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Swiss Cross—What Happened to Switzerland's Cyclocross?

It takes me a few hours to locate Marcel Russenberger’s home in Bend, because over the phone he’d told me he lives on “Yuma Pillar Road,” a place that, according to the Internet, doesn’t exist in Oregon. Poring over maps of the high desert town turned up Umatilla Circle, however, and having no other recourse—Russenburger doesn’t often answer his phone, and his voicemail is always full—I guessed and went for it.

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The Rules—Small Point, Maine

Ten miles south of Bath, Maine, Route 209 turns left, toward Popham Beach, where millions of summer beachgoers converge each season. Most of them will never pass the Popham turnoff, unless they’ve made a mistake, to continue south on 216, which would take them into Small Point, along the most unwelcoming strip of pavement in mid-coast Maine.

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Is There Money in 'Cross?

Dylan McNicholas bought his first road bike less than four years ago after a few of his motocrossing friends invited him for a ride. “We rode 40 miles,” McNicholas says. “That seemed monumental to me. A month later, all my buddies quit. I bought a bike, did some races, won all of them.”

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A Belgian in Boulder—A Profile of Ben Berden

Flying into Denver International Airport presents the traveler with a series of contrasts. To the east stretch miles of square farmland, weirdly uniform in their patchwork of greens and browns. To the west stands the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, also apparently uniform in their jagged skylines, but concealing a geography unconquered by men. At the intersection of these X and Y axes lies Boulder, Colorado: playground of endurance athletes, small patch of liberal ideology in the state’s more conservative garden, and seasonal home of Ben Berden, Belgian and professional cyclocrosser by trade.

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A Portrait of the Cyclist as a Young Man—A Profile of Ryan Trebon

Four laps into a nine-lap, ninety-mile road race, Ryan Trebon blows a snot rocket on me. “Oh, sorry, man, that was supposed to go down, not out,” he apologizes, not recognizing me as the guy who interviewed him a month before for this magazine. I’m not offended—by the mucous or the non-recognition. A month ago I was wearing jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and a beard. Today I’m wearing tight, bright red Lycra. The beard is gone. Trebon, on the other hand, looks as gigantic and polished as ever. He literally towers over me. As we ride along next to each other, my head is about level with his armpit despite that I stand only three inches shorter than him off the bike. He has that quality endemic to great athletes: He seems to play bigger than his listed size. His abilities, too, dwarf the competition at this local Category 1-2 race in Central Oregon. He makes a few testing attacks (one of which I cover, putting myself into serious danger of getting dropped) and then tries to buy a water bottle from me a lap after the snot-rocket.

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No Reservations—A Profile of Georgia Gould

It’s Tuesday, January 29th, 2013, five days before the first UCI Cyclocross World Championships to be held in the United States. Georgia Gould is at home in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the middle of a construction zone. “My husband and I bought a new house in November and it’s been a little bit more of a project than we thought it would be. I don’t have a kitchen. The only room that has furniture in it is the bedroom.”

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The Cocoon—A Profile of Alison Dunlap

When Alison Dunlap answers my unsolicited email, requesting an interview, she changes the subject line to read “Howdy.” Over the next few weeks, as our conversation goes from unfamiliar to affable, that laid-back confidence underwrites all of her answers. Her voice rests in that assured, measured register of athletes with nothing to prove, the register of self-evident truths. When I ask her why she’s returning to the sport after a four-year retirement, she says, “Because I miss the feeling of winning.”

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