• Nathan

Philip Short: A Lone Wolf and a Winner

Updated: Jul 16, 2018

Philip Short sprinting for a win - Photos by Martine Verfaillie

Have you ever been at a bike race where a single rider wins over the entire audience? This is exactly what happened with cyclist Philip Short at the Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD). Racing for his company, Nine Lives Carbon Repair, Philip was a lone wolf the entire week, having to race smart and use strategy to get results. After sprinting to an impressive victory at the Tour d’ Grafton earlier in the week, race announcer Brad Sohner had plenty of praise to share with the crowd during the subsequent races in the criterium (crit) series. During the Shorewood Criterium, Brad spent the whole race celebrating Philip’s skills as he continually animated the race, controlled a 30+ second breakaway, and sprinted to a podium finish. With these heroics backing up Philip’s results, every spectator in the crowd was rooting for Philip.

Philip’s performances at the pointy end of the peloton didn’t end at the Shorewood Crit either. His participation in ToAD concluded with another top-five finish at the ultracompetitive East Tosa Gran Prix and was followed up a week later with a top ten at BC Superweek’s Tour de Delta criterium. Clearly this is a rider that we all need to keep an eye on.

A Cyclist In A Strange Land got a chance to talk to Philip at the finish line of the Shorewood stage of the Tour of America’s Dairyland. Here’s what he had to say.

Nathan (N): How does it feel after the Shorewood Criterium and a well-deserved podium?

Philip Short (PS): Pretty excited. Of course, I’d be more exited for a win so I can’t help but be a little disappointed. Still grateful though. Crazy circumstances with a crash neutralizing the field on the last lap of the race and then the race organizers adding an additional three laps of racing. Considering the un-predictableness that was introduced, I’m lucky that our breakaway stuck and that I got third. So, overall, I’m pretty happy.

Photo by Martine Verfaillie

N: You animated the whole race. You seemed to be in the thick of it lap after lap. Brad Sohner was really cheering for you and amping up the crowd. Everyone had a lot of fun watching.

PS: Good, I’m glad everyone had fun watching. After yesterday’s race, it was very, very heavy. Initially, I just kind of relaxed in the back today thinking that the guys would be going hard at the front, especially at the beginning of the race. Then I came to the front with 10 to go to see what I could do.

N: Brad mentioned that you might be looking for a team next season.

PS: Well I appreciate that comment, but not exactly. I kind of like being a solo rider. I’ve had some interest from teams, but I’m not quite ready to commit. It would have to be the right circumstance.

N: Can you tell me a little bit about who you’re riding for this weekend?

PS: I’m riding for my company, Nine Lives Carbon Repair. We fix all kinds of frames. That really sponsors my racing. I’ve been repairing frames for about five years. A lot of the times, we’ll race on frames that Nine Lives Carbon Repair has fixed.

N: Any issues with the repaired frame’s performance?

PS: No, none at all. It’s like they’re new. Carbon fiber is a beautiful material, very repairable.

N: What’s ahead for you for the rest of the season? I know that the Intelligentsia Cup is coming up next month.

PS: Yeah, I hope to do the Intelligentsia Cup. I understand that those races are very nice. Similar to these criteriums at the Tour of America’s Dairyland. I’m also going to see if I can make it to BC Superweek. That would be my first time there [Ed. Philip ultimately finished seventh at BC Superweek’s Tour de Delta criterium]. And Elite Nationals is at the end of July so I may be attending that. It’s in Hagerstown, Maryland this year.

N: You’re not just doing the local races, you’re doing all the races!

PS: Yeah, I’m all over. I spent three months in Belgium this spring [Ed. Philip’s results included podiums at the Lendelede and Oordegem road races]. I actually just got back the other day. That’s really where I’d like to be right now. Unfortunately, visa issues brought me back for the time being. But now I’m glad to be back; I’m having a really good time here at the Tour of America’s Dairyland.

N: How’s the Tour of America’s Dairyland so far? I know this isn’t your first time racing at ToAD, so what’s your approach been this year?

PS: I’ve been kind of selective and haven’t been racing each crit this year. I’ve been trying to conserve my legs when possible. If the race isn’t going my way, then I sort of hang back trying to conserve for the next day. And if a stage doesn’t suit me for some reason, I may decide to sit it out rather than expend too much energy that could be used the next day. Thinking about my strategy.

N: Well with a win and a podium during this crit series, it’s hard to argue with that strategy.

Photo by Martine Verfaillie

N: Are you exhausted yet? Or are you ready to go for a few more races?

PS: Oh, I’m pretty amped up now. I’m ready to go.

N: I noticed that you’re riding a Stradalli R7. I’ve seen a lot of Stradalli bikes this week; they seem to be performing really well. Can you tell us a little bit about yours?

PS: It was just love at first sight. That doesn’t usually happen for me, but when I saw this bike and its specs, all I could think was “I have to have this bike.” The guy that owns the company Tom Steinbacher – he goes by Tom Stradalli – he’s down in Florida. He’s been putting out some great bikes for a while now.

N: I actually own a set of Stradalli’s carbon wheels and one of their time trial bikes, the Stradalli Phantom II.

PS: Oh, really? How is it?

N: It’s super aggressive, super fast too. A Phantom II actually won the time trial stage at the Tour of the Gila a couple years back. I didn’t know what I was getting into (laughs), it was my first TT bike and the first time I got on the bike, it scared me a little bit.

PS: Is the cockpit pretty slammed?

N: Oh yeah, there’s not much rise on that baby. I haven’t actually ridden it recently. My Phantom II is missing a few parts at the moment; it was so well-equipped that I borrowed some of the go-fast bits for my road bike. Stradalli has come out with some other time trial and triathlon frames since I bought mine that would work well for cyclists with a variety of different core strengths and flexibility. It’s a pretty nice selection for all different needs.

PS: I’m not surprised, I’ve been really pleased with my Stradalli R7.

N: Well thanks for spending some time with me Philip. We’ll be keeping an eye out for you the rest of the year; I’m sure your next win is just around the corner!


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