Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'CX' Marks The Spot

1931 Prix pas becq




Thanks to the rains, our annual snow fall lasted a few days. A cause for celebration of the two-wheel kind. Yesterday, I set forth to test my depleted shape and enjoy the bike. The roads were still plenty soaked from the rains with sand/grit from the run off seem to stick to my bike like some cyclocross course.

Cyclocross had it's origins in the early 1900s in France. In that distant past, many professionals used it as training to perfect their winning technique on the road... or cobbles. The off-season training rides honed their riding skills by braving the harsh elements of winter, handling skills and muscles were honed providing a more complete workout.



Roger on familiar terrain, 1981




Octave Lapize attributed his 1910 Tour victory to off-season cyclocross training. And, I'm sure it help him win 3 Paris-Roubaix. And, 1950 was the first UCI sanctioned cyclocross World Championships held in Paris. The first King of cyclocross was Eric de Vlaeminck (brother of the famous Roger), winning 7 cyclocross world championships - 6 in a row (1968-1973). Of course, Roger mastered 4 Paris-Roubaixs with the special help from cyclocross - he was 3-time national cyclocross champion. Bernard Hinault also rode cyclocross and duly won 5 Tours along with his much despise P-R.

For me, my winter ride is made even more satisfying with that glorify badge of grit. And, a cyclocross bike makes sense to be the obvious next winter bike choice. Santa are you listening?

  



Today's pros win at CX...

Francis Mourey (Fdj) huge 'dirty' win in UCI World Cup 
Namur on Sunday.





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