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!)

62005437-CycloXValmont-2643

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.

12045626_924564330948280_5342170492971498458_o

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s