Race Report: North Carolina Cyclocross Grand Prix

Folks here at our HQ love racing cyclocross, and the 2 days of the UCI North Carolina Grand Prix in Hendersonville are definitely a highlight of their racing calendar. One of our bike buyers, Ben, decided to step up to the big leagues and test his skills at this UCI Elite event, so we thought a Q&A was in order about his weekend (and cyclocross in general). For more highlights and interviews from the race, check out Cycling Dirt  (a great source for cyclocross coverage in general). Here are their highlights from the Day One Men’s Race at the NCCGP.

Why do you race cyclocross?

I race ‘cross because it’s just flat out fun! People are always there to cheer, there is always plenty of beer and food at races, and the attitude is more layed back than a Pro 1/2 road race… plus it’s not 3 hours long like a Cat 1 mountain bike race!

How long have you been racing?

I have been racing CX for 4 years, but racing bikes for almost 20!

What do you ride?

I race on a Fuji Altamira CX Carbon with full SRAM Red components and a Reynolds Carbon 32 wheelset.

So who were the big guns in the race?

Starters included Belgian ‘cross star Ben Berden (kickin arse in the USA right now), ‘cross Zen master Adam Myerson, and regional stars like Travis Livermon, Jake Wells, and Ryan Knapp.

What was it like racing a UCI elite cyclocross race? How was it different than local ‘cross races?

It was a whole different level of fast, there was nowhere to hide and the pace never let up. It was flat out with sharp elbows into the first 3 turns and then on the gas until the race ended – it was amazing seeing someone like Berden drop the field.

What was your worst day racing ‘cross?

Worst day racing ‘cross was more of a training day. I was doing a hard interval and washed out and snapped my fibula… it was a rough ride home.

What was your best day racing ‘cross?

It was a total mud fest 2 years ago in Fayetteville during a January winter series race. I ended up only getting second but you couldn’t see an inch of my kit after the race was done, it was awesome!

Best hand-up during a race?

Probably the Merry Crossmas beer handup in last years Merry Crossmas Elite race – it was Foothills bottomless pints!

Favorite beer?

Right now, Left Hand Milk Stout… that could change any day though.

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