VI sophomore Cory Rimmer traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn. to compete in the HubCX4 – Tennessee State Cyclocross Championship on Sat., Dec. 14, coming home with his first Cyclocross win of the season.
Rimmer adds the Cyclocross win to a list of outstanding performances this season, including 2nd overall, 3rd place in Dual Slalom, two 5th places in Cross Country and Short Track at Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals and a national championship at Madison, Wis. last year. We talked to him after the Chattanooga race:
How do you prepare yourself for big races like this?
I learned a few years ago if you want to win the big races like Nationals, don’t try to win all your races leading up to it. It’s really hard to keep top fitness all season long, so I focus on the races that are most important to me.
The muddy conditions looked really challenging. How do you mentally prepare yourself for something like that?
When you’re racing in mud you have to be really patient. Any over exaggerated movements (turning, braking and accelerating) will result in a loss of traction and potentially a fall. So I tell myself to stay light and that smooth is fast.
Did you have any doubts about winning this race?
Yeah, I had tons of doubt coming into this race. So far this season I really haven’t had the fitness I had last year—this factor and a major increase of talented riders added to our conference—has resulted in what I consider sub-par results for me.
This was also an open race, so you didn’t have to be a collegiate racer to participate. That means even faster guys and a deeper field of talent. All this combined added a lot of doubt for me, so I went into this race with little expectation.
Based on your success with cycling, what are your plans for the future?
I would love to have a career that involves cycling. I’ve coached at mountain bike camps for juniors and I have also spent many years chasing and obtaining sponsors. Right now I’m just trying to set a good foundation of experience, so I have plenty of options open when I graduate from VI.