Here is part two of my Meet your Promoter Interview series. Today's subject is Jeff Yielding. He puts on the wildly popular Hermann Cross Under the Lights Cyclocross Race & the Missouri State Cyclcross Championships. Hermann isn't exactly East Coast Missouri but its is close enough for me.
On to the interview:
What was your first CX race & what did you race it on? A true CX rig or MTB?
It was in Iowa back in 2005. I converted a hybrid bike my wife had into a cross bike. Heavy as it gets but it was good enough for 5 races I did that year. I got the CX bug then and raced more in 2006 with the same bike with a few minor upgrades here and there. I was not in Missouri racing the Bubba Cross series, by the end of the year I was hooked.
What was the first race you promoted?
It was the Finchford Road Race in Iowa. I was introduced to bike racing from a good friend of mine, John Adamson who races for the Bike Tech Racing team. He helped me learn the ropes of bike racing as a Cat 5 and Cat 4 and how to promote a bike race.
What made you decide to promote? I mean it is the most inglorious/thankless part of racing?
Once I moved to Hermann, settled in and began to see what this town had to offer cyclist, I had to find a way to get the word out. The roads here are awesome, so many hills to ride and traffic is low. Plus when you’re done riding for the day, kick back and enjoy the restaurants, wineries and shops. The MO State Cross event promotion in Hermann just happened by chance, glad it did as the City Park has been a great place to host this race. Super long course with lots of unique elements. From there I began to add races like the Tour of Hermann, Bearcat cross, Hermann Cross Under the lights and I have plans for a 26 mile Time Trial next year. I would not say it’s thankless at all, I get a lot of emails, blog posts and personal thanks day of the event for the effort. I appreciate that everyone enjoys the races and makes the trip to Hermann, the city does too. Hermann is such a great place, I want all to know about it and it’s my way of giving back to the community I live in.
Tubular or Clincher? Favorite Tire?
Made the switch to Tubular in January of this year, Challenge Fango, could not be more happy with the result. The set up is awesome!
Current CX Rig? Pit Bike?
Ridley Cross Wind, love this bike! No pit bike, just tires.
Geared or SS? If Geared 9 or 10? If SS Favorite Gear set up?
Geared, single chain ring in front (42) with a 12x25 in the back. I think that is the set up?
How does it feel to borrow my State jersey for this season?
Ha! You’re going to have to come get it from me in December.
I know you upgraded to 2's last season. What made you decide to move up?
I wanted to race the Elite race at Nationals last year and go through the upgrade points process before I moved from the Bubba Cross series B races to A. Not often do you get the chance to race with the best.
East Coast racing in Missouri is mostly still using the A/B/C cats versus the West coast using the USCF Cat's. What your feeling on this?
I’ve gone with USAC categories for my events with an added beginner men and women class to help foster new riders to this awesome sport. I prefer the categories, my guess we all will begin to move that direction.
Should there be a State wide CX Series?
I don’t see it happening. Many racers either race the KC events or the STL events. Not many get to both and if you’re not competing against racers in the series it may not mean much to the rider.
What do you think about 35+ Master's Categories?
I’ll be racing 40+ next year, so I like it for this year!
Favorite CX Brake Set up?
Spooky breaks with TRP pads.
You bet, Easton EC 90 aero. Love them!
Are you a mudder? ie prefer racing in the mud?
Hate to clean the bike after a mud race but a few here and there are cool.
Dream CX Dinner companions?
Anyone who wants to give me good training and racing advice.
What was the best piece of cx training advice you ever got?
Got a good one this weekend, get into a small gear before a hill climb so not to lose any momentum. I tend to try and power up the hill.
What would you tell someone interested in promoting a CX race?
Give me a call or email, I’ll be happy to share what I know.