When he goes out to train near his Austin home, Colin Strickland (Meteor x Giordana) often hammers halfway out and then hammers the rest of the way home and calls it a day.
The training has paid off for him in the past, for example at Gravel Worlds last year, he had to close a nearly 10-minute gap to the leaders after flatting in the first hour of the race. He went on to win that race in impressive fashion.
“That is pretty much what I do. Ride out into a headwind, level myself and then flip it around and dump everything I have left on the way home. That’s kind of how I train,” Strickland said.
When he decided to attack from 100 miles out on Saturday at the Dirty Kanza 200, it was just like another training ride for Strickland. Albeit one with WorldTour pros, pros and former pros hot on his heels. No way he could hold it, right?
Well, as we found out, Strickland did hold his lead to grab the title of King of Kanza in impressive fashion.
We spoke with him after the race. A video and transcript are below (Moar Cowbell was the order of the afternoon in the raucous DK finishing stretch).
You can also watch our interview with Women’s winner Amity Rockwell.
For more from Emporia, see all of our coverage of the 2019 Dirty Kanza 200.
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Colin Strickland: 2019 DK200 Winner
Cyclocross Magazine: You went from almost 100 out, you plan on doing that?
Colin Strickland: Absolutely not. It was not the plan. Most of my life I kind of roll spontaneously. You kind of have to risk losing to win sometimes. That was definitely risky.
CXM: Was there a point where you decided you were going to try and make that move stick?
CS: When no one went with me, I kind of decided I was going. Everyone kind of sat up for a while and let the gap extend really quickly. I was like, ‘Well, let’s give it a go.’ I knew the wind patterns would be advantageous to being alone. I just kind of banked on that and it paid off.
CXM: It kind of reminded me of Gravel Worlds. You flatted around Mile 25 and then rode solo for a long time. Is that something you train, putting down huge watts over long periods of time?
CS: That is pretty much what I do. Ride out into a headwind, level myself and then flip it around and dump everything I have left on the way home. That’s kind of how I train. This was just a training ride, just twice as long.
CXM: You were upset you didn’t get in the field last year? How much did that provide motivation knowing you were targeting the race this year?
CS: I was just happy to be here. I love racing. I really don’t like training, but I love racing, so I give every race my all. I’ll empty the tank every time for a race. It usually doesn’t work, but sometimes it works.
CXM: Finally, you’ve got your own program Meteor x Giordana. What does this win mean for your program and you? Someone called you the Swiss Army knife of bike racing.
CS: I’m just a bike racer. I mean I’m not very good at mountain biking … or cyclocross … but I try to race as much as I can. If you’re going to be a professional bike racer, you better diversify.
CXM: Cool. Congratulations and looking forward to seeing you sport that belt buckle.
CXM: I’m pretty sure that’s what you get for winning?