1 hand-ups to beer hand-ups. So what is the most obnoxious thing that could be handed-up successfully?


Cyclocross is truly unique.

Its official QR (Quick Response) codes have made it on to bicycles. QR codes were created by the auto giant, Toyota, to track vehicles being manufactured while going down the assembly line. When it comes to QR codes on bicycles Team mechanic Daimeon Shanks for uses them to track the specifics of each team members’ bicycles.

QR Code Scanning Photo

Shanks using a QR code system to track the team's equipment - Photo by: Matt Pacocha/BikeRadar

According to a story, Shanks uses QR codes to store rider’s measurements to set up a bike as well as exact service details. Those service details include time between services and dates of key component changes. While Shanks has adopted the QR code to bicycles in a similar method that it was original intend for QR codes are being used in another area of cycling too. has created a “Neighborhood Watch Program run by you” using QR codes. The guys over at have employed QR codes on bicycles to make sure the rest of the cycling community knows who owns your bike, you! On their website you can enter the serial number of your bike into a database along with your contact information and a QR code is produced that you can print and stick on your bike (with printable stickers).  If your bike ever is stolen anyone can scan the QR code on it and find out who the true owner is. Besides the QR codes also does a social media blast with Stolen Bike Alerts when your bike is reported stolen.

QR Code

QR Code from - Scan it, it works!

Have you been worried about having your bike stolen and want an added insurance to get your bike back? Want to be sure to your bike service is being documented and done on time? QR codes can be use to ensure your bike is taken care of and safe. How else have QR codes been used in the cycling community?

I was pumped! I had my numbers pinned on (and then repinned on by Phil from Orbea Bikes), my chain lubed and derailleur fixed by Phil from Orbea Bikes, and had gotten a good warm up in. I had looked over what I could see of the course and was ready to race.

There I sat with fellow category four rides all around me, I thought to myself, “all of these guys seem like they’re done this before, and I hope I’m ready for this.” The tone went off and we all took off. Flying off the pavement start/finish section we rolled down a steep hill in to a flat and then an off camber straight. Going into the first real turn I was doing great.

Then came the off-camber section, successfully navigating it included unclipping one of my eggbeater pedals (that are amazing for cyclocross if you ask me) and one leg spinning while using the other one to balance. After that came a quick stair section where I shouldered my bike and sprinted up the the set, still hanging with everyone. Once I remounted after the stairs the problems began!

When I had unclipped from my pedals to dismount, my cleats on my Diadora shoes had spun so that it was almost impossible to turn my feet to the correct angle to clip back in. Up next, a big, very bumpy, hill and going down it unclipped in on a cyclocross bike with no suspension is not the easiest of tasks.

After the hill was a easy left handed turn but not being able to clip in hurt my pedaling power and I lost a couple of positions. In the technical section through the trees I lost a few more positions not being able to sprint out the turns and it really hurt me going up an insanely steep hill on the backside of the course. Through the sand section I made up some positions with my dismount ability and foot sprinting ability.

So three laps and my 30 minutes was up. What were the results? Honestly I don’t know where I placed because I never checked at the registration table but for my first time I thought I did pretty well. My dismounts and remounts were great and if it weren’t for my cleats spinning I feel I would have done even better. So how can I improve from my first race at Cross the Domes? I’ll let you know soon!

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When anyone thinks of emotions in sports they think of overcoming the challenge and achieving victory or they may think of the despair of defeat, but cyclocross is an entirely different beast. Looking to the approaching cyclocross season I am filled with emotions.

We’ve all been him or her, the new kid, I am the new kid when I enter my first race on Oct. 1 at Cross the Domes. Besides my nerves, I’m gratefully excited for that day to come. “Cyclocross, to put it simply, is painful,” according to condition coach, Jason Ross. “How much pain can you endure without giving in or giving up.”

From the articles I’ve read in Cyclocross Magazine to the numerous YouTube videos I’ve watched explaining the sport to showing its highlights I know it is everything I’m looking forward to. There will be the crazed, some drunk, fans ringing cowbells and cheering us racers on. The cold fall air will be coming into fruition along with my worries.

It is two weeks before the race and I already have the prerace jitters. Am I conditioned enough? Am I going to crash? If my preseason endeavors racing through campus at UW-Oshkosh to get to class on time are any indication of my conditioning and bike handling abilities I believe my finishing time will be “in time.”

But will I be able to handle the pain? If biking to work at Menard’s after getting run off the road by a typical Oshkosh driver and then still managing to make it to work on time is an indication of my pain tolerance, I believe I will be able to handle the pain of hopping barriers and shouldering my bike.

After two weeks of healing this is what I'm left with from the Oshkosh driver who ran me off the road.

These are all questions that keep racing though my mind. The truth is there is nothing that can be done for the prerace jitters besides focusing on the excitement of the race to come and, “Man, am I excited!”