19, November 2007
When I last reported the race results of the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team, I wrote, "I am
unable to recall any race, much less a weekend of UCI events, where the RS 'Cross Team made
such an impact, but we certainly did so in New Jersey atmo*. On Saturday, after Justin, Matt, and
Jon finished 2nd, 3rd, and 6th respectively, I made some comment like, "...well if we sold all the bikes
right now I'd consider it a perfectly successful season." So what happens on the following day? The
names change a bit, and Jon gets 2nd and Matt is 3rd again with Justin seconds behind at 5th."
Fast forward to this weekend. The team riders split duties with Justin flying to meet up with Jon
to do the UCI races in North Carolina, while Issimo and Pookums stayed north and were in
New Jersey for the second event in the USGP.
So we're standing around the venue on Saturday, and Amy gets this call from Jon, and excitement
breaks out. Justin gets the win and Jon is second. Two RS 'Cross Team cats make the top two
rungs on the podium. Absolutely effin too cool atmo. And like last week's races, the two switched
finishes on Sunday with Jon on top and Justin second. When I hear stuff like this, the first thing
I do is comb the internet for info and pics. I found this wonderful report on cyclingnews dot com
in which Justin says the following: "I dedicate this win to Richard Sachs who has supported me
in Cyclo-cross for the last four years and initiated my return to professional racing," said Spinelli.
"I came here to win and today it could have been either Jon or myself."
And in the Sunday race coverage, this appeared:
Although the seven riders were constantly attacking one another, no single rider was able to
break out of the group and gain a big enough lead to stay away. Hamblen and Spinelli had
planned to wear down the leaders by one towing their rivals, but the group was so strong that
they were still all together when they entered the final lap. Hamblen was clearly frustrated as
no one seemed to want to race but he was unable to break free from the group on his own. In
the final lap, Pendry was the first to fall off the pace, and the six remaining entered the sandpit
in single file. It was Spinelli and Hamblen that were the quickest back on their bikes and onto
the track with a small gap. With Carrington closing in on them they had no time to discuss who
would take the win, and so Spinelli gifted the race to his team-mate, Hamblen, since he had
won the previous day.
What a weekend of racing and camaraderie it was for the J-Boyz. I asked Justin for some
thoughts about it all, and he sent over this:
I love North Carolina. This past weekend was without a doubt the most fun I've had racing my
cyclocross bikes. Thanks to Hotwire and the Hamblen's I could not have had better travel and
lodging. When Jonny picked me up at the airport I felt like I was getting ready to go to some
sort of party or festivity not a bike race. The Hamblen's and I go way back and not for an
instance did I ever feel uncomfortable or out of my element... never missed a beat the entire
weekend thanks to Jonny and Alicia.
Like the report in cyclingnews.com said, I went down south to win, be it Jonny or myself or
best case scenario a split weekend with one of us winning each day. Well you just can't beat
selfless teamwork as we channeled the Frank and Mark McCormack of old and went 1,2 both
days. Lots of UCI points, quite a bit of cash but most importantly taking that top step onto the
The complete race reports from both days can be read here and here. Some pics of Justin
and Jon in action are included at no charge! My favorite? Here atmo.
Here in the Northeast, Trenton, New Jersey played host to the second round in the USGP, the
National class event sponsored by Crank Brothers. The race start lists looked like a who's who
of North American cyclocross. Perhaps only the Natz has a bigger field ofracers. On Saturday,
Pookie had a great race and finished mechanic's 18th (right ahead of Chris Horner), while Amy
came in 33rd (right ahead of Megan Elliot, Horner's squeeze). Was this planned? Insert laughter.
It must be noted that Amy elicited the largest roar of the crowd all weekend when she became
the first (mebbe the only...) woman on Saturday to ride through the entire sand pit. I was in the
mechanic's area while this was occurring, and the decibel level over in the sand pit carried through
the entire venue. I was about 100 yards away, and it was as if Havlicek stole the ball all over
again. Amy turned over some major wattage, and won the crowd's collective hearts as a result!
On Sunday, Matt once again finished 18th and Amy was 24th. There's decent race coverage
from both days here and here. And for the record, and in the "You don't see this very often"
department, here is what I looked like at mid-day on Saturday. Once I recovered, I looked a
tad better here. Spinelli and Hamblen were in North Carolina channeling the McCormacks, and
I was in Jersey channeling Sinatra.
For those of you who are image conscious, I loaded about 3 dozen pics onto the Flickr site I
keep for the 2007 team shots. Click here to view them. I also found some killer pics from this
weekend's events in New Jersey. These are the work of shooters-extraordinaire, Dennis Smith
and Michael Kirk. Have a look:
Remember: these images are the property of the two photgraphers. If you want
to mine them for commercial use, please go through the proper channels. Thanks.
Two more things -
I received a nice email from pal Martin Bruhn after the USGP weekend. The header was
"Congratulations On Many Fronts", and the text was:
the team kit
the style that your riders have embraced: focused success with heart!!
the team: justin and jon down below nc way
and matt: #18 finishes two days in a row 18th. uncanny.
happy thanksgiving to you and deb.
Martin is one of my oldest friends in the sport, and we raced together back in the 1970s. He and
his brother Michael were stalwarts on the Canadian National Road team, and also had pioneer
status in CYBC. For the record, and for history's sake, it was Martin's idea way back in the early
80s to take our little club and have me become a title sponsor. At first it sounded like a stretch and
a pipe dream rolled into one, but after some discussions in the off season coupled with Martin's
zeal and organizational skills, I came on board to help keep the club-slash-team as well oiled as I
could. Here is a very early picture of one of the first-ever Richard Sachs Team at a stage race in
New Hampshire. Click here. That's Martin 3rd from left, and the skinny kid in front of him is, er the
'Cross Sorcerer himself, Tom Stevens. There are many people who deserve credit and recognition
for keeping the team alive and fueled over the years, but Martin Bruhn was the first guy through the
door. Without his idea(s) back in the early 80s, who knows where any of us would be. Insert
classical music soundtrack now atmo.
Lastly, a word about Jonathan Page. Jon spent 3 seasons racing in Red and all of that seems
like so long ago. His last season on the team resulted in his first (of three) Elite level Stars and
Stripes jerseys. He's been a pro in Europe since 2003, and nailed a great result in the 2007
Worlds with a 2nd place, and that helped to get him his best-ever pro contract. Now the news
in the 'cross cycling world is that his boss - the team's owner - is riding him pretty hard in the
press about his lackluster results to date this season. You can read the latest here, and draw
your own conclusions. Some of JP's stateside pals feel he is getting unduly jobbed (no pun
intended) and want to spread the word that he deserves better treatment from management. I
encourage you to send words of support to email@example.com and let this hard
working 'crosser and father of two know that we're in his corner, and he shouldn't succumb to
the Steinbrenner-esque (atmo) tactics of the cat running Sunweb-Projob.
Have a nice Thanksgiving and thanks for reading.
*according to my opinion
Thank you for your interest and support.
The Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team is sponsored by RGM Watches,
Rex Chiu, Radix Group LLC, Ozell, Stankus Architects Associates, as
well as by Cane Creek, Crank Brothers, Rudy Project, Oval Concepts,
Challenge, VergeSport, Selle San Marco, JB Custom Paint, Nelly's Deli,
and The Wheatmarket
NATZ PICS (2006)
TEAM PICS (2006)
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RICHARD SACHS 'CROSS BLOG
19, November 2007