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September 1, 2016

The Cannibal of ‘Cross: Katie Compton

On the morning of any world championship race, there is a mixture of excitement, nerves and anticipation, depending on your role in the event. And while the exhale at the end of the day expresses relief, frustration, satisfaction, or for a few, unbounded joy and glory, the start to the day is significantly different.The energy from spectators escapes the mixture of anxiousness and premeditation that surrounds riders, team staff and mechanics. The morning of the Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky was steely grey, with bitter cold temperatures and a coating of snow. As I surveyed my surroundings from the lobby of Louisville’s Galt House Hotel, the question that continued to plague me was who in their right mind would want to be out in this weather, let alone race their bicycle in it? Alas, I realized, my answer was simple: welcome to the world of cyclocross, where mid-winter storms, icy temperatures and mud-soaked obstacle courses are the preferred conditions for many, and is at the heart of what makes this discipline so painful, enjoyable and popular. As a novice to cyclocross looking to further my education, what I’ve sensed is that this discipline takes in the three major elements of cycling – weather, pain and pleasure – and delivers them in thrilling, lung searing, heart Pounding organized chaos in weather that should normally keep cyclists off their bikes. I was eager to get started. Read More

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