Livermore Cyclocross Festival
Race Coverage for Women A
NorCal has witnessed terrific cyclocross racing for Women A over the first five events of the season. CCCX produced two different winners in Karen Brems (Team Rambuski Law) and Elle Anderson (Ladies First Racing). Emily Kachorek (TBB.CX) rode to a strong victory in the first Sacramento Cyclocross race for 2012.
At the Livermore Cyclocross Festival, Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/RockLobster) added her name to the list of winners after missing an opportunity the previous day at CCCX. Her victory started pre-race settling on a strategy to avoid mishap. With a near-exact reply of the battle in the sand, Sherrill was in the lead as Brems faltered. However, this time Sherrill threw away caution to take the win.
Here is Sherrill’s race report.
“After getting outsmarted on Saturday’s CCCX race at CSU Monterey Bay, which most people familiar with my riding style would probably agree was an excellent course for me, I came into Sunday a little ticked off and cranky. But after I arrived onsite at the Livermore rodeo grounds and took one look at the race layout, I knew I would have to ride a very smart race to beat Karen [Brems], who had been much smarter than I the day before. At first appearance, the Livermore course was not good for me at all – flat, except for a runup of the stadium bleacher stairs, and dry, with long straightaways favoring a power rider.
“While warming up, I noticed a woman in the elite field lineup practicing bunny-hopping over the first barrier. She was making it, but kept clipping her back wheel on the board. Watching her, I decided that not only was hopping that board a little too risky, but I didn’t want her trying to pull one off in front of me and having a dog-pile of elite women to deal with. So I decided to get the hole shot to escape that scenario, and so I could enter the rodeo stadium first, where they rode us around in the showground, which was filled with lots of ruts. I wanted a clear view in front of me so I wasn’t trying to follow a wheel that blocked my view. So that’s what I did – go to the board first, and stayed there around a couple of corners and into the stadium, where it was nice to have a clear view of the lines in front of me. [Brems] was keeping on my wheel while the rest of the field strung out almost immediately and faded back.
“After a lap and a half, however, with [Brems] still on my wheel, I thought to myself ‘this isn’t going well at all, this is just like yesterday!’ I was thinking about what to do about it when I heard [Brems] slip out on a loose corner and take a spill. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake I had the day before – I thought ‘I’m outta here!’ and attacked. I got a small gap while she got back onto her bike, which increased to a fairly comfortable margin after another lap or so, then grew some more. I think I was probably gaining ground while physically resting taking economical lines through the loose corners featured throughout the course. I give a lot of credit to my new custom-built Rock Lobster bike, which was made to my specifications to corner aggressively and efficiently. So in the end, it was a decent course for me after all – enough loose, treacherous turns to make up for the straight power sections that aren’t my thing.”
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