Monday, October 15, 2007

OHIO UCI CYCLOCROSS: October 13-14, 2007

It seems this year has become a 'race for UCI points' for my teammate Wendy and I. Both of us learned the hard lesson last year that without them, you are doomed to a back row start. So, off we go. Why Ohio, you ask? Well, this weekend there were 2 options: Gloucester, MA or Cincinnati, OH. Who would choose Ohio? That is exactly why we did. Well, we couldn't have been more wrong. As it turns out, our races were more competitive that Gloucester. And the U.S. National Champion and silver medal World Champion just happened to choose Ohio too. I guess we were all racing for 2nd. The fields were small, but Melissa Thomas from Maxxis was there and Sunday, Kelli Emmett showed up. Neither of them are slow. It was going to be a good weekend of racing.

RACE #1: Saturday: Java Johnny's - Lionhearts 'Cross, Middletown, OH
Wendy and I arrived early enough to track down fellow Portlander and amazing mechanic, Adam McGrath, to have him help adjust our shifting, ride the course and get a good warm up in. It was a twisty turny course that used every inch of the park. In fact, while racing, I would forget where I was and what was coming next. We only had 13 women start the race, but it didn't mean it was slow. With Katie Compton there, it is never slow. She left us in the dust and Melissa Thomas, Wendy and I battled it out for second. It was anyones race until I decided to fall in one of the tight corners. Away rode Melissa and Wendy. Although Wendy did her best to let me chase back on, I was unable. Unfortunately, Melissa beat Wendy through the sand on the last lap and was able to gap her just enough to hold Wendy off for the finish. Wendy got 3rd, I got 4th. We did stay for the mens race to cheer on Barry Wicks and also Michael Gallagher, who were were happy to run into at the venue. Cross is crazy that way!

Trying to keep up on Saturday!

I wasn't going to say 'no' to a free massage! They tracked me down to give it to me too.
They sure know how to treat the athletes in Ohio.

Podium Day 1: Melissa Thomas, Katie Compton & Wendy

RACE #2: Sunday: Bio Wheels/United Dairy Farmers Cyclo-Cross, Cincinnati, OH
Another beautiful day in Ohio! A much different venue and course. I was out warming up and up rides Kelli Emmett to say "hi", so I rode with her for a lap. I forgot she was going to be here. It was going to be another fast day! And sure enough it was. The start was crazy with everyone fighting for the wheel behind Katie, but finally a group formed and the 5 of us, meaning Katie, Melissa, Kelli, Wendy and I dropped the rest of the pack. The first lap we all kind of stayed together. Melissa dropped off at some point and then there were 4. The sand pits came and Kelli and Wendy had a bit of a goof up and then it was 2 I stayed on Katies wheel for another lap or so until she decided enough was enough. Off she went. Then with about a lap and a half to go, I heard Kelli approaching. On the back side ascent, she rubbed my back wheel and I stood up to chase and the wheel had no air. Not sure what happened, but all I could think was, "do I ride on my rim? my new expensive wheel set? am I breaking them? How far is the damn pit???" Well, probably a bit less than a 1/4 of a lap and I was at the pit. Wendy had flown by me and I finally was able to change bikes and finish the last lap. I chased, hoping to fight back for 3rd, but i had lost too much time and there was no way. I would have to settle for 4th. I was able to hold off Melissa, but Kelli and Wendy were gone. It was frustrating, b/c I was having such a great race. Sure, it's not fair, but that is racing. I hope I have gotten all of my bad luck out of the way for the year!

Well, I don't like champagne anyhow... Podium Day 2: Kelli Emmett, Katie & Wendy

AFTERTHOUGHTS: This was a super fun weekend. It was great seeing Melissa and Kelli and hanging out with Katie a bit. I don't think I will have the opportunity to ride on Katie's wheel like that again. It was fun to hear stories and learned a lot by listening. It was a great race and it was so nice to have the promoters and local competitors thank us for coming. And, after the first race, they tracked me down to give me a free massage. Now that doesn't happen most places we go.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Kelli has Spiked tyres, like in the James Bond movies.