As part of the North American Cyclocross Trophy Series, this race
attracts some of the best cyclocross talent on the continent. Among
the top contendors, Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team), Meredith Miller
(Cal. Giant/Specialized), Wendy Simms, and Laura Van Gilder. The field
was also stacked with the best cyclocross racers in New England, which
is one of the most competitive regions in the country. The course was
twisty turny, and next to the beach, and not a whole lot of mud even
though it rained for two days. I had a third row start next to Wendy
Simms, who was also my housemate for the weekend.
On Saturday, I used my road finishing skills to finagle my way up to
the front at the start. I had a pretty decent start riding in about
15th place or so behind Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal) and
Kristin Gavin (Team CF). I decided to take a bold move (probably not
so smart after I watched Tim Johnson take the barriers) and re-mount
on the uphill immediately after the barriers. Well, the first time I
did that, a rider (she shall remain unnamed) ran straight into me with
her bike, and I crashed and lost about 5 or 6 critical spots in the
first lap. All she got was boooing from the crowd. So, alot of the
rest of the race was about playing catch up, which I didn’t do so well
at. I eventually got in a group with Rebecca Wellons (Pedro’s) and
Alison Snooks (Ladies First), and ended up with a mid-pack finish.
On Sunday, I had an equally decent uphill start as the first day.
Ended up behind Koons and Gavin in the holeshot again. This time, the
course got the best of me instead of a rider. There was a downhill
into the run-up and slight uphill afterwords, so I would be in this
huge gear when I tried to remount and wasn’t going anywhere. I lost
contact with Gavin after the run-up and eventually Crystal Anthony
(Ladies First) caught up to me. She had super clean lines and was
really strong, so I tried really hard not to lose her wheel. But,
eventually, we came to that run-up again, and once again I lost
contact afterwards. I tried so hard to catch up to Anthony, and
crashed on the loose dirt/gravel right before the S-turns with the
barriers. I picked up an easy $1 on the barriers this time but I got
caught by a big group (~4 riders) and sat in that for a bit, and
eventually attacked on the last lap to finish behind Wellons and Nikki
Thieman (Team CF) again.
It was tough competition up there but I feel like it was a valuable
experience, and now I know exactly what I need to work on to at least
hold my position in these big races. I’d like the thank Ann Guyer for
the host housing, and it was cool to meet Wendy this weekend!