Thursday, June 12, 2008

KEEP an Eye on Dartmouth grad DEVON Haskell at NVGP:
this is an old interview but pretty funny. Riding her bike across the green..sounds like most students....
Dec. 13, 2007
Filed under:Cyclocross, Interviews Comments (1) Previous: Hump day links Next: Hump day links
CBR interview: Devon Haskell
Photo by Luke Seemann
Plenty of Chicago racers had good seasons in 2007, but none dominated a field quite like Devon Haskell (Team Get a Grip Cycles). In just her second year of competition, Haskell cruised to victory in each of the six races of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, where she raced women’s 1/2/3, including Sunday’s state championship at Montrose Harbor. She also invaded our neighboring states, winning the state championship races in Indiana and Wisconsin.
The 26-year-old had a memorable road season as well. Racing for the University of Chicago, where she is pursuing a PhD in economics, she finished 3rd in the Division II women's road race national championship and 6th in the criterium. That earned her a spot on the Ryan Collegiate All-Stars, a women's squad that competed against the nation’s best professional women at June’s Nature Valley Grand Prix.
This weekend Haskell tackles the next level with the national cyclocross championships in Kansas City, where she’ll slog through the cold and mud not just once but twice. Even though she was busy getting ready for that and writing a big paper for school, she spared a few minutes this week to talk about her season and cycling’s many dividends.
What happened at the Nature Valley Grand Prix?It was a fun experience until Day 4. I don't really remember what happened. The first 70 miles of the race were going along fine, and then I think I hit a curb that according to witnesses launched me about 20 feet onto my head. (Thank goodness for helmets!) I had a concussion that left me out for a bit. I missed out on some summer racing, like Proctor weekend and most of Superweek, which was a bummer.
How did you get ready for cross season?I found a super coach, Brian Conant (Pony Shop), who prepared me well.
Did your success surprise you?I didn't know what to expect from cross this year, so yeah, I was surprised.
You'd think women's cross would be popular: small time commitment, low risk of injury, high risk of incredible fun. Any idea why the ChiCrossCup fields have been so small?I guess people just haven't`[Cross is] like being a kid on the playground while at the same time discovering and redefining your body's limits.’ learned how much fun cross is yet.
What's so fun about it?You get to play in dirt, mud and snow, splash in puddles, dart through trees and jump over stuff. It's like being a kid on the playground while at the same time discovering and redefining your body's limits. It's difficult not to get hooked by that combination.
Will you be going to cross nats in Kansas City this weekend?Definitely. I don't want to miss one more chance to ride my cross bike this year. I'll be racing collegiate and then elite.
With the cross season ending this weekend and the collegiate road season starting in February, you're not left with much of an off-season. You obviously can't do the traditional drawn-out prepare-base-build-peak cycle. What kind of plan do you have?Apparently I have a short plan. It will be better than last year, when I didn't really know about the whole base-build-peak thing until February.
Where do you see your cycling career going?This is a hard one for me. With this being my first full season, I haven't had a lot of time to figure that out. I've definitely developed a passion. All I know right now is that I want to keep riding and having fun.
Is it coincidence that you went to Dartmouth, alma mater of former collegiate national champion and UCVC rider Todd Yezefski (Nerac)? Yeah. The only biking I did at Dartmouth was from one side of campus to the other. That's not very far.
One of your teammates has accused you of being "the sweetest and most genuine person that I have ever met." How do you plead?My teammates are too nice.
I happen to have ample evidence that nice guys tend to finish if not last, mid-pack. Don't you think you'd go faster if you stopped smiling all the time and at least snarled a little?:)

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