Gosh I LOVE cyclocross! I know every Fall I say it over and over again about how much I love cyclocross, but I really do love it! I love everything about cyclocross, and the season ends too soon! I can't believe the season just started and I am already depressed about it ending. Who am I?
Ryan's race. This guy was funny.
I had such a great weekend of racing. Remember how I was taking a rest week? Well, they pay off. Saturday I raced at the first race of the Cascade Cross Series put on by Ryan Rickerts. He never disapoints with a cyclocross race. The course had some serious variety, including; flats, up hills, downhills, a bark mountain, rocks, pavement, gravel, single track, dirt, logs, barriers, off camber sections. It was a total blast. Knowing I was racing on Sunday, which is a very important race to me, I held back, and raced around 70-80% effort. If my legs started to feel a little pain, I backed off, if my breathing was too much, I backed off. I just needed/wanted to open up my legs for Sunday's race. I ended up winning, an awesome way to start the race weekend.
Sunday was another fabulous race at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood put on by Seattle Cyclocross. I hadn't ever raced here, so I was excited to check out the course. I heard it was either really interesting, or really boring, it has been in the series for a very long time.
The race started out FAST, I was thinking to myself, holy smokes I can't pedal that hard or that fast, let alone try to keep that speed for an entire race. I was setting myself up for a 4th place finish. A lot of the time with the womens racing your placement tends to be set about 3 minutes after the start of the race. A few turns and body checks later I found myself sitting in 3rd place hanging on for dear life. The first time up the hill the women in 2nd place powered by the leader, and I followed closely behind. By the top of the hill it was myself, Jess, and Natasha powering away from the field. By the time we hit the section by the second set of barriers I was able to make it through a turn past Natasha, and from there I held onto first place for most of the race. With about 2 laps to go I hear Jess behind me "Courtenay lets work together so she doesn't catch us" and I said "Yes Please!!" The last lap I wouldn't have gotten through without Jess leading me up the hill for the final time, I was hanging on for dear life. When we hit the technical turns I ended up chopping Jess on a turn (sorry!) but she was so nice, let me get through the turns and to the home stretch I went and ended up with my first Elite win!
apparently I can REALLY clear the barriers
This is so exciting for me because I feel as if I am still learning about this whole cyclocross racing thing, how to race with tactics, how to power through turns, and when to attack and when to hold back, how to work together, etc. It was so great to have the top 3 be so close to eachother, even had I finished 2nd or 3rd I would have still had an awesome time racing with Jess and Natasha, that is how a race should be! We need eachother so we can all push eachother to become stronger.
I still need to work on my mounting onto my bicycle, but maybe by next week I can just stop thinking about it and commit already!
Next weekend is a stop at Silverlake in Everett. This course was an absolute blast, aside from all the sand, and all 5x my chain dropped.