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Working cross racers: courageous, crazy, or ?

October 19, 2012

Lara Kroepsch (Boo Bicycles) after USGP day 2, Smartwool Cup: “Nothing like working full time and racing with the pros on the weekend.”

During an interview on day 2 of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross Smartwool Cup, Jeremy Powers attributed his early season dominance to increased focus, dedicating more of his energy to the bike. This means, for example, not staying out late at a friend’s birthday party.

This concept of focus comes up again and again as a factor in bike racing success, no matter the discipline. Nathan Haas said in August that one of the biggest lessons he’s taken away from his neo-pro year with Garmin-Sharp is what it means to be “professional.” For him this equates to making his life all about the bike. He gave the example of not going out to dinner when what he really needs to do is rest.

At many events, amateur bike racers who work up to or more than full time compete elbow-to-elbow with professionals who can focus solely on becoming better athletes — faster, stronger. Of course lots of professionals hold other jobs to make ends meet. Like Allen Krughoff (Raleigh-Clement), who is also a professional photographer, they must balance the demands of work for money and work for love. Likely they feel when they’re doing one they ought to be spending more time on the other.

Courageous or crazy? Why do the working amateur racers show up, almost always, to be beaten?

A. It’s part of who they are, to compete.

B. To be the best they can be while racing with the best.

C. The satisfaction of possessing enough fitness to race with the pros, even while working 40 hours a week.

D. Because it’s a taste of the dream.

E. ??

From → Cyclocross

  1. A very good question. – I am honored to be given the opportunity to line up with the best in the sport, with the dream of one day being one of them.

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