Huber’s Apple Cross

I had been anxiously waiting for the cyclocross season to start and it finally did two weeks after the Tsali Challenge.  For the past two years I have had the pleasure of representing Bob’s Red Mill on the cross bike and this season I couldn’t be happier to join the Louisville, KY-based Bob’s Red Mill elite cyclocross team!

Bob’s Red Mill is committed to providing natural whole-grain foods and a healthy lifestyle.  Their incredible array of gluten-free products makes my tastebuds and belly happy (I have a sensitivity to gluten).  I couldn’t ask for better products to fuel my health, training and racing!

The BRM team is lucky enough to ride Stevens bicycles, Carroll Composites wheels with Challenge tires.  Panache Cyclewear’s amazing custom apparel truly makes us the most comfortable and best-dressed team out there!  Mad Alchemy embrocation keeps our legs fresh and warm, Squirt lube saves our drivetrains and Princeton Tec lights keep us safe and visible.

With Scheller’s Fitness and Cycling we hosted the season opener, Huber’s Apple Cross, across the Ohio River from Louisville in beautiful Starlight, IN.  The weekend kicked off with Ryan Trebon’s clinic at Eva Bandman Cyclocross Venue (home of the USGP Derby City Cup and CX Worlds).  The events benefited the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.

My teammate Mitchell designed the flyers:

Dave and I left Asheville on Friday night after work.  I had plans to race Cross Vegas the following week and only planned to work the race; however I brought my bike in hopes of getting in some good practice.

It still felt very much like summer and was hot, dry and sunny, but the apple orchard brought fond memories of fall.  We made good time, got our beautiful new skinsuits and I couldn’t not race.  I met and warmed up with my awesome teammate Marne.

It was somewhat disorienting to jump into ‘cross mode after 6 hours in the car and months off from racing but I was excited to give it a go:

photo: Scheller's Cross for Cancer

The fields were small but deep with several UCI-points holders in attendance.  I had a great start, taking the hole-shot and enjoyed the fun, challenging course.  I felt a bit rusty on the barriers at first, but it all came back quickly.

photo: Scheller's Cross for Cancer

I extended my lead, but got caught in the tape exiting the pit after a bottle (it was in the 80’s so this was allowed).  That was all Nikki needed to catch me, as she bridged up with a male master’s rider.  She took advantage of my mistake and attacked.  I came back fighting but couldn’t quite close the gap and took second place by a few seconds.  Marne overcame some mechanical issues for third.

That night Dave and I got dinner with some of our teammates and Ryan.  Mitchell’s parents were incredibly welcoming and opened their house for us to spend the night.  We stayed with them last year for the USGP and it was nice to catch up and relax!

I was eager to race again and Sunday’s race began as a replica of Saturday on a reversed course.  I built a steady lead and was riding well.

photo: Scheller's Cross for Cancer

There was one downhill section with a small jump that I was able to get a little air on!  It was really fun.  Then I made a couple of tiny mistakes and Nikki caught me again.  Again I was second and Marne was third.

photo: Scheller's Cross for Cancer

I raced tired both days and think the travel and stress caught up with me, but I was pleased with the weekend.  Thanks to my coach, Gordy, I’ve been able to improve my weaknesses and fitness tremendously.  I had a lot of fun meeting my team and catching up with the crossers I met last season.  We enjoyed a big feast at the famous Joe Huber Restaurant and I returned home with good feelings for the upcoming season and a LOT of delicious apples!

After a long, late drive back to Asheville I kind of slept and hit the road first thing Monday morning for Atlanta and on to Las Vegas…

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