2 November 2010  |  Race Reports

Boulder Cup Cyclocross

Here’s the down-and-dirty…

Saturday’s race (the Colorado Cross Classic) was held out at the Boulder reservoir which meant one thing: sand.  This year the sand was mostly ride-able- with the exception of one corner.  Overall the course was really fast, but there were plenty of sandy/gravelly corners to keep you on your toes.  Before the race I was dragging a bit — I felt like I needed a triple espresso or a punch in the face- something to wake me up.  I did a few laps and rode around for a little bit, but (like a ninny…) didn’t do a serious warm-up.

Wendy Simms grabbed the hole-shot and the field strung out behind her.  I had a pretty sad start and was 6th or 7th going through the barriers.  About halfway through the first lap I managed to pass 3 or 4 women who blew a sandy corner and moved up to 3rd wheel behind Katie and Nicole.  Katie started drilling it, and I could see the gap starting to open, so I went around Nicole.  I rode with Katie for the next couple of laps — she was putting the pressure on, really trying to drop me, but I was managing to stay with her — until I completely botched the rideable sandy u-turn.  I got in the wrong line and came to a complete stop.  I got off, started running, then thought “No, I should try to ride this,” got back on my bike, realized that was a dumb idea, got back off my bike and finished running to the stairs.  At that point, I had pretty much handed Katie a 5-10second gap just by dicking around trying to decide if I should run or ride.  Nice work pro racer…  When Katie looked back and saw me playing in the sand, she attacked and that was it.  I chased hard, but it wasn’t enough to reel her in, so I had to settle for 2nd on the day.  I was frustrated because I was hoping to make it an exciting race.

Sunday’s race was held at the Flatiron Crossing Mall.  It was one of the best locations for a ‘cross race I have ever seen — I mean, what a great way to attract spectators and non-cyclists than have a race that starts and finishes in a Nordstrom’s parking lot!  The course was much different than Saturday’s course and presented its own unique set of challenges.  Much of the course was on off-cambre dry grass which proved to be extremely slippery.  There was a good bit of elevation change throughout- including a long, steady climb, one run-up and one steep hill that some people were running and some people were riding.

I was determined to get a better start since I knew there was going to be carnage in the first set of off-cambre turns, and I made sure I got a good warm-up before I headed to the line.  I got the hole shot, and as I rounded the first grassy corner I saw a bunch of women crashing on top of each other.  I had opened up a few seconds’ gap when I crashed coming out of a ditch at the bottom of the course.  Wendy, Katie and Nicole caught up and rode by, but I was able to jump back in and ride with them.  I wanted to get right to the front because I didn’t want to get stuck behind any crashes, so I punched it and slotted in behind Katie.  By the end of the first lap we had a gap and I was feeling comfortable with the pace so I tried a little attack.  I got a gap pretty quickly and it took Katie a few minutes to close it down.  It was still early in the race so I figured I would be patient and not try to go too early.

Running away with the win at the 2010 Boulder Cup. Photo: Tim Gasperak/gasperak.com

Running away with the win at the 2010 Boulder Cup. Photo: Tim Gasperak/gasperak.com

About halfway through the race we were riding through a series of downhill grassy corners, and I heard Katie crash behind me.  I decided that was my chance, put my head down and tried to create a gap that would stick.  Sometime during  the next lap someone told me that Katie had dropped out.  Bummer.  At that point, I just rode around by myself for the rest of the race.  I was happy to win but disappointed that Katie dropped out.

All in all it was a solid weekend of racing and I’m pleased with the results.  I am really looking forward to the next weekend of USGP racing which will take place here in Fort Collins November 13th and 14th.  Yesterday Ryan, Dusty and I rode down to check out the venue and it looks really cool- lots of options and a GIANT flyover.  I think it’s going to be a great event!


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