They rocked the CAT123 field at the Chicago Cyclocross Cup Season 2013 and they deserve an awesome pat on the back!!
Well done ladies!!
Who didn’t….I mean really?
Last weekend a few of us PSIMET gals (me, Cathy Frampton and Kelli Richter) plus one former PSIMET and current Vanderkitten, Jeannie Kuhajek, hit the road for Iowa to tackle Snake Alley, Melon City and Quad Cities. We hit the road early enough on Friday that we had time to go for a ride once we got to Burlington. The weather was perfect (too bad it didn’t last) and we had a chance to see some of the men’s road race. We spied the PSIMET jersey of Nick Pomella in the mix which we ended up seeing the next couple days at the pointy end of the men’s cat5 races. A really long wait for unimpressive food at the Drake finished off our day.
Saturday started out cold and wet. Cathy and I did the 2/3 race in the morning in pouring rain and thunder. As all us girls huddled shivering under an awning awaiting the start the official came over and said “Dump some air out of your tires. Everyone.” Yes sir. I debated even racing the Psimet carbons in the rain but honestly they felt perfect. Braking was solid and wheels were sure footed. I probably raced on 75 pounds in my Vittoria tubs. For some reason, despite the cold and drenching rain plus surfing through rivers on the descent, this was the most fun I’ve ever had here. I never do well at this race but it is always a lot of fun. Cathy had a better result but she got tamed by the snake a bit this day. It dried up in the afternoon for the W123 which I was happy to not race. Kelli and Jeannie tore it up finishing 6th and 7th respectively.
Sunday was Melon City. We all raced the afternoon W123 race. Another course I struggle with due to how deep I have to dig on the hill. I seem to crest the top at the back or within reach of the field then have to dig even deeper to bridge that gap but don’t quite have it. After 3 hot laps I popped. I decided to make it a solid training day and rode hard until the field lapped me in the last ¼ of the race. By then the pace had slowed or I figured out how to ride the hill with less energy and had no issues staying with the field. Hmm. Yes I’d say my lack of climbing ability is in large part in my head. I slid off the back for the finish so I would not get in the way and finished solidly 2nd to last. Sigh. Cathy opted to not race Melon as it has always been bad luck for her. Kelli once again rode amazingly and smart, not getting carried away chasing everything and kept her eye on the biggest threats. She finished 4th in a sprint finish, coming within a spokes width of 3rd.
Monday is by far one of my favorite courses. The chicken cage, some call it, due to all the chicken wire they use to keep stray people/children/dogs from colliding with the racers and vice versa. It is flat and fast and has 8 turns. It is notoriously slippery in the wet but we got very lucky and the rain held off. I was super pumped for the morning 2/3 race and tried to race smart. I stayed near the front and avoided a number of crashes. At one point I sorta started a move up/hey maybe I’ll attack move just as someone else attacked so I got on it but it fizzled. Nothing got away. I set myself up for the sprint finish but with the effort needed to position myself I didn’t have what I needed for the last ¼ lap+sprint. Finished 7th and in the money. Next up was the 123 race. Feeling tired and not really in the mood to race again I toed the lined half hearted and went for a fun and fast cruise. Kelli was holding good position and spent a little time off the front and finished 7th. The pace was much higher than the morning race which kept it much smoother and there were fewer crashes. Cathy had a so-so day as she struggled with not feeling her normal mojo on Monday so I have a feeling she’s looking for redemption over the next couple weekends. So, with a little extra money in our pockets we capped off a fun weekend of racing with a stop at Culvers to gorge on burgers and ice cream. After all, that’s the whole reason for racing bikes, right?