11, September 2008
Well this is the weekend that many of us live for. On Sunday, the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team
starts its 2008 season with a local event called The Amesbury Cross in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
The Issimo, Pookums, and myself will descend on the venue, just as we did in 2007, and try to pick
up where we left off as we said our farewells in a cold but sunny parking lot last January after a 26
hour drive home from the National Championships in Kansas City. While the team does stay in touch
all the time, some of us have not seen some of the others since that fateful week in the Midwest. All
connections will formally be reconnected over the next four months as the long weekends, road trips,
and comraderie once again become part of the routine for all of us. Wish us luck!
This particular entry will be more heavily graphic than usual because I want to present some information
before it goes live. Firstly, I have a new team-ish ad that will run in the next issue of Cyclocross Magazine.
It's a beautiful picture taken by Jeff Weir (see previous blog entry) and turned into an art file courtesy of
'zine publisher, Andrew Yee.
Secondly, it's my annual pleasure to thank the good folks at Vergesport who keep us warm,
dry, well dressed, and in high-style every year going back at least since the mid '90s. Here's an
advance look at the new kit, shown here as Entropa Jackets and longsleeve skinsuits. I don't think
there's a better dressed equipe on the parcours. These garments are the best. Thanks Mike, Kurt,
Mariola, Jacques, and to all of the folks at the New Windsor, New York office.
This season also marks the first-ever that the RS 'Cross Team has a bonafide drive-train sponsor.
All of us in black kits and on red bicycles have made the leap to the Sram Corporation of Chicago,
Illinois. For 2008, we are racing on the latest iteration of double-tap technology and are equipped
to the nines with the unrivaled Rival groups. Here's an image that shows how beautiful these parts
I have personally been riding and racing on Sram Red and Force since February, and three of my
team mates have been Sram devotees for at least two seasons. But alas, finally all of us are going
to be on matching parts groups as a result of this new liasion with Sram. Thanks Ed, Alex, Nick,
and Robert. We promise to race hard, get you good and useful beta testing info, and give good
RS 'Cross Team juju to your find brand.
For 2009 the team also has a new brake sponsor in the name of Ciamillo Components, best known
as the company that designed the Zero Gravity calipers that folks in the road market know so well.
We will be racing prototypes of a soon-to-be-produced cantilever brake set whose working title is
Gravity 'Cross. Have a look:
We're extremely psyched to be among the first in the 'cross world to be installing, using, testing,
and being seen on these high-tech stoppers. As the weekends pass I'll be sure to make note of
how these bad boyz work for us. Thanks Christian and Brian. We'll race as hard as we can for
you, and slow down only enough to help get some press and write some orders!
And before I sign off, I want to add another personal note here, this time from Will Dugan. Will
has been on my radar for a few seasons, and I'm pleased that in 2008 we are finally getting to
race together, Will has been a national class Junior racer and U23 competitor. Without question,
he is World's Team material and can podium at the Natz. Better yet, he's a sweet kid, a humble
person, a good student at UVM in Burlington, Vermont, and - if we have our way - will soon be
speaking in acronyms, drinking coffee through a straw, have a Twizzlers habit, and loving the
weekends with the rest of us. Will is still racing road for CCB International and did well at last
week's Tour of Quebec. (Please also see the prior blog entry for more on Will's recent racing
success). I asked Will to introduce himself in 25,000 words or less, and here is what he wrote:
After weeks of being berated by the man himself about this, I decided to use a classmate’s
internet connection to get this up faster than the Mach 5 can do a quarter mile. How has
everyone’s year been? I raced a few collegiate races after some very patchy training and
posted a handful of top 5’s, but then put the bike back down to solve real-life problems, you
know, those necessities like food and a roof we have to deal with from time to time. I was
starving after finals and desperately cleaning an apartment I shared with 3 other messy
UVM cyclists by myself as they had all parted ways (one for Alaska, one for Collegiate
Nationals, the other for, dare I say…home to Jersey…). I checked out of Redstone Apartments
after days of scrubbing black tire marks off the walls (how did they get on the ceiling?) and
vacuuming their rooms and cleaning out the fridge…well you get the gist. I stayed at a friend’s
still starving without money and without a job. I looked at 12 apartments in 4 days. I even
remember counting totals of sub-1,000 calorie days as I searched for a new apartment in
Burlingtron, City of the Future (Burlington, VT). After my stomach hurting more than the two
cavities I had filled without Anesthetics today and losing a few pounds (I still squeezed a smile
because of it), I took up a job at North Star Sports, sold some Trek 7100 hybrids and had a
meal. Growing up is delicious.
Pooch told me that if I didn’t start racing he would take back my frame. I rode for 6 days and
entered Housatonic Hills RR where I worked hard for a CCB/Volkswagen teammate and finished
11th. I was happy. The season has been very good. I figured out how to balance training with
work: it consisted of either Tuesday or Wednesday off completely from selling bikes and a hard,
4-7 hr ride was substituted. Whichever day was not off would be a half day at work and I would try
to also ride hard for another 2-3 hrs. I didn’t really ride any other days of the week. I think I was
honestly so tired after those two rides that I needed 2 days off before racing on the weekends.
This was new for me as I had been used to 17-20+hr weeks of training the past two years. So
Cyclocross is upon us. I have been excited to race with Richard for a few years and here I am.
I’m looking forward to a full season of UCI’s and 17 credits at school as a senior. I thought I
might not be able to imagine anything more fun than hanging out with teammate and bike
racer extraordinaire Amos Brumble at an Indian Restaurant after a stage in the Green Mtn.
Stage Race, but I just might be in for it. I have heard unbelievable stories about Hamblen at
a certain Cox Charities Criterium and Matt Kraus couldn’t be more genuine and I want to know
about his Pookie nickname and Alie Kenzer is a delight as is Amy Wallace both of whom I
know from previous seasons very well and Justin thinks he’s some sort of rockstar or something,
but maybe he’ll get over it…or maybe not because Tim Johnson doesn’t know what’s coming.
There is a saying for someone not knowing what’s coming, and I’ll tell it once. I hope something
magical happens this fall. The saying is “Sonic Boom.”
Thanks for this, Will. We'll see you in roughly two weeks at the UCI events in Williston, Vermont.
That's all I have for now. I suppose the next update will include race results! Finger's crossed for
a season of podium places, great memories, and giving good brand atmo*.
Richard Sachs Cycles
No.9, North Main Street
Chester, CT 06412 USA
*according to my opinion