Once again, we found ourselves headed East on a Saturday morning. This time, to McEwen Tennessee for the first of two races.
Despite the promoter’s offer of a seperate women’s race and payout equal to the men, only two other women showed to race. To make things more intereseting, we decided that we’d race at the same time as the p1/2/3 men for 60 minutes (instead of the usual 45).
The course was really nice. This was the first cross race I’ve been to this year that didn’t have a drop of mud on it! Don’t get me wrong, I love the mud, but it was a very nice break! It also had some nice power sections- including one nice sized hill followed by a screaming downhill (I topped out at around 25.5mph a couple of times) which claimed more than one rider in our race, including Ryan.
I decided I’d try to pace myself since this race would be my longest effort on a CX course. It worked well. I took the women’s lead from the start and never looked back. I also began picking off some of the men and ended up sitting in 5th place with a couple of laps to go. Ryan was catching up to me after wrecking early on the decent, and I wanted to hold him off, so I took a risk around a hard right turn early in the lap and managed to burp my front tubeless tire, lost traction, and fell down. I tried to hop up and keep the pressure on, but the next turn resulted in another burp. With ~10psi, I was able to ride straight, but had to baby my bike through every turn. Ryan passed me just before I got to the pits. Luckily, I’d brought my Air9 along and put it in the pit “just in case.” I finished my last lap and a half on it (and also realized how badly the fit it off on it- I’ve got a setback seatpost and longer stem on the way… hopefully they’ll be in before the Lock 4 six hour race next weekend!)
So, I ended up winning the women’s race and finishing 6th against the guys. Not bad… I’m hoping that today, I don’t have any tire issues so I can keep the pressure on.