I owe Colin Reuter two coffees and also have some feelings

…and just like that, Nationals is over. USAC and the Biltmore really did a great job with the event this year – the course was fantastic, we were blessed with rain, Asheville is a rad city, and the elite races had by-far the biggest crowds I’ve seen in American cyclocross. But, as climactic as Nats is, with it comes the bittersweet reality that the season is over. Months of training and racing summed up by one forty-five minute race. Certainly half the point here is to get to the prediction-postmortem wherein I owe resultsboy two coffees, but first let me talk about some feelings.

My race Sunday did not go as I hoped it would. Last year I was blessed with several tailwinds that blew me to my best ever elite finish. This year my race was over within two minutes, after getting hit from behind on the pavement and crashing ultra hard. Note: pavement is much less forgiving than dirt.

Race result aside, it was an incredible weekend. Jeff Kiplinger, founder of Averica, flew down to watch us in action. If you missed his three-part blog this week about the return on Averica’s investment in our team, please go back and read it here. We are so lucky to work with Jeff and Olga at Averica, but the relationship is so much more than that. They have become part of our racing family, they’ve become friends, and we feel so supported by them. Teammate Julie and I were lucky enough to spend all week in Asheville after racing in Tennessee last week. And we owe so much to mechanic and man-of-the-year Gary for driving our bikes to and from NC, fixing everything I broke, and living in a house full of women for a week. My sister Rosie and her boyfriend Taylor loved pitting in Austin so much that they couldn’t wait to come to a second championship event. My sister Laura spent all week with us, hanging out, cooking food, and making this rad-tastic sign. My lady Julie, and teammate-Julie’s husband Drew flew down to support us in the million ways partners do. The cheers from so many NECX’ers and other cx-friends stood out from the crowd at every turn of the course. It was unreal.

So when I hit the pavement, full speed and with a crunch, I did what any reasonable person would do considering the above. I got the F back up. It took a minute, and I couldn’t pedal hard, but the only thing weaker than my pedaling would’ve been bailing on the ability to ride that course, with those people, on that day. And then I cried, because that wasn’t how I wanted the season to end, or the show I wanted to put on for friends and family. But such is the cruelty of sport.

The good news is, other people raced REALLY WELL and totally destroyed our predictions. Airport wifi meant I could watch the replay and see so many friends ride like total bosses. NECX crusher-of-road-dreams-2015 GoFahr stomped to a 6th place finish! Wuuuuuut! KFC defended in her biggest challenge yet. Georgia Freaking Gould said “LOL RACE PREDICTOR” and stomped to 2nd after announcing all the masters women’s races on Thursday. What a dreamboat of a human. Antonneau rode in no-mans-land for 3rd all day, reminding everyone that she is the heir-apparent. And the return of Elle Anderson – proved me super wrong and stomped to 4th and a return-trip to worlds. Race predictor postmortem:

Erin’s Picks

  1. KFC
  2. Antonneau
  3. Amanda Miller
  4. Crystal Anthony
  5. Georgia Gould

Actual Results

  1. KFC
  2. Georgia Gould
  3. Kaitie Antonneau
  4. Elle Anderson
  5. Rachel Lloyd

The men: to be fair I admitted I know a lot less about the men. I know now that I owe Colin two cups of coffee: one because he bet on Travis Livermon in the top 5 and I said he was crazy.

coffee bet

Travis finished 8th, and Zach McDonald finished 19th. Colin and his “data” were right.

I stand behind the ZMD pick because DID YOU SEE THIS VIDEO??

And oh yea, Powers defended, as champions do. Logan Owen stood on a podium in his first Elite Nationals, and something unexpected happened to Danny Summerhill. Timmerman had a cleat fall off mid-race. Basically my non-podium predictions were all wrong:

Erin’s picks

  1. Hyde
  2. Powers
  3. Owen
  4. ZMD
  5. Timmerman

Actual Results:

  1. Powers
  2. Hyde
  3. Owen
  4. Page
  5. Kerry Werner

And thus we end the 2015 season.

NATS! Time to place your bets!

My dear friend Colin  executed the perfect efacc troll last night and posted his CX National Championship predictions. I mean, sure, he wrote a whole website designed to predict those things, but BLOGGING about it? Ultimate superfan trollbait. FINE. Note: Colin is way smarter than me and uses things like *math* to make his calls, but I have one distinct advantage here – I’ve actually been on the course.

The course is freaking hard. There’s a lot of elevation change – switchbacks up the hill for prolonged leg-blasting, then steep chutes down to maximize brappage. Oh wait, we retired that word. Well, whatever. There will be some gnar-gnar on the downhills. Slippery off-cambers and rutty sections will likely turn to Spartan race conditions after 2,000 amateurs have had their way with the course all week. Advantage goes to the better technical riders over the purely powerful.

His predictions are here. Start there before reading this firehose of nonsense.

Here’s where I straight up shark the graphic he posted of USAC vs crossresults race predictors:

Now you’ve already read Colin’s post, so I don’t need to spell out for you all the people one predictive system favors over the other or why. Methodology, bias, whatever. Let’s place some bets.

I’d be a total boob to bet against Katie and Kaitie at the front of the race, so I won’t do that. Even though I think there’s a decidedly non-zero chance that this is the year we see a new National Champion. The real question is who else will be at the front? Amanda Miller brought serious roadie power to the CX game this year, but I already ate my words in calling her a roadie when she went top-5 at Valkenburg. Valkenburg looks hilly AF. Oh, and she’s coming off the ultra techy Namur/Zolder winter World Cup combo. I’d be ignoring the facts if I put her out of the top five.

WHO ELSE? A consistent Elle Anderson is a solid bet, but we haven’t seen enough of her racing this year for me to feel confident on that call. Rachel Lloyd hasn’t raced since November, but always makes me regret not putting her at the top. Georgia Gould hasn’t raced much cx, but is a freaking Olympian and total badass. Crossresults is handicapping Crystal based on some “weak” (HIGHLY RELATIVE TERM) European results. Meredith Miller is one of Colin’s picks, and a super fit Meredith would do very well on this course – she did prove she can climb like a boss at Ellison, but struggled a bit in Europe over Christmas too. So there aren’t obvious choices – that’s what makes betting great! And resultsboy didn’t challenge me to a race analysis, this is about predictions. Ta-da

  1. KFC. What kind of jerk would bet against her?
  2. Kaitie. The heir apparent.
  3. Amanda Miller.
  4. Crystal Anthony.
  5. Georgia Gould.

*My biggest disappointment about predicting this race is that I’ll also be racing and won’t get to see how it unfolds until well after the fact.


Admittedly, I don’t follow the men as closely as I follow the women. That said, the ascent of Stephen Hyde has made me tune way the F in. We can all agree that it’s going to be a JPow/Hyde friendsmash at the front.

Here’s that comparative predictor graphic I stole from Colin again:

I’d love to bet on Trebon for 3rd, as he’s clearly racing with a lot of feeling and has more watts than I could ever dream of. But with a season of back problems on a course that will be hard on the back… I can’t bring myself to do it. I will, however, bet on Zach McDonald having a good race. Light, technical rider on a climby, technical course? And a guy with something to prove? I’ll take that bet. And Dan Timmerman – why are we counting him so far out, predictors? He wasn’t at Kingsport, so it’s tough to bet on his current fitness. But he’s my favorite, and a total dreamboat so I’m betting on him having a good race.

  1. Hyde
  2. Powers
  3. Owen
  4. ZMD
  5. Timmerman


Disclaimer: there is rain in the forecast for Friday. The course will not drain well. If we’re racing in a swamp, all bets are off.