The two toughest cyclocross races in the east are Three Peaks in Boone, North Carolina and Iron Cross in Gardners, Pennsylvania. Both ‘cross races are modeled after the legendary Three Peak cyclocross race in England – an epic race that tests a rider’s endurance as well as mental fortitude. Boone’s Three Peaks offers three tough climbs while Iron Cross is 60 miles with plenty of singletrack. The rider who wins one of these events is obviously strong, but to win both is remarkable. This year one rider pulled off the double. Isaac Enderline surged away from his break away partner to win Three Peaks and then two weeks later Enderline did it again, this time battling back from a puncture to win by over three minutes. Carolina Cycling News caught up with the UNC Charlotte student.
While both east coast ‘cross races are similar in their epic nature which event was the hardest of the two?
“They are two completely different races. The climbs are hard at Three Peaks and Iron Cross had a lot of single track.”
When Enderline isn’t studying or putting in time at his day job at the local bike shop, he is still able to get in 15 to 20 hours a week on the bike. The 2010 season was his first season on the road and he used that to build fitness, which was evident at Three Peaks and Iron Cross. Other than coming into the races with incredible base fitness what other factor separated Enderline from the rest of the pack?
“I really like hard races,” said Enderline. “It’s really mental.”
At just 20 years of age, Enderline’s obvious strength is his ability to suffer. What does he think his other natural attributes are?
“I’m new to the sport so I’m not sure what I’m good at. Right now it’s races that are less tactics and more strength.”
As every rider knows having a strong support system is critical to a successful season. Enderline is no different and says that he has a lot of good people helping him out. For someone racing most weekends support and understanding from friends and family makes a huge difference.
The UNC Charlotte business major considers the cross season “as fun.” As this winter sport ends he will take two weeks off to recover and then prepare for the 2011 road season. With two big wins already under his belt look for Enderline to have a storming road and cyclocross career. And if he surges off the front the smart strategy is stay glued to his rear wheel for as long as possible.
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