Lagoon Valley Park
Sacramento Cyclocross Series • 21 September 2013
The forecasted slight chance and light rain began bucketing down during the Womens A race today at Lagoon Valley Park. It let up late in the day to see the Sacramento Cyclocross Series open its season in outstanding ‘cross weather.
Just in from Vegas, Emily Kachorek (Ghetomoto) tackled the slick muddy course to win the top Women’s category. Later in the day, Chris McGovern (Real Wheels/cycleution.com) summoned his years of experience to explode into a big first-lap lead in the downpour; McGovern never let up from there and took the win for Men A.
The Women’s A race started in the morning before the rains. Kachorek had the early lead but a battling Janie Dalton (Missing Link) showed good early-season form, though Dalton admits she will race into shape. Kachorek had ample opportunities to monitor her closest rival in the race and kept building her gap. Once the rains did begin, much of the course became a mud-rink; keeping upright and ahead became Kachorek’s race.
“It became super slippery,” remarked Kachorek. “The rain started in the middle of our race so it was this thin layer of clay on top and the layer of clay on the tyres. As the race went on it started to get a little rutty and there were better lines. As soon as the rain started, I began tip-toeing around the course.”
Many of the spectators took to tents surrounding the open section of the course and became excited at the worsening weather and the prospect of racers succumbing to the conditions. It had been some time since the Sacramento Cyclocross Series had seen serious ‘cross weather. “It was fun,” continued Kachorek. “It’s nice to have everyone out there cheering. We’re all here for a good time [and the crowd] made it a little more interesting.”
“[Dalton] was riding well and I could see her close behind me on the first lap. I was putting time into her every lap. When it started raining I knew I had a pretty good gap.
“I raced CXLA last year [where] it was muddy but in a slightly different way. Today was definitely one of the two muddiest races I’ve ever done.
“It was a great learning experience for me. It’s hard to motivate to get out for training on this. I was slipping a lot but able to change and get mud tyres. That helped for the first lap or so and then it was sliding around again.
“Some of the stretches I thought were going to be not slippery I was still all over the place. It’s good practice for me in terms of where to put my weight, when to push on the pedals, when to ease up, and how fast you roll.”
Kachorek recently raced at Cross Vegas taking a solid 18th place after battling with Canadian Champion Mical Dyck. “Vegas was super fun. We drove up with the Gheto CX crew on Tuesday night and then drove back all day yesterday. We got in about midnight and woke up early this morning to come out here. We didn’t even unpack the bags. I haven’t ridden my bike since Vegas and wanted to be out here and support the local ‘cross race series.”
“Stronger Dudes on the Start Line than Me”
Although the race was not decided by the end of the first lap, McGovern’s lead by the final barriers meant he could pick his own lines on the slippery course. “I was lucky and got good lines at the start,” described McGovern. “I was able to ride where I wanted to ride in the mud. Every little correction I made in the slippage I had room to play with. I didn’t have traffic. It was easy.
“It’s not my first muddy race. I’m not a great mudder, per se, as if we were at a big national race but I know how to steer the bike and drive the bike in the mud.
“I built this bike for myself so every little piece of body-english, the bike responds exactly how I want it to. It’s just really fun.”
Lining up against McGovern were the likes of Jude Mayne (Hub Coffee Roasters p/b Tahoe Carson Radiology) and Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law). “I was looking at the start line and I saw a lot of strong guys,” continued McGovern. “I haven’t necessarily been training that well. I just got back from Vegas [and I'm] pretty tired. My thought was its muddy, let’s get a clean course, and see what happens.”
“I’m pretty happy I only had one dab. I had the worst tyres I could have on and just ran them at a low pressure. I stayed seated and used my hips to correct the bike and keep pressure on the pedals. That’s how you make traction.”
Behind McGovern, Hillier came from far back after his first lap to pip second place in the Men’s A race at the finish line. Third went to Kurt Gensheimer.
1. Emily Kachorek (#GHETOMOTO)
2. Janie Dalton (Missing Link)
3. Hollie McGovern (Real Wheels/Cycleution)
4. Romany McNamara (Missing Link)
5. Audrey Biehle
1. Chris McGovern (Real Wheels/Cycleution)
2. Keith Hillier (Team Rambuski Law)
3. Kurt Gensheimer
4. Jeffrey Salvitti (Caffeinated Cyclist p/b Rotham Institute)
5. Curtis Smith (Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada)
Full results are posted at Sacramento Cyclocross.
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