DSGP #3 – Monroe

Rich and I have realized that when we raced first in the 4/5s last year, we could A) party more B) get better coverage of the rest of the race day. So please enjoy this small sampling of photos from the 4/5 race, that I admit, are biased towards my teammates on Rouler Racing. Peep results here from another cold and wet one in Funroe, LA.

Keep Spinnin’
Boedi
Yeah You Ride

DSGP2014 #2 – Covington // Guest Gallery by Rhea Aldridge

Gazooks! Illustrious photographer, Rhea Aldridge, had forgotten to grab her camera before heading up to DSGP2014 #2! I was more than happy to lend her mine as I pretended to play the part of serious bike racer and lo and behold she did not disappoint! Enjoy these amazing shots of DSGP #2 and the 1/2/3 race. Give her a like on Facebook to see more of her great work! Thanks, Rhea!!!

Keep Spinnin’
Boedi
Yeah You Ride

DSGP 2014 // Program #1 // Baton Rouge – Covington

The 2014 Delta States Grand Prix of Cyclocross put its best foot forward, kicking the season off with a brilliant hillside course, distinguished by Belgian Gates, a pair of extremely sandy turns, and a stack of long swtichbacks that traversed the hill like a grassy game of Donkey Kong. Several promising riders made their presence known, along with their intentions for DSGP Champion Jerseys.

In the weeks since, several changes have occurred, including category upgrades and new riders. All these changes have a significant impact on how DSGP 2014 will begin to play out. For last week’s results, peep here. For a peek into the crystal ball, see below:

Buried Alive
DSGP 1, Baton Rouge, featured two sandpits that were crushing to many riders, sapping them of their will to live and often their ability to stay upright. All this, and not much ado over the prevalence of sand. Hence, a recent announcement from DSGP that Covington will be exceptionally sandy has many wondering just how bad the coming torture may be.

Misdirection, Missed Connection
Christina Person laid waste to much of the Women’s field at DSGP 1, before a miscommunication led her believe that the race was done and caused her to prematurely evacuate the course. DSGP 2 will be an opportunity to set the record straight with Rosanne Simons (Nola Lending Racing), who took 2nd in DSGP 1. Typically racing on MTB, Person’s tires may be well suited to the sand with which DSGP Director Wes McWhorter is threatening innocent racers at Covington. Simons, however, is also known to keep an MTB in the pit. Expect a brawl.

Young and Restless
With Jacob Haddox, Cat 5 winner at DSGP 1, not yet registered for DSGP 2, Zach Thomas (Rouler Racing) may be looking at his first DSGP win. That is only, however if he can keep threats such as Nate Batts (Rouler Racing) and Dustin Drewes (4D Racing) at bay.

Up, Up, and Away
After locking down 1st and 2nd in the Cat 4’s in DSGP 1, Baton Rouge, Micheal Boedigheimer (Rouler Racing) and Chris Reed (Rouler Racing) have upgraded categories into the Pro/1/2/3 race. While both put a serious hurting on the 4’s field, will they muster the gusto to give lightning fast Will Sheftall (Raising Canes) a run for his money? The two are just coming off the heels of a weekend bender of racing in Texas. DSGP 2 will show us whether this road trip helped them step up their game.

Contender Cameo
That pair’s departure would seem to relieve tension on Skip Town (Semi-Tough Cycling Club) and Richard Carman (Rouler Racing) in the 4’s, both vying for their first trip to the top of the podium. However, DSGP 2 marks the arrival of Matthew Erchull (Cycle-Smart) to the series. With a stout season of racing in New England already under his belt, Matt seems a likely bet for gold in the 4’s. Whether or not he sticks around for the remainder of the season, a cameo may significantly alter the outcome of this race, and the series.

Shedding Fat
After fetching 3rd place in the Cat 4/5 race, track star Dustin Drewes will likely be ditching last week’s fat bike in favor of a mean looking new steed. He is fully expected to put up a serious fight for the Cat 4 podium in DSGP 2, Covington, toeing the line against former 4D teammate Erchull.

Spread Too Thin
David Feinswog (Tulane Racing), Ben Spain (Tulane Racing), and “Tricky” Travis Johnson (Rouler Racing) are all names that show up on three different category race results from DSGP 1, Baton Rouge. And indeed, there are many other racers who put in well over 60 minutes in the day. It remains to be seen whether these and other riders who have consistently proven themselves to be strong will focus on a category in the coming race and put serious pressure on the field. Johnson could be a likely contender in either Cat 4 or SingleSpeed, both in DSGP 2 and the overall series.

Down, But Not Out
Whether you think he is a force of nature, or a freak of nature, you’ve got to love Matt Gandy (Team Mississippi Modern). A showman as well as a sportsman, Gandy ran probably as many minutes as he rode in Baton Rouge, shouldering his bike and coiffing a frosty handup. Multiple major mechanicals haunted his performance in Baton Rouge, thwarting his chances at a podium. Keep an eye on this beast in DSGP 2, as we wait to see if he has tightened up his game in the garage.

A Throne Abdicated?
Last year’s Pro/1/2/3 Series Winner, Andrew Sorey (Indian Cycle Racing) was oddly absent from the start line in Baton Rouge, giving his chief competitor Will Sheftall a serious lead in series points. Will he return in time to reclaim the title? His appearance at DSGP 2 (or lack thereof) may play a large part in determining the pecking order as the series proceeds.

A New Sheriff In Town?
Boedigheimer and Reed are hardly the only new additions we should expect to make waves in the Pro/1/2/3 field. Recent Nola transplant Liz So (Team TATI) looks to rock the boat, shaking things up among podium incumbents Sheftall, Kevin Conerly (Team Mississippi Modern), and Davis Winstead (Team Mississippi Modern).

Pedal To The Medic
Even after thoroughly destroying a pedal during DSGP 1’s P/1/2/3 race, MTB Stunna Miles Juneau mounted an impressive comeback. DSGP 2 provides a shot at redemption as Juneau looks to make a comeback on Overall Series Points.

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Without question, DSGP 2 at Covington will be crucial to building a foundation of series points for jersey-seekers. Keep your eyes on these racers as DSGP shapes up. There will be plenty more surprises to come as new racers find their groove, and new faces introduce an element of unpredictability into their fields.

We look forward to seeing all of you at DSGP 2! Weather is projected to be beautiful for this beach trip; don’t forget a towel. Best of luck to all racing and big ups to all the spectators that keep us pumped. We love you Cyclocross!

Cheers,
Rich
Yeah You Ride

Rouler on the Road // HTX CX — Part 2

Day 2 of our Houston CX Extravaganza was Give Me Some Sugar CX. Brian Voytilla the organizer of last years’ BCRCX, decided to do something different this time around and partnering with Kyle Davenport, started KOLO Promotions. The course was on an old abandoned golf course (hmm, familiar terrain) with Belgian steps and a FLYOVER!!!

I woke up that morning with pretty bad back pain. It felt like someone had spent all night using my lower back as driving range target practice. Maybe I have a weak core, maybe I’m just getting old. I thought about a possible DNS that day, but with enough coffee and Icy Hot, I loosened up enough to toe the line. Since I have no Texas Cup points, I again started at the very back. With the starting line on a small driveway that that took a left hander over a curb and onto the course, it felt very PRO. I was just hoping I wouldn’t hit the deck in the inevitable pile-up over the curb. Unlike Saturday’s race, I found myself on the back of the front group fairly soon, maybe lap one. Then somewhere around lap 3, I was on the front. Felt a bit too early, but the legs felt good and the flat, fast course suited me well. With three laps to go, myself, Tyler Nutter and Bradyn Lange (winner of the 3/4 BCRCX race) found ourselves with a bit of a gap. On a cart-path straightaway, we yelled at the youngster to put it in the big ring and go, protecting our gap. Well, Bradyn popped a bit and drifted back and I got on the front and pulled Tyler for a lap. I knew this wasn’t the best move, but I was there and I knew there would be no way for me to get Tyler to come around unless he wanted to. I had felt really good all race going though the Belgian steps and barriers: I was coming in really fast and going over with a lot of control. (Much thanks to Dan and Rusty from Fulcrum Coaching). In fact, I made up a lot of positions earlier in the race at both of these obstacles. Around two to go, I finally figured out why Tyler was always right on my wheel through the barriers: he was bunny hopping them! He went to the front and I stayed on his wheel as much as I could through the technical stuff and on the last lap, while he bunny hopped and was pedaling instantly, I was there floating in the air, trying to land my fat ass on the saddle. Tyler got the win and I managed to hold off a charging Bradyn for second. Plenty of great lessons to be gleaned from racing with such great competition.

Chris Reed was chomping at the bit after crashing out in the 4/5 race the day before. He borrowed Rob’s bike and donned his shoes (without socks, no less) and quickly found himself out front, bunny hopping the barriers like the madman he was. With a few laps to go, some fatigue set-in and he dropped to second place. By this time, Wes had worked his way up to third and worked to hold off the other racers while shouting words of encouragement to Chris. Team work makes the dream work and Chris Reed scored his second podium in as many weeks and Wes his second in as many days.

Damn, I love ‘cross racing road trips. Pencil in this race weekend for next year, folks!

Yeah You Ride-
Boedi

Rouler on the Road // HTX CX — Part 1

With the Delta States Gran Prix on hiatus for a week, it was a perfect opportunity to travel out of the region for some ‘cross action, specifically BCRCX and Give Me Some Sugar CX. Wes McWhorter had penciled in this weekend as part of his CX Nats #pointscampaign (trying to get his upgrade from a Category 4 to a Category 3) and Chris Reed and I were more than willing to GETINTHEVAN and accompany him. I had raced BCRCX last year with the Rouler Racing team and was very excited to hit the challenging course again.

BCRCX took place in the scenic Spott’s Park. Shaped like a bowl, the park provided plenty of elevation changes for power climbs, speedy downhills and tricky off-cambers. The main feature of the course had to be the epic run-up, that over the course of a race, pretty much sapped all your will to live.

Wes started his day in the Masters 40+, finishing 7th in a strong field. During the last race of the day, he cruised to victory in the 4/5 field while, unfortunately, Chris Reed went down and broke his shifter, racking up a DNF. After starting about 3 rows back, I made it as high as 5th place, but slowly faded to 7th after repeated ascents of the run up took its toll in the 3/4 race. Our good pal and former teammate, Rob Sudan, again succumbed to tubeless tire issues and was out in the first lap.

Kudos to the Bayou City Racing team for putting on a fantastic event in a perfect setting. We’ll definitely be back next year!  Part 2 (Give Me Some Sugar CX) tomorrow.

Yeah You Ride!
Boedi