Sunday, October 27, 2013

MN CX Racing and My First Win!

3 weeks since my last blog post?  Slacker... Honestly I've been busy - so busy that I think the 60 minute massage I had on Friday might have been the first time I relaxed in the last month.  Perhaps I should do more yoga?  Nah, I hate yoga.

The real deal is that I was racing like a crazy animal and go! go! go! non-stop pretending that I really don't have a whole lot of other life going on besides racing.  Eventually it caught up to me like it usually does and I crashed down like a ton of bricks. So yep, some time off the bike and some adjustments to the race schedule were on tap.  Now I am refreshed, revived and just finished up a couple back to back weekends of awesome MN CX. 

Last weekend was Green Acres CX weekend.  When they announced that this would be a 2 day event this year I was totally stoked. Honestly when it comes to cx course difficulty and atmosphere nothing really gets close to Green Acres around here.  It's probably the closest thing to Jingle Cross in my opinion.  Now Sports does an exceptional job putting on a race and who doesn't love free food, beer and mud?

Thanks Todd Fawcett for the photo -dirty, lovely, cross
I'll be the first to admit that the Green Acres course is a challenging one for me  It has a massive hill on each lap and being a bigger rider it's probably not one of my strengths (I am slowly learning what those are these days!).  Last year I totally suffered on this course so I knew in order to do well here this year it was going to take a massive effort.   Thankfully I had some kick ass support from Foundry Cycles & a cheering section filled with good friends Lisa, Christina, Katy and Aaron. I also had a toasty Foundry tent to warm up in, and a super hot Tomcat in the pit with my spare bike (this was important on a muddy day 2). 

Thanks Todd Fawcett for the photo --- heading up the massive climb.
Day 1 started out as a snot flying sufferfest with me losing ground on the massive hill and gaining it back on the off camber descent and cornering sections.  Midway through the race I had an unfortunate slide out on an off camber turn and couldn't'  bridge back up. That's cx for ya.  I was happy to take the 3rd step this day behind Corey and Jen...two very strong riders.

Me, Jen, Corey
 Day 2 was rainy and pretty much mud everywhere.  I had a horrible pre-ride lap and really just prayed that lowering the tire pressure would make a difference and thankfully it did.  Considering the conditions and my lack of experience riding in wet conditions I still can't believe I never crashed.  Corey however definitely had me on the grassy ride up (or run up in my case) and to her credit she executed an exceptional race.  I crossed the finished 16 seconds back in 2nd.Overall, I was happy with my performance on a couple of tough racing days...but man was I still hungry for my first ever MN CX win.... 

Which happened yesterday!!!!  Eek!

Red Barn CX was awesome and it's flat course with multiple turns definitely suited my strengths.  I took the hole shot and led for the entire race holding off junior Kelly Catlin (remember this name!) who is an exception road racer with a boatload of power and cornering skills. She is just starting cyclocross this year so still a cat 3, but damn her future is bright.  

MN CX racing for women is definitely on the rise and these days it's hard to predict the podium and that is what makes racing so awesome.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have these women as friends and to be able compete against them week in and week out.  We continue to raise the level and make each other better racers.  This is just the beginning. 

Huge thanks to Carlos Sabillon for capturing some amazing images.  He is one of the very best and I am always amazed by his work!  
SABIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM at Erickson Bros Tree Farm

Also, a massive amount of gratitude goes out to my coach Matt with CTS. We did this in just 1 year!  Do not put limits on your dreams!!  This past month has been a bit of a struggle for me....and rising up to the top step yesterday was a true testament to his coaching greatness. 

Next up...Iceman Cometh!!! I have been waiting for this coming weekend for more than an entire year! It's going to be a flippin riot!


  1. Way to go, April! You are one to watch, too… your future is bright! I LOVE your attitude… racing with women and supporting each other. So important to making progress in the sport of cycling :)

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