I am Eric Brunner from Boulder, Colorado and a member of the BLUE Factory Team. I spent the past six weeks racing in Europe with USA cycling after winning U23 Nationals and being selected to Team USA for Cyclocross Worlds. During that time, I competed in eight races including four World Cups and culminating with the Cyclocross World Championships in Dübendorf, Switzerland.
Overall, the trip felt constructive. It provided the opportunity for me to live a bit like a pro cyclist for a while, without the distractions and demands of school at the University of Colorado or daily life. Things like not having to plan my own logistics and getting massages several times per week add up and take some of the stress away. Although the first couple races were a shock, especially not having raced in Europe in a couple years, I was proud to have finished better in each consecutive World Cup of the trip. After the final two-week block of races that included Nommay, Hoogerheide, and Worlds, I was satisfied because I knew that I performed like I should be able to.
This year’s Worlds felt like a big step up. I raced aggressively and tactically the entire 50 minutes and finished 13th, my best Worlds or World Cup result. The majority of the course was completely flat, but a few steep hills and five flyovers provided a considerable amount of elevation gain and difficulty. Surprisingly, given the rain earlier in the week, the conditions were relatively dry at race time on Saturday. The ground was spongy and damp but not very muddy. The course was physically demanding enough that it almost felt like a deep mud race—gaps were large and the best strategy was to ride at your own pace without worrying about other riders.
BLUE Norcross custom USA National Champion paint scheme.
One of the most memorable parts of the trip was racing in the National Champion’s skinsuit. Although riders are not allowed to wear champion’s jerseys at Worlds, I did get to ride a stars-and-stripes painted bike for the championships. BLUE surprised me with the custom Norcross Team Edition frameset and my coach Grant Holicky brought it to Switzerland a couple days before the race. It’s really rewarding when people and brands believe in you enough to give that special of support, and I’m looking forward to an even better season starting in the fall.
That’s it for this season. Thanks for reading!
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