7, January 2008

Greetings -

"The racing may end but the season never does."

Wtf!! Did I really say that? Okay, I am reconciling the fact that I haven't
cleaned my 'cross bicycle since the Natz, and the routine emails I trade with
my pals on the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team are down to a few per
week (and even all of those don't get answered in real time), and I am back
on my road bicycle daily - on pavement, and doing loops that I haven't done
since late last winter. I guess the closure thing is setting in. Data point: the
season never ends. Repeat: the season never ends. Keeping it all in perspective
is the only way I will be able to deal with er - the off season. Yeah I miss my
pals, and I suppose that all the team 'cross bicycles are prolly packed away
in garages all over New England and in Winston Salem. So watcha' gonna do?

While I am sitting here banging on the old Dell, I'll add a note or three before
I start writing about the team. Perhaps the most newsworthy of all news is
that the team blog has been picked as one of VeloNews' online site's Blog of
the Day. For me, the team, and the sponsors this is a huge vote of confidence
and it legitimizes our efforts and says that the world outside our window has
taken notice. That last part was a blatant effort by me to tie in some 90s trivia
from one of my fav 90s singers, Tanita Tikaram. Click here and groove to
the song. Tanita rocked my world until the Y2K thing atmo*. What a cool song
huh, but she's now relegated to the Where Are They Now bin. Meanwhile,
in plain site, I'll paste the link-ee-poo (in large, bold text) to the VN article:

I could just plotz! But rather than plotz, I'm also pleased to make note that we
have a new industry supplier coming on board for 2009. Wippermann can
now lay claim to being the official chain of the RS 'Cross Team. Life is good
atmo. It's also good because pal and pic shooter Michael Kirk added the missing
images from the USGP in Trenton to his already voluminous site dedicated
to all things Team Red (or is that Noir?). Click here for nearly 200 killer pics
of us from the past season or so. Mr. DeMille I am ready for my close-up...

The main reason I am posting this evening is to paste in texts written by
several of my team mates. I would like to think that it's a tradition - and a
form of closure - that I ask each rider to say a few words about their
season. There is no list of necessary points I ask them to cover. I just want
to know what they think and feel, and it's important for me to share the
words with our family, other friends, team sponsors, and the legions of folks
who follow cyclocross and the travails of the RS 'Cross Team (that was yet
another excuse to use travails in a sentence...). The following entries are
from Dave Genest, Justin Spinelli, and Matt Pookums Kraus.

From Dave -
Well, where should I start? I didn't race much this season...but I was fit and
had fun training. I did, however, get to race with the team at the Gloucester
venue. It was a fine day and the team gave the large contingent of fans a
bit of a peak at their future with some solid results. I read with proud
amazement throughout the rest of the season as Richard led the team to
some of our best results since we formed thes quad some 15 years past.
Richard runs the team based on maintaining a high level of style and
having fun. No one is stressed to get results. No one is forced to do more
than they desire. And miraculously...in the final judgment...this unique
management style consistently produces a good return for his sponsors'
investments and lots of podium appearances.Righteous.I'm proud to be part
of the group. More to the point...I'm proud to be associated with the single
most recognized, and revered brand in cyclo-cross...Richard Sachs.
Dave Genest

From Justin -
I don't know why I race cross. Every year I do a long road season filled with
dull car rides, flights, airport trips, strange accommodations, unusual
surroundings... all that on top of racing as hard as I can and then
some.There have been several occassions even this past year when I told
myself, "That's it. No more cross. This is getting to be too much. I am too
tired". Then every year come October, I find myself flying around some
field with dirt flinging off my studded tires and being like... "this is so cool."

So yeah. It's a love hate relationship. I've been a Pro on the road since
2000. I've raced the Giro D"Italia, World Road Championships,
GiroLombardia, Classica San Sebastian and countless other European
races that have been in existence since World War II. Since returning home
to America I have raced all the big Domestic races save Tour of
California and Tour de Georgia (which I will do this year). So having said
that why do I get goosebumps when I line up for the North Carolina GP of
Cyclocross (with all due respect to the NCGP... cool race)? Maybe it's
because it's the whole experience of doing these cross races. It doesn't' get
much better that hanging out and racing with the Hamblen's and coming in
1-2 both days... that was rad. Fetty was there too so, Bonus.

Then there was Nats. Bit by bit, I clawed to some semblance of form by
November and finally started racking up CI points. Come December
following a few good weekends I landed myself enough of these nuisance
technicality points to find myself on the second row start grid at National
Championships in Kansas ( P.S. KANSAS! WT is that!). The gun goes off, I
am in the top ten, some over-anxious idiot crashes into me, I go off the
course, my race is over before it really begins. Oh yeah, we drove a van to
Kansas from Connecticut... that was a total of 48 hours of van time folks for
effectively 3 minutes of racing. I must be nuts.

I'm never racing cross again. Oh wait. Yeah I am.

See you next year and Thank You for your support.

From Pookums -
If I picked one thing to represent this team, it would be a something I heard a
gazillion times this season; the sound of a hotel room door bouncing off the
deadbolt latch.

The team would always stay in hotel suites with our doors propped open by
a deadbolt latch until sleep time. We always dropped into each others rooms
for this or that, and each time the door closed on the latch it would make four
progressively softer thuds. Doors were always making thuds. By the end of the
season I laughed each time this happened, “DUT Dut Dut dut.” Yeah you might
say, that’s awfully nice Matt, a friggin deadbolt?… and you would have a good
point. But that sound brought home the family aspect of this team, the familiar
chaos of how we collectively worked as a group.

It was only near the end of the season, after many weekends of road tripping did
I realize the essence of this team IMHO. Humor me, take a step back and consider
all the people you know who get a twinkle in their eye when cross is mentioned. Now
take a moment and imagine why you love cross. It’s a wonderfully abstract thought.
Without trying to, this family - team - club finds a way to concretes that thought. We
embody something positive about cross and are the twinkle atmo. I hope all the sponsors
and supporters of our team feel this like we do, that’s important to all of us.

Expectations play a funny part of being an athlete, too much is never enough.
This season I had more than a few good moments, a couple of exceptional efforts,
a lot of decent results, but no personal racing magic. What made this season magical
was the type of unconditional support, outright freak in enthusiasm for the sport and
the feeling of kismet. I was filled with laughs, love and smiles. We build memories,
moments of time where the inner smile outshines the outer one. That alongside the
racing, best looking kits on the circuit, hot glasses, dependable components, tires,
wheels and the frames…and its hard not to feel good to be a part of the RS Team
movement. Saying I cant wait for the 08 season goes without question, it’s what we do.

Till the deadbolts do their thing, and we do ours...
DUT Dut Dut dut.

Here's the deal: Dave is a longtime pal and team mate whose idea it initially
was to start the RS 'Cross Team. We are all personally indebted to him in
many ways for making these past 15 years such a great ride. Justin has
ridden 'cross with us since 1997, has raced around the world since, and still
graces us with his presence and friendship each fall. And Pookums and I
have known each other for 3 short years, but we joke that we had each
other at hello. It's not a joke though. While I teased him with team lore and
what-ifs for 2 seasons, 2007 was the year that we finally were able to make
it happen. And when it happens here, it's for life atmo. All in all, each of us
on the team is part of a perfect circle.

Thanks to Dave, Justin, and Matt for sharing some words. In a week or so I
will follow up with musings from Alie, Amy, Jon, and Brian.

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)
TEAM PICS (2005)

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