Tag Archives: zach mcdonald

Tom Hopper: Rapha-Focus’ Master Mechanic

Tom Hopper working for Garmin Sharp. Photo from VeloNews.

Mechanics are unsung heroes of bike racing. Most people recognize the critical role they play in a rider’s success (it’s tough to win if your bike falls apart on your breakaway). But how many of us could name the mechanic supporting Andy Hampsten the day he attacked over Gavia Pass or the guy working the pits for Jonathan Page when he took Silver at Worlds? Good mechanics are perhaps most critical in cyclocross where harsh conditions and hard racing frequently result in destroyed derailleurs, flat tires, and worse. Tom Hopper is a mechanic for the Rapha Focus cyclocross team. In this interview he discusses what it takes to be a successful pro-team mechanic, his history in cycling, innovations in cyclocross technology, and more.

Continue reading

Zach McDonald: Cyclocross, Mountain Bikes, and the Future of his Sport

Photo by Wil Matthews. Source: Rapha Focus.

Zach McDonald is a cyclocross phenom. The 19-year-old from Bainbridge Island, WA has only been racing for a few years, but already has two national titles, has podiumed at a world cup in Europe, and is racing as a professional for the new Rapha Focus team. I talked to Zach about balancing the demands of life, school, and professional-level racing and his experiences racing in Europe and America.

Continue reading