BikeRadar heart cyclo-cross

By Matt Pacocha, US editor, from Boulder, CO | Friday, November 4, 2011 6.00pm

Actually we’re more a bunch of hacks than a team, and we have plenty of excuses as to why we’re slow, but regardless, we’re out there every weekend racing on Colorado’s Front Range. Maybe you’ve seen us?

We know a few have noticed, as we’ve heard your heckles and cheers; and if you haven’t, go ahead hit us with your best (preferably heckle) the next time you see us. Super fan, and super racer, Georgia Gould nailed us during our race last weekend, too, “You’re getting beat by kids,” as the Eckmann brothers (Robin and Yannick), both under 20yrs, worked us over at the Boulder Cup. That drew a smile, even while hypoxic.

We also appreciate your digital heckles about too much cyclo-cross on the site last week, but what can we say, we're borderline fanatical about the sport.

Anyway, there are four of us sporting BikeRadar skinsuits this season; two of us are employees and two are simply fellow ’cross evangelists, but we’re all out there for the same reason: the love of ’cross. While the team looks nice and corporate, due to our BikeRadar.com garb, in our minds we envision ourselves more as MWI, but unfortunately without Jessica Heenan’s cupcakes; a bunch of guys racing ’cross for the same reason.

BikeRadar’s cyclo-cross cheerleaders: Huang and I

BikeRadar tech editor, James Huang, is currently the only member not pulling their racing weight due to a bum wing. Huang broke his collarbone earlier in the season unsuccessfully attempting to ‘crush’ a fellow competitor. It's a double whammy to Huang's cyclo-cross career considering he ended last season after breaking a bone in his wrist during a ’cross race, but hey, he loves it and keeps coming back for more.

James huang:

James Huang produced season ending injuries in the last two cyclo-cross races he's entered, doh

Kidding aside we do have Huang to thank for the photos he’s taken of our racing during the season, and the work he’s done to bring huge volumes of original ’cross content to BikeRadar.com.

What’s on tap for Huang? He’ll be back on the bike next week in time to report from Campagnolo’s electric component group launch in Italy. It’s a trip we hope will kick off his training with hopes of race testing some tubeless products (and ideas) he’s been stewing while on the mend.

Yours truly; I’m the US editor for BikeRadar and admitted cyclo-cross geek. I spend more money on handmade tires than I’m willing to admit to my wife, and I still catch myself daydreaming of the Belgian cyclo-cross courses I raced on a Christmas vacation to the motherland.

On the racecourse, I’m still starting ‘the big show races’, which last weekend included the Boulder Cup C1 UCI race, however, my goal is always to not get lapped, rather than win. With two kids of my own, I’ve embraced masters racing and plan to hit masters’ world’s in Louisville, KY this January.

This season I’ve spent ample time on disc brakes, whether the weather has warranted or not, with the goal of really testing out the option before the big manufacturers jump in. I’m only just ahead of the curve, however, after seeing the bikes Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com rider Tim Johnson brought to Boulder, CO last weekend, but did not race.

Matt pacocha:

Disc brakes work pretty darn well, wet or dry

The Outsiders: Carcella and Stevens

Anthony Carcella takes his cyclo-cross pit crew duties and spectating as seriously as his racing. He’s competed at Mol, Belgium for masters’ cyclo-cross world’s (2009) and a few true Belgian field races. Carcella is an expert motor-pace driver, during which he serves as the team’s defacto coach, more in the style of Paulie from the Rocky movies than one of cycling’s famed sport directors or trainers.

He can talk tubs for hours, and holds a similar passion for Belgian beer, and brewing his own too. He’s also one of our guest test riders, and one that’s proven adept at providing unique, relevant, everyman feedback on bikes we’ve had in for testing, from sub-$1,000 entry-level to $5,000-plus halo models. For his own ride, however, he’s spent his money on a custom alloy frame, where he spec’d a straight 1.5in head tube (for use with a tapered fork), and BB30 bottom bracket. He has plans to add disc tabs, after helping with our testing of TRP’s Parabox disc brake system.

Anthony carcella:

Related links

Carcella racing the 2011 Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Fort Collins, CO

Last but not least or resident Welshman, Nic Stevens, always speaks his mind; there are no punches pulled with this expat. We know; he’s one of the first to call us out if his experience doesn’t match what our stories convey. His chosen equipment is decidedly utilitarian too, he has two identical custom steel cyclo-cross bikes built by a local craftsman and equipped with Shimano’s Dura-Ace 7800 component group—parts he staunchly defends as the best road and ’cross group out there today.

He’s a dad already, but has twins on the horizon, so we’re not sure where his racing ‘career’ will go. Like the rest of us, however, he has a strong love of cyclo-cross and a keen willingness to share it. For a number of years, Stevens worked on as a coach and on the board of the Boulder Junior Cycling team, a local junior team that works to preach, teach, and generally facilitate junior cycling and racing.

Anyway, next time you see us out there, remember to heckle, and while we can’t steal the cupcake thing from MWI, maybe we’ll do meat loaf next year, or better yet some of Carcella’s beer—that’ll make people like us, for sure.

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