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Dec. 18, 2006
Mark McCormack on the National Cyclocross Championships

Mark flies byJust got back from the 2006 California Giant Berry Farms USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships

Quite a weekend! I’m sitting here on Monday morning pretty much exhausted—slapping at the keys on the keyboard as best I can which is noticeably even slower than usual.

In hindsight, the red-eye flight plan might not have been the best idea. But the overall effort Paul and I made to get out there and film Cross Nats was definitely worth it. Great racing, great event, great people, great weather, and, uh, the New England coffee was, umm…. full of lots of cream & sugar.

Thanks to Anthony at Giant Strawberry for sharing his wine expertise and his generosity with the corner booth at the after-party, thanks to Chris and Ned at Specialized for the tasty dinner and a big thanks to microphone mad-man Dave Towle for working with Paul and me to capture a sizeable slice of the ’06 Cross Nats on film. 

Here’s what TCB Rider Mark McCormack has to say about the weekend:

The 2006 cross season has officially ended now that the Nationals weekend has concluded. It was an up-down-up weekend for me but one that I will remember for a long time to come.

On Saturday, the Elite men lined up for the chance to win the most coveted victory of US cyclo cross. My hope was to have a great start and then let things develop from there. I had the best start I have had all year and was leading as the pavement turned to grass. I couldn’t believe I was where I wanted to be. Well, that was the highlight of my race.

The courseI gradually lost position in the 1st half of the race and settled into 9th and could not retake any of the riders in front. I was going fast, really fast. The only problem was that the guys in front of me were going even faster. Ryan Trebon was the eventual and very deserving winner of his first National cross title.  I finished 9th, for the 2nd year in a row and my 15th top ten at the elite national cross championships, dating back to 1989. On another note, my entire family was there to watch, including my dad who is battling cancer and has recently completed his radiation and is currently having chemotherapy treatments.

I must also mention that the highlight of the day was watching my Team Clif Bar teammate Jesse Anthony dominate the U23 race to win back his National Championship Title.

In Sunday’s Giant Strawberry Super Cup race, the racing was again super fast as the course conditions were unreal. This was definitely the best cross course ever put together in the US. It had everything: long runs, fast pavement, technical high-speed and low-speed corners and a long paved climb to the finish. I once again had a great start and made my way into the front group which included Tim Johnson, Ben Jacques-Maynes, and Matt White.

At the end of the 2nd lap, Matt punctured and lost contact. In the 3rd lap, Ben had been dropped. In the 4th lap, Tim put me on the ropes after relentless attacking and I too was left behind. I took the chance to recover as I waited for Jonathon Baker and Ben J-M to catch me. It took me a lap to regain my composure and once I felt my legs and breathing were back in sync, I started to contribute to the pace making with Jonathon. Ben ended up sliding out on some gravel and would be left to ride solo as Jon and I worked well together to get to the finish with the chance to take 2nd. I set up my sprint perfectly and came off the final descent in my sprinting gear and with lots of momentum. Crossing the line it was a good feeling to have finished 2nd in my last race of 2006.

I would like to also thank all of the great supporters of Team Clif Bar for their contributions to a great program and another successful season. Thanks Clif Bar, Orbea, Mavic, Adidas, Oakley, Voler, Giro, Shimano, Mountain Hardware, Fizik, Reynolds, Syncros, Bank of America, Fast Freddie Coffee and Pedros for everything! 

See you all somewhere down the road or trail.


Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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