I got goose bumps reading all the Colorado cx blogs about their state champs this past week. Sounds just like the conditions i just described. Perfect for racing your cx bike! Looking at the pics on 'Mud and Cowbells' just totally fired me up for the last 3 races of the year. It really makes me take notice of how the cx scene here in our area has blown up. Just since i have been racing cross since 2005, the fields have really expanded. The KC area is not Portland or the New England area, but i would put our field sizes up against any other area or region. go to kscycling.org or localcycling.com and search the results if anyone doubts me. We blow the Texas and Southeast areas fields away in the 3's and 4's and master's races. We are comparable to SoCal and NorCals' fields. However, the big difference is the amount of races that are put on in these areas. These other areas may have 6-10 races. The driving distance to each race is another difference. These races are seperated by 100 or so miles in their respective regions. The KC region.....We had 17 cx races all within a 60 mile radius here in our region. That is 17 races....nobody and no region provides that amount of racing anywhere. Not all races and fields are huge, we have our down weeks but we also have our big weekends as well. Plus we were within 3 hour drives to 4 races in the Lincoln/Omaha Nebraska area. You are also within a 5 hour drive to one of the best weekends of racing in the country on Thanksgiving weekend with Jingle Cross in Iowa City, Iowa. How in the hell do Louisville, KY and Cincinatti, OH and BFE, North Carolina Continually get 'UCI' Cx race weekends and our KC area gets none? Not a lot of respect.
That respect thing should change though in the next year or 2. just in my race alone last year at natonals in the 30-39 'b' race we had 4 local guys in the top 10 with 80 some odd starters. With me finishing 9th and Tige Lamb and Kyle Bush finishing 4th and 7th respectively and Lawrence local and former Pro roadie Brian Jensen winning the race. KC was well represented in our field. In the 40+ "b' race fellow teammates Steve Songer, Andy Lucas, and Brendan Jenks finished 17th, 8th and 12th from backrow starts to repesent the KC area in a 90+ field. Lincoln resident Troy Kraus finished 2nd in the same race. Troy does 90% of his racing in the KC area and his teammate and fellow masters' strongman and KC local Tom Price finished 3rd. So with other multiple tops tens in big fields from the local guys at nationals the previous 2 years in KC to local master's racers Tom Price and Dean Parker kicking heads in the Portland USGP this past weekend, We Kc and midwest 'cxers' should get a little notice and feel very proud of our growing 'cross' heritage. We now have 2 local local young men being invited to Belgium to join the US 'Cross' camp with a shot at making the USA worlds team. Chris Wallace is back for a 2nd year after racing for the USA junior team at the 2009 World Cyclocross Championships. and this year Lawrence native and prodigal son Joe Schmalz is invited to belgium as well with a great opportunity to be selected for USA's U-23 World's Team. Just more ammunition for the whole respect argument for our area. Chris and Joe are just 2 of the many guys that will be representing the KC area in Bend, OR this week at our country's National Championships. And all of them will do us proud no matter their result. For those of us that werent able to make the trip out to the 'great northwest' to race this year.....we will be pulling and cheering hard for our KC/Lincoln, NE brothers.
Finally.....Good Luck to Tom, Troy, Dean, Chris, Joe, Jeff, Adam, KCCX/Verge and to anyone else i may have forgotten. Race hard and Give'em Hell! We will be racing and competing this weekend thru your eyes and your love of the sport of cyclocross. You do your KC brethren proud already.
see yah at the next cross race......