Two Junior UCI wins and the team’s first Elite C1 Podium

A very successful weekend of racing at both Ruts N’ Guts in Oklahoma and at the Major Taylor Cross Cup in Indiana for the team. Craig Richey and Michael van den Ham travelled do to Oklahoma to take in the last North American C1 of the year, while Gunnar Holmgren headed to Indiana to do the last UCI Junior race of the year. The results were nothing short of impressive as the team landed their first ever Elite C1 podium at Ruts N’ Guts and took home two big wins in Indiana. 

Scroll down to see photos, more about the races, and quotes from the riders:

Photo by Ethan Glading

Photo by Ethan Glading

Just about everything went right on Day 1 of Ruts N’ Guts. With only a couple laps to go, Michael found himself racing in a group of four for the win. 

On the far pavement stretch before the flyover, I did my attack there. I led over the flyover and actually led to the second last corner. There were a couple of moments when I thought I had it, but Tobin used his road racing skills and came in the inside and knocked me off the outside. It is my first C1 podium. Obviously I would have loved to get the win. But it’s all experience. I’ll take this.
— Michael

Just 45 seconds behind, Craig rode home to a very solid 9th place against one of the best domestic fields we’ve seen win North America this year. 

Photo by Rosanne Steinke 

Photo by Rosanne Steinke 

Unfortunately, that the clean racing Michael and Craig had on Day 1 was not to be replicated on Day 2! 

Just about everything that could go wrong went wrong, from a slipped pedal at the start to a pedal cleat coming off plus a few other fun issues. I was in very distant last place and wanted to quit, but it was an opportunity to ride a fun course at speed. Raced the last few laps really well and moved up to 17th.
— Craig

Unfortunately, Michael also had his own share of difficulties. He explains, "I flatted coming through the sand on the third lap and rode the 1/2 lap pretty cautiously to the pit - I guess I’m just not willing to risk wrecking my beautiful Easton wheels for a couple placings! Anyways, got back on a new bike in 12th or so and managed to drag myself back up to 6th before the race had ended. Not what I was hoping for, but after being able to tick of a big season goal yesterday, I’m leaving the weekend pretty satisfied with my performances.” 

Photo by Ethan Glading

Photo by Ethan Glading

Over in Indianpolis, Gunnar proved again that he’s one of the top, if not the top, Junior rider in North America by landed back to back UCI wins first on a fast and dry track on day one and then again on a slippery and muddy track on day two. This was also his first chance to show off his awesome looking national champions kit! 

This year all the courses were bone dry at home, so it’s nice to race in the mud again. [This course] forced you off your bike a couple times, which was nice.
— Gunnar

Overall, it was another hugely successful weekend for the team and they’ll be looking to take that momentum forward as Craig and Michael gear up to race the Resolution Cup in Texas and Gunnar to for his European trip over Christmas. 

Photo by Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine

Photo by Riley Missel / Cyclocross Magazine