Words by: Joe Sepulveda, DNA Co-Founder

image of joe racing cyclocross

I love this time of year. Leaves are changing, and the temperatures are coming down. Busy trails become quiet, dirt gets tackier and tackier, and it’s cyclocross season. I love watching cyclocross, but I might hate racing it.

Do I hate the racing or the anticipation of the pain and suffering I’ll endure for 60 minutes? The moment I arrive at a race, the tension begins when I get out of the car. Pre-race is a bitch! Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy seeing friends and chatting. “It’s cold.” “It’s hot.” “What tire pressure are you running?” “Are those new socks?” “Nice skin suit!” I struggle watching others on their rollers, warming up for 20 minutes. At the same time, I try and figure out how to pin my number on my jersey.

collage of cyclocross racers wearing dna kits

Pre-riding the course usually has the same outcome. Why is my heart rate so high? Is his heart rate that high too? This course kind of sucks. Man, why did they put the barriers here? That turn is too tight. Damn it; this is a power course, and I am not a power rider. I limp off the course and ride over to staging.

Here comes the next blow, call-ups. I listen intently just in case, maybe next week. Another subtle hint that this might not be my thing. The race begins, and without fail, at the twenty-minute mark, I always think we have one lap left, but as I go through the finish area, I hear it, “Seven laps to go, Joe!” More bad news.

collage of racers in dna cycling skinsuits

Seven laps later, I’m digging deeper than I have all season. Pre-race donut is not helping. Rubbing shoulders, coming around the final corner, sprinting for what I thought should have been a top 5 position turns out I’m not even close. It’s done. I sit up and stretch my back as I cool down and compare notes with other riders. I catch myself saying things that I wasn’t thinking about earlier.

“This course was a lot of fun to race.”
“That turn was my favorite part.”
“Barriers were a non-issue.”

I get back to the team tent. More retrospect of the race confirms. “That was fun. Where are we racing next week?”

So maybe I don’t hate cyclocross as much as I think I do. A text hits my cell, “check out these killer shots from Saturday.” Oh, s#$t by the looks of these photos, maybe I do hate cyclocross, or maybe not.

dna owner racing

DNA Cycling proudly supports the Utah Cyclocross (UTCX). Whether it’s your first CX race or you’re a seasoned Pro, the UTCX puts together an amazing cyclocross series. Come out and race with the DNA team.