For full coverage, schedules and information on the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships at Badger Prairie County Park in Madison, Wisconsin, visit our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.
Check back soon for photo galleries and videos.
by Molly Hurford
VERONA, WISCONSIN — As temperatures rose throughout the day, course times slowed as conditions became more greasy, slippery and generally treacherous. Even race winner Linda Sone (Cycle-Smart) readily admitted to sliding all over the course and falling several times. She told Cyclocross Magazine, “If you increase your pace a little bit, and you’re tired, the likelihood of going down is just there.”
The four-lap race opened poorly for Sone, who was sitting mid-pack when the racers left the pavement and headed onto the muddy section of the course. With a false flat and muddy uphill that caused some riders to dismount and run up, the course started hard and pushed racers to their limit early. As an announcer put it, racers had to “push the needle to the limit, and then break the needle.”
With three to go, Sone had moved into first place, but only five seconds behind her, Kimberly Flynn (Scenic City Velo-USSC-Trek) was chasing hard through the finishing straight. Seconds behind her was Katrina Dowidchuk (Team TBB-Deep Blue) and in fourth and fifth were Heidi Beck (Twin Six) and Jennifer Herrell-Rhoades (Bicycles of Tulsa), respectively.
As the racers continued around the course, the power needed to place well steadily increased. Sone said, “I thought it was tackying up though – it was less icy, the hills were difficult, getting greasy, but Kim was able to ride all the hills though.” Parts of the course were touch-and-go, with some riders pedaling through while others found running more efficient. Sone was trying to ride the sand pit in early laps, but ran at the end once she regained her lead. “I had to [run], I only had so much left in the tank. I had to chase two times to get back up to her, and because that, my quads were just … I didn’t have very much left.”
Dowdichuk spent her race in “no man’s land,” as she told us, until Margell Abel was able to bridge up to her, at which point the two began dueling for the third podium slot. “It was hard … really hard,” Dowdichuk said. When asked how she handled the slipperiness of the course, she said, “I prayed … It was a little embarrassing, but I just went really slow. I think staying upright is a little more advantageous.”
With two to go, there was a shift, and Flynn was ahead of Sone by seconds. The two traded places throughout the race, rarely getting more than a few seconds away from each other. And with one to go, the two were still together going through the finish. Behind them was Dowidchuk and Abel, who were battling for third. Behind the top four, Heidi Beck was furiously making up time after falling behind in previous laps.
Coming into the finish, spectators were surprised to see Sone alone, comfortably cruising in for the win. “It was a mind game. I was trying to dig down, and then thinking about maybe giving up. It went back and forth so many times.”
Sone told us that she was familiar with Flynn, who finished second, and had raced against her before. “She was flawless, I never saw her fall, and I was stumbling everywhere. There were a few girls who were strong, so it could have been anybody … I am pretty lucky, I had a lot people rooting for me.”Finishing third was Dowidchuk, who told us she dropped Abel on the hills in the final lap, followed by Abel and Beck.
To find out more about Linda Sone, check out Issue 14 of Cyclocross Magazine, where the full-time firefighter was recently profiled.
Photo Gallery by Tim Westmore and Andrew Yee
Video interview with Linda Sone:
Video Interview with Katrina Dowidchuk:
Keep up to date on all of the action at 2012 Cyclocross Nationals on Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.
|1||Linda SONE (1 - Cat2)||Northfield, MN||Cycle-Smart Inc.|
|2||Kimberly FLYNN (1 - Cat1)||Hixson, TN||Scenic City Velo/USSC-Trek p/b Vantaggio|
|3||Katrina DOWIDCHUK (2 - Cat1)||Wilmington, DE||Team TBB/Deep Blue|
|4||Margell ABEL (3 - Cat1)||Boulder, CO||Tough Girl Cycling|
|5||Heidi BECK (2 - Cat2)||Delafield, WI||Twin Six|
|6||Jennifer HERRELL-RHOADES (3 - Cat2)||Kansas City, MO||Bicycles of Tulsa|
|7||Dana SHINN (4 - Cat2)||Durango, CO|
|8||Tracy YATES (1 - Cat3)||Fort Collins, CO||Team Rio Grande|
|9||Patricia DOWD (5 - Cat2)||Bozeman, MT||Coeur d 'Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)/Team REP|
|10||Julie PHELPS (6 - Cat2)||De Pere, WI||Big Ring Flyers|
|11||Lindsay ZUCCO (7 - Cat2)||Elburn, IL||Team Bicycle Heaven|
|12||Cynthia MILNICK (2 - Cat3)||Bennett, CO||Echelon Energy Cycling Team|
|13||Janet TRUBEY (3 - Cat3)||Fletcher, NC||North Carolina Cyclocross|
|14||Ann KENNEDY (4 - Cat3)||Portland, OR|
|15||Nicole ALEXANDER (5 - Cat3)||Marquette, MI||Kitchi - Mi - Kana/Chocolay Ace Hardware Cycling Team|
|16||Melissa PUTZER (6 - Cat3)||Oshkosh, WI||Team Wheel & Sprocket|
2012 Nationals Master Women 40-44 Startlist
|Womens||Master 40-44 Cat 1/2/3|
|Margell Abel||Boulder, CO||155|
|Nicole Alexander||Kitchi - Mi - Kana||Marquette, MI||164|
|Heidi Beck||Delafield, WI||162|
|Patricia Dowd||Coeur d 'Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)/Team REP||Bozeman, MT||163|
|Katrina Dowidchuk||Team TBB/Deep Blue||Wilmington, DE||165|
|Kimberly Flynn||Scenic City Velo/USSC-Trek p/b Vantaggio||Hixson, TN||166|
|Jennifer Herrell-Rhoades||Bicycles of Tulsa||Kansas City, MO||156|
|Ann Kennedy||Portland, OR||152|
|Cynthia Milnick||Echelon Energy Cycling Team||Bennett, CO||153|
|Julie Phelps||Big Ring Flyers||De Pere, WI||158|
|Melissa Putzer||Team Wheel & Sprocket||Oshkosh, WI||154|
|Dana Shinn||Durango, CO||159|
|Linda Sone||Cycle-Smart, Inc.||Northfield, MN||160|
|Janet Trubey||North Carolina Cyclocross||Fletcher, NC||157|
|Tracy Yates||Team Rio Grande||Fort Collins, CO||151|
|Lindsay Zucco||Team Bicycle Heaven||Elburn, IL||161|