MFS asked Team CLIF Bar Cycling rider Brady Kappius for some thoughts on USA CX Nationals. What follows are his own words.

Cross Nationals. The one race everyone is peaking for and the only race anyone remembers next season. For added effect, it was in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado this year. No pressure right? Riding to the race from my front door with my spare bike in hand was pretty surreal. It just seemed like another local race, except it was the biggest one on the calendar for almost all US riders. I lined up on the start line in the exact spot that I train, week in and week out, doing practice starts with nobody watching, this time with 6,000 spectators. Hearing my name every 5 seconds for 60 minutes along the course gave me chills, and added motivation to hold onto the wheel in front of me, trying to not get lapped by Jeremy Powers. Thankfully I managed to make that happen. Just barely though. With nobody chasing me on the last lap, I had a bit of time to soak things in a little more. Gave some high fives, rode some stairs, and hopped some barriers in an indirect attempt to say, "Thank you." Because at the end of the day, we're just riding bikes around a dirt field in the middle of winter, wearing stretchy pants, jumping off our bikes while still moving, all in the athletic endeavor, called cyclo-cross, that consumes so much of my life.

I finished 22nd in the elite men's field at the 2014 US Cyclo-Cross National Championships in Boulder, Colorado. I was the last rider to not get lapped by race winner Jeremy Powers.

—Brady Kappius