February 02, 2015 (Tabor, CZE) – Following the 15.7km Junior Men’s CX Worlds 5-lap race this past weekend we caught up with Manitoba’s Willem Boersma who was the top Canuck in 42nd, reigning Junior CX National champ Oliver Evans also from Manitoba who finished 43rd, Ontario’s Quinton Disera in 52nd after a mechanical (he was as high as 25th) and Liam Mulcahy also from ON in 61st – race report and results here.
Willem Boersma (MB)
The conditions on the course today were very rough, it’s had been really muddy in days prior but it had frozen over and the course was a pile of frozen ruts. It made the race very difficult.
My race didn’t go very good… it began with a bad start and multiple crashes. I had chosen the wrong tires and pressure and finally found my rhythm with two laps to go and from there the race was good. I had lots of fun.
Being able to race the Hoogerheide World Cup the previous weekend was awesome and it helped me and my teammates to get a perspective of what European cross racing is all about. While I had a lot of fun racing in Hoogerheide, I also had some mechanical issues there as well.
Racing in Europe is like racing in a whole different world. I’ve had the privilege to compete at three World Cups and two World Championships and each time I’m still surprised how fast and how aggressive it is. I love racing here and hope to continue coming over the pond in the years to come.
I would love to thank my family first for everything they do for me. My friends, my team, my coach Shaun Adamson and also Team Canada for this great opportunity; Adam Myerson from Cyclesmart; Cyclesmart; Van Dessel bikes; Revolution wheels; Challenge Tires; TRP brakes; EIS components; POC helmets; Bontrager shoes; OMG’s candy. I would also like to thank Alter Ego bike shop for everything they do and Team Manitoba.
Oliver Evans (MB)
The course was very technical and perfectly suited a mountain biker, with the difficult turns and steep hills. When combined with the weather conditions in Tabor this weekend, it was even more difficult. The course was frozen, with rock hard ruts and ice everywhere. It was like racing on a skating rink. As the race went on, it became more and more slippery, as a thin layer of greasy mud formed on top of the ice. With a course like that, the race becomes risk versus reward, as racers will try and make up a position but risk going down by taking a turn too fast.
Apart from having a poor start, I felt really strong during the race. I crashed a couple times on the first lap as the slippery corners caught me by surprise. I managed to make my way into around the top 35 at one point, but began crashing again and slowly moving back. When I wasn’t falling though (I think every racer must have fallen at least once), I was riding really well. I’m not extremely happy with my result, as I was aiming for top fifty %, but I’m happy with my ride. I won the sprint for 43rd, which is probably the only sprint I’ve ever won, so there’s a plus! Apart from my result though, that was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a bike race. It was so cool to race with a huge crowd screaming around me.
I improved upon my result from the Hoogerheide World Cup last weekend, so that was nice. Hoogerheide played a massive role in my preparation for Worlds. It gave me a taste of the courses, the starts and the racers and how fast/rough they are. I came into Worlds a little bit less nervous, and much less clueless.
Racing here in Europe is so different from in Canada. The courses are so technical and the racers all look like professionals to me. There are also way more racers, and I’m not used to starting behind people. The crowds are also far different, as thousands of fans are dedicated to the sport of cyclocross. It was quite different racing in the deafening noise from voices and horns and sirens, and running through a cloud of cigarette smoke during the run ups.
I must thank everyone back home for all their support. I wouldn’t be here without the generosity of all my family and friends and the cycling community in Manitoba. Thanks to my coaches Jayson Gillespie and Lindsay Argue and Team Manitoba, Accent Inns Russ Hays racing team and Specialized for the gear and Dark Red Racing. A huge thank you to my girlfriend Bryanna and her family for all of their support. My list goes on and on, as there are so many people to thank. This has been an incredible experience, and I’m only getting more excited for the opportunities and improvement to come. Thanks everyone for everything!
Quinton Disera (ON)
So the conditions while racing were nothing that I have experienced before with either mountain biking or cross. The very first lap, the ground was still pretty frozen with a layer of ice on some parts. Later on it turned to a layer of greasy mud on top which made every place on the course hard to stay up. I even fell going in a straight line sometimes. The ruts weren’t that bad, but some were very deep yet were avoidable. The course itself was mentally and physically gruelling, and with a layer of grease, it made it even more important to concentrate on your every move.
My race was bitter sweet. I was almost in last row because the call ups ended halfway. I had a good start and made good headway on the first lap… I was top Canadian. Most of the race I was holding in around 31st, and attacked the group I caught up to just before the last lap. People were going down left, right, and center – and so was I – at least three times a lap. On the last lap I moved up to 25th and hoped to knock off more spots but right as I passed the pit entrance I had a mechanical which took some very precious time away from my race. (I was there for about a minute…)
Once I got back up and rolling I felt defeated. I knew I just lost the race that I was feeling so good at. But I kept pushing and passed a couple more people before crossing the finish line in 52nd. It was a big dissapointment for me but I’m trying to take away the good parts of the race and experiences and leave the problems behind. I know I’ll be ready when I hopeful get to race at another CX Worlds!
Being able to race at the Hoogerheide WCup was very important – to see how the racing goes and how fast and aggressive everyone was. It helped me see where I stand in the field. I knew the Worlds in Tabor was going to be twice as gnarly with the aggression. But I had already experienced a World Cup so I was ready.
Racing in Europe compared to Canada is almost night and day. There are more racers, more aggression, the courses are completely different. So many super technical parts that Canada doesn’t include in their races. In Europe, racing bikes is in their culture, they have superfans that know everything about you and there are five rows of fans everywhere on the course. I love racing in Canada and always will, but Europe is just another level up on the charts. It’s a whole other playing field.
I would like to give a huge thanks to Team Canada for helping me get here with everything it takes, and especially the mechanics! They worked through night to make sure everything was perfect. As they said, “If it’s good enough, it’s not perfect”. Also my family for supporting me and funding most of this trip. My brother Peter for giving me his bike to bring as well as my own that I got from Kevin Haviland at Norco, a big thank you! My team Angry Johnny’s p/b Cycle Solutions, Norco and Louis Garneau. Especially Johnny Bates and Emma for being so supportive and having everything I need already there – they’re the best team managers! I want to give a huge thanks as well to a guy that does everything, makes me fast, encourages me, and only let’s me see the best in myself, etc. This is my coach Kevin Simms from Earth Adrenaline. I couldn’t be here right now without his help and hard efforts. Also thanks to all my previous coaches and pros that I have gotten to ride with, all making me a better rider! Thank you to all my other family, friends and supporters for believing in me and helping me get to where I am!
Liam Mulcahy (ON)
The conditions for the race were really slippery to the point that it felt like ice. We were all running as low a pressure as we could without rimming out to maximize the grip. As the race went on the ground started to get muddy again but remained frozen in the shaded areas of the course. Overall it was a challenging and fast course!
My race was going great until about the last 400 meters when I got chain suck and had to run to the finish. I lost a few spots but still am happy with the way I rode… I was able to put down a good pace and was picking people off slowly.
The World Cup in Hoogerheide, Belgium, last weekend was a wake up call. All of a sudden your not that fast anymore compared to the rest of the field and you are battling for top 60, which feels pretty weird. It was very good to be prepared, well just to get the idea on how to prepare for Worlds, after all it’s almost the same field so you know where you fit in.
CX racing in Europe is nothing like back home in Canada. I never raced in mud as deep as in the Netherlands and never on ground as frozen and so slippery as in Tabor. It was all firsts for me. Also like I said earlier there is a huge field of competition and it’s weird to adjust to the fact you’re racing for every spot in the field.
I would like to shout out to my parents for helping me get here and get some European races under my belt and to compete at my first Worlds, and to my friends who I all miss very much!