Race Report

Race Report: B2B Series & CycloX Valmont – No pain, no gain!

20150919 Valmont CX, Boulder, CO
5280 Stairs (Photo by John Flora)

Cyclocross season is here!  This year I decided to take a more relaxed approach since I was so miserable last year.  So I bought a single speed 2016 Specialized Crux, and vowed to have fun and not get dejected by strings of last place finishes!

I started off with one of the weeknight races in Golden at Back 2 Basics.  I doubled up with both Women’s B and Singlespeed.  My body wasn’t quite ready for the shock of cyclocross, and the B race was quite painful.  I was the last off the line at the start, which meant dealing with a lot of traffic.  I ended up 14th, solid midpack which wasn’t bad for having such a bad start.  My singlespeed, which was an open men’s category, went a lot better with significantly faster lap times, and I was 22nd, which I was pleased about!

Back to Basics 9-9-2015 (110)
Too hot for cross! (Photo by Mountain Moon Photography)

Onto CycloX Valmont on September 19th – my favorite venue!  I love love love racing at Valmont with it’s long sustained climb and fast downhills with table top jumps, and stair run ups that I can run up… just pure love!

First up was my first time in the brand new BRAC category, singlespeed 4/5.  USAC rules allow women to race down a category, so I have been quite tickled that I can race a SS category that is a bit more of my ability (no offense cat 1/2/3 men, but you’re too fast for this girl!).  I ran 40×18 gearing, which was a complete guess (it worked out nicely!)

Spinning, spinning, spinning! (Photo by Shawn Curry / greencurry.smugmug.com)

I settled into 4th place rather comfortably after some passes.  I really enjoyed having shifting taken out of the equation, and enjoyed trying to maintain speed as best as I could through corners and on the downhills.  All was going well, even the 5280 Stairs, until the 3rd lap on the Belgian Stairs.  Up I went sprinting and then BAM!  The top left of my pelvis caught all my weight on the edge of a stair after I tripped at full speed.  Immediately spectators asked if I was alright and I nodded yes, but I was in some of the worse pain I had ever felt in my life.  I hobbled up the rest of the stairs, nearly doubled over as more people asked if I was really ok.  I kept nodding and got on my bike, like any reasonable person would do, ha!  Dismounting, remounting, and running were out as it was too painful, but I carried on.  I lost one position, and finished out the race in 5th.  Not too shabby, considering…

I'm bleeding! Help! (Photo by Shawn Curry)
I’m bleeding! Help! (Photo by Shawn Curry)

I made my way over to the first aid tent and had the gravel scrubbed out of my knee, and then back to my car where I had a cold pack in a first aid kit which I quickly shoved into my skinsuit on my left hip.  It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to breathe… and I had another race to do in just a few hours!  I carefully changed out of my kit to give me a break from chamois time, and sat in my car trying to get some relief.  Luckily the cold pack along with 800mg of ibuprofen eased the pain slightly, and I got back on my geared bike to get some food from the food truck to fuel up for the afternoon.

Probably one of the most epic photos of myself! (Photo by Ryan Muncy)

I really didn’t know how my women’s cat 3 race would go, and I decidedly aimed for a last place finish as that is what I’ve come to expect.  Strangely enough I had a 2nd row call up.  I fumbled a pedal at the start, and was 2nd to last after the first sand pit which I had been getting stuck in all day.  I wasn’t discouraged, and began picking off other racers one by one, especially on corners and more “mountain bike-y” parts of the course (with moments of frustration as people rode very slowly and on the brakes over the table top jumps).  I was feeling strong and powerful, helped along by my friend Suzie, who doused me in water as I came through the pits.  I was going back and forth with Michelle and a few other girls, and had a sneaking feeling that I was in the top 10, but really had no idea.  I came through the pits one time and someone whispered to me “you’re 8th.”  Whoa, what?  Turns out I was riding in 5th-8th positions the whole race in the field of 21!

The last lap my side was cramping and my injured hip bone was smarting, but I powered on.  Coming down the finishing stretch I sprinted like crazy and missed 7th place by two-hundredths of a second!  What a great race!  I was in complete shock about where I finished in the field, though I must admit I was slightly worried that now that I would have higher expectations for all the races (easier to not care when you’re always last!).  My nasty wreck in the morning made the afternoon’s results that much sweeter 🙂

The bruised up hip bone
The bruised up hip bone

A great, though painful, start to my cyclocross season!  Though it’s been almost two weeks my pelvis is still very tender on the spot where I crashed onto it, but I think I’ll be alright 🙂  Racing SS and SW3 did make for a long day, so I’m not always sure I’ll double up, but at least I have that option.

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