The 17-year-old Elite Junior cyclist from Colorado took a few minutes to talk to Bicycling.com about winning his second National Cyclocross Title, training over the holidays at Euro Cross Camp IV, his plan for Cross Worlds, and, oh yeah, trying to be a teenager on the side.
1. Now that you have had a month to reflect on your repeat win at the 'Cross Nationals, tell us how you feel and how the second one was different from the first?
"I think that my second cyclocross national championship was different from last year first of all because of the conditions and that it was a much faster and a lot less technical course then the year before. Secondly would have to be the fact that I had and have a much bigger goal in mind this season which is doing well at Worlds. So, unlike last year, doing well at Nationals just so I could go to Worlds was not so much of an issue. Don't get me wrong though, of course I enjoyed winning a second cross title but it was most of all just icing on the cake I think when I look at my overall focus which is of course to ride well at Worlds."
2. How will your experience at Euro-cross Camp 4 over the holidays give you some confidence going into Cyclocross Worlds?
"I think that seeing that I can make it and hold my own in the lead group was the biggest and best thing I learnt this year in Europe. I remember last year how it was always Bjorn (Selander) in the lead group and myself in the chase group. But now it is my turn to be the most watched US junior over there and that's given me confidence which will really help the most at Worlds."
3. What will your approach be for the racing you'll do when you head to Europe for Cross World's at the end of the month?
"I plan to do the World Cup the week before as kind of a final tune up race before Worlds just to shake out the last bit of the airplane legs left in me. Then I will have several days of very focused training with Noel and Geoff Proctor before the big race on January 27th."
4. After World's what does 2007 hold in store for you?
"Just getting back in to the road scene and, just like I focused on cyclocross Worlds, focus on road Worlds as well as possibly hitting a couple of the big calendar races along the way."
5. What do you do to maintain some sort of balance between having a life and competing at cycling's highest level?
"I think the biggest thing I do to balance my life would have to be hanging out with family and friends, going to parties and doing normal kid stuff to help keep me in check with reality when I am home and not traveling."
Keep up with danny and the rest of the TIAA-CREF/CLIF BAR Cyclo-Cross Team at Eurocrossers Blogspot.com.
Henry Kramer of California's Cal-Giant CX squadra took the silver at the UCI Master's Worlds! What a great job on an incredibly sandy course in Mol. As said before, absolute inspiration. I'll be there next year.
I was told that the race officials each year do a completely random lottery line up (e.g. no call ups). But Henry said on his blog that the Belgian Ron who won, got 'tha call up'. Dunno what that means but if anyone cares to comment on how this is handled over there for teh UCI Master's Worlds, I'm all ears.
GREAT JOB HENRY!
Yup. It's been moved indoors folks. 'Crossing in your local coliseum sharing weekends with backflipping FMX and the Poison/Ratt/Whitesnake triple headliner concert you've been waiting for.
Le Mans start! Just like the DFL's in San Francisco.
Sven of course pulled out the overall which was composed of shorter 'heats' which led to a 'main event'....just like super cross. Lots of crashing I hear. Those foolios better mind their P's and Q's before the WK's!
More pics here.
So, every day I wake up and I say to myself: "You will be in Belgium in 2008. You will be in Belgium in 2008." No joke. I have this goal to go and mix it up and experience the scene. One year from now. My wife is so rad and reminds me of this too almost every day.
How this goal came to be is through stories I've heard from my buds in CA, namely Evan, of guys from Black Market Racing (long time partners of Paul and Rock Lobster) and Cal Giant going for a number of years now to mix it up in local and Master's Worlds races in Belgium. Living here in Boulder, more stories from new friends here having done the same and dialing me into who I need to contact, etc, are getting me even further exited.
So to add more color to this story, Henry Kramer, a well known masters animal from the left coast just pulled off his first masters win over there this weekend. So rad! I would love to see him lay wood on these guys this Saturday at the Master's Worlds. GO BIG HENRY!
Some vids my team-mate Chris V took on his fan-dangled device of the woods section at Xilinx. Super muddy that day so you had to tread gingerly through these sections even with spikes.
Is it me, or is Niels Albert Sven's mini-me? This kid is going to shred the elites in the coming years and the guy, err boy, is only 20 friggin years old! Boom will be the Wellens of teh Sven generation. None of the U-23's can come within a minute of this guy and Niels continues to lay wood in the Elites. Funny thing is though, this guy has yet to pull on a set of stripes. Kevin babyface Pauwels and The Fidea Czech kid have nipped good o' Niels the last few years. Niels has got to chill out if he wants to be like his Maxi-me Sven though. If you get the chance, watch the U-23 races that usually preface the Elite races on your DVD's. Study this kid. He is a cry baby extraordinarie. I can barely watch him because he's too dramatic with "come on help me work up here" please and constant pushes to guys to clean his line. I'm an aggressive rider but the shit he pulls is horse cocky. Sven is like a machine. No emotion, just getting teh job done. take a page out of that Niels.
This cartoon of Richard G is perfect. It show's Ree-chard's fairly common portrait of mud splatter and sagging bottom lip. Grooven-dahl's tell tale sign when he starts to suffer is his lip sagging, mouth open and this AWESOME trail of snot, saliva that drips onto his Rabo skin suit. Suffering. I love this guy: Behold exhibit A:
Now he's all bad ass with jail house tatt's. Ben B's drug suspension is officially over and is free and clear to race. Don't know what to think. I used to LOVE to watch this guy race. Hands always on the hoods or in the drops always with heel scraping pedal action powering through the mud. But he doped and I just can't look at him in the same light. The same way I can't look at Philip M.