The Latest

Ellison Park Review

CX is here!


Me presenting Drew with a good luck turkey feather before Saturday race

The Cyclocross Network Racing team presented by Medical ReMarketing Group kicked off the first race on the national calendar this past weekend in Rochester.



Aside form the team being in Rochester to race I had another responsibility of meeting up with four of the Australian national riders who were in the U.S. To race the Vegas World Cup and thought they would stop by Rochester to get in another U.S. Race while they were here. On their way to Vegas they were stopping in Michigan for a week for the Alma GP and some relaxation.


We had no actual meet up plan other than they could just hunt down our team tent. However as I pulled up in my Sprinter van Friday evening, parked and started to unload equipment I was hearing these voices with Australian accents. Looking around I saw the backs of several riders sitting in the shade under a tree and low and behold it was the Focus team resting in the exact spot we pulled into.


Me, Jack Hoogan, Tom Chapman, Chris Aitken.


There was some team area set up and immediately our young riders Nicholas Petrov and Alex Morton wanted to go out and learn how to ride the Belgian steps that the Rochester course is so famous for.


Day 1


Saturday was the day of the C1 racing and it had brought almost all of the big names in U.S. Cyclocross. The Cannondale team was there is full force showing off their beautiful new team tents. American Classic with their impressive trailer and motor home were set up across from us as was Neon Velo.


Our racing day began with Nicholas Petrov (age 12) racing up in the 15-18 year old group. It was a hard fought race in brutal conditions with the heat beginning to rise even by the 10am start time. Nicholas pushed hard and gave everything he had. He pulled away from the group chasing Alex McCormack but couldn’t get there and came in second in front of Magnus Schefield and Harrison White.


NickZilla in his baggies


Next up for our team was the phenom Alex Morton. Alex is 13 and was racing Cat 3. No that’s not a typo. In preparation for their bigger blunder of the day by misinterpreting the new UCI feed rule; the officials thought they would get their smaller blunders out of the way first. The start line official told all the riders of the two waves that they were going to start together in one group. After bunching them all together he then decided that this was NOT how they were supposed to start and with less than 2 minutes to the start tried to separate them. Tiny four foot tall Alex got lost in that shuffle and didn’t hear that they had RE-changed the starting group and so got left in the front masters 55+ group when the whistle went off.




After 2 laps of riding in confusion the officials decided to hold Alex for the minute difference in the starting times so that he would be back in line with the group he was supposed to be in. This is of course by no means completely fair. First off he rode 2 slow laps because of their confusion. Second after stopping for a minute in the heat and then trying to re-start he was not going to be in the right frame of mind or physically at the same point as all the rest of the Cat 3 field. He did get going again and was able to hold on for a second place finish.


Next up after a break in the day for us was Drew “Dizzle” Dillman riding in the elite race. Drew had a second line call up and positioned himself behind Jonathan Page who was on the front row. Normally this would have been a great decision, however JP slipped his pedal really bad at the start and drew had to check up before rolling out, putting him in the back third of the field. Drew rode like a man on a mission this day though and started reeling riders in. One of his main focuses was to defend his U23 podium at this race that he won last year. As he worked his way through the field ( including a nice 3 rider pass as he went by the pits) he set his sights on his good friend Curtis White who was at that point the leading U23 rider in the race. Drew managed to catch Curtis after 2 untimely mechanicals (flat and what appeared to be a hub issue) and as riders started to drop off due to the heat Drew was able to put pressure on Curtis and then make a pass. Curtis stayed with Drew for a short time but then had to drop off.


The battle up the course continued and Drew was finally able to move up to eighth position overall and winning the U23 by the end of the race, getting a nice top ten finish and some fine UCI C1 points.










Day 2

As day 2 loomed it’s head many people were still discussing the feed/no feed rule with mass confusion. There had been some clarification via twitter by Helen Wyman over night that the officials had completely gotten the rule change wrong and that water bottles are absolutely allowed on pit bikes.

We made the decision to again keep our riders out of the sun as much as possible using umbrellas and to have them ride with an ice filled nylon on their back to keep as cool as possible.


NIck getting the chill!!

With the identical schedule as the day before our first rider was Nicholas Petrov who this time rode away from the 15-18 age group and then proceeded to ride through the 55+ group that started a minute ahead and win the overall as well.


Next up Alex Morton was started with the correct group today and managed to get another 2nd place in the Cat 3 field.

Our final race of the day was again Drew Dillman racing elite. This race blew up from the start with Allen Krughoff pushing a tough early pace. It also saw Curtis White and Drew again battling for the top U23 spot but this time third place overall was on the line too as these two were much closer to the front. Drew finally got the upper hand late in the race and held off a late surge by Kerry Werner to get third and his second UCI podium ever.











All in all despite the officials making it a very confusing race and oppressive heat it was one for the record books for the Cyclocross Network racing team. Six races and six podiums made for a great start to the 2015-16 season!!

I’ll see you all in Vegas! The team will see you all in Providence!