This was the first real cross country race I watched on TV.
I knew only of Tinker Juarez and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t in the top 10. I’d never heard of Frischknecht, Djernis, or Brentjens and though I’d only been riding for a year I knew very quickly that those guys were head and shoulders above the idols that I’d chosen.
In other posts I’ve mentioned my affinity for Frischknecht, and if you’re a careful reader of Cyclocross Magazine you may recall my post about watching the ’96/’97 Cyclocross world championships on VHS.
After finishing with another silver medal in XC Frischknecht was invited by the Swiss federation to do the road race as a sort of reward. He competed in his mountain bike shoes on a Swiss Cross with slick tires and finished with the pack in what was the longest ride he’d ever done.
What’s really funny is to think about how much mountain bike racing has evolved since ’96. That course looks remarkably tame compared to anything out there today.
As the snow falls across the Eastern Seaboard you may find yourself inside with 5 minutes to spare, and when you do put Bob Costas on mute and fire this up…then wait for spring.