The battle in the Men’s and Women’s Elite races should be raging at this weekend’s US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) races in Louisville KY but other competitions should also be heating up. And one of them is the Men’s 17-18 Junior’s.
After winning the first two USGP races in Madison WI, Cody ‘Kid’ Kaiser, the only junior on the California Giant-Specialized team, took the early lead in the standings, and his hope is to keep the jersey until the end.
“Obviously, I’d like to win as many as possible and go for the overall,” said 18-year Kaiser, “as we get later on into the season, definitely some faster guys will be popping in so we’ll see how everything rolls.”
Two against one was the best way to describe the racing at the two Planet Bike Cup races in Madison, where Kaiser faced the Eckmann brothers, Yannick and Robin, from the Clif Bar Development Team. During the race, Kaiser was often sandwiched between the brothers as they tried to drop him, but he stayed cool and bidded his time.
“I’m out here by myself, and it’s going to be a challenge from the start. They put in some early attacks to see if they could drop me, I just tried to hang tough and then one popped and it was left up to me and Yannick and then he went on a flyer both days, I was sitting on him, I didn’t want to catch him too quickly.” explained Kaiser, “Once I did catch him, I could tell that he was slowing down, trying to let his brother catch up, bring it back to two against one and that’s when I made my move both days, with two laps to go.”
The second race on Sunday was a lot harder, “with the wind, being a little fatigued from yesterday. Obviously, being under a little bit of pressure.” smiled Kaiser.
The field was small in Madison, with only 5 riders, but Kaiser expects that the numbers will get bigger & bigger as the series continues. It will be the first time racing in Louisville for Kaiser, but he did race in the final four races, in New Jersey and Oregon, last year where he finished top 10 in each.
“Both were races of attrition with the mud.” commented Kaiser about last year’s final four races. “I’ve never had the best mud handling skills and the last man standing ended up winning. They are both real technically demanding, they are both awesome races though.”
His strategy? It depends. “It really depends on who is there, how the race is going to play out, mud conditions, it can even go down to tire choice, it really depends.”
After his wins in Madison, Kaiser went back to California where he raced locally, and he racked up another win, taking the overall Men’s race at the CCCX #3 last weekend.
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