I suppose today is as good a day as any to announce that I’m racing for Team UPB/www.ultimateprobikes.com this cyclocross season. The owner of Ultimate Pro Bikes, Joe, is my road team’s (Tower Racing) bike shop affiliation and I got my 2014 Felt AR5 there. I plan to get a power meter next spring so I didn’t have any funds for a cross bike. I was going to race anyways, on a 26″ rigid fork MTB that we have that weighs +/- 30 lbs, but Joe heard about my predicament and is letting me borrow a bike for the season. How awesome is that? It’s such an honor because this is my first cyclocross season and he’s putting a lot of trust/faith in me. Here’s a picture of the sweet Felt F65x that I’m riding, blinged out with some Clement MXP Clinchers (I’ll probably do a full photo shoot w/out the battle scars at some point, similar to my Felt AR5 shoot):
Maybe I’m sponsor-plugging, maybe I’m not, but I really like that Felt specs all their CX bikes with disc brakes. The F65x is specced with Avid BB5s and they’re a lot better than most cantis I’ve ridden (and I’ve ridden the Shorty Ultimates on aluminum rims). Although I haven’t raced, I’ve been following cyclocross (BTB, svenness, World Cups, etc) for over a year and it seems like disc brakes give a big advantage. If you have the money to get into Felt’s hydraulic disc models, even better. My dream build would be a Force CX1 w/ Hydraulic Disc Brakes on Felt’s F1x Frameset.
This year, Joe is trying to invest in juniors like other people invested in him when he was a junior. He’s always looking for other juniors who want to compete and have fun, so contact me (comment, e-mail, etc) if you’re interested! We have clinics/practices pretty much every week either on a Wed/Thurs morning or on Saturday, which are really helpful b/c Joe has tons of experience. It’s a ton of fun and a great team.
At the beginning of this post, I say “as good a day as any” because today I got my first win! The season has started in absolutely fine style: First race of the season was out in DeKalb, where I raced Category 4 and Category 4/5. I got 5th in the 4s, and 3rd in the 4/5s. Podium in my second (sort of, I raced the 26″ MTB at Afterglow juniors last year) CX race? I’ll take it. We’ll ignore an embarrassing Juniors race yesterday (Saturday, 15-18 Juniors) and skip to today, where I got 7th in the 4s after getting stuck behind another racer on the singletrack climb and 1st in the 4/5s after a 1st-row stage and an overall great race (fastest lap of all participants, fastest average, 29 second gap, etc). Here’s the money shot:
This win is AWESOME, but there’s still tons of work to do. Gaining experience with different pressures, continually practicing corneringz, dismountz, and runningz, gaining fitness, etc, etc, etc. Let’s not forget what happened just a few weeks ago, and get too caught up in what’s happened thusfar. I’m going to upgrade to Category 3, but I don’t know how that will work with church.
Until next time,