Cyclocross

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.

Logan Owen’s Quest for the Rainbow Stripes. Interview on the Eve of The Rome World Cup

Logan Owen is back in Europe as he prepares for the Cyclocross World Championships on home soil in Kentucky this coming February. He has already notched up a win at an event in Namur and the day after Christmas he went one better than his third place in Tabor notching second at the World Cup race in Zolder. We had the opportunity to speak with him on the eve of his last race of the trip, The Rome World Cup.

TdlCCycling: Tell us a little about your trip to Rome from where you have been staying in Belgium for the past week.

Owen: It was good. We stayed a few extra days after Cross Camp. A lot of the guys did Baal but I decided to not do that. I wanted to rest up before we came here. It was only about an hour flight, super simple. USA Cycling helped us out to get here. We are staying at the host hotel for the Rome World Cup which is where all the teams are staying.

TdlCycling: Tell us about what you did today as far as pre-riding the course, what you saw, what is the course like and what do you expect in the race.

Owen: It’s basically a dirt crit. I think it is going to be big groups. I think it will probably be a group of at least five coming to the finish together. I hope to be there racing for the win. Hopefully we can keep Van der Poel in the mix, in the group, hopefully he can’t get away like he has been. But yeah, the course is just going to be dry and fast.

TdlCCycling: Is the course very technical?

Owen: There are turns throughout the entire course, nothing too difficult. It’s not muddy or anything. Not at all like we have been racing in in Belgium. And it is supposed to be sixty degrees and sunny.

TdlCCycling: Nice! So after the race what will you do then? 

Owen: After the race we will be packing everything up, packing up our bikes and taking off to a hotel close to the Rome airport, check in there and stay the night before flying out on Monday.

TdlCCycling: Then you will be heading directly to Wisconsin for the US Nationals in Madison correct?

Owen: Correct. I didn’t want to fly all the way across the country to Seattle just to get back on a plane again. I am staying with a host family in Milwaukee for a few days and then hooking up with my Redline team in Madison on Thursday.

TdlCCycling: Good luck for tomorrow and we will touch base with you next week when you are back in the States.

Owen: Sounds good. Thanks.