Cyclocross National Championships – Norco Factory Team Report
November 3, 2015
The organizers of National Championships once again stepped up the level of cyclocross in Canada. The course, the quality of the organization and the caliber of the athletes, all a level up from last year.
The weekend started with the team arriving to Winnipeg on Thursday evening and we were all excited to see each other, we obviously miss each other in the off season. Most of the Norco Factory Team was represented, Kevin for support and Evan McNeely, Peter and myself for the bike riding. With support from Havi and bikes and equipment from Norco and the Factory Team sponsors Kenda and Stan’s we had all the tools we needed to perform. Overall the weekend went really well. We had some good results and some good rides.
Starting things off was Pete in the U23 race, he crushed it, really crushed it. It was also super impressive considering the workload Pete is managing at school studying engineering at the University of Guelph. He won the title in the last second with a heavy duty sprint.
“Cyclocross Nationals is always so much fun! This year was even better with the Norco boys. Bikes were dialed, the course was unreal and my legs decided to perform on the day. The race was reasonably stressful with local boy Danick Vandale and I fighting it out. There was no separation between us all race. In the end I was able to snag the sprint and bring home the jersey! Unreal weekend on my Threshold.”
After Pete gave us a little extra motivation with his ride it was time for McNeely and I to head to the start line for the Elite Men race. For me the race did not go as well as I would have hoped and I didn’t have the legs. I rode as best I could and rolled in 12th. McNeely had a fantastic start to the race bridging to the front group after lap one and being active at the front for the majority of the race. In the end he was not able to hold the pace but amazing racing on such a demanding course with the best ‘crossers in Canada. Here is what Evan had to say about the weekend.
“After writing a series of midterms, I packed my bags and headed to Winnipeg for the 2nd year that Canadian Cross national championships have been located in Manitoba. With the hard work done, I was feeling subtly confident that I would have a shot at the podium; a placing that has eluded me in recent years. “Winterpeg” once again graced us with warm temperatures and clear skis on race day. I did not race as well as hoped. Sticking my nose in near the front early on, but unable to hold pace when it counted. Sometimes that is how the cookie crumbles. Still had an amazing weekend with my Norco Factory teammates and motivated for future adventures. Next season can’t come soon enough.”
-Evan McNeely (McSneaky)
The next day we had the Manitoba Gran Prix of Cyclocross where we had a solid contingent from the USA to race against. My legs showed up big time and I was racing a lot better than the day previous. Unfortunately a 4th row start prevented be from being at the sharp end of the race. The highlight of the weekend for me was racing with McNeely on the final two laps of the race and working together. McNeely saw a rider in front of us on the last lap and he looked back and said something, not sure what it was but it meant WE ARE going to catch this rider. We crushed it, took turns and caught him and then kept it rolling. Just good racing!
Overall it was a really good weekend of racing and time spent with friend. I am happy where I am at in my training and it got me really excited about racing. Another few months for me in Halifax and then I will be out in Victoria, BC for the winter training with a few of my Norco Factory Teammates.