Summerhill’s Big Day
When Danny Summerhill (K-Edge / Felt Cyclocross Team) stopped by SRAM Indy last week, we asked him what about some of his goals for this cyclocross season.
“I really want to beat Jeremy,” Summerhill said with a good-natured smile, a sign of respect for rival Jeremy Powers. “I’m just annoyed that I haven’t thus far…. Love him, awesome guy, but it’s still just the competitive fire in me that I’ve haven’t beaten (that) one person.”
Indeed, one person –Powers (Rapha-Focus), the reigning U.S. Cyclocross Champ – has had an impressive string of UCI C1 victories on the American cyclocross circuit so far this season. But last weekend at the Mudfund Derby City Cup in Louisville, Summerhill fulfilled his goal by winning Saturday’s C1 race at Eva Bandman Park and Cyclocross Venue by finishing 2 seconds ahead of Powers. Logan Owen (California Giant – Specialized) placed third to complete a sweep of the elite men’s podium for SRAM-supported athletes. Summerhill followed that up with a victory in Sunday’s C2 race in Louisville. In the women’s elite races, Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) placed second both days.
A SRAM sweep on Day 1 in Louisville: Danny Summerhill (center) with Jeremy Powers (right) and Logan Owen.
The 25-year-old Summerhill is riding SRAM Force CX1 a SRAM 1x™ groupset purpose-built for cyclocross. A pro roadie who’s comfortable spinning a cadence of 110, he runs a 38-tooth SRAM Force CX1 X-SYNC™ Chainring paired with an 11-32 WiFLi cassette. His 38-32 combo allows him to spin up the steepest climbs while using the other end of his WiFLi cassette to power sections of the course. “It’s awesome,” Summerhill said. “The best stuff ever.”
Summerhill, who started racing when he was about 10, remembers early days of riding a cobbled-together 1x system. He worried about exposing his bike to the bumps, ruts and barriers of cyclocross. “My mom got me into road racing, then mountain bike, then cyclocross, and I never wanted to do cyclocross because I thought that it was too mean to abuse a road bike like that,” he said. “I didn’t want my mom to buy me an expensive road bike to go beat it up in a cross race.”
These days, he praises the durability and chain security of Force CX1. He’s also become well known for pulling wheelies on his cyclocross bike. “That’s my go to move,” Summerhill said with a smile. “I used to do wheelies instead of training when I was a kid.”
Danny Summerhill shows he's in good form for wheelies as he waits last week in the SRAM Indy parking lot for the lunch ride to roll out.
Summerhill at SRAM Indy last week.
Top three photos © Wil Matthews Photography
Bottow two photos by Joe Vondersaar