ZippCast with CyclocrossWorld's Stu Thorne
Stu Thorne, director of the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com Team, has been at this thing called cyclocross since 1988. Check out our new ZippCast interview with this veteran of the U.S. scene as he covers topics including rising star Kaitie Antonneau, cyclocross tech and the upcoming world championships in Louisville, Ky.
Cyclocross in Europe vs. United States
“The courses themselves are a lot more difficult, I would say. There’s always an element in them sort of making the rider think twice about the lines that they take, or maybe there’s a huge drop -- we’re going to go down this crazy slop and there’s a right hand turn at the bottom! It puts everybody on the edge a little bit.
"We don’t typically have that (in the United States) because we have to have a course that takes care of multiple categories over the course of a weekend. … Over there it’s a romp through a field. They just put some stakes out. The mud tends to be a little heavier. There’s more grass. There’s not a manicured-cut-park-like grass -- it’s 6 inches of hay they just leave and put the course out there. … The competition is much deeper. You really have to fight for your line. In the U.S. there’s a little more graciousness, if you will. Over there you have to go for that line and hold your line and don’t give it up.”
Zipp 303 Firecrest as go-to wheel for cyclocross
“They’ve held up really well… Having that wider-profile rim really helps with the ride quality and flat protection…. And (they’re) lightweight. When you have a cross bike and the transitions between corners are pretty constant, you’re flipping to the left and to the right. Then you’re accelerating out of every turn. Having a light set of wheels is huge. It makes all the difference in the world. On top of that when you throw a little bit of mud on your bike and you have to run up a hill with it, if you can have the lightest equipment possible it makes it much easier to shoulder that bike.”
Service Course SL bars, stems seatposts
“They just have a lot of options available… We’ve never had any issues with bars, stem and seatpost. It’s been pretty amazing. We just bolt that stuff up and we don’t ever think twice about it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world just to put stuff on your bike and just go ride. It’s obviously super critical to the riders, not to think about anything else except riding and turning the throttle.”
Describes his riders in as few words as possible
Tim Johnson – Determination
Ryan Trebon – Raw power
Jamey Driscoll – Poised for great things
Kaitie Antonneau – She’s got her act together
Photo by Cyclocrossphoto