The Iowa World Cup course was one similar to some of the toughest Beglian classic cross races. Similar to Overijse or the Koppenberg, this course had major elevation mixed with tight technical sections that tested everyones limits. There was mud, sand, fast grassy section – it had it all.
Photo by Meg McMahon
The start of the race was a very chaotic one with the start chute with big rutted mud sections followed by a tight run in thick off camber mud that had riders scrambling to stay upright and move forward through the group.
Photo by Andy Bokanev
Durrin started in 42’nd position (about 5th or 6th row), and was able to get an OK start and running strong early on. A few mishaps including a little crash on the first lap had him slip some places and struggling to keep on the blistering pace set up the brutal climbs on the back section of the course.
“I never quite felt like I had that kick I had in Vegas. I was riding at one speed and had a hard time accelerating out of corners. It was made tougher when you get passed, mentally making it a struggle within yourself. I knew where I belonged, but for some reason I just could not put the power out.”
About midway Durrin settled into a group of about 5 riders, but was off the pace and struggling to move forward. He was able to move up a little bit through this group but ultimately he finished 42’nd, a far way down from where he is capable of finishing.
Photo by Meg McMahon
“I’m really disappointed with the race. I was feeling confident coming into the race after coming off such a strong set of races the past week. The legs just were not able to recover fully after the chaos of Vegas and all the travel. It left me without any snap, and just a diesel engine which doesn’t quite cut it at these top races against the best in the world. Now its time to reassess and recover before the next block of racing.”
Next up the team travels back to the east coast for the week before traveling to the Thompson KMC CX fest where another C1 UCI race is on tap. After that Jeremy flies back to the UK for the remainder of the season where he will be competing in the National Trophy Series and the World Cups.
Cross Vegas is done and dusted. Another demanding course was brought to the riders by the staff at CXVegas and it really tested everyone to their limits. The grass of Vegas is thick and spongy, not fast like most would think. There were 4-6 sections that were challenging and forced the riders to either ride stairs, dismount or power through a tough uphill sand section. It required complete attention throughout the whole race in order to not make mistakes.
Durrin had a 5th row call up, which normally means chaos on the first lap. He managed to move up to the top 30 within the first half lap, but a small spill on a set of stairs caused a reshuffle and was forced backwards a bit.
“In years past a problem like that would have hurt me mentally, but I have been working on persevering in tough situations and I was able to just pick myself up and keep rolling without panicking.”
Durrin rallied strong and moved up while the big hitters at the front were attacking and stringing the race out. 3 laps in and big groups started to form and Durrin found himself in the third group but was moving forward still. He was able to distance himself from a large group and move from the mid 30s to the mid 20s and fighting for his best World Cup result to date.
“I knew if I just stayed calm and relaxed and didn’t go in the red to early, it would pay off in the end. About 4 or 5 laps in guys from the front group were flying backwards as if they had an anchor tied to them, saving the energy to the end was a good call and I was able to win my group at the finish.”
In the end Jeremy was able to beat the group he was racing with and take home 28th place. This is a good sign for him as he moves into the next round of the World Cup in Iowa City. The fitness is there, its just about putting the whole race together.
“I’m feeling confident this season. My fitness is better, and I am better able to focus and relax during stressful situations in the race. I feel like I have a better handle on things this season and I’m excited to see what the next races bring.”
Up next is the Jingle Cross World Cup in Iowa City. The course features a large hill that resembles the Koppenberg CX race in Belgium, and with the rain that has fallen the past few days in Iowa its set to be a muddy one tomorrow! Make sure you tune in for live coverage and give Jeremy a cheer!
Recently we spoke to David Bolland about his first season with the team and his experiences. It was David’s first year racing the premier calendar season and he learnt a lot. He is looking forward to taking another step up next road season.
Tell us about your season so far:
”I have found this season to have been a big roller coaster, with highs and lows. However the season has been a great datum to me as it shows my strengths and weaknesses, which I can work on through the off season.
What has it been like racing your first premier calendar season?
”Its a special opportunity to race a ‘prem’ and to race a full season is something else. As a junior rider I did not have the financial support to get me to the races in the national scene, so when I started racing for Neon Velo it was so good to have everything sorted. You realise how lucky you are to be there.”
What have you learnt?
”One of the key aspects of racing is learning from what you do wrong and correcting it. For me it was staying up right in the criteriums. My first two crits of the year I hit the deck- both were because I wasn’t confident enough to let the bike just glide through. So for a long time I was training on council estate streets which had tight high speed corners to build my confidence- part of some of the routines was deliberately clipping my pedals through a corner!!!”
What are you strengths?
”Well after this season I would say my strengths would be criterium racing and track racing. I got a top 20 in the Wales open criterium which was exciting! I also won the points race at the national hard track round held at Scunthorpe’s Quibell Park.
What has been your favourite race this season?
”Obviously I would say any races I’ve put my hands in the air…!!!! haha. However it has to be the Lincoln Grand Prix. It is a race that’s deep in my cycling roots as it is held by my former club Velo Club Lincoln. Plus 2 of my mentors have got top 10’s there- Frank Kelly and former winner Phil Thomas.”
What are your goals and ambitions for next season?
”My main target is to get myself to a physical and mental state of strength where I can help push Neon Velo and to be a main protagonist on the elite british racing season. Anything else would be a bonus for us all in the team.”
This past weekend was the Nittany Lion UCI C2 weekend. This is a staple race in the Northeast US cyclocross scene, and being only a little over 3 hours from Jeremy’s house in the US its an easy choice to come here to race before heading out to Vegas and the next big block of racing.
Day one saw Durrin take a commanding win after storming off the front of the race with 3 laps to go.
“I was really happy to take the win on day one. I played it smart and really made it count when I decided to attack the race. It worked out perfectly and it feels good to get confirmation that my legs are heading in the right direction”
Day two the race was a lot different, with high speeds and big group racing. It made for exciting racing for the spectators but Jeremy said it was a very high stress race with having to fight for position the whole race. It was a matter of seconds in the end with a sprint finish of 10 coming to the line together.
“The race was really stressful. 10 guys riding in a group makes it chaotic, so it was all about trying to stay calm and protect your positioning in the group. I did a good job not leaving the top 4 the entire race and applied the power when it counted”
Jeremy got the whole shot and drove the pace for the first lap before other riders showed their faces at the front in their own effort to break the group up. It was not to be, and the group stuck together until the very end. Jeremy took the front with a half lap to go to protect his positioning and dictate the pace going into the final corners. First into the last corner was almost set to win, and thats exactly what Durrin did. He out sprinted his competition taking home his second UCI victory of the season.
What a way to get the season kicked off! After a hard weekend up in Rochester NY dusting off the cobwebs, it looks like Jeremy’s legs are coming along nicely in preparation for the Wold Cups in Vegas and Iowa this week.
“I’m really happy to win two days in a row. It raises the moral and confidence going into a very big and important block of racing with Vegas on Wednesday night and Iowa World Cup on Saturday. Now its all about recovering and staying away from the hotel buffets in Vegas!”
Jeremy raced a very smart race in order to take the victory at the UCI race in Pennsylvania. It was another hot and dusty race and it was a large group for the majority of the day. He had to play on other peoples mistakes as it was really slick in the corners due to the dusty atmosphere.
It wasn’t until 3 laps to go when Jeremy put in the race winning effort and was able to distance himself from the chasers and cruise in for win!
“It was a waiting game today. With such a fast course, it was up to the small mistakes in the corners where you could take advantage and distance yourself over the competitors. I attacked at the perfect time when the race had been going hard for a while and I was able to but some space in between myself and the chasers. Once I had the gap it was just making sure I made no mistakes for the final two laps. Im really happy to get the win and get some good point to carry back to the UK with me when I race the National Trophy Series.”
This past weekend Jeremy Durrin headed to Rochester NY for the UCI season opener. The weekend featured a UCI C1 and C2 race. The temperature on day one factored into the racing with a lot of riders suffering from the 101 degree (38c) heat. The course was fast and group racing was the name of the game both days.
Day 1 saw Jeremy in the lead group and on the front trading pulls and putting in a solid performance. It wasn’t until about 45 minutes into the race that Jeremy had some severe issue with the heat and saw his heart rate sky rocket above 200 for a significant period of time, and he was forced to slow up and salvage the race as best he could rolling across the line in 15th after a very tough race and being caught by a big group in the last half lap.
Hydration and staying cool was the focus that evening in order to get ready for the next day, which featured the exact same course but much cooler temperatures.
“The race was extremely demanding and the heat really made it difficult today. Maybe I went out a little to hard, but I was feeling really comfortable up until the point of ‘lights out’ for me. My legs felt strong, but my heart was telling me a different story when it was pegged at about 200 for 2-3 minutes.” – Jeremy said about day 1
Day two started with a tough start from Jeremy after a rider in front of him slipped and had him unclipping early. It didn’t seem to phase him as he worked his way back from mid pack back to the lead group with about 2 to go. The lead group was about 12 riders and the pace was picking up, the field split like the finish of a road race sprint stage and Jeremy rode it in for a solid top 10, about 20 seconds down from the winner, and confirmed that the legs are there and the first race weekend cobwebs are out of the system and ready to hit it again next weekend in prep for the Vegas World cup next Wednesday.
“Im happy with my legs today. After yesterday I needed a confirmation that the legs are there. I put out consistent lap times after I had a bad start getting caught up in mid pack. My fastest lap was the last one and I was with the lead group at the beginning of the last lap. Previous efforts of moving up through the field hurt me with positioning as it played out like a road race in the end” – Jeremy said after day 2