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It is well known that Europeans dominate the World Cup races in the elite men's category. Decades of tradition and support have helped these amazing racers win at the highest level. However, our American contingent is knocking on the door! Every year it seems as though U.S. riders get a little bit faster and a little bit stronger as they work our way to the World Cup podium. This past weekend was a prime example. Gage Hecht and Lance Haidet notched their best World Cup finishes ever finishing 18th and 20th respectively. They were the 2nd and 3rd best Americans. 

On Sunday's muddy course, Gage uncorked a big one in the UCI C1 race finishing 6th overall. Lance battled some fatigue and, shall we say, technical difficulties that relegated him to 19th place. Gage will be taking his fine racing form to the Telenet UCI World Cup in Wisconsin, while Lance is heading across the Atlantic to prepare for the World Road Cycling Championships in Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

This is not Belgium. This is Iowa. "I think this [Jingle Cross] course has a lot of similarities to tracks I have raced in Europe. It has lots of good power sections along with super difficult technical terrain. It’s a great course that reminds me of the harder days or racing in Belgium." - Gage Hecht

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

The race fitness is coming along. "I was generally happy about the pace I rode both races. I have a history of going way too hard and early at this event, but this time that didn’t affect me." - Gage Hecht

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

Firing on all cylinders. "I had my focus 100% on the Saturday World Cup I think it worked out pretty well, as I had my best elite World Cup finish ever! With the course being as difficult as it is and the depth of the field, I knew that the second half of the race was going to be super important." - Lance Haidet

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

You have to leave it all on the course "I went pretty hard in the first couple of laps, but I did manage my effort and kept it smooth. As I started to see riders fading, I gave it everything I had and was able to pick up around six or seven spots in the final five laps in order to secure my first top-20 ride." - Lance Haidet

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

So Euro. "The Jingle Cross course is definitely the most Euro-like course we have in North America and reminds me of the World Cup in Namur, Belgium. It has similar amounts of climbing, long run-ups, tricky off-cambers, and typically very sloppy conditions. Namur is during the Christmas holiday so we are more concerned with whether to go with the hot or extra hot embrocation, rather than how many ice socks to start with!" - Lance Haidet

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

Skills. "My technique is still making its way back. I was not consistently hopping the barriers and also was having some issues with the descent. This will all get better through racing and practice." - Gage Hecht

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

Learn from your mistakes. "I’ve definitely learned a lot this weekend about my personal ability as far as pacing and hydration. Also, I found some things  I need to work on when I’m doing skills work. I can always be improving and that feels good."  - Gage Hecht

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

Some days are better than others.  "My race on Sunday went off the rails rather quickly. Somehow I managed to eject over the bars and later tripped while running up Mt. Krumpet, which both led to a couple mechanicals. After this I completely cracked. It was honestly impressive how quickly everything fell apart." - Lance Haidet

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

From mud to the tarmac  "The next couple of weeks are actually pretty jam packed for me. The fall quarter of school starts up this week, I leave for Road Worlds this next weekend and then race the U23 Road Race on 9/27. I am really looking forward to the experience to race UCI Road Worlds, but I am also slightly bummed to be missing the Madison World Cup. Don’t worry, during the week in Yorkshire, I will still being getting up to do some morning jogs in order to keep the cross legs primed." - Lance Haidet

Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

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Gage Hecht Lance Haidet Donnelly Cyclocross

Rider Tire Selection and Pressure 

Gage Hecht (Sat.)

Front: MXP / 25 psi
Rear: MXP / 25 psi

Lance Haidet (Sat.)
Front: MXP / 23 psi
Rear: MXP / 24 psi

Gage Hecht (Sun.)
Front: PDX / 23 psi
Rear: PDX / 25 psi

Lance Haidet (Sun.)
Front: PDX / 22 psi
Rear: PDX / 23 psi

Donnelly Professional Cycling Team Sponsors

Donnelly Bicycles
Aevolo Cycling
Full Speed Ahead
Cuore Cycling Apparel
Feedback Sports
Victory Circle Graphix
ProNet Cycling

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Team Schedule (Tentative)
Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY
Jingle Cross World Cup – Iowa City, IA
Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI
Oz Cross - Fayetteville Arkansas
US Open of Cyclocross – Boulder, CO
Cincinnati UCI Cyclocross - Cincinnati. OH
Silver Goose - Midland, ON
Pan Am Games - Midland, ON
Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK 
USA National Championships – Tacoma, WA
UCI World Championships – Dubendorf, CH