25, December 2008
Greetings and happy holidays -
As I wrote once (or twice) before, the racing may be over, but the season lasts all year atmo. For
the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team, 2008 is pretty much done. What began in January with a
mild case of me having Post 'Cross Traumatic Stress Disorder soon turned in to a full fledged effort
to ready the sponsors, industry suppliers, and my team mates for racing once September arrived. It
has been a good long run for all of us, and our last time together was the natz in Kansas City almost
two weeks ago.
I mentioned in late November that the 2009 season will be different for the RS 'Cross Team. We're
very pleased that all of the 2008 sponsors and suppliers have committed to return. What becomes of
the roster as we know it remains to be seen. After what has arguably been our most successful season
of racing, the scorecard will be decidedly revised come autumn. And so it goes.
I asked some of the racers to pen some thoughts that reflect their season and career in red (now black)
and I'm very pleased to paste in these texts. Note: Will is on the road in Izegen, Belgium, and I hope to get
his thoughts included as soon as possible. Read on -
From Rotundo -
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all Team Richard Sachs sponsors that have supported me over
the past five years. I consider Team Richard Sachs my re-introduction to bike racing post-europe and
the times I have shared with the team will always hold a special place in my heart. This past season I
was fortunate enough to have my own Svelte Cycles on the jersey with a foot in the sponsorship support
pool. It makes me very proud to align my own company with another great brand and I hope in years to
come Svelte Cycles can remain a technical sponsor as every team needs color co-ordinating SRAM
Hoods...Hyman Roth always makes money for his partners.
So as I delve into the depths of my own cyclocross program I would also like to wish my current and former
teammates the best of luck and thank them for their undying support and camaraderie. Last and certainly
not least a big standing ovation for the man himself, thank you Richard Sachs.
From Issimo -
The 2008 cross season was another went-by-too-fast one with the Richard Sachs team. I had my share of
ups and downs, but find myself walking away with yet another mental cache of priceless moments. Some of
my favorite memories include the enormous Sucker Brook cupcakes… climbing up on that huge rock at Stage
Fort Park in Gloucester at the end of the weekend for the first time ever (ever!!!)… the Granogue/Wissahickon
weekend with the whole squad in attendance… presenting Richie with his ATMO SUPPORTER pit jacket…
running out of gas on I-70 en route to Louisville via Nashville on the Amy-Alie October Adventure road trip
(thank god for bicycles)… frantically cleaning the muddiest bikes you've ever seen in the pits at the Mercer
County USGP in New Jersey and racing Spinelli on foot through the pit to return his clean bike half a lap later…
the record-time road trips home from Jersey to Massachusetts…the miniature servings of french fries and the
spilled drinks…racing near my hometown on Thanksgiving weekend and having half a dozen cyclocross-newbie
family members in attendance for the spectacle…and of course, watching my teammates suffer and triumph in
countless races – Will winning the U23 race at the Louisville UGSP and cheering him through a nail-biting and
emotional victory in the collegiate race at Nationals, Justin taking home a hard-earned second place at Warwick
and a validating top-ten at Nationals, Richie's numerous silver medals, and of course Matt's silver medal in the
master's race at Nationals. All the weekends together, from coffee to twizzlers, have been incredible.
I'm still not sure what the 2009 season will look like for me. I know I need to put racing on the back burner for a
while. I really can't say now, in December, where the next few months will take me as I try to focus more on my
professional career and explore new hobbies other than bike racing – I haven't left myself much time to do that
in recent years! I'm looking forward to it all and am excited to see where I find myself next. I know I will miss this,
and whether my 2009 race calendar involves zero races or a dozen races, I know bike racing will always be there
for me when I'm ready to come back to it down the road. So for now, thank you everyone – teammates and supporters
and fans – it's been unforgettable.
From Pookums -
In June I went through a lot of life changes. I moved in with my girlfriend (now fiance), graduated with a Masters
in Expressive Therapy and moved from Boston to Westchester County NY. Moving to a new region also meant
leaving the group rides, the training loops, where to find that certain hill, best road for 3 minute intervals, riding
buddies, best trails to run in, etc. Fast forward to the end of October and my racing was not where I wanted to be.
I kept comparing myself to the past. Spinelli helped me realize you can't compare current seasons to past ones,
even though its tempting to do. Mid-season race form does not boil down to one preseason training session hit or
missed, we are also not static like. Finding optimal race form is a fluid act in motion. Because you were something
at one point, does not guarantee you will be that same something the next season. Ok, lesson learned.
In early November I began to be encouraged by efforts I could do in races. I also started digging around my racing
head game which needed some work. One day pitside, speaking to pookie about this he turned to me and said,
"look...cross is a sport, and you have to fight for position." That hit me like a bolt of thunder. I have been an athlete
all my life. I know what its like to go up for a rebound, challenge an opponent for the ball in the open field. I created
a feeling about cross that it was above sport, a celebration of lifestyle because its so cool, which was messing with
my competitive juju. That race my head repeatedly this mantra "cyclocross is a sport, you have to fight for position"
...and it worked. My motor was running, my head was in a competitive space and the racing was satisfying. That vibe
stayed all the way to my silver ride in the natz. I came close to the stars and bars for the 5th time, but fell short on a
hill climbing course that was tough for me. My disappointment turned to acceptance after hearing positive reactions
from the team. ALL of them were psyched. THAT blew me away.
What also blew me away was how we killed it at natz. Watching Will tear himself to pieces to win the collegiate natz,
Issimo's near top 20 ride, being able to be with Justin in the van after he got his outrageous 9th in the big dance. I was
humbled by the teams efforts, and that made me proud to be a part of them. The five of us developed such a flow and
great routine that superceded the venue, race, hotel or roadtrip. Its a closeness that will be tough to replicate as things
change next season. Personally, I am seriously toying with the idea of racing masters in the Verge and USGP series while
still racing elites from time to time. I like the idea of being "able to throw punches" as Richard Fries suggested to me, it
sounds appealing. Regardless, I am beyond thunderdome happy to be wearing the RS kit next season. I could never leave
Pookies devotion to all things fckuing team cross, the stories we create, the laughing, the family we became, our sponsors
motivation to help us achieve our goals and our team's visceral kismet that hopefully makes it worthwhile for everyone.
Thanks for these kind words, Justin, Amy, and Matt. Indeed, it has been a good long run atmo.
I'll have more RS 'Cross Team news in the next several days, and I plan to use these emails and blog
entries to keep all of us up to speed on Will "Just Du It" Dugan's second half of the season.
Take care -
Richard Sachs Cycles
No.9, North Main Street
Chester, CT 06412 USA
25, December 2008