Katie Compton Riding for Trek Cyclocross?

The question mark in the headline isn’t to indicate this is an unsubstantiated rumor.  Trek is pretty clear on the topic. I first read about it from the good folks at CX Magazine.

So why the punctuation of indecision?  It’s more a sense of disbelief and a little disappointment.

When I was looking to buy my cyclocross bike a few years ago, the first place I went was my local Trek shop.  At that point, LeMond was still a Trek brand and was really the only place they were offering ‘cross bikes.  Yeah, they had the eminently forgettable XO series, but the effort (what little they were doing) was clearly going into the LeMond bikes.  The steel Poprad didn’t really float my boat and I focused my attention on the Tricross and the Jamis Supernova.

Over the years, we watched Trek shut down the LeMond brand and roll all those bikes into Fisher equivalents.  Who could look at the Triton and not see a Poprad with new stickers on it?  They finally released the Fisher Cronus CX, which might have been the first really good ‘cross bike they offered.  But even though they had ‘cross bikes, the Trek athletes had almost no presence in the ‘cross scene.  Occasionally Heather Irmiger or Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski would show up to local Colorado CX race once or twice, but that was it.  Specialized was there, Jamis was there, Kona and Cannondale were there and so on.  But where was Trek?

Now Trek has hired a serious cyclocross rider to head up a team.  Not just any serious cyclocross rider, but a rider that is the multi-time U.S. National Champion and has stood on the World Championship podium.  They have bought their way into the sport and that’s kind of disappointing. It’s like they realized that the CX National Championships were in their backyard and nobody was riding a Trek.  Being flush with cash (for a bike company), they just threw money at the problem.

I want so much to be a fan of Trek.  They are my “local” bicycle company, designing and manufacturing bikes less than 6 hours from my house.  I slept in a hotel next to one of their distribution facilities in Wisconsin and was totally excited about it.  Maybe this will be the start of something big at Trek that I can get behind and I should stop being so cynical.  (You know what I could also get behind? A Domane with CX geometry.)

So congrats to Katie and Trek.  Let’s make this the beginning of something awesome.

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