That Bleu flash on the left is none other than the Rookie of Year Jesse Smith (photo by Lo)
In the NFL, The Rookie of the Year award is usually announced right before the Super Bowl. For our purposes we waited until after our super bowl ie., The Ice Weasels Cometh to make the call. Never easy to make the call as there are sooo many talented racers jumping into the cross frying pan right now. But this decision was easy. Purely based upon progression, enthusiasm/passion and shear crossisimo this man won the award by a mile....
Like with all new additions to the Hup squadra "One Hup Finds Another." In this case the Hup who brought our Rookie of the year into the fold didn't have to look far. As well as it being about sport, it was also a family matter. Sometimes there is more pressure when its your own family that brings you into your new family (HUP). There are expectations that maybe you should be like your family member and you feel the pressure to live up to some unattainable ideal.
In this case I have never seen two Brother-in-Laws be so tight in my life. They are more like actual brothers or friends who grew up together than two guys who are bound by their Family ties...Those that are part of our Hup New England family have probably already guessed who I am picking for Rookie of the Year here on velocb...yes it can be no one other than Jesse "The Outlaw" Smith
We were first introduced to Jesse at the 6-hours of Pats Peak inter-squad throw down that Yash and Graham dominated so impressively. It was clear from that weekend what a cool guy Jesse was and that he was a good athlete. He also was almost a dead ringer for the main character in PVB's favorite youtube video "We Go Shopping." Was this his first mtn bike race? It might have been. Bert and Jesse teamed up and did well on a horrible race course. I say horrible in a good way, but admit I am sick like that. But the course and the race were brutal and he proved his metal that day for sure...
We didn't hear much more from Jesse until we were all heading up to Waterville CX for the Planet Bike cx race. Its been well documented the extent of our Deluxe Swiss style chalet we had for that weekend. Again it afforded us another chance to chill and get to know Jesse and it was just seamless..but cross as we have talked about forever is HARD. Really hard. He had some difficulties at first but man he smiled through it all. There was a lot for him to absorb.
"What the hell is embrocation and how do you put it on"
We all pitched in to get Jesse up to speed. At Waterville he drank the cross koolaid and was hooked. We started exchanging emails about getting him a new bike. We decided on a Spooky and that was his baptism by fire into a whole other world of this cross universe. Even the hiccups with getting the bike all dialed never got him down. He may be one of the most positive people I have ever met.
So long story short he went from stacking it into the barriers at WVCX, to ordering a brand new pimped out Spooky to dare I say crushing it at The Ice Weasels Cometh in 4 short and super intense months! Yes I dare say CRUSH with a capital C. Brother just brought it! There were 87 starters in the 4s. I have no idea where he lined up...maybe 3rd row? 4th?
He couldn't have had very good crossresults points I would assume. Either way he was flying over a really technical course and brought home a 2nd place to an obviously really talented mtn bike racer who brought a Pugsley. Kind of like bringing an AK-47 to a knife fight if you ask me but I guess all is fair in love and cross warfare...still showing up on a mtn bike at a cross race is... well this is a family website so I won't use any derogatory language.
So Chapeau my brother! Great season and you my friend get the first Golden HUPcake of the year for Rookie of the Year!