Archive for boulder cyclocross

Race report: The ‘Cross Nationals Buzz

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2014 by Nick Wigston

Cyclocross Nationals 2014

The week of the Boulder 2014 Cyclocross National Championships was amped. Juniors grinned ear to ear or scoped the course seriously with their headphones blocking distractions. Masters over 70 sharpened their elbows to contend for stars and stripes. I took it all in with pleasure and the pride of getting to show off something you love at its best.

The non-championship race was a wild ride on off-camber ice that saw girls running icy descents. Fortunately, my Challenge Fangos hooked up great and rolled fast in a straight line. The racing was tight and competitive with lots of back and forth. I was happily in the 5-way sprint for 3rd.

But, as someone who loves chaos, lining up 80th in Sunday’s elite race was something special. Fighting for every position, running the stairs to deafening howls of enthusiasm, hearing the gasps that mean someone went down behind you, the focus of navigating a tough off-camber with eyes blurry from a hard effort, it was all a buzz I could never describe. I fought through a lot of the pack, and took a donut hand-up on the stairs. My Zinn Magster ‘Cross was super responsive and I made lots of passes in technical sections. Impressively, more women lined up for the elite race than men; one more thing to be proud of.

I also got to send off the kids I’ve been coaching in Boulder Junior Cycling to battle for their own wins, one of whom took home the jersey and all of whom won the pleasure of racing a championships in front of their community on a course their coach, Pete Webber, designed. It was a uniquely wonderful race and the organizers did a phenomenal job getting the crowds out.


Rad video of 1st lap in the ditch: Click here to watch video
You can see me get tangled in the first fumble. You can also see the difference between pros and pack fill!



Colorado State Championships

Posted in Cyclocross, Ride Reports, Snow, Team Zinn with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by zinnemily

At the Colorado Cyclocross SW3 State Championships the past weekend Emily Zinn got narrowly outsprinted for second place on her custom magnesium Zinn cyclocross bike.

Photo: Susan Adamkovics

Photo: Susan Adamkovics

“I trusted my lines in the technical sections that held others up and let loose.  I was riding where others walked, both on the uphill off-camber and up the stairs. After a solid start I found myself riding with the leaders from the start and as they dropped off I continued at the front, chasing the lone leader. My bike felt solid on the icy descent and I barely slid at all barreling around the slick corner that followed. I led the final lap, and was gaining on the girl in first, fighting for the State Championship vest, certain that the girl behind me wouldn’t catch me, but around the final corner I heard the announcer’s excitement for a sprint finish, so I tried my best to channel my inner Peter Sagan, but I couldn’t match her acceleration.”

 Emily Zinn Colorado State Championship podium

Snow and sand slithers

Posted in Cyclocross, Ride Reports, Snow, Team Zinn with tags , , , , on December 11, 2013 by zinnemily

Emily Zinn

Finally, back to some real cyclocross. Enough of these lovely, 60 degrees and sunny days with perfect hardpack that make you feel like you’re riding on rails. I want to slip and slide a bit.


It was cold enough that the few inches of snow behaved like light sand if I got caught in the deep stuff, and my bike would start to slither. As the day wore on, the frozen ruts and icy patches began to expose themselves and get slicker, with each lap offering a new surprise and a new patch where your bike thought it might rather be laying on the ground.

The Reservoir course carved up and down the deep sand along the beach, with at least half the course through the sand, but as the snow packed down the sand became hardpack, in most cases it was more forgiving than the conditions the rest of the course. I find that I am more confident in my relationship with my bike than most when the day gets slippery and I move my way up the field, and such was the case both days this weekend in both categories I raced.


Sunday carved through the Battle of the Bear trail network in Golden, CO, and on its own wouldn’t have been a technical course, but with the thawing conditions each lap was a different animal and I gapped girls on the slick descents each time. I managed a feat I didn’t realize I was capable of, as well, taking the wholeshot from the second row.

I finished second behind an astoundingly talented bike handler and all-around tough girl, 12-year-old Katie Clause. Look out for that name in a few years, her face will be on magazines, no question. Now that I’ve thawed and gotten rid of my cold-weather cough I can’t wait for the next day like this.

I got my first win at Valmont Bike Park!

Posted in Cyclocross with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2012 by Nick Wigston

I got my first win at Valmont Bike Park on Saturday Nov. 17 in the 55+ cyclocross race. Click here to see more.  It was very satisfying to finally win on that course, especially since the course was set way differently than it has been in the past, and it didn’t have much in the way of power sections where you could pass other riders, so it did not suit my strengths. I also don’t think I had ever beaten Gary Thacker before, the guy who has been dominating this category for the past few years in Colorado and is a former national cyclocross champion. All in all, a very good day in what has been a great season for me. I have four wins and four second places out of ten race starts this season. And in US Gran Prix of Cyclocross races I have two wins (in Ft. Collins, CO) and a 3rd and a 4th place (in Louisville, KY).


Lennard Zinn sweeps the USGP races Oct. 13-14!

Posted in Cyclocross with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2012 by Nick Wigston

The US Grand Prix of Cyclocross, the biggest cyclocross race series in this country, came to Colorado the weekend of October 13-14 in the form of the SmartWool USGP in Fort Collins. My daughter Emily and I raced on our magnesium custom Zinn Magster ‘cross bikes, and both of us had successful weekends. I won both days in 55+ Masters men, and Emily placed mid-pack both days in Category 2&3 women despite fighting a cold and having just moved up from Category 4 (she is still in her first year of racing).

Saturday started cool and dry and turned to pouring rain in the middle of my race. Fortunately, I had opted for tires with good tread (Dugast Typhoons) rather than fine tread, which would have been faster in the conditions at the start but which would have been sliding all over the place in the mud that formed rapidly the last two laps. I had lots of catching up to do in both races, since I started in the very back row both days. Unlike local races, in which riders are called to the line based on their points totals, the USGP in my and Emily’s categories do not have a points category of their own and don’t honor any other. Call-ups are based entirely on order that registration was received, and we registered late.

The challenge of passing all of those riders in my group plus lots of singlespeeders who were on course at the same time and had started 2 minutes ahead was great practice for me for upcoming national and world championships I’ll be doing in January. Being able to advance through traffic on a tight and technical cyclocross course is a crucial skill for success.

I am in my fourth season of racing cyclocross, and this season, since I just moved up to 55+ and will be the young guy in that category, added to the fact that the world cyclocross championships are in the USA–in Louisville, KY (the first time ever outside of Europe), I have been training for cycling for the first time in 30 years. I started racing cyclocross as a way to stay fit for cross-country ski racing in the fall, but now it has become an end in itself. And I got an early jump on the cycling season by tearing my triceps muscle in the Finlandia Hiihto and Vasaloppet ski races in Finland and Sweden in late February/early March. Instead of skiing into May, I hung up my skis after the first weekend in March, and I raced my first road season since 1982, in order to prepare for cyclocross season. My goal is to be on the podium at state, national and world championships in cyclocross this season. I am encouraged by this weekend’s results and am taking them as evidence that my training plan is working.

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Cyclocross Nationals 2012

Posted in Cyclocross with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2012 by Nick Wigston

This past weekend was the Cyclocross Nationals in Wisconsin. Not as much snow as we were used to from racing cyclocross in Colorado this season, and overall a great event. Here are some photos.

Here I (Lennard Zinn) am with my longtime buddy Dag Selander (in the orange jacket) who pit-crewed for me. I switched bikes four times during the race; one time because I had a stick jammed in my rear derailleur (see photo). Dag power washed my bikes and gave me a nice, clean one almost every lap.
Last photo is with my teammates (who race different categories than me); left to right: LZ, Brandon Dwight, Pete Webber, and Greg Keller.

My custom lightweight magnesium Zinn Cyclocross bike with custom cranks, Enve carbon fiber rims, and all the lightweight components.



Following in her father’s tire tracks – Emily Zinn is kicking butt in the local ‘cross circuit.

Posted in Cyclocross with tags , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by Nick Wigston

It’s great to see a father and daughter team racing ‘cross together. Emily decided to join Lennard this year to train and race in the local Cyclocross series. Despite a snowy start to the season, the two of them have been out training together at dawn at least once a week, and racing on the weekends. Both are riding custom Zinn magnesium cyclocross bikes, and the lightweight, smooth riding bikes have helped keep the energy levels to the max. (Emily isn’t quite lucky enough to have two bikes, like her dad,  yet. Christmas is still not here……)

emily zinn and her custom zinn magnesium cyclocross bike

Emily Zinn after her victory Saturday in the Bowl of Death at the Louisville Rec Center

On Saturday, she was psyched for her home course advantage (the Bowl of Death is just over the hill from her house and where they train at least once a week) and for the foot of snow and plenty of mud, in which she loves riding. She had lots of Bowl of Death Wednesday morning training group regulars, cheering her on, as well as her mom Sonny and cousin Leif and Delilah (her faithful hound).
A bike change would have made a big difference; on the last lap, her rear wheel froze in place on the last run-up so it wouldn’t turn for remounting.
Saturday she beat a big field as it was part of the Colorado Cross Cup series, and she beat the woman who’s leading the series by almost a minute.

emily zinn win's saturday's snowy 'cross race

Emily on the top step after winning the Adrenalin Cross in Highlands Ranch

She also won the Adrenalin Cross race on Sunday against a smaller field under much colder temperatures (24F; Saturday must have been 30F or so during her race, as the sun was out).
Way to go Emily, the whole Zinn crew is rooting for you. Especially since there is no way the rest of us are going to go out there and race bikes in the snow. 🙂

emily zinn cyclocross racing

Emily on a challenging, snowy climb. hope she brought toe warmers

emily zinn cyclocross racing

Emily on the Adrenalin Cross course in Highlands Ranch, Colorado

zinn custom cyclocross bike

This is why cyclocross racers have two bikes.

Emily still relishing her first win at the Bowl of Death after the others have left.

Here is a link to the race results:

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