Magnus Backstedt’s derny-paced hour record attempt fell well short (scroll down), yesterday, as the big Sweede was behind Matthe Pronk’s 66kph pace from the first time split. I know I had promised not to report on this earlier in the week, because gimmick hour records are stupid, but because Maggie sacked up and finished the hour for the crowd, despite being out of contention for the record and in visible difficulty, I’ll give it some press. Many suggest that Backstedt’s choice of a colossal 60×12 gear (a step up from the merely enormous 60×13 he had been training on) may have cost him the record. For comparison, you’d have to kit out your regular road rig with one of these to get that heavy a gear.
I’ve been trying not to get sucked into reporting on cyclocross (except for my own bush-league racing) because I don’t want to have to cover it year-round. But dang, cool sh!t happens so much at ‘cross races! First, we got this Czech dude, coming in second (behind Sven Nys/Nijs) in a ‘cross world cup. But what’s that say on his shirt? No, it couldn’t be…hell yeah, it is! “Your Ad Here!” Plus it’s got a number so you can crank call him pretending to be Kona, or Johan Bruyneel or Ugo DeRosa or something. Then check out the conditions in Gloucester (that’s pronounced “GLAW-ster,” by the way) yesteday. Remember when they cancelled Het Volk? Man, roadies are so namby sometimes. Even Cyclingnews’ venerable Jeff Jones (there really is no one page to link to), himself no slouch on a bike, was put off by the conditions. It’s not like riding in the snow can’t be done; heck, you don’t even need a bike like this to do it. Racing in conditions like those is why ‘cross racing will always have a place on this page.