After stopping by the show in Vegas, early Thursday morning, we said good by to Jimmy D and the NoTubes Crew and caught a flight to Madison, Wisconsin for the first US Grand Prix of Cyclocross.
One of the big changes this year is making the jump to disc brakes with the Ridley XFire Disc and the Stan’s NoTubes Iron Cross. I have to admit that even though we raced on the new bikes in Vegas I didn’t really notice the disc brakes at all. A lot of that had to do with the course, which is predominately flat with wide, grassy turns. So, not really a lot of braking going on. Wisconsin on the other hand has more elevation change and is a bit more technical in spots. I had a good result there last year on day two riding in the mud, so I was definitely hoping for some weather. Additionally, I was wanting the opportunity to really test out the new braking system in their natural element.
Although Mother Nature was trying to help me out, with moisture in the forecast and even a thunder storm that blew through on Saturday night, it turned out to be warm and breezy, and the course was dry all weekend in Madison. However, I was surprised with how noticeable the braking with the disc brakes were, even in the dry conditions. I felt like I could carry more speed into the corners by braking later, and the braking was more predictable. The TRP CX9’s that we used last season (and I still have on my training bike) work great, and are plenty strong, but the modulation of the disc brakes are so much smoother. The feel is less grabby and I think that transfers to the ground via more predictable traction at the tire.
I ended up 25th on Saturday after stacking it up, and loosing some valuable positions ,in one of the corners late in the race. On Sunday it seamed that my legs came around and I was able to pass more easily. I was able to hook up with midwest shredder, Mitchell Kersting and consistently move up into the top 20. Overall, I’m Happy with the weekend and ready to spend a little time at home. A big thanks to Jon H for allowing us to take over his house…again. See you in January, Jon.