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Robin Eckmann, road racer, shows cyclocross strength in Boulder Cyclocross Series opener

September 18, 2012

Robin Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)

[updated 9/22/2012]

Robin Eckmann uses cyclocross in the road off-season to stay fit, “so I don’t need to do the hard efforts by myself on the road,” he said. But that doesn’t mean he goes easy in a ‘cross race. Eckmann rides for the California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized team.

Robin Eckmann post race, Boulder Cyclocross Series race 1

He sat in the grass in Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park on Sunday, recovering from the Boulder Cyclocross Series opener. The late afternoon sun glanced off the twenty year-old’s shoulders.

Sixty minutes prior he began to pick his way from the back of over 40 competitors to reach the first chase group in the men’s open race. Ben Berden (Raleigh Clement) and Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport) led the race.

Eckmann said he attempted to bridge to the duo but their lead was too great. “So I tried to save up my energy a little bit,” he said. Back in the chase group, he assessed the eight or ten next strongest men in the race.

Tim Allen (Feedback Sports) and Robin Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)

At four laps to go Eckmann and Tim Allen (Feedback Sports) gained a gap on the chasers. They rode together for two laps until they got caught.

With the first two steps of the podium already spoken for, the last two laps became the race for third, the last chance of the day for a rider to raise his arms overhead. And about seven guys wanted it.

Spencer Powlison (Evol Elite Racing p/b Plains To Peaks) leads the chase group in the final laps; Eckmann is in third position.

“The third guy [Ken Benesh] was pretty strong,” said Eckmann, who finished fourth. “I was already pretty gassed just from riding to the front. I think it was a good effort for my first race…” Later Eckmann would say he was too spent to look back and see how close the guys were behind him. Brady Kappius (Clif Bar), who placed sixth in the race, remembered third to seventh place finishers sped over the line within about ten seconds of each other.

That “good effort” delivered Eckmann, who considers himself a road specialist and is the current Colorado State time trial champion, his best ‘cross result at an elite level since 2009 based on data from crossresults.com.

That fourth place also came three weeks after Eckmann crashed hard on his back and couldn’t ride for almost a week. “I could barely move off my sofa. I was just trying to make it to school and back and that was pretty much it for my day,” he said. Eckmann attends Front Range Community College where he studies business.

Many cyclists raced the Boulder event as a tune-up for CrossVegas where the ‘cross elite take each other on this Wednesday evening, September 19th. Eckmann will be there, ready to channel his hardest road effort over the grassy course under bright lights.

Sprint for second in the 2012 Boulder Roubaix, Sean Sullivan (Elbowz) & Robin Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) (l to r)

Boulder Cyclocross Series Race 1 Men’s Open Results

1  Ben Berden (Raleigh Clement)

2  Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport)

3  Ken Benesh (Feedback Sports)

4  Robin Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)

5  Tim Allen (Feedback Sports)

6  Brady Kappius (Clif Bar)

7  Spencer Powlison (Evol Elite Racing p/b Plains To Peaks)

8  Chris Case (Feedback Sports)

9  Jesse Goodrich (Juwi Solar)

10  John Klish (Feedback Sports)

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