Delightful is such a purple word atmo. The members of the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society might use
it to describe an afternoon in July or the cucumber sandwiches served at a recent fundraiser. And now I, e-RICHIE, choose
to invoke it too. This past weekend I had an absolutely delightful time with the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team. We were
in Brandywine Valley racing at the Grenogue Estate in Delaware. The Grenogue 'Cross weekend has been the highlight of
my season for many years going back to the Monkey Hill days, and it's a promotion of DCCD, Marc Vettori, Tom McDaniels,
and many, many of their pals, all of whom make it one of the best run events on the calendar.
There has been a lapse in my electronic broadcasts these past couple of weeks but this weekend I have found my muse. It
all began where it ended, too. The lot of us were the guests of the Roat family. Rich Roat owns House Industries, one of the
RS 'Cross Team sponsors. They are based in Yorklyn, Delaware and the race venue is with ten miles of the office. Rich and
his family hosted us for the weekend and made Deb, Buddy, Matt, Joshua, and me comfortable beyond measure. Racing, but
especially the road trips, comes with a high degree of stress. We're all there to turn ourselves inside for a good ride and finish
on or near the podium. The hospitality and warmth extended to us for the three days made it a bit easier for the team to race
hard and leave nothing of ourselves on the course each day. I haven't been updating the results in real time, but all of us have
been landing in the top ten in all races since our 2010 baptism up in Williston some five weeks ago. At some point I'll compile
a bar graph or similar to show all how we've done each weekend. For now I'll just say that the team is racing very well, is highly
motivated, and the riders have been excellent ambassadors for all things RS 'Cross Team atmo.
The picture mining I do after each event has long since reached cottage industry proportion, and 2010 is no different. Most of the
images that I shoot end up on my Flickr page in this gallery. All the shots there are loaded oldest to newest, so scroll to the end
of the page(s) if you want to see only the recent stuff. For other race day pictures that I find (or that find me, as the case may be)
are in the form of links only. For instance, MAC pals Anthony Skorochod, Dennis Smith, and Joe Mallis were in attendance this
past weekend and the following represents their efforts atmo:
Anthony's RS 'Cross Team page on Cycling Captured Dot Com
Dennis Smith 1
Dennis Smith 2
Dennis Smith 3
Dennis Smith 4
After the Sunday race, I asked each of the riders to reflect on their season to date, while focusing on the recent weekend. What
follows are the texts from Pookums and Josh, but first a note about pal Justin Spinelli. Lil' Justy has spent more time racing on the
RS 'Cross Team than any other single person (so far...), going back to the late '90s when his breakout season in 1998 (or near to
it) saw him get a second place in the U23 event at the National Championships. Since that time, LJ has moved to Europe, turned
pro on the road, come home to race full time here, retire, come back, retire, and come back once again for this 'cross season. In
the times he was "retired", Justin still raced at a more local level and never lost a step or his drive to excel in any event in which he
pinned on a number. The goal this season was to ramp up his results to a point that he'd get a World's Team selection this or next
year. Unfortunately, LJ hit the deck hard three weeks ago at Gloucester and it looked like he'd be sidelined for a good long while. Out
on a recovery ride on just seven short days ago, a state vehicle turned onto the road and into his path, sending Justin to the ground,
and then into an ambulance to the hospital. The little shaver is kinda' sorta' banged up and I'd fully understand if he started shopping
for a hammock or a set of golf clubs. Justin vows to race as soon as possible, but that could leave little room to achieve his initial
goal for this year. We all wish him the best and I am sure that if he does race again soon, it will be to win rather than merely to ride.
That's how Lil' Justy rolls atmo. PS Justin's business, Luxe Wheelworks, is one our sponsors, and was written up just this very day.
Read a superb article about him here.
This is from Justin -
It is with regret to inform the supporters and fans of the RS 'Cross Team that I've recently suffered two substantial accidents within the
span of 6 days starting with my first lap crash at Gloucester and culminating with an incident that following Friday on a training ride. I
hope to rejoin the squad in good health soon and contribute to its effort out on the race course. Thank you for your continued support.
This is from Matt -
When one expects to podium, does getting 8th and 6th have any significance?
Its like one of those stupid when a tree falls in the woods questions...
Granogue has always been one of the classiest venues and demanding courses with lots of vertical. Wet or dry, its a
course that can beat you up. I've had some memorable moments and this weekend, despite a mediocre looking result
and a piss poor staging number, was one of them. Its been a long time since I have lined up at the back of a field with
70 riders, cant remember the last time actually. Since I had no MAC puntos, to the back it was! I was not pissed about
this, even though on Sunday TLD recommended I be a diva and create a scene to get better staging. Ha yeah, that's me
alright. Starting in the back was a very different and good learning experience. I was more relaxed on the grid than I can
ever remember [self take note V1]. After the whistle, I was able to count to 3 before even clipping in, then meandered in
the field for nearly a minute before having the green space to put out some horsepower. Not having the opportunity to red-line
myself early left me plenty more to work with later in the race [self take note V2]. Somehow on both days by the end of the
second lap I was in the top 12. I heard this news from the RS in the pit and was surprised both times! I had fun playing the
bike race game picking my way through the pack around corners, sneaky inside lines and anywhere I could create daylight.
One time I was passing a group of 3 and had to veer into the brush praying out loud, "no stumps, no stumps". Sunday I had
my best effort all season and got to zoom zoom zoom all day with endless throttle and quick recovery. For the first time in
2010 I did not have a few uncomfortable 2-3 laps during the middle of the race [good sign note to self V3]. Even the announcer
keyed on my efforts and proclaimed I might have been the fastest guy in the race. My fit on my machine was so dialed, I had
one of those zen symbiotic me bike ground fusion experiences. No we're not lighting incense here, but I'm trying to say all is
where it needs to be, including me. This weekend marked a line in the sand, where I know my fitness is ready to go. It did not
happen last season until early November. I had one of the better August and early Sept training modes, so that had to help. I
also have the best pit in the business in RS and TLD, who know how to be helpful. My point, I know I was putting out a podium -
if not winning - effort on both days. Yeah its a shame a poor staging stops that from being reality but more importantly now that
it's there, it will be there in the next weekends. I feel like Babe Ruth calling out right field as he steps up...but, its podium time!...
which tastes great more than less filling. Speaking of tasting great, big thanks to Rich and family from sponsor House Industries
for their Saturday night feast. Sharon and Rich made a SPREAD and opened up their home to us. Awesome weekend and good times.
PS: One quick plug if anyone out there is in the twitterverse, you can follow me along this season at http://twitter.com/krausmattic
This is from Josh -
The reasons I love Delaware top 10 list (soon to be seen on Letterman):
10 - sunny and 70 in mid October
9 - piles of prosciutto and its cousins
8 - incredibly fresh pasta and meatballs (x2)
7 - fresh fruit tarts
6 - waffles with real maple syrup
5 - home made pumpkin muffins
4 - lots of cheeses i can't pronounce the names of
3 - sleeping 15 minutes from a race venue
2 - the raddest sweater i now own
1 - Rich Roat of House Industries and his lovely wife Sharon hosting us for the Granogue Cyclocross race
And this is from me atmo -
This weekend we travel to New Gloucester, Maine for the Downeast Cyclocross Weekend. It's another two days of UCI C2 races
for the RS 'Cross Team. Film at eleven atmo.
Many thanks for reading.