by Paul Guerra
There was a significant break in the action between the masters and elite women’s race allowing for a two lap foot race and course inspection by the ladies. Before her race and as her bike was cleaned, Georgia Gould commented on the sand removal. “I’m disappointed they took out all the sand. That’s special, you don’t always get to ride on the beach.”
In year’s past, more sand sections along the shore of Boulder Reservoir had been employed but Georgia was still upbeat, excited for how fast things would get as the course dried out. Mark Legg-Compton also commented on the ground conditions as he prepped Katie’s Rabobank team Giant bike – “The course is drying up, but we’re still running pretty low pressures for the sand sections.”
The women’s race was decided almost immediately off the line with the field getting strung out before crossing the finish line even once. At one lap it was Compton in the lead with French rider Caroline Mani behind her and Gould and Nicole Duke chasing. After 4 laps, Compton had opened up an impressive 40 second lead on Mani with Gould at 50 seconds. Compton looked smooth and relaxed and easily negotiated the gravel to pavement transitions that forced other riders to take wide, slow turns.
At the end, it was Compton comfortably in the lead with Mani 45 seconds back, Gould 75 seconds back and local favorite Nicole Duke beating Oregonian Sue Butler for 4th. Fields were particularly sparse for a UCI race, but Sarah Maile and Emily Thurston expect larger fields for tomorrow. “There’ll be 4 times the women at the start line of tomorrows C1 race [as opposed to today’s C2 race],” they said. Local racers might well be saving it for tomorrow while out-of-towners like Thurston and Maile wanted to get their money’s worth with two days of racing.
Tomorrow is day two of UCI racing in Boulder with the Boulder Cup at the recently completed Valmont Bike Park cyclocross course.
Stay tuned for results.