CX Chronicles – The Brady Bunch
Posted by auscxmag
Posted in News
words & photography: Fiona Morris
We have said goodbye to Belle and moved in with the Brady Bunch…
The A team have arrived in Belgium. We met up with them at Kasteelcross Zonnebeke, it was probably quite a nice intro to Euro CX, being a C2 race with a relatively flat course, although still super muddy. The temps were also a toasty 5 degrees and the sun shone all day. I worked the pits for the Juniors and Elite womens race (which were a combined “B” grade race) and then Mick Jason and Jerone continued to work the pits for the Elite Men and U/23 (Combined “A” grade race) For the first time I got to actually wander around the course, watch some of the race and even have a chat to some of the crowd. After a stressful moment (when do I not have a stressful moment before or during the race!) of not being able to get to the start, I asked directions from a course marshal and he put me on the right track, about 30 mins later I ran into him again, he professed his love for me…we took a selfie.
Anyway back to racing…they all had a good solid race. I would list results but you have probably already seen them on FB somewhere.
We headed back to the team house in Wemmel, where everyone is staying. After living all together for a week, we are all starting to settle into a groove and get to know each other, so let me introduce you to the family. First we have National Team Coach, Mick Hernan, he can usually be found outside washing, fixing, playing with bikes, always calm and he will never say no to the offer of a coffee. He is the head of the family. Next we have Jo, Nicks Mum, but she has become the team mum. She will either be found in the laundry, the kitchen or at the supermarket buying ALL of the food as we have a very hungry team (she really is an absolute trooper!). Then we have Jason, the team Physio and Micks right hand man, you will find him getting his hands dirty with the bikes or massaging tired legs…and if he isn’t there he will be at the bakery eating croissants and bread. Paul, I would say he is the uncle of the family (but not in a creepy way, haha) he tends to shake things up and rev the team up during training rides. Lindsay, the only female athlete on the team, the big sister who tells all the boys how it is and makes sure they are always on their best behaviour. Next up we have Garry, he is like the big brother of the family, always dishing out advice or putting the younger members in their place. Then there is Jack…the middle brother, he stays in bed all day only to emerge to eat, ride and play the occasional game of ping pong (on an antique dining table). Then there is the triplets, the three juniors, Nick, Noah and Tom. Nick probably the quietest member of the family, but you know what they say it’s always the quiet ones. Then we have Noah, the dedicated and studious student (he bribed me to say that…he even posed for a picture) really he is the young cheeky one. Then we have Tom, probably best described as the class clown.
The only downside to our big happy family is the internet…with 14 people in the house, and it only letting maybe four people connect at a time there is the constant cry of “who has kicked me off”. And let me tell you none of us will ever forget “walnut14” a password only our house owner/antique dealer would have. I did instil a phone ban on Jack and Noah at one point at time, I think the hour felt like a lifetime for them….kids these days!
There has been numerous training rides, trips to the bike shop, a trip to Brussels and in less than a week we have been through about 20kgs of potatoes, 80 coffee pods, 30 litres of milk and 6 boxes of cornflakes…mainly because Tom spills them on the floor.
I have ambushed the team, pinned them down and asked them a few questions…so read on to get to know them a little better.
Name: Mick Hernan
What your previous experience in running a team/mechanical etc: Managed the Ritchie Dirtworks team for 3 years, artificial mechanical support for number of riders at the national series and champs in 2013,14.
What have you thought of the experience so far: Its been amusing watching the juniors adjust to the situation, and enjoying being in Belgium, the home of CX
Who has had the biggest bike fail: Tom, severed the Di2 cable, not once but twice, while putting his bike together the day before the first race at Zonnebeke.
Name: Garry Millburn
DOB/Category: 2 Feb 1987 ELITE MEN
Experience: MTB since 1997, competing at national level since 2002, Oceanias in 2004,05,06, world champs MTB 2005 as a junior . First CX race 2013, competed at nationals 2013, 14, 2 x world cup.
Favourite race so far: Diegem, the party atmosphere was a lot more fun than the seriousness of my first 2 wold cups. The snow, ice and freezing temperatures made for an interesting and different style of racing to what I’m used too. I felt like I had a good race and finished in 38th.
How does this differ to cx in Australia: CX in Europe tends to have a lot deeper mud, with more technical riding through out. There are also a lot steeper run ups and drop ins. The competition is also on another level, as are the fans. With thousands turning up to even a small C2 race.
Person who is always on their phone: I think there is a guy called Jack Hogan on the team, but I never see him. Rumour has it he is on his phone flicking through local Belgïe tinder.
Name: Lindsay Gorrell
DOB/Category: 12 October 1986 ELITE WOMEN
Experience: MTB since 2001, started racing nationals in 2002, competed in Oceanias 2007-08 (U/23) started cx in 2012 raced nationals 2012, 13.
Best training ride so far: We went out to the local forest in Wemmel, it was an adventure just checking out the trails, the deep mud and slick trails. Sections of it reminded me of more MTB style riding at home.
How do you feel coming into your first CX world cup: Its hard to know what to expect, I’m excited to learn and experience European racing. Looking forward to something different from home with big crowds and the atmosphere.
Smelliest person in the house: Garry Millburn Hands down! (there was not a moment of hesitation answering this question might I add – Fiona)
Name: Paul Redenbach
DOB/Category: 11 April 1978 ELITE MEN
Experience: MTB 1995 raced nationals, 1996 – 01 competed at MTB world cup and world champs. Raced international road from 2001-03. Started CX in 2012 and have raced Nationals 2012,13,14.
Favourite race so far: Diegem. My first race here, it was snowing and freezing cold. I nearly missed the start as I couldn’t find my way through the crowds. I then proceeded to crash 6 times during the race, 3 times at exactly the same place..straight into the crowd.
How do you feel coming into your first CX world Cup: Feeling good and positive. Looking forward to it as it’s the first CX world cup Ive done. Im looking forward to experiencing it with the rest of the team. It will be good to watch the juniors, U/23 and Elite women.
Noisiest person in the house: well the juniors don’t make a peep, so it would have to be Jackson and Madeline…or their ipads!
Name: Jack Hogan
DOB/Category: 12 April 1996 UNDER 23
Experience: MTB in 2007 nationals 2010-12, road 2009 2010 -2013, started CX 2014 racing just one national round and the national champs.
How did you feel about your first European cx race: I was surprised at how different (hard) the course was. Super muddy, probably more so than I was expecting. The crowds were cool, especially people cheering my name even when I didn’t know anyone.
Who do you look up to in Australian Cyclocross: probably say Jongeward, his strength and ability to corner.
Who has had the best crash: Paul had a good slow speed crash on a bit of ice on our training ride in Oudenaarde…before we had even hit the cobbles. He even managed to take out Garry.
Name: Tom Green
DOB/Category: 15 August 1997 JUNIOR
Experience: MTB 2008, competed state level 2009, then nationals from 2011 and Oceanias in 2013. Started road in 2011, competed in road nationals in 2013. Started cx 2013, competed at nationals 2014.
Best training ride so far: riding in the snow, got lost. Called in to John’s Saddlery a weird little leather shop in a weird little town to get directions. We were frozen and we warmed up around his fire. He made the whole team hot drinks and sent us on our way with a hand drawn map.
How does this differ to cx in Australia: In every possible way…The crowds that come to watch and the atmosphere it creates a real buzz. The courses are different as well mainly because there is so much mud, it is relentless and leg sapping.
Most embarrassing bike maintenance moment: Well apart from my plethora of bloopers, it would probably be Noah mounting his tubular on backwards and forgetting his helmet for a ride!
Name: Nicholas Smith
DOB/Category: 1 August 1997 JUNIOR
Experience: MTB 2011, raced road national 2013-14. Started CX in 2013, competed in nationals s2013,14. Competed at CX worlds champs in 2014
How do you feel about coming back to Hoogerheide: Im definitely feeling more confident than last year, and the track should be fairly similar so it will be good to have that knowledge. Still feeling a bit nervous coming into a world cup race but really looking forward to the atmosphere that the big races have.
How has this experience differed from last year: Having the team together, it’s a great environment. Talking about the tracks, racing, cx to the team and being able to speak English with someone else has also made it a lot easier. I also knew what to expect in terms of the weather conditions, track conditions and felt a little more prepared.
Who is eating the team out of house and home: Jack Hogan, hasn’t stopped eating waffles and frites since we arrived. (I believe he is just carb loading –Fiona)
Name: Noah Barrow
DOB/Category: 25 april 1998 JUNIOR
Experience: MTB 2010, raced road in 2013 at US nationals, started CX 2012 racing national in the US, raced Nationals in Australia in 2014
What did you think about your first European cx race, and how does it differ to the USA: It was the hardest race, harder than any other I’ve done. Because of the mud and the high level of competition. In the US I know my competition and I know the style of the tracks, the course in Europe was quite different in terms of the technical condition. There is a lot more mud here.
How do feel coming into your first world cup: I am excited to race, looking forward to the experience of racing a world cup and keen to hit the muddy downhills at Hoogerheide, I don’t mind a bit of sideways action.
Has anyone in the house found love: Well Tom introduced me to Tinder…Tom has 300 matches, but one of them caught his eye, Julie. It was love at first text message. He hadnt stopped talking about her since…unfortunately he played hard to get and he lost her love. So he moved onto the cute coffee shop girl…her name is yet to be confirmed.
Tomorrow we head off to Hoogerheide for practice, registration and managers meeting, then the following day is race day…will report back soon.