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28 October 2010  |  Race Reports

USGP Louisville, KY

I always look forward to racing in Louisville: the enthusiasm of the cycling community is contagious, and each year the crowds get better and better (still, I do miss Superfan…).  I did, however, have my own set of superfans (notably smaller, skinnier, and less drunk):

I showed up to Louisville ready to race.  After reluctantly sitting out some really fun races (Gloucester, Cincinnati) and opting to train at home for a couple of weeks, I was rested and ready to RACE.

This year the races moved to a new venue — Eva Bandman Park — which is where the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS will be held in 2013.  Hats off to Louisville for being the first (I think…) city to have a dedicated cyclocross park.  The venue is awesome — lots of different features and terrain made for a truly world class event.  The weather was sunny and warm (borderline HOT), courses were fast and hard and featured fast straightaways, a few rutted corners, two sand pits, a run-up, barriers, a flyover and some steep ups and downs.  Just enough to keep you busy…

Day 1 I had a mediocre start, and it took me about half a lap to catch up to Natasha who had blazed off the front from the start.  I passed her in the sand pit, and didn’t look back (though I did hear the sounds of mayhem behind me).  I felt great, so I tried to make the race hard.  My gap was growing a bit every lap, but you never know what could happen, so I never took it for granted that I would win until I crossed the finish line.

Day 2 I was determined to have a better start, and I managed to grab the hole-shot.  The course was a little different- there were a few more turns and the run-up was rideable.  I was feeling a little tired from the day before, but I settled in and just tried to ride a steady pace.  Natasha kept the pressure on for a few laps, and that helped me to push harder.  I was able to stretch my gap throughout the race and finish with a comfortable margin.  I was excited to win, but more than that I am really happy to be feeling good and riding well.  Thanks to everyone out there cheering!

Now the little boy that told me before the race “you usually get second or third here, right?” will have to eat his words!  Haha.

This weekend I get to stay home and race in Boulder.  Hopefully there will be a strong field and some exciting races.


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