Kermesse Q&A: Nick Koops rules your race
Nick Koops was perhaps the most sylish winner of the Ronde Ohop ever. Now he shares his secrets with you!
PruDog: Did the moustache help or hurt your performance and will you be rolling it again in this years Kermesses?
Nick: The moustache always helps. It traps water whether its from the riders rooster tail in front of me or condensation building up from heavy breathing. It basically helps me hydrate without having to reach for my water bottle. And it's always a good feeling knowing I look like Kevin Costner circa 1985 while riding.
PruDog: I find that riders who've never done a Kermesse want a frame of reference to prepare for the race. I find it very difficult to describe. How would you describe a kermesse to a new rider looking to try it for the first time? :
It's the hardest race you'll ever do. The dirt sections absolutely thrash your body. With rocks(mini-boulders) ed note - note: we have these boulders imported from Spain so they are the highest quality boulders, tire ruts, loose gravel and sand there's never a good line to take. You just have to go all out. I think guys with some mountain biking or cyclocross experience are at a huge advantage. If you want to train specifically for a kermesse race go ride your road bike on some gravel trails.
PruDog: What equipment do you plan to use for the Kermesses this year? Any special items of of note and why?
I'm riding my cross bike again with my inexpensive wheels. When you hit the dirt section the thought of crashing or flatting is constantly going through your head. I think it's a little bit easier to say 'fuck it' and just hammer when you're not worried about laying down your carbon frame/wheels/derailleur/water bottle cage.