Logan Owen’s Quest for the Rainbow Stripes. Post Rome World Cup Interview

Yesterday Logan Owen participated in his last race in Europe for this cyclocross season toeing the line at the Rome World Cup, the penultimate race in the series. Logan ended up fourth behind the seemingly unbeatable Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands, Bertolini of Italy and Budding of the Netherlands. Although disappointed with his placing, Logan currently sits in second overall in the series with one race to go. He has no plans to participate in the last race in the Netherlands instead returning to the US for a shot at his eighth National Championship in a row, some rest and more training and then a final push to the World Championships in Louisville, KY on February 2. We had a chance to catch up with Logan shortly after the race in Rome.

TdlCCycling: Logan, fourth place today in Rome, not what you wanted but still a good result, tell us about the race.

Owen: I was leading the first half lap, feeling really good. I felt I was riding the course well in the pre-rides in the morning and just feeling really good. I came into a section with a corner that had a bunch of slide marks in it that was different than in the pre-rides. It was all smoothed out now, no traction, just slide marks in it. I came into the corner, hit the slide marks, started to lose it then caught myself at first but then just kept going. It went all the way out from under me and just like that I was on the ground. It was stupid. As soon as I was back on my bike Van der Poel was already around the next corner. He just drilled it as soon as he got around me. He went so hard. The Italian kid [Bertolini], he didn’t stay with him but was able to stay close to him. He kept slowly losing ground to Van der Poel but he was, the Italian kid was really strong today. He had a good ride. So those two were gone and for a while then it was a group of seven battling for third. By the time I was able to get back up and get back to the front of the group Van der Poel had a considerable gap. The course was so fast plus add in the corners it was just difficult to move up and gain a lot of ground. Our group was basically racing for third by the first lap.

Budding was in the group, Yaanick Peeters from Belgium was in the group, Nicolas Cleppe another Belgium was in the group, all of those guys are really fast. Quinten Hermans was also there so there were a lot of Belgians in the group. Quinten was the only one really attacking. He would attack, we would drop guys and then come back together and the guys we dropped would get back on and this went on for quite a while. I was really tired by this point too. I had to chase really hard to get back to this group after I went down so for the rest of the race I was pretty shot. I had to go really deep to get back onto the group. I knew for the finale I needed to get in front of Budding before this chicane, single track section. It’s a big wide open sprint to this corner, chicane, off camber, you go across a horse track then a left there. All of this is super tight. I knew I needed to be in front before all of this and I was really focussed on being in front of Budding. We all sprinted to that corner through that wide open area. I was on Budding’s wheel and there was just no way I was going to come around him. He was really strong. I just sat on his wheel. I didn’t even want to come off his wheel that’s how fast we were going. He had me by the time we got to the chicane.

He [Budding] and I are tied on points now but I have the tie breaker for second in the overall.

TdlCCyling: So he will race that last race in the series so you will probably end up third overall then.

Owen: No fourth. Hermans finished seventh today. He has to get top seventh or eighth in the last World Cup to finish ahead of me and that is probably going to happen in that last race.

TdlCCycling: That sucks.

Owen: Yep. I think that I would’ve had to win today for him not to catch me. It sucks because that one mistake screwed the entire race today.

TdlCycling: Well, that’s bike racing.

Owen: (Laughs). Yeah, still sucks though. I felt that I had the legs today, I just f’d it up.

TdlCycling: Yeah, you just have to take something away from that. What’s the lesson? Sometimes you just have to back off, maybe not be so aggressive to the point where that aggression costs you.

Owen: Yeah, I was just pushing the pace at the beginning and I took the corner too fast and it was different from the morning practice run which caught me off guard and it was already too late and I was already going too fast and I was just like “oh shit….”

TdlCycling: Ok, well thanks for the recap. Good luck with the trip tomorrow back to the US. Rest up and we’ll touch base with you next week prior to Nationals

Owen: OK, thanks.

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