Jonathan Page remains the only US rider to grace the elite podium at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, netting a silver medal in 2007, but he may not be on the country's team for the Zolder race later this month. Page has had a difficult transition from his life as an expatriate in Belgium to that of a stay-at-home-father in Ogden, Utah, and has scored only one UCI victory this season in Iowa City. As seventh American in the UCI rankings, and only six spots on the team, Page must be chosen by coach's selection.
Page, however, has more important issues weighing on his mind. One year after his wife nearly lost her life and miscarried their fourth child, she is about to give birth to what Page hopes will be a healthy baby. Coming fourth place to Jeremy Powers, Stephen Hyde and Logan Owen at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Asheville, North Carolina, on Sunday took second place in his mind to his family.
"It was as good as I could get," he told Cyclingnews after the finish. "Those guys had me right from the beginning. I wanted to try to win the bike race, but I did the best I could where I was. Honestly I'm more worried about my wife who is probably in labor right now."
After racing and living in Oudenaarde, Belgium for the better part of a decade, Page made the move back to the US last summer, deciding upon Utah for its access to the outdoors. However, after years of having dozens of major races just minutes from his doorstep, the logistical challenges of being a self-supported rider with thousands of miles between events, coupled with some health issues, caught up with Page.
"I've had breathing issues the whole season. Finally I have it a little more under control, but I've had a frustrating season. Not many people know I've been suffering the whole season," Page said. "I've worked real hard training on my own, staying home and being a father - cleaning up after puking children. I did my best today and it wasn't good enough."
Once his wife is safe, and his child born and healthy, Page says he will decide on the world championships - provided he earns a spot.
"It depends on how the - honestly I think my wife is in labor, and we might have a baby tomorrow... We might go with the whole family. I'm coach's selection now, I just haven't raced that much. For a guy who hasn't raced much, I did OK."
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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