Gates Carbon Drive

Belted Blog

Team Gates Carbon Drive at Cyclocross Nationals: Mud, Sweat and No Tears

  January 14, 2014

The Gates Carbon Drive cyclocross team battled mud, sloppy conditions and a large singlespeed field at the Cyclocross National Championships in Boulder, Colorado, emerging filthy and dirt-caked but happy about their performance against the best racers in the United States.

Mud?  What mud? - Photo courtesy of
Mud? What mud?

The tough course was made even more difficult due to the eight inches of snow that fell just days before the race, turning the surface into a mess of deep off-line snow and slippery, bumpy lines and deep ruts. More than 100 riders lined up for the singlespeed race, and riders jockeyed for position in the large field, struggling to avoid any falls or mistakes.

Jesse Swift only knows how to have fun
Jesse Swift only knows how to have fun

Taylor Nye posted an impressive race against the country’s best singlespeeders, finishing in 10th place. The other five Gates riders were spread out through the field, with multiple finishers in the top 20. Mitch Westall grabbed 15th and Jesse Swift 17th. The best result, however, was joy of the riders following a long season of many victories.

Gates CDX Carbon Drive and TRP Hylex brakes just ignore the mud
Gates CDX Carbon Drive and TRP Hylex brakes just ignore the mud – Photo courtesy of

The Spot Brand Rallye bikes performed flawlessly, and the Gates Carbon Drive belts and sprockets powered through the slop. The Hylex brakes from TRP were amazingly responsive in the tough conditions, while the Stan’s NoTubes wheels let all the riders run ideal tire pressures for the mud and off-camber sections of the course. Even caked in mud, it was impossible to miss the “Agassi Yellow” of the Spot Rallye frames.

Ryan McFarling on the 5280 Stairs
Ryan McFarling on the 5280 Stairs

The team’s Ryan McFarling was unable to make the mud-fest singlespeed race, so he lined up for the drier conditions on Friday for the 40-44 Master’s race, finishing an impressive 22nd against the geared competition.

With the season officially over, the team riders are already looking forward to mountain bike season. See you on the trail and on the race course in 2014!