2013 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships

“Cross racing is deceptively painful and surprisingly fun.” This sentence best sums up what cyclocross is and at the 2013 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, the conditions were both painful and fun. The following Guest Gallery was compiled by photographers Dave Schlabowske, Peter DiAntoni, Darren Hauck and Jeffrey Phelps for a forthcoming project book on the ‘cross nats. See the full description below.

Many thanks to Peter from COG for setting this up!

Unless you have felt the burn in your leaden legs on your third run-up, you can’t really understand how a race that is “only 45 minutes” can be so difficult. Unless you have killed yourself to turn a 12 minute lap on a two-mile long Möbius strip of mud, you can’t appreciate the joy of the transition zone when you hop on your clean pit bike. Unless you have watched helplessly as the mental elastic that has held you to the wheel in front of you stretches to the breaking point on the bell lap, you will never know the soul crushing pain of cycle-cross.

On the other hand, you need to try grabbing a beer or dollar hand up during a race, to know the inner giggle we all stifle every time we look at our cross bikes. You need to camp, in the cold rain, on on the side of a steep hill for a day (or days) with a gang of similarly cross-crazed tifosi to really appreciate the warmth of the greater cycle-cross family. You simply must spend a Monday hoarse with your ears still ringing from shouting over the din of cow bells to get that jolt of adrenaline when the schedule for next year’s cross season is published.

As a group of bike crazy photographers, our hope is that these photographs will come as close to conveying that pain and joy of cyclo-cross as possible. These are not typical race coverage photos. You won’t find finish line “money shots” of all the top pros. Instead we hope these images distill the vital essence that makes cycle-cross such a unique part of bicycling and record something of what it was like to watch or race cross in January in Wisconsin.

These photographs are part of a much larger body of work taken over 5 days of epic racing at the 2013 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Verona, WI. The complete set will be published in a documentary book in the next few months. Stay tuned for details, until then, more cow bell!

Dave Schlabowske
Communications Director
Wisconsin Bike Fed

Photographer credit:
Dave Schlabowske
Peter DiAntoni
Darren Hauck
Jeffrey Phelps