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
- KFC. What kind of jerk would bet against her?
- Kaitie. The heir apparent.
- Amanda Miller.
- Crystal Anthony.
- 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.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MEN??
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.
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.