Dudes! It's over! We decided to wrap up another successful season of cross clashing and draw some winners. I know, I know, you still have scores to settle at Nationals (or in California!), but let's face it, about 98% of #cxclashes
So it's time to kick out Rapha Swag
to our lucky winner and get back to the all-important business of sitting on the couch, eating cookies, and talking about how "next season is totally gonna be different, maaaaaaan
In case you forgot, the Rapha Swag is: a Cross Jersey
, Team Cross Cap
Pro Team Bib Shorts
(or 3/4 shorts), and Pro Team Cross Socks
The 2012 CLASH OF THE SEASON
was Tony Spangler vs. Matthew Lear. Tony won, 9-0. Oh man. Let's see what they had to say for themselves:
Crossresults.com: After running up the score on Matt with a 9-0 record this season, do you feel bad? At this point, does he even talk to you, or mumble angrily when you’re around?
TS: Matt's been great! He's always ready with a smile and advice (like "start at the back of the pack, it's better for your kill ratio..."). In fact, I've noticed that as the season progressed he's became more and more helpful. He routinely offers to pump up my tires, adjust my derailleurs, and tell me where the registration tent can be found. Some competitors leave friendship at the start line but not Matt. Unfortunately he's been very busy lately, arriving just before the race, warming up solo, and leaving immediately afterwards. At the end of the season Matt also started racing in the non-Masters races so that he could ride with his up-and-coming Junior racer. I was sorry to see him go. When I found out about winning CROSSCLASH, Matt was the first person I emailed.
CR: I see you let him win the first two races of the season, THEN challenged him to a Cross Clash and never looked back. Was this intentional? Did he get totally played, or what?
TS: No, no! Matt's a sensitive guy and I would never take advantage like that. Last year he trounced me and it really seemed to lift his spirits. He started wearing Euro-cool roadie jackets and aviator glasses in the registration lines. I really didn't want to take all that away. After I started winning our head-to-heads I thought about backing out but I'm not very techy and was having computer issues. I probably should have asked for Matt's advice on the matter but things got hectic and I didn't want to bother him.
CR: Looks like you guys had some close battles early in the season before you got your act together. What changed? Did someone learn to steer a bike? Or have a kid?
TS:I had a few rough races at the beginning: missed the staging at the season opener, and at the second race, ripped off a derailleur during practice laps and raced on a borrowed bike. I also came into the season a bit fried from a long MTB season. It took about a month or so to recover and then every race I was moving up. I owe a lot to my team, Adventures for the Cure, and to the comradierie in the Masters Squad. Matt is right at the heart of our squad and was one of the guys who taught me the sport. There's a case of Allagash White sitting by my door for Matt. . . if he ever starts returning my emails.
CR: Sure, your best finish was a 19th place in the 3/4 Masters, but that won’t stop people from thinking you’re sandbagging when you go 9-0 on some poor dude in a Cross Clash. What are your plans for next year? Have you considered see if Matt would pay you to upgrade?
TS:Actually I scored a 5th place in the season ending race! Matt missed that one, unfortunately--something about being busy at work.... Next year? I think I'll take 9 months off the bike so that I come into the 2013 season feeling fresh. Matt, if you're reading this, I've given up training, have started eating and drinking before bed, and will probably downgrade the bike in the off-season. Wanna go head-to-head in CrossClash2013?
Crossresults.com: I think we can all agree that when a guy lets you beat him twice, you start a Cross Clash, and then he goes 9-0 – he’s a jerk. Are you guys still friends?
ML: Yes, but if he doesn't share the prize with me I'm never speaking to him again.
CR: Looks like you guys had some close battles early in the season before the gap, er, uh, widened. What changed? Did someone learn to steer a bike? Or have a kid?
ML: Tony trained a *lot* through the middle of the season and improved a lot. I also made a lot of technical mistakes and lost lots of time. My remounts basically suck, too.
CR: What’s Tony’s greatest weakness? On a bike, or hell, off it? I feel like next year’s Cross Clash opponents need an edge on this guy.
ML: Climbing because he's heavier than me but when he loses weight I'm totally boned.
CR: Do you have plans for revenge in 2013? You could try one of those down-tube motors, or just keep mailing cookies to his house this winter.
ML: I'm going to beat him next year or die trying. I'm not above a little sabotage either so if you have any ideas let me know.
CR: Is Tony a huge sandbagger who definitely needs to upgrade next year?
ML: No upgrading until I have another shot at him!