By Robert Annis
Strong fields of athletes turned out Saturday at the Planet Adventure-Gray Goat Sports Indiana State Cyclocross Championships, all hoping to be crowned the best ’cross racers the Hoosier state has to offer. Battling near sub-freezing temperatures; a muddy, rutted course; and each other, the winning riders definitely earned their titles.
Sierra Siebenlist (Team Indiebike p/b Angie’s List) hadn’t been on the top step of the podium since the Traders Point race in October, but on Saturday she unleashed a monster effort that a strong Nicole Borem (Bob’s Red Mill) couldn’t match. Siebenlist rallied past leg and hand cramps during the race to steadily pull away from Borem, beating her by 37 seconds to earn the Elite women’s state championship. Jannelle Renschler (Speedway-Wheelman) was third on the day.
Despite leading the Indiana Cup Elite Women season standings, Siebenlist admitted to a “few bad weekends” here and there, and wanted to pull out a big win to boost her motivation heading into Nationals.
“My goal was to start strong and hang on,” Siebenlist said. “I went hard and set the tone (for the race).”
After the race, Siebenlist credited her mother, a former bike-shop owner in Iowa, for serving as her mechanic and pit crew.
In the Elite men’s race, Eric Anderson (NUVO) continued a string of strong performances to earn the state championship. Anderson was part of a four-man lead pack for the first four laps, until he attacked during the fourth lap and pulled away. A strong Jonathan Card was second, more than 40 seconds back, and Tom Burke (Specialized Michigan) rounded out the podium.
“There was a short uphill section where I was getting some traction and the others were struggling a bit,” Anderson said. “That’s where I went and just held on. […] It helped we were riding on virtually the same course as last week.”
Anderson, who won the masters state title last year, is having his best cyclocross season ever and hopes to carry his form into the Masters World Championship in Louisville next month.
The day’s entire results can be found at www.indianacxcup.com.
The Indiana Cup series concludes New Year’s Eve with the season’s second race at Traders Point. That same day, the Indiana MTB series will officially launch with its inaugural dirt crit. For more details or to register, visit www.planetadventurerace.com.