More Crossin’ – Whirlybird and Cooper River

After two weekends off from racing cyclocross this past weekend we were back at it with Saturday and Sunday races, luckily both being semi local. The buildup to this weekend was big, mostly due to the torrential rain we had during the week. There was lots of talk about mud, tires, and if the races would even go on.

I stayed in Friday night and baked team cupcakes and pizza for myself while Eric heading out to eat (vegan) wings with teammates. I caught up TV shows then headed to bed at a reasonable hours to catch some sleep.

We woke up to dry conditions and loaded up the car for the short drive to Bensalem for Whirlybird. I immediately got out on the course to pre-ride and was surprised at the lack of mud and wet spots. I spent the morning heckling friends and teammates and then started gearing up for my 11am start. While I haven’t been doing amazing at cross races, I have raced all the MAC races and have had ok results which so far is rewarding me with front row callups. Woohoo! Being in the front takes some of the nerves away. I’ve been working on putting a lot of effort and power into my starts and am feeling better each race. I managed to get out of the start probably 5th or so wheel.

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I was feeling good about the course. I liked Whirlybird, I race it last year and even though I broke my bike and rode 3 different bikes I still had a great time. Things were going well until this one section with a slight uphill to an off camber section. I pre-rode it fine during warmup, didn’t even think twice about. Well by the time our race rolled around the water runoff from the bike wash had filtered into this off camber part making it muddy and slick. So I slid out and fell in the mud. Got myself up but lots a lot of spots during that part. I tried to ride this part on the second lap and fell again. Finally on the third and fourth lap I got the idea that running it was better. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. I slid back in placement but had a good race trading spots with a few other women. Crossed the finish line in 19th and feeling good. I am trying to not let the number effect to much as I am seeing improvement in every race.

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I cleaned up and ate some food and got ready to watch Eric’s race. He wrote a whole post here but this was the best I think this was his best race. He finished 5th and beat some people he has been trying to beat for a while now.

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Sunday morning we got up early to drive across the bridge into New Jersey for Cooper River CX. Our friend and neighbor Jeff puts on this race and we wanted to get there early to help with whatever. A ton of friends were there so we all hung out in the middle of the course, cheering and heckling friends. The race lineup was a bit different today with Eric actually racing before me in the Elite race and my race being right after, the women’s 4. Eric’s race went alright, he was racing some actual elite racers so he tried to have more fun than actually race.

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I was excited to do a 4 only race, as opposed to a ¾ race. My race overall went well. It was a smaller field than normal and I stayed with the front for most of the first lap and then spent most of the race by myself. I loved getting heckled and people yelling “Are You Kitten Me!” I finished 7th which I was really excited about since I had a goal of a top 10.

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We hung around after the race and helped break the course down. All in all a fun weekend of cross racing.

 

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