There are very few mountain bike racers who
could consider a season in which they won two national titles a down year. But
for Rabobank-Giant’s Adam Craig, 2011 left something to be desired.
The Bend, OR based Craig recently took a few
minutes to talk to us about what he plans to do differently next season, his
growing preference for 29ers, and why he still listens to CD’s.
MTBRaceNews: Is it fair
to say that last season didn’t go as well as you had hoped?
Adam Craig: Absolutely. I started out behind on fitness and never
really felt like myself. It was just one
continual snowball of fatigue and frustration while trying to catch up. Especially at the World Cups. That said, I still won the Marathon and Super
D National titles and did some cool new events like the Pisgah Stage Race
MTBRaceNews: What are
your goals for 2012?
Adam Craig: One- Do my homework and feel
like myself at the World Cups again, which will make securing a spot on the
2012 Olympic Team take care of itself.
Two- Wind the season down with a couple weeks
at Whistler in August and the Trans Provence event in France at the end of
September, laying the groundwork to shift to a more Epic/Enduro focused program
for the future.
MTBRaceNews: How has the
Olympics chase altered your plans for this season, if at all?
Adam Craig: It’s not the Olympics altering
the plan so much as the spring World Cup rounds where success is necessary to
make the damn team. I’m in Arizona
training my face off in January and February to be ready for the (asininely
early) WC kick-off in South Africa on March 17. Then will be in the European time zone until May 21, which is WC round
#4 and the last selection event. So,
long spring to set up an amazing summer.
MTBRaceNews: What did
your off-season look like this year?
Adam Craig: It looked like the new Garage in
my back yard. So, pretty sweet. And short. Did a bunch of MTB riding in the Northwest in between pounding nails and
scratching my head. Took two weeks and kayaked
down the Grand Canyon around Thanksgiving for my off-season re-set. Amazing. Go there. Then started training
on the bike proper in December, way earlier than I normally do. Which is good, I’m decently fit right now,
according to my SRM…
MTBRaceNews: If you could
only win one race, which would it be, the Olympics or the World Championships?
Adam Craig: Olympics for sure. It’s the biggest of them all and a real
chance to spread the love that is Mountain Biking to the public. World Champs would be sweet though, what with
the cool shirt you get to wear for the year and all…
MTBRaceNews: We saw you
at the Pisgah Stage Race last year, and rumor has it you might be at Cape Epic
this spring. Is stage racing something you’ll be doing more of in the future,
post Olympic chase? Any chance we’ll see you in North Carolina again this fall?
Adam Craig: For sure, I’m trying to put the
Mountain back in "Mountain Biking” and these types of events are the way
forward. Cape Epic is on the schedule
for sure. Pisgah is not, victim of a
scheduling conflict with Trans Provence. All due respect to a great event, the opportunity to race from the Alps
to the Med is hard to pass up…
MTBRaceNews: Alright, I
know, it’s an annoying question, but everyone always wants to know. What was
your take on racing 29ers last year (the XTC Carbon hardtail and the Anthem X
29er)? Will we see you on them more often this season?
Adam Craig: For sure. I don’t care who you are, if you want to ride
faster, easier, big wheels are for you. Pisgah was really where the light bulb turned on for me with
back-to-back days on the Trance X 26” and Anthem X 29. If you think big wheels make life too easy,
try going faster…
MTBRaceNews: What’s one
race you’ve never done that you’d really like to participate in?
Adam Craig: A Downhill World Cup. Danger.
MTBRaceNews: What’s the
most challenging aspect of being a professional bike racer?
Adam Craig: For me, it’s balancing the rest
of my life. There’s so much to do with
so many amazing people that it’s hard to fit it all in. As I write this I’m solo in a house in
Sedona, AZ, the shred posse recently departed, so I’ve got time for "work” and
"training”. It’s a full time job for me,
that I love doing…
MTBRaceNews: What’s on
your iPod these days?
Adam Craig: What iPod? My Droid won’t talk to my MacBook so I just
listen to NPR and scratched seven-year-old CD’s… Tried to find a new CD case at the Dollar
Store tonight actually…
MTBRaceNews: Right now,
what’s one component on your bike that you couldn’t do without, regardless of
who was sponsoring you?
Adam Craig: I’m completely, 100% hooked on
Magic Seatposts. Fox D.O.S.S. is working
for me right now, Giant makes one too… Kind of anxious about if I’ll remember how to ride a hardtail with a
high post when I get to South Africa…