Back to Mason Park for the Houston Cyclocross Challenge, but this time without the title sponsorship of the much beloved Bikesport. A local favorite, the legacy bike shop will be missed. But Bike Barn has stepped up to help out and as a result we have equal pay for men and women. Nice.

We are really going to miss Jeff Bailey and Bikesport, but he is on his way to an amazing retirement. Lee and Neil the owners of Bike Barn have been great to us from the first meeting. As a shop, Bike Barn is very active in supporting cycling in the local community. Bike Barn was instrumental in bringing Specialized Bicycles in as a merchandise sponsor as well. Also I would add a core group of about 15 former Bikesport racers were welcomed into the Bike Barn fold so going forward we will have even more resources for race promotion.

The map to one of the best courses in Texas, ATMO.

The map to one of the best courses in Texas, ATMO.

That’s pretty great.

Don Paullo, long-time race director, tell us what to expect from this year’s event – any major changes to the course as designed by Mr. Flyover, Rob Sisk?
I personally think we have one of the best natural courses in the State. With that as a backdrop, we discussed course design for this season and decided don’t monkey with a good thing. We will have a set of two planks and one run up. There may be an easily rideable log as well.  Continue Reading…

Racing starts at 10am instead of 11a. Make a note of it, travelers.

Racing starts at 10am instead of 11a. Make a note of it, travelers.

Back to Space City this weekend for two classic courses in the Texas Cup. First up on Saturday, Terra X.

Craig FItzgerald, one of the fast masters on the TXCX scene, has been directing races in Texas since 2007. In fact, Terra X is five years old this year. (Don’t forget about past race previews – videos and more – here.)

Craig – tell us why Terramont park is such a great venue.
For whatever reason, as racers, we love cyclocross racing. But cyclocross brings the race to the spectator. I believe cyclocross is the best facet of racing for the spectator. And at Terramont Park, the spectator can stand in one spot and see a good portion of the action. Or, they can walk a few steps to break-out the heckles for the hill climb (take your pick of hills!).

For the racer, the course offers an 8-lane start grid, long start section, straight flat sections, off-camber turns, centrally-located pit, power climbs, a steep climb that will force some off the bike. Continue Reading…

Yeah. We’re a few beers in to the evening and have blown off whatever the hell else it is we’re supposed to be doing (like this week’s race previews) to bring you the women’s edition of the Sandbagger’s Ball.

To get an idea of the rules and regulations regarding upgrades, check out last week’s report on the men too scared to put in for the upgrade.

Editors note: Unbeknownst to us, Ray Frias actually requested and got his cat 3 upgrade the day prior to our last article. Not that we would have cared had we known. And Cassidy Keleand? After winning in Georgetown and then winning Day 1 at CX7s, what did he do on day two? Raced the 3/4 on Sunday. Ouch.

We’re looking at a handful of the top ranked women racers in Texas as well as a few other well known names. If we leave someone out that you love dearly, or that is a total sandbagger, let us know! We probably won’t do anything about it but the more you know and all. As a reminder, our foolproof analysis includes casually glancing over USA Cycling rankings for each category as well as crossresults.com upgrade point totals that we may or may not transcribe correctly.

Like with the guys, there’s officially only one pro CX racer in Texas: Lauren Stephens. But we all know that’s not the full story. let’s grab another beer and have a look at the other pro ladies of TXCX.

PRO. PRO. PRO. (Future PRO).

PRO. PRO. PRO. (Future PRO).

CAT 1
Christina Gokey-Smith.
Second at Nats? Pro! Time to upgrade!

Cat Moore. Undoubtedly pro. Multi-time national champ. Pigtails that would make Rebecca Twigg blush. The better half to Ian Moore, a pro in his own right. Once slapped people’s asses with a rubber chicken in Ft. Worth. We don’t even need to look at her results. Pro.

Jenny Park. She’s done 8 races this season. For some reason she only managed to win 4. The other half she was merely second. Yeah. Obviously taught Jeff Park everything he knows.

Melanie Black. Will Black’s coach for sure. Not quite as sharp as Jenny, she’s “only” podiumed 4 of her 9 races this season. Come to think of it, has Will podiumed that often this year?

Ginny King. Trust us. Pro.

New comer Ash Duban. Not lighting up the TXCX courses for T$A…yet. Heard of the Red Hook Crit? Let Me Google That For You. Two CX upgrade points. Let’s call her the upcoming cat 1 and take a look at the 2s. Continue Reading…

Sandbaggers.

Who are they? Racers hiding in plain sight. At the front of the field. Week after week, race after race.

Many will say that TXBRA does a pretty good job keeping folks honest and races even. But is that true? Let’s see.

Reporting on a double podium for your teammate on social media is bound to get noticed.Social media = upgrades (just ask Danny Curtin).

Using social media to boast on a double podium for your teammate is bound to get noticed. Social media = upgrades (just ask Danny Curtin).

Using USA Cycling’s database of racers and crossresults.com, we can get a pretty clear picture—at least as clear as T$A’s glitter beer—of who is on the move, and should have moved a long time ago.

We’re going to make a few assumptions here though:

  1. Every race counts. Masters, SS, whatever. If you got the result that earned you a point, you got the point. Some will say that “it depends” when looking at masters results or single speed racers. We say “malarkey.”
  2. USA Cycling changed the points rules last year. So we’re going to include last year’s race results as well in our totally biased analysis.
  3. We’re looking at the top ranked riders of each field—as well as some outliers that look like they’re on the bubble.
  4. Point totals we list are career upgrade points from crossresults.com. Have a problem with the numbers? Either we made a typo since we’re tipsy—and thus don’t care. Or crossresults.com got it wrong—and we still don’t care.
  5. This is supposed to be fun. If you get upgraded, it’s because you earned it. Be happy. You’re not racing to beat up on slow riders like some crit racer.

Continue Reading…

chain11There’s a new USAC race in Texas, CX7s in Austin. 

It’s the second of three weekends in the ATXCXCup, and we spoke with Dan Carroll and Tina Thomas of High Five Events about the upcoming weekend.

How did your new race come about?
CX7s came from the idea of growing the cyclocross community in Austin. Having the event here was really important to us as we didn’t want people to have to travel far in order to race and spectate, and to help those who want to get into the sport for the first time.

2014CX7sAustin2One of the most important parts of the community is supporting the youth and giving them an opportunity to participate and grow their love of cyclocross. We are working Rolando Roman and Cyclocross Project 2015 to provide all kids and juniors race for free. Kids will also receive a medal to commemorate their work on the course.  

Tell us what to expect at Walter E. Long park?
We are looking at 90% off road with 10% on asphalt. This will play big at the start and finish of the race and allow racers to get some good speed and room to pass at the beginning and end of each lap. Continue Reading…

Colonel’s Double Cross Weekend always brings on thing – elevation.

No matter if we’re racing levees in Trinity Park or Gateway, or we find ourselves with the even steeper offerings just north in Ft Worth, you can be guaranteed incline pain.

2014_ColonelsDoubleCross

Solid prizes and a huge note and reminder that we race in Texas – always run sealant.

Let’s talk to race director, Art Exum, about his perennial fan favorite course, and how it differs this year.

Trail Driver’s Park was on the schedule for Escalera Loca in 2011, a great venue in a “bowl” of a park. Tell us how you’ll use the terrain?

The terrain of this park is like a magical gift from the gods to a course designer.  The steepness of the grades will make for an incredibly fitness-intensive course without any effort from the designer. My job will to make it manageable and fun for those who won’t be top 5 in the P/1/2’s. I’m finding I get a solid workout just riding slowly around the park figuring out a course. My intent with any course design is not to use straight lines any more than necessary, but not to make it so tight that it’s slow–no one races bikes to go slow, but if we liked straight lines we’d be time trialists…or triathletes (heaven forbid). Continue Reading…

2014GeorgetownCyclocrossFestival5

That’s a lot of logos.

When you think about the Georgetown Cyclocross Festival, what comes to mind first?

250 ft of beach?
Tough, but rideable, hill climbs?
Gully-turns (akin to the Scuffle in Elgin)?

Just like previous editions of this young race, these features will be back in 2014, plus some new ones. Race Director, Rolando Roman has much to say, so without adieu…

Tell me a bit about your course – does it differ from years past?

Because sand and railroad ties are not enough by themselves.

Because sand and railroad ties are not hard enough by themselves at Georgetown. Hup! Hup!

The course has some changes from past years (3rd year event). We will have two run-ups; the first one will be along the hill side (same as last year) and a second one right after the tree single track section, this one will have five railroad ties with sand. I expect 100% dismount on this one. The sand pit got an overhaul from Georgetown Parks, a frame was build to maintain all the sand in the volleyball courts and they added several tons of sand. All I can say, it’s going to be a great place to cheer/heckle! 

GT_CX_Fest_2014_Course

The official course map.

We will take racers to the tree section near the dog park, it will have some nice off camber and turns. Finally, the start and finish line will be at the same spot. This will help with the electronic timing and our nice 22 feet wide start/finish truss. The course is 1.7 miles long.

NEW: Pro Race Announcer by Logan, BigMouth Announcing.

FREE Junior and Youth races courtesy of Cyclocross Project 2015!

Pre-reg ends Thursday at 11:45pm (ATXCXCup season pass details below)

Over $3,350 in Cash and Lots of Swag; from Clif Bar, Nuun, Kali Helmets, Nutcase Helmets and many more cool swag items. Continue Reading…