6 September 2013
This past Sunday, the Vancouver Cross Coalition held Alder Acres, the longest running cyclocross race in British Columbia. Canadian Kevin Noiles, despite a spill late in the race, finished in second place.
Noiles wore the seafoam green kit of Rock Lobster and raced for the first time on his Paul Sadoff, custom-built bike.
“It was a good turn out with around 25 riders in the elite race,” wrote Noiles by e-mail. “Kevin Calhoon took off early and got a big gap while five or so riders played the cat and mouse game, not wanting to be the rider to do to much work in what is a very draftie tactical course.
“Eventually I got free of the other riders and went in pursuit of Calhoon. I was closing in on him until I had a pretty good tumble. I was able to collect my self and maintain my 2nd place to the finish.”
Along with Chapin, Bradford, Work, Juiliano, Sherrill, Courtney McFadden, and Katie Jay Melena, Kevin Noiles is one of the newest members of the recently announced Rock Lobster Factory Team.
“I saw the team when I competed in LA a couple of times as well as at Bend,” recalled Noiles over the phone. “They looked like a solid, well supported team and a good bunch of guys.
“I sent an e-mail off to Paul Sadoff. We had a phone conversation and that was that.
“I’m excited. This is the first time I get to ride custom bikes. I’ve never had a bike made for me before. As a fitter, it’s something I’m very interested in. My friends are impressed with my bikes and they talk about having a Rock Lobster mountain bike. It’s definitely a cool brand.
“Paul asked me what kind of rider I was and what I wanted in my bike. He made me a bike that did what I asked it to do.”
Noiles is confident about his chances to ride a Rock Lobster bike at Worlds in 2014. “In Canada, it comes down to being top five at Nationals. So you have to be on your game that one day. I’ve been top-five at Nationals three times in the past. Last year I was ninth but about 45 seconds out of fifth. [I am] not the far out of the game.
“I am most proud of being fifth at Nationals and within 2 minutes of first place. That was in 2008.”
“[Worlds] is my goal. That’s why I am taking it seriously, training, and racing hard.”
“I like a fast, slippery course. I’m generally not a mudder. That peanut butter mud usually doesn’t do good for me. I am not a power type of rider. A fast, technical course is what I like with sand, off camber, slick mud.”
Noiles grew up on the east coast of Canada as did one of that country’s most successful ‘cross racers. “Without Peter Wedge I probably would never have known ‘cross even existed. He was the guy that piqued my interest.
“‘Cross has given me a passion. I’ve been racing bikes since I was 13 or 14 years old and I am 33 now. ‘Cross is by far my favourite discipline. It’s the funnest sport there is.
“I have held a few ‘cross clinics over the years. I’ve tried to get people interested in it. You see a lot of people show up to a ‘cross race but don’t really know what they’re doing. They go into the barriers and don’t know how to get off or carry their bike, it just seems awkward. But when you give people the skills, I think they have a lot more fun with it.”
“The thing I like about ‘cross is the racing whether its for first or last place. You’re still going as hard as you can, you’re still battling that guy. Whereas in road racing, if you don’t make the break you kind of sit in the pack.”
Noiles will travel for UCI points and is unlikely to appear at any of the Northern California ‘cross events. Nevertheless, NorCal Cycling News will keep abreast of his progress this season and post regular updates in anticipation of the well-regarded Rock Lobster brand and team making an appearance at Hoogerheide next February.
Noiles will appreciate the interest from Northern California. “I’d like to thank Paul [Sadoff] and all the sponsors that helped us. I’ve never had more support than with Paul and I’m extremely grateful to him. He’s taken me on as a rider but he’s never actually met me. If everyone in NorCal is half as nice as Paul then it is definitely a good place to be.”
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