Tuesday, November 09, 2010

2010 AB cyclocross season end

Nov 6 - Riverbend Cross Madness, Red Deer
The last Alberta cyclocross race was on a fast-paced open course, with a few twisty sections in the scenic river valley.

photos - Central Alberta Bicycle Club

With cyclocross Nationals on the same day in Toronto, the three women that showed up in Red Deer raced with the Expert men. Fun start in the mass, dodging racers that had overshot a few corners off the twisty start, getting through the rideable sandpit in a drunken path. I was positioned well. Once we hit the open sections, the strong guys quickly passed by.
Held my own with not getting lapped and duked it out with a couple guys. I was adamant to climb the insanely steep climb. Was getting more fatigued each time though made it without walking! The cheering section there helped!

Finally, mastered the barriers taking the bike speed into the run. Check out the height, especially on a slight uphill!

Jumping the barriers to me, feels like this!
photo - Aaron Falkenberg

Totally proud of the Albertan women that made the trip to Cross Nationals - Elite and Master women. Was hoping to see both Pepper and Katy on podium. Glad superwoman 4-time National cyclocross champ Wendy Simms had strong Alberta racers to challenge her! Pepper and Katy mostly raced in the Expert men category back home. Paid off with 2nd place for Katy and 4th for Pepper!
Canadian Cross Nationals - Katy hopping the barriers with Wendy
photo - Canadiancyclist.com
Oct 30 - Brian Kullman Memorial Cross, Calgary
Race course set in the schoolyard beneath the Children's hospital on a super balmy summer-like day. More twists and turns than the prior year made it challenging fun. Many new faces with the thanks to the organizers for reduced entry for women. World ranked road racer Julie Beveridge showed up. I knew she would be speedy, wasn't sure about technical.
photos - R. Haskell
Off the start, the many ability level field broke up quick. Bridget took the lead, with Sonya, Shantel, Julie and Marg close behind. Bridget lead strongly though washed out on the tricky descent corner to a swooping steep ascent. We avoided her and quickly passed by.
Shantel grabbing the cash prime at the first run-up the stairs
In the open sections it was awesome to hang onto Julie's wheel drafting making good ground.
Marg hovering behind Julie
Passed Julie on the stairs run-up and stormed on any technical section to get away. Not overly thrilled to race solo on an open course to wind.

Approaching the barriers... .

I'm always excited to clear the barriers without tripping!
tricky sharp left turn after the barriers

small person technique up the steep climb
Meanwhile, Bridget was strongly chasing her way back. I held the lead for a few laps, though energy was flailing. Ended up washing out on the same spot as Bridget earlier, now having to run up a normally rideable climb. Lost alot of the precious lead.
Bridget with her eye on Marg
Marg working it, though tuckered
Within the lap, Bridget came by Marg strongly
Super exciting women's field racing this season!

Oct 31 - Beans 'n Barley Cross, Calgary
Next day, back to Shaganappi Park for the Halloween race. I dressed up with a costume minimally with black ears and black tail. The racers that dressed up were outstanding.
photos - Bill Quinney .
Had a super start with the course catered to my compact chainrings 50/34 in the straightaway sections. Felt strong today.

Monday, November 08, 2010

2010 Cyclocross

Sep 25 - School of Cross, Edmonton
AB cross season started slow for me with rolling my ankle on a super steep off-camber dismount within the first half of the first loop of the first race of the season! Doh, it hurt as I limped up the climb. After resting for a few minutes, I decided to coast back to the finish to pull out of the race... catching sight of the last rider ahead, and feeling ok, I (stupidly) started chasing! It was a fun course, clawed my way back to mid-pack by the end. Paid for it with a Fred Flintstone size ankle the next morning despite doing everything I could to keep the swelling down. It was a bummer to not race the next day... and next few races.

the wickedly fast start to the 1st cross race
photo - Aaron Falkenberg

Oct 9 - GP Jim Horner Cross, Edmonton
Rested my ankle for a couple weekends, then had two good races on the Velodrome course grounds.
Following Bridget and Shantel for a couple loops on the techie curves
photo - Bill Quinney

Shantel chasing Bridget over the barriers
photo - Saul Ansbacher

Up & down the grassy bowl near the Velodrome
photo Teresa Chung

Much needed help to open the bubbly!

Oct. 10 - Redbike Red Cross, Edmonton
Similar course to the prior day, in reverse direction. Seemed abit flowier. Still fun!

Marg laughing at Shantel's huge course taped hands.
Shantel jockeyed Bridget for 2nd.

Oct 17 - Kelowna Cyclocrawwws
While I was in Kelowna for a super fun birthday party weekend, I took the opportunity to go into Kelowna's first cross race. Choice of categories A and B, so I went A with the speedy guys and World Mountain bike champ Catherine Pendrel.
Course was rougher than the plush Alberta grass courses. Lots of fun technical sketchy corners and trails, with the steepest hike-a-bike section for a cross race ever!

First time I've flatted and had the good fortune Monica Nelson who was spectating overheard me and offered her wheel. Had fun catching back up to a few guys after my wheel change.
Finished 2nd to Catherine though she lapped me, and was challenging the top 3 guys! Good atmosphere, and well organized for a first time event.

On podium with Catherine Pendrel

Oct 23 - Lion's Den Provincials, Devon
Course designer Cory Dickinson put in the "agitator" snail loop again. Made me dizzy going into it...Off the start, Katy was quickly binocular distance ahead. A good spectator race was happening between Bridget, Shantel and Marg, with sightings of Master woman Sonya not far behind. We were wheel to wheel.
Devon photos - Bill Quinney

I did a horrible job leading into the snail loop. With Bridget getting by me, it was so much easier to follow good riding lines, or should I say circles!
Into the final sandpit, a stake tripped me tossing me and my bike into the pit. Bridget scooped her bike that bit it as well, with me dusting sand off not far behind. The wind was out of my sails to chase. Very exciting action for the crowd!
3rd at Provincials
photo - Alexis Hillyard

Oct 24 - Pedalhead Roadworks Super Prestige, Edmonton
Next day, woke up to rain which made the thick grassy course at Goldbar nicely rideable.

Pedalhead photos - Darcy Reynard

Many exchanges of the lead with Shantel, Trish, Sonya and Marg. Lengthy sandpit section which was challenging to grab the line closest to the pond (only one guy fell in!). In the end, Shantel had a stronger finish.

Marg chasing Shantel

Shantel chasing Marg

Coolest weather day though nice to watch from the indoor pavillion