If you talk with Nina Baum of the NoTubes team, you might think she hates cyclocross.
“Cyclocross bikes are silly, they’re like road bikes, you’re trying to ride them on the trails, in the mud, it’s so goofy!” she says.
“I felt really awkward,” she said, about her experience racing the Masters race.
“I don’t want to spend so much money on this sport,” she said as the reason for not bringing a pit bike.
Yet Baum loves cyclocross despite its quirks, and used her mountain bike background and technical skills to control the race nearly start-to-finish.
After the finish she told Cyclocross Magazine, “It was really fun..I wasn’t expecting it to be that fun.”
The multi-time mountain bike National Champion from Albuquerque, NM coaches juniors in cyclocross, but actually relishes the opportunity to race herself and lead by example. She clearly did that today, taking an early lead, and leaving all but Christina Gokey-Smith (Colonel’s / Sho-Air) behind.
Gokey-Smith, racing in shorts and short sleeves, looked determined to bring Baum back, entering into full-on time trial mode, draped over her handlebars on the finishing straight in an attempt to claw back time. It seemed to work, and brought back Baum’s gap to 15 seconds part way into the last lap. All it would take was a mistake for Baum to lose her lead.
Baum didn’t make a mistake. She had plenty of time to cruise into the finish and celebrate.
Baum may have been the first racer at this National Championships to win a title racing tubeless. She used Kenda Kwicker clinchers, mounted tubeless on Alpha 340 rims at 20psi. In fact, she’s probably the first 2014 National Champion to win on tubeless. “They were amazing in the mud. Super low tire pressure and I just feel really confident,” said Baum.
Behind Baum, Catherine Moore (Squadra De Servitori) took third, holding off Kristal Boni (Rapid Racing) and Lisa Hudson (Feedback Sports) for the final three podium spots in a tight finish.
Results below gallery.
Masters 40-44 Women Results – 2014 Cyclocross National Championships
2014 USA Cyclocross National Championships Women 40-44
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.