By his own admission, 2005 has been Barry Wicks' year to step it up, and he's done just that, taking overall honours in the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series and becoming a serious force within the North American 'cross scene. A relaxed attitude underlies a real desire to be among the best both on and off the bike. He told Cyclingnews' Les Clarke that a winner for this weekend's US national cyclocross championships may just be one of his Kona stablemates.
Going into the 2005-06 cyclocross season, Barry Wicks wasn't seen as one of the big hitters in the field; an inconsistent mountain bike season coupled with the fact that riders such as Ryan Trebon and Tim Johnson were catching people's attention meant Wicks wasn't rated as a favourite for many of the USGP of Cyclocross series races, let alone the series win. But consistent results throughout the six-race series saw Wicks effectively wrap up the overall title after race five in Watsonville. Wicks had been quietly confident of his abilities come crunch time, and it paid off. "I wouldn't say I was surprised...I kind of knew I could ride as well as I did; it was a bit overwhelming I guess," he says.
The key is consistency
At the beginning of the 'cross season Wicks was aiming for more consistency - he'd demonstrated glimpses of his potential during the mountain bike season and was determined to step it up a notch for 'cross. "One of my main goals was just being more consistent - when I was riding mountain bike this year I'd have a really good race and the next race I wouldn't go so good. I was just trying to ride it so I'd finish consistently in the top three or the top five," he says. He knew what it was going to take, and wasn't feeling the effects of a mountain bike campaign with Kona, saying, "I was pretty fresh. I didn't feel like I was rundown from that [the season] or needed a break - I felt pretty good."