USA’s Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) on the run-up.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
Superprestige #4 – Hamme Zogge, C1, Belgium, November 23, 2008
Elite Men


text and photos by ilg except where noted.
re-use by permission only please. click on pics to enlarge.


“ilg, i can’t believe you don’t cyclecross race! it’s like ideally suited to you!”

i get asked each November a dozen times or more from my cycling bros.

Cyclecross (or ‘pyscho-cross‘ which is more like it) is a traditional fall sport from northern Europe which combines running and cycling in a mad heart-rate fest fit only for beasts (beer drinking capacity helps, too).

truth is, ilg LOVES cyclecross! of all the cycling disciplines, it’s definitely the most Nordic-embracive, most spectator-fun, and the most heart rate-intense! an hour of red-lining it on a road bike fashioned for trail use while skillfully jumping off and onto your bike and jumping, climbing, scratching, and crawling over obstacles in absolutely cold and often wet/snowy/sleeting/frozen conditions!!!! you kidding me? what could be more fun!?!?!

that’s my Truth being spoken.
however, my Reality is that Cyclecross Season always comes at a time where i usually:

1) have spent a lot of time on a bike,
2) have just finished peaking for my autumn running races…

even, “America’s MultiSport Mutant*” needs a decompression from high heart rates and, besides, i usually need to enter my Nordic Ski Base Training which means time spent dryland training (rollerskiing) and getting strong in the “Iron Temple”…not out whipping my lungs into pericardial pancake batter before Nordic ski racing! It’s go(o)d to know one’s limits.

one of these years, however, ilg IS going jump into a few of these races…i did in Boulder, Colorado a few times when i was younger…and i do wish to Dance the Cross Dance again…

until then, i’ll do what i did this past weekend in Flag; i’ll do a nice long run over to the Race Venue, meet my Clan, pull on my “Coach Ilg” hat, and cheer, coach, yell, shake my Nordic bell, and otherwise do my best to inspire the brave and bold cyclecross racers! enjoy the pics and i bow to cross racer’s the world over! we have a few National Podium cross racers in the WF Tribe, so this DL is for you!!…

what’s left of the ‘peleton’ after only 13 minutes into the hour-long race…crankin’ up the canyon before the ‘run-up’ section…

This is my ol’ training partner from when i raced with the regional “Team Motorola” in New Mexico; Mike Longmire. Mike is featured in my books…Mike was in town copping some high altitude intensity before heading to Kansas City for CycleCross Nationals. at age 55, “ML” can still dial up the Big Hurt on anybody! on Sunday, i led him and WF Warrior, Ben “Patki Dass” Sullivan up the Sacred Peak on our mountain bikes…great riding with you again, ML! and get that National Podium!!!!

Speaking of “Patki Dass”…here’s my faithful High Performance Yoga® student applying all his PROP WORKOUTS and HP Yoga as he hits the transition run-up, then skillfully remounts on the narrow, wickedly uphill traverse section…looking PRO, Patki!!! your on-bike posture has improved soooo much!!! Patki is one of the leaders of the Series. of course, Dewa was helping me cheer the racers on right at the gnarly ‘run-up’ section…photo by Ananda.

This is rare shot of Tim “The Future” Allen. i say ‘rare’ cuz only a Cross Race slows him down enough to capture footage on him. this young ‘kid’ is called “The Future” because of his absolutely SICK technical skill level on ANY kind of bicycle is matched only by his
absolutely SICK level of world-class cardio fitness…for the second week in a row,
Tim pretty much lapped everybody at least once and was the only one who RODE THE ENTIRE RUN-UP SECTION…and he didn’t even have a mountain bike like some of the racers! if i wasn’t there to see it, i would not have believed it…some people…i bow in WOW!

Here is Bob “Sensei” Verderame…my MTB mentor of whom i’ve profiled often in DL as a wizard of technical mountain biking…my plan is to do a Mountain Biking video with him for our new WholisticFitness.com which is being worked on this winter.

…and here, of course, is Dewa. at 14-months she already was kicking and running about wanting to race against the big boys! here, her and “Amma Ananda” inspect the “run-up” transition…ain’t so baaaaad!!”

i caught this far-away shot of my Red Rock Racing Teammate and Board Member, Chris Wilkens as he was contemplating life-before-the-run-up, and…seconds later…

…during it!!

This is Jared, a triathlete, getting it done on the cross bike!

Noble Family Warrior John Sarwarsky…another ‘specimen’ whom apparently does NOT
understand the notion of anything less than FAST, FAST, FASTER! could you at least make it LOOK like getting onto podiums hurts?! thank you!

Until we meet again,
may your own Cardio workouts be thus inspired by these cold-weather warriors of the two-wheels and two-legs and may you too learn that it’s the obstacles in life that
make us champions of our destiny!

head bowed,

coach ilg


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