And then it was all over!

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That’s a wrap on 2016’s cyclocross season!

December 3rd was the Rocky Mountain Regional Championships.  Super cold weather, I think maybe about 28 degrees or so for my 10:30am single speed race.  I decided to race both single speed and then women’s open to give my geared bike some love.

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I love love love the course used at regionals! (Photo by Shawn Curry)

Needless to say, single speed went well and I won!  And for the first time I ever I did a proper post up!  I love the course at this venue, even though it’s not super technical and just involves a lot of power riding.  This venue is where I had my first ever USAC cross podium back in January 2014, so I’ve just always been very fond of it.

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In SW Open I realized that riding a geared bike is a lot of hard work.  On the single speed I would be spun out on some parts, and it would be a bit of recovery.  With gears there’s always a harder gear to grab and keep pushing.  My average heart rate was around 190 for the 40+ minute race!  I went back and forth with a couple of other gals for a few laps, but the previous race was felt in my legs, and I hung on for 14th, which wasn’t last.  It was one of the first times I’ve really felt comfortable racing in the open category.

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My geared cross bike is just too pretty to not race once in awhile! (Photo by Brent Murphy)

Next up was states.  This would be the last chance for me to earn points for the Colorado Cross Cup, which I had set up to win, but I knew it would be hard with the depth of talented women in the single speed category.  My SSW race was at 3:30 on Saturday.  I actually didn’t feel like I had a good start, and I crashed hard on a grass corner that I took a little too hot.  I lost two positions, but was able to regain one of them on one of the (too) many cement/pavement sections.  I took beer hand ups on the final 3 laps, and enjoyed the beating of a really physically draining course.  I would finish 5th, which I’m happy about.

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The states course at Westminster City Park had a massive stair run up split in two… run up, ride up grassy off camber, run up some more. (Photo by Shawn Curry)

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The “backside” of the states course had a couple of super steep punchy climbs (Photo by Shawn Curry)

The next day on Sunday I awoke to snow, which was exciting!  My 8am race was the inaugural fat bike race, a non-championshp category.  I figured this would be just a fun race and a chance to ride around on my Dirt Components Thumper carbon wheelset.  Unfortunately I would have another very nasty crash on the first lap, and my left arm yanked around behind me and tweaked my shoulder which I had just completed two months of physical therapy on for the split bicep tendon I have.  I came through the start finish, and Larry (the announcer) called the medics over.  I was crying and felt like a hot mess, and so mad that I had wrecked and re-injured my shoulder.  But I pulled on my big girl skinsuit panties, and got back on my bike for another couple of laps!  Turns out my rear tire would also go flat, so I had to run maybe the last half mile of the final lap.  Man, it just wasn’t my race!

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At least it was fat bike weather for the fat bike race! (Photo by Brent Murphy)

 

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Running my bike through the finish (Photo by Reid Neureiter)

For once I was smart and decided to not start my SW3 race at 10:30.  My shoulder was very tender, and I didn’t want to risk hurting it further.  Plus with two hard crashes and two leg draining races already under my belt, I was tired.

Race season 2016… officially done!

I would end up finishing in 2nd place in single speed for the Colorado Cross Cup.  Like the Shimano CycloX Series, I would miss winning by three points (if only I had earned the points I was banking on at Blue Sky Cup… sigh).  Kind of heartbroken over this, but I can’t really complain about having a cyclocross season that was like no other I had ever had!

4 wins… 9 podiums… 20 races total.

Whew.  So this is what a full cross season feels like!

Big thanks to my über supportive team, 9Seventy Racing; Rufus Design for working with me on an amazing custom skinsuit design; Dirt Components; Specialized Bicycles; Tailwind Nutrition; Qloom Bikewear; and all the photographers that comprise RacerShots that fulfilled my narcissistic race photo loving hopes and dreams!