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CX Nationals Race Report(7 posts)

CX Nationals Race ReportSadlebred
Dec 18, 2003 6:04 AM
Women C: My race rolled around Sunday morning after I'd watched two days of racing, been on my feet for countless hours, and slogged through miles of mud walking around the Portland International Raceway. The run in the rain back to the car Saturday left my quads very sore. Race morning greeted me with partly clearing skies and temperatures in the low 40's. I rolled out of bed and braved the high hotel prices to eat at the restaurant in the lobby. After thoroughly looking over the menu, I chose the Belgian waffle, which I thought was appropriate for a pre cyclocross race meal. I relaxed for a little while, read the newspaper, and headed back to the room to get everything ready. I decided it was better to go to the venue fully dressed, so I could start warming up immediately. Upon getting to the PIR, I finished dressing, got the bike out, and got on. My warm up for cross races consists of about half an hour of easy spinning interspersed with harder efforts to elevate my heart rate. It was hard to get going because of the cold temperatures. I warmed up on the roads around the raceway. I confirmed that I had a headset problem because the bike would lean violently to the left if I took my hands off of the bars. Several bearings poking out of the bottom part of my headset also clued me into the problem. I had to keep my hands on the top of the bars. As I finished warming up, I saw Lisa and Chris pulling in. Chris was going to stand in the pit for me in case something happened, so I gave him my wheels. I went back to the car to get my Gortex jacket, so that I could finish warming up. After it started to rain harder, my muscles got really cold. I decided it would be better to sit in the car with the heater on and stay warm rather than freeze. After about 10 minutes, my legs thawed out. I headed to the starting line. I put my bike down to hold my spot on the front line and then jogged around for a few minutes to keep warm. When the official called 3 minutes til start, I picked up my bike. He told us that they shortened the course because of the terrible course conditions. They had also taken the barriers off of a hill and put them in the chicane before the following finishing straight. The course was muddy, sloppy, and disgusting. Those are perfect conditions for me! The B riders started one minute ahead of us. I counted 15 women, which I thought was a bit small. I took a few deep breaths and focused on the road ahead. With the gun, we were off. I took the lead as I did not want to get caught behind some of the less experienced riders when we hit the gravel. Kristine Church (University of Colorado) came around me with one other woman before we hit the gravel road. A few other women passed me as we made the transition from pavement to the gravel. I was not worried because I am not the strongest rider on the smoother portions of a course. As soon as we hit the mud, I passed two women. We passed by Pit 1 for the first time. A short, sloppy hill forced me to dismount along with everyone else. Having had a lot of practice in nasty conditions at almost every national race I've ever been to, I maintained my composure and footing. I quickly remounted on the next gravel section and flew down the hill. I did not let up speed as the course entered the next section of slop. Course conditions slowed me down about 10 feet into the mud. I slogged along in the middle of the C pack. Around a tree, one rider nearly took me out as she cut the corner too closely. I accelerated out of the corner to pass her. As I came into the barriers, I passed another rider. The barriers were on a flat section of the course, so it was easy to fly over them. I rode through the "lake," a large puddle that came up to a bike's bottom bracket that was at the beginning of the finish straightaway. I stood up and powered through the corner and onto the asphalt. The two riders I passed were close on my tail as we transitioned back onto a gravel road. As soon as I hit the grass,
edge of my seat. your post was cut off! nmJS Haiku Shop
Dec 18, 2003 7:15 AM
You can read the restSpecialTater
Dec 18, 2003 7:41 AM
at her website http://www.sadlebred.com/cxnats03.html
re: CX Nationals Race Reportdlbcx
Dec 18, 2003 7:52 AM
Read the rest of the report on the website. Great race! Looks like you'll be racing womens B's next year.
Got the right idea; bring a second bike next year since Nat's are suppose to be held in Portland next year.
Part 2Sadlebred
Dec 18, 2003 12:50 PM
oops! Here is part 2

A few other women passed me as we made the transition from pavement to the gravel. I was not worried because I am not the strongest rider on the smoother portions of a course. As soon as we hit the mud, I passed two women. We passed by Pit 1 for the first time. A short, sloppy hill forced me to dismount along with everyone else. Having had a lot of practice in nasty conditions at almost every national race I've ever been to, I maintained my composure and footing. I quickly remounted on the next gravel section and flew down the hill. I did not let up speed as the course entered the next section of slop. Course conditions slowed me down about 10 feet into the mud. I slogged along in the middle of the C pack. Around a tree, one rider nearly took me out as she cut the corner too closely. I accelerated out of the corner to pass her. As I came into the barriers, I passed another rider. The barriers were on a flat section of the course, so it was easy to fly over them. I rode through the "lake," a large puddle that came up to a bike's bottom bracket that was at the beginning of the finish straightaway. I stood up and powered through the corner and onto the asphalt. The two riders I passed were close on my tail as we transitioned back onto a gravel road. As soon as I hit the grass, I took off again. A right hand turn took us to a short uphill that was ridable, but the down side was iffy. I opted to run it, hop across a short gravel section, run the next hill and remount afterwards. I hoped the time saved by fewer transitions off and on the bike would help me gain ground on those that chose to do them. I hopped back on and sloshed through the next section. There was a woman right ahead of me, but because there was no traction, there was not any place to pass. If I strayed from one line, the other ones were worse. I sat on her wheel until I passed the pit and was able to get around her. The course then ran by the grandstand, where some of the thickest mud was. I managed to ride it very slowly. A quick spin across a 10 foot asphalt section brought me to the longest hill. I hopped off, shouldered the bike, and jogged up it. My legs felt fine. I remounted and heard Lisa yell "Ride the Rut, Trish!" I looked down and saw a line through the mud. I let off the brakes and flew down. I hit the gravel and put my bike in the big ring. It surprised me that it shifted so easily because of all of the goo and grass in it. Although I was not able to stand up because of my headset problem, I mashed a big gear and pushed as hard as I could. I passed by Pit 1 again and heard Chris cheering. Having people shout out your name really helps to push you along! I dismounted and clamored over the first hill. I got back on immediately and flew down the other side. I did not let up on the gas as I entered the muck. Around the tree again and through the barriers, I passed a few more people. By now I was in the middle of the B group. I did not know how many people in my class were still ahead of me. I hit the asphalt flying. The flat section after the finishing straight started to get very thick like peanut butter. I opted to run part of it to save time. As soon as I got on the gravel, I remounted. I climbed the short hill and ran down the other side and up the next hill. My legs still felt great although the cold air was beginning to irritate my throat. By the pits and through the next section of mud, I was behind one woman. I could not get around her. We finally hit the long stretch by the grandstand. While she tried to ride it, I shouldered my bike and ran. My breathing was very labored. I briefly remounted but had to get back off to run up the next hill. For the first time my legs protested. I slowed to a jog near the top. The downhill was a relief as I had a few seconds to breath before having to hammer on the gravel road. I passed by the first pit for the last time. After a quick hop off of the bike for the next hill, I remounted and
Part 3Sadlebred
Dec 18, 2003 12:55 PM
After a quick hop off of the bike for the next hill, I remounted and flew down the big hill again. Only the two barriers were in the way of me and the finish line. The mud clung to my body, clothes, and bike. I rode hard into the straightaway with the barriers on it, did a flying dismount, picked up the bike, hopped over the barriers, and remounted. I hit the lake in the turn and came out of it as hard as I could. There was a woman about 10 yards in front of me. I did my best to catch her but did not. I crossed the finish line out of breath but feeling good.

Lisa came up and said that she thought I was second. The woman that came in about a minute behind me said that she was third, so that left me second! I was very happy for doing so well despite the muddy conditions. I've learned over the last several years that most of the national level races I go to are going to be very muddy and nasty. I can either get down about it or look at it as a positive challenge. So, I've learned to love the mud and relish it when it is there at national level events. I now know that I belong in the B's, which is where I will be next year. Cyclocross nationals was the most fun I've had at a race in a long time. The atmosphere was incredible, and the fans were loud!
Great job!hrv
Dec 18, 2003 4:10 PM
Heard a rumor that the venue for next year will be different, but I would say it's a fair bet that you'll be able to still count on your mud prowess to do good!

Way to go!

hrv