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First Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series race -- long report(4 posts)

First Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series race -- long reportJimena
Oct 7, 2002 5:53 AM
Yesterday the Evolution racing team put on an awesome race in PA. Thank you!!!!!!!!!! It was a great loop, long and fast, with 3 sets of barriers, lots of long straights and hard turns. The women's A field was stacked with FAST Cat.2-3 women racers, I was excited to get a great start then got gapped off the front group already in lap one -- wheee, those women are speedy and strong. The fabulous and beautiful Dianna Gillam led the way, with Trek grassroots Pro-MTBer Christine Osterling chasing on her hardtail MTB (WTF?). Dianna has her new black stealth Empella, and she talked her teammate Kristy Sheffenacker of Snow Valley into trying out cross for the first time on Dianna's last year's new cross bike, the LeMond. Kristy charged hard, and apparently had a little trouble handling the bike, eventually dropping out of the race after some crashes and pedal/shoe troubles. The doe legs of Thais Silva showed smoothness over the barriers, bringing her in right behind Josie Shew. I'm impressed -- Josie's a real cross veteran, and Thais is just a young fawn, actually, but they both really shine during cross season. Dianna, nevertheless, with superior handling skills and fitness, rode away from the field for the win. Chris Auer won the men in a two-up sprint with some guy -- Ryan someone.

The course went through a Belgian Barn of doom, down a long hill, around a hairpin turn and into a long straightaway climb, to a pavement descent, another couple of tight grassy curves and finally the first uphill barriers -- 4 of them! -- where I got dropped in lap one, but I was still in a money spot, since those races have such good payouts. I clung to the wheel of the lovely miss Kelly Yoder from Freddie Fu as we finished the first lap, and launched into the second of 6 or so. She dropped me as I dropped my chain and had to stop to wrestle with it.

In the last 3 laps I was riding with two fine Evo ladies -- after dropping my chain 3 times I had moved significantly backward. We tooled around together, and one girl kept gapping me out behind her, and I had to keep jumping around her to hold her teammate. For the most part, though, I was way too comfortable and too lazy to attack. At the beginning of the last lap, I heard someone say to our gruppetto, "It's now or never," and I remember taking stock of my dead legs and thinking, mmmm, probably never. Short and painful though these races are, they are never short enough for me, and I'm not good at pushing to the puking point. I thought about attacking after the last set of barriers in the feed zone, but I didn't bother. Going into the finish there was a series of zig-zag 100 meter straight runs with 3 turns -- flat on pavement with grass and gravel in the corners, and Sue Heckler sprinted hard out of the last corner, and I lost the last money spot.

I congratulated Sue, and she said it had been fun for us all 3 to ride together but later she was overheard complaining that I did not work enough, which is pretty funny, since I was riding in a group of 3 with her and her teammate. She is lucky I worked at all, don't you think?

Anyway, enough catty-ness. I highly encourage all women of any ability to come out and give them a try -- yesterday they paid out to over 50% of the field, which is very motivating. I had fun, the weather was sunny, cool and breezy. Some day we'll have honest-to-goodness cyclocross weather, and I'll break out my real mud skills, but for now I hope to see everyone at the Beacon race at Bridgeton NJ. If anyone wants to carpool from DC or Northern VA/MD area, please e me at
Good Read - Thanks (nm)lnin0
Oct 7, 2002 6:47 AM
re: First Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Series race -- long reportSwat Dawg
Oct 9, 2002 7:35 PM
Is there an online site where I can find out information about the race series. I'm thoroughly intrigued. CX sounds like a lot fun. I just started MTB racing this past spring and bought a road bike a month ago to help train for that, but the CX would be another thing to add to the repertoire.


Here you go...Wayne
Oct 10, 2002 4:28 AM