Rebecca Gross (Donnelly Sports) might have just found her rhythm at the perfect time. Struggling for much of the Cyclocross season, the Golden, Colorado native revealed some of her strengths right from the starting line. She shared the hole shot with Bethann Orton, who managed to hold Gross’s wheel for the first half lap. Rebecca Blatt (Van Dessel Factory Team) followed close behind in third.
While the course began frozen with immovable ruts looking to trap wheels, a quick rise in temperature began melting away the ice and frost after a few laps. Gross later reported “that once the sun came out, the course became progressively muddy.” She recalled the off-camber sections and descents then became a little more slick. As the course became more technically challenging, she began gaining momentum and pulling further away from the rest of the field.
Blatt made up ground on Orton soon after the Belgian stairs, and by the time the sweeping off-cambers made way into a nice power section, she latched right onto Orton’s wheel. Before the end of the first lap, Blatt had moved forward into second place, and from there, all three women found themselves riding alone in front, separating themselves from the rest of the field and each other until the finish line: Gross in first, Blatt in second, and Orton in third.
Catching up to her after crossing the finish line, I asked Rebecca Gross her secret of technical riding. “Spending lots of time on the trainer while I watched World Cups on the TV,” she answered. Watching the best in the world must have worked. While the rest of the field approached the more challenging sections with apprehension, she picked the aggressive lines and kept off her brakes. She admitted that the Polar Plunge was the most difficult part of the race for her as it remained frozen solid. Still, Gross came out with a game plan and remained focused to take the win.
Results below gallery.
Rebecca Gross Takes Win in Masters Women 30-34 at the 2014 National Cyclocross Championships – Gallery by Matt Lasala
Master Women 30-34 Results - USA Cycling National Championships of Cyclocross 2014
|2||318||BLATT||Rebecca||Van Dessel Factory Team|
|4||329||MCCUTCHEON||Melinda||Canyon Bicycles - Shimano|
|5||319||BOWMAN||BrittLee||Connecticut Yankee BC|
|6||320||BRANDT||Nicole||Velo Club LaGrange|
|8||334||STEEN||Victoria||Team Six One Four|
|13||333||SEVERN||Alyssa||Team Yacht Club|
|14||325||HARDEMAN||Missy||Squadra Di Servitori|
|16||327||KNIGHT||Lindsay||Heritage Race Club|
|19||324||HAEBIG||Caroline||Rat City Racers|
For all the best Cyclocross Nationals 2014 coverage, including bike profiles, race reports, results and video interviews, check out our 2014 Cyclocross National Championship Page here.