He's finished second in the World Championships, but one figure stood undisturbed by the crowds at the NRC criterium in North Carolina: Cyclo-crosser Jonathan Page. Page escaped notice from all except the most hardened 'cross fans, preferring instead to take a back seat to the criterium stars. Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo talked to the understated, mellow family man in between the global travels which he takes in pursuit of his passion - cyclo-cross.
As the road season winds down, most of the racers are a bit worn out, haggard, or burnt out. There aren't as many smiles in the peloton, and the edginess of a long season of racing brings out anger or just plain orneriness in the best of riders. But one face in the crowd at the recent criteriums in North Carolina beamed with a relaxed, happy-go-lucky attitude that stood out amongst the adrenaline junkies: that of Cyclo-cross Worlds silver medalist Jonathan Page.
Traveling with his wife Cory and youngest child, Page certainly didn't look like someone who'd been jetting back and forth across the Atlantic many times per year for the past several years - he appeared rested, relaxed and fresh. However, in between meeting his new team and doing a few road races in Belgium as part of the team bonding experience, and the beginning of the upcoming 'cross season, Page was back in the USA to get some speed work in the short, intense NRC crits that fill up the late season North American calendar.
Page laid out his itinerary after the North Carolina races. "I go to Chicago [for Elk Grove], then to water parks in Wisconsin to have fun with Cory's sister, then we go back to Europe at the end of August. Then I come back to do the Michigan [cross] race weekend [9/22-23] and ['cross'] Vegas."
The criteriums are part of his tune-up for 'cross season, and Page was fairly aggressive in the Hanes Park criterium, launching a late-race attack that pulled away a promising group. But Page denies that he had any illusions of winning the criterium. "I was just trying to stay out of the way. Sometimes it's a little too scary for my liking with guys diving here and there... I was just trying to stay safe."
to read to full interview click here.