26, June 2006

Greetings -

I hope I am not boring you or monopolizing your time with these rider bios, because here is another entry. I first met Jonathan Hamblen on the way down the the 'cross natz in Baltimore. A group of RS riders descended upon Chester, we loaded up on food from our sponsor, The Wheatmarket, and off we (8 of us?) went in pal Dave's RS Team van. In case there is an ounce of doubt, here is the culprit:
Living large, eh! But, alas, I digress. Some 6-7 years later, Jon is the husband of RS stalwart, Alicia Genest, and son-in-law of Dave. Who needs internet dating and chat rooms! (That's a rhetorical question). In Jon's words, some text about himself:

I first caught hold of cyclocross way back in 1990, just after I started racing road and mountain bikes. There was some mention of it in a book I read about training for bicycle racing (note; it was also the same year I first read about Richard Sachsin Bicycle Guide magazine). I searched for more information on the discipline but didn't find much other than New England race reports in VeloNews. A few years later, Erik Saunders introduced me to Simon Burney's book, Cyclo-Cross Training & Technique. I entered a few small races in Maryland and Virginia and had fun, but it wasn't until 1998 that i actually did a real 'cross race in New England (the mountain bike style 'cross races we had in the Mid-Atlantic back in the early '90s were few and far between). Spurred on by my Wheelworks/Cannondaleteammates, I raced the FRANK-N-HORST race in Keene, New Hampshire, and I, er, sucked!! The leaders, Matt Svatek and Rob Hult, nearly lapped me.

At first, I hated cyclocross; there was too much technique involved and I just wanted to power ride the courses and not think about every little movement I made getting aroundoff camber turns or dismounting the bike. I did only three or four races between 1998 and 2000 and concentrated more on my professional road career, thus avoiding thefrustration of cyclocross!

Early in 2001 my team fell through and I ended up riding again with my friends on the Wheelworks/Cannondale team. In the Fall/Winter of 2001 I fell in love with 'crossracing. My teammates Don Mills and Matt Svatek helped me tremendously with tipson technique and tire pressure and Jon Page gave me goals and direction. I was lucky enough to travel with Page and the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team in Dave Genest's van to the National Championships in Maryland. Not only was it my first experience with Team Red it was also the first time I'd meet my future wife, Alicia Genest.

Since that race in Baltimore five years ago, cyclocross has become my favoriteform of racing. I'm still not great at it but I love driving my bike on those tricky coursesnow (huge thanks to my coach Tim Johnson). I've been waiting sixteen years to ridea Richard Sachs bike and now i get to do it on Richard's team, in my favorite discipline, and with my wife. It can't get any better.

Jon is barely 30 years old and that is prime time for a 'cross racer. His
modest demeanor belies his tenacity and aggressiveness once the gun
sounds. His small-ish stature is no indication of the power that he can
put out and maintain. Through these past few seasons, Jon was one of
the few pure roadies that rode at the front of UCI 'cross races along with
the so-called pros, all of whom were getting the better call-ups to the line.

For the record, Jon won eleven 'cross races in 2005, both North Carolina
Cyclocross Series, and won or was top 3 in at least 4 other UCI 'cross events
last autumn. In 1998,he was VeloNews Amateur Rider of the Year, and his
recent road results at the National Championships include a 2nd, a 3rd,
and a 4th in the Elite Men's division. Jon has also raced professionally for
Richbrau, Team Navigators, Team West Virginia, and Nerac/Outdoorlights.com.

Cyclocross is now Jon's new best friend, and the Richard Sachs 'Cross Team
is very, VERY lucky to have a rider with his potential, one whom we can also
call a friend and/or in-law, among us for the 2006 season. I predict Jon
Hamblen will highly placed in domestic UCI 'Cross points rankings, and
I also see him as Stars and Stripes jersey material in the 30+ Master
National Championships.

Thanks for reading!
Thank you for your interest and support.
The Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team is sponsored by
RGM Watches and Rex Chiu as well as by Cane Creek,
Crank Brothers, Rudy Project, Oval Concepts, Challenge
Tires, VergeSport, Selle San Marco, JB Custom Paint,
PacentiCycle Design, The Wheatmarket, and Nelly's Deli.

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