Hot ‘Cross Riders

Racing cyclocross means you need to have one hell of a bod. Training, nutrition and pure dedication make a champion. we talked to the best local riders in the sport to find out how they do it.

JEREMY POWERS

Age: 32 | Height: 5’11”

Why he’s hot: Powers is one of the most accomplished riders on the planet, with more than 60 UCI victories and three USA Cyclocross National Championships. He’s also a founding member of the JAM Fund, a nonprofit that supports developing ‘cross riders through mentoring and helping to lower the financial barriers of the sport. Just look at him popping out of the water like a majestic merman in his National Champion kit, basically inciting the sport’s sexual awakening. Thank you for being a national treasure, Jeremy.

Training: “My favorite workout is to hit the gym, run and then do a longer ride. I don’t get to do the workout often because it’s pretty intense.”

DIET: “I always drink water with fresh lemon when I wake up and I have very little sugar. Otherwise, I focus on greens and good protein.”

Mindset: “I love hiking with my family (wife and yellow lab Moose). I also had a couple fat bike snow rides this winter and loved it. Hope to do more of that this coming off season.”

Advice: “Always being on a ‘diet’ isn’t great—work on a healthy lifestyle with good, fresh foods and hang out with like-minded folks! I always tell people that it’s a part of my job to eat healthy, and it’s a part of my job I enjoy!”

NICOLE DUKE

Age: 41 | Height: 5’11”

Why she’s hot: I knew Nicole would be a great fit for this list when I noticed my friend had her saved in her phone as “Hot Cyclocross Mom Neighbor.” This mother of two (Ryder, 9, and Canin, 6) has spent 20 years casually winning some of the world’s most grueling races. She’s also a nationally ranked whitewater stand-up paddleboarder. Seriously, Nicole, what kind of witchcraft makes you hotter than most of the twenty-somethings in Boulder?

NicoleDuke

Photo by Dave McElwain

Training: “My training has gone down as I am retiring this year, but I still participate. My body is actually responding better to less exercise. Usually I would train 12 to 15 hours per week on the bike but now I am only riding four to eight hours, but include running, stand up paddle boarding, yoga, and some dirt biking. My favorite cross training is any time in the water, which usually means paddleboarding. I’ve also fallen back in love with trail running because of its simplicity.”

Diet: “I am gluten and dairy free and have been for the last seven years. My body just responds better that way. I don’t believe in depriving myself—life is too short. I love the way my body and mind feel when I’m well hydrated and can eat a lot of seasonal fruits and veggies.”

Mindset: “I find if things are not going my way, the best thing to do is to throw all expectations out the window and just race with what you have.  The added stress only detracts from your experience and result. I’ve been doing this long enough to know, sometimes you just get what you get, no matter the circumstances.”

Advice: “My best advice for leading a healthy lifestyle would be to shop like you are at a farmers market, stick to the outside isles of the grocery store. Eat fresh and seasonal. Find a few activities that you love and find your exercise in those, that way you forget that you are even exercising; you are just enjoying what you love to do. My biggest one is don’t over train. I think in Colorado most of us are used to and expected to go to the extreme with our sports. Remember to give your body and mind time to rebuild and recover and you will find much more strength and enjoyment out of your activities. Be diverse, well rounded and your body will naturally find a healthy rhythm.”

RYAN TREBON

Age: 33 | Height: 6’6”

Why he’s hot: Over the past 12 years, Trebon has been on the podium at ‘cross nationals every year but two, winning two national titles (2006, 2008) and finishing second six times. A man that tall, that fast, chasing you around the track has to be a scary feeling. Someone grab me a water bottle because the thirst is real.

Trebon

Photo by Matthew Lasala

Training: “Typically during most of the year, its somewhere between 20 to 27 hours a week just riding bikes. I like to ride a lot, not so much just specifically doing intervals. I just enjoy spending time on my bike, just riding for riding’s sake with no set agenda. My favorite cross training activity is riding dirt bikes (motorcycles).”

Diet: “I don’t have a very strict diet,  I always tend to say that it’s the amount you eat not what you eat that makes a big difference. My favorite meal is salad and french fries. I eat a salad so I don’t feel so guilty about eating the french fries.”

Mindset: “Typically for CX races when I am riding the trainer, I like to mentally try and memorize the course and lines I want to take. It helps take my mind off the anxiety of waiting for the start and I feel more confident when I can memorize sections. I enjoy spending time with my dog, Frank and riding dirt bikes with friends, too.”

Advice: “Everything in moderation, even moderation. People spend so much time just training on the road to go faster in CX races yet they don’t spend enough time learning how to ride their bikes faster and more efficiently off-road.”

KATIE COMPTON

Age: 36 | Height: 5’6”

Why she’s hot: The reigning World Champion possesses the ultimate combination of speed, strength, stamina, and technical skills. She’s a natural stunner, something that comes with having 22 World Cup wins, four medals at the Cyclocross World Championships and more than 90 UCI victories, making this blonde bombshell the most successful U.S. Cyclocross athlete, male or female, in the sport.

KatieCompton

Photo by Mark Legg

Training: “I ride anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week depending on the time of year and my racing schedule. I ride my cross bike, MTB, road and track bike at different times throughout the seasons. I like the variety, I get to work in different skills, and it keeps it fun. I try to do some yoga and stretching/core a few times a week. For cross training I like to run trails, mainly uphill runs, and do the Incline. I do this year round.”

Diet: “I have some food intolerances so I avoid things that don’t make me feel well. I have a wheat allergy so I don’t eat any wheat, and I also eat a low histamine diet when my seasonal allergies are bad. Otherwise, I eat a diet with moderate protein, healthy fats and lots of veggies. I love fruit and sweets so I try to avoid eating too much of that since I don’t want to stop once I start. My favorite meal is sushi. I could eat sushi every day for the rest of my life and be super happy about it.”

Mindset: “I usually visualize the course, go through all the lines and gear shifts as well as where I can attack and recover. I also think about tires and pressures for the course. After that, I don’t stress about it, just think about what I need to do to ride my best. In the off-season, I like to go skiing, hang out with friends, and hike with my dog. I like to cook, too, and do some baking.”

Advice: “Try to ride your bike at least eight hours each week, more if you have time. Make sure to do some high-intensity intervals a couple days a week, add in some running and/or yoga if your schedule allows and eat a healthy diet. Find a group to do ‘cross practice or ‘cross rides with once per week for fun and ask questions if you’re not sure about something. Most importantly, enjoy what you’re doing and take a few days off when you need a mental or physical break.”

KAITIE ANTONNEAU

Age: 23 | Height: 5’2”

Why she’s hot: After years of dominating the under-23 ranks, Kaitie Antonneau now routinely crushes competitors twice her age. The superhuman cycling prodigy placed second at Cyclocross Nationals this year.

20140927- RSCGloucesterDay1 -IMG_0433

Photo by Todd Prekaski

Training: “I have a coach and how much I ride depends on where I’m at in the season. A week will look like anywhere from 10 to 18 hours on the bike. I do yoga, running and lots of core stuff. When ‘cross season is over, I take three to four weeks off the bike before getting into road season.”

Diet: “I generally eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a little bit of everything. My favorite food is definitely Mexican tacos.”

Mindset: “At home, I like to completely disconnect from social media and the Internet in general. I just enjoy time with my favorite people and try to stay present in the moment.”

Advice: “Have fun with it.”

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