CX State & Regional Championships

This past weekend I participated in the Wisconsin State and Midwest Regional Cyclocross Championships at Badger Prairie Park in Verona. The weather varied drastically from the State Championships on Saturday to the Midwest Regional Championships on Sunday. Saturday was cool and dry, with a bit of sunshine, while Sunday brought several inches of snow. Although the course was more or less the same each day, needless to say, the conditions changed dramatically.

Saturday’s women’s pro/cat 1 & 2 race featured a field of 15. The best part of my race was the start. Somehow I made my way from a back row starting position to the near front. I rode with a few of the leaders for the first lap, and was eventually passed later in the race by stronger riders. The course was relatively hilly (but not anywhere near as bad as the previous week’s Booty Cross), with a great steep, stair run-up. I think we did  five loops. I ended up 9th overall, and 6th among riders from Wisconsin (it was the Wisconsin state championships, after all).

On Sunday morning, I woke up to a snow-covered landscape and debated whether or not to race. I was already registered, but the snow looked so heavy and wet, and my bed was so warm and comforting. After hemming and hawing for a while, I decided to go for it. Especially since I was considering registering for the national championships (held in Madison in January), I figured I better take advantage of the opportunity to race on the nationals course in conditions that will most likely hold into January.

I arrived early and did a couple practice laps. The course was covered in thick, wet snow. I grabbed my handlebars tightly, constantly bracing for disaster. The practice loops helped build my confidence and I became more comfortable in the snow. I realized that it was important to stay in the tracks as much as possible. Outside the tracks was as slippery as an ice rink. And descending the hills was just plain scary, tracks or no tracks.

Unlike Saturday’s race, I had a bad start. But the upside was that instead of being passed, I was the one doing the passing. Despite the crazy conditions, I stayed calm and focused. I slowly caught riders in front of me, and made a big pass on the last lap. Except a slip in the snow that caused me to go down, I was able to stay out of trouble. Hills that were ridable on Saturday were no longer ridable in the snow, requiring me to get off my bike and run up. The biggest challenge was clipping into my pedals. The snow, mud and leaves stuck to my cleats, making it nearly impossible to clip in (which obviously makes it difficult o pedal). But I could tell everyone was having the same problem. I observed one woman ahead of me near the end of the race swearing and stomping on her pedals frantically. In the end, I finished 6th, right on the tail of the 5th place rider, and couldn’t have been happier.

And while that ends the regular season, there’s more! Next up: USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Madison, January 9-13. Cyclocross in Wisconsin…in January? Should be interesting.

Category: Racing and Training One comment »

One Response to “CX State & Regional Championships”

  1. Shea Schachameyer

    Greetings!

    I was wondering if you might be able to help promote these events for cx-nationals by putting them up on your blog? We’re particularly needing help getting word out about the Bicicle Shanty Challenge, which is essentially a really sweet way for people to have their own viewing area on the race course for free while at the same time showing off a little weird Wisconsin culture! The website for the shanty challenge is: http://www.bicicleshanty.wordpress.com and it’s got more info as well as the registration page on it.

    If you email me back, I can send you the overall event poster as well as a word doc with all the events in the event you’d want to use them on your blog. Thanks so much! Should be good fun!

    Cheers,

    Shea


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