Nat Ross (Subaru-Gary Fisher) racked up countless hours of endurance racing during a successful 2006. The endurance racer won the 24 hour National Point Series thanks to race wins at the 24 Hours of Moab, Landahl, and Temecula. In between the 24 hour races, Ross found time to compete in the Race Across America (RAAM).
Ross, with his affable, easy-going personality, spoke to Cyclingnews about 2007, which will be his fifth season with the Subaru-Gary Fisher team. He will focus on 24 hour races and repeating the 24 hour series title. He'll also mix in some shorter, grassroots events.
"I'm very excited for the upcoming season. My team's philosophy for me fits perfectly with my program. In the shorter races, I get fit and in the longer races, I try to do well," said Ross. "I found myself racing 170 days per year, but that was too much, so now I don't race both types as much. I do a lot of grassroots races and festival-style races to cover that scene for Fisher."
Ross was returning from a weekend of cross-country ski racing. The versatile athlete is planning some interesting off season activities. He hopes to go to winter triathlon worlds in Italy for a race comprised of cycling, cross-country skiing, and running.
"I'll get a lot of riding in during the winter on my mountain bike. I just moved to Golden, Colorado, and I'll do some fun, long rides to explore my surroundings," said Ross, who made the move to focus more on cycling, in particular, his speed and power.
Ross will ride his 29'er in 2007. He's looking at the NORBA ultra-endurance races, the 24 hours of Old Pueblo, Leadville, the Firecracker 50, and he said, "I'd like to go back to Moab."
As for the road, Ross said, "I'm also doing the Race Across America. It wasn't on my calendar before last year because I used to spend June in Europe. I'll do it again next year. But I'll never do it solo, only as part of a team."
Don't expect to see him at any 100 milers. "I don't particularly enjoy the 100 milers. You go as hard as you can for 9 hours, and I find I can either do that for 3 hours or 24 hours, but not that middle distance. I also have a huge support crew for the 24 hours, but I don't drag them to the 100 milers. I don't want to burn them out, and so I'm on my own."