What started as a tight-knit race for the first two laps turned into a sprawled-out field by the end of the Masters Women 35-39 race at the 2014 Cyclocross National Championship. After battling with five other racers, Sunny Gilbert (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark Racing) took off on her own to take a solo, commanding win.
The race began with Jennifer Nowlin (The Fix Studio) taking the holeshot, followed close by Nicole Thiemann. By the time the riders wound around the highest section of the course, Thiemann took over and began dictating the race pace from there. She would finish the first lap, leading a highly contesting pack of four other riders, including Gilbert, Melissa Barker (GS Boulder/ Organic India), Corey Coogen Cisek (The Fix Studio), and Ellen Sherrill (Rock Lobster).
By the technical section of the second lap, Theimann, Gilbert, and Barker had separated themselves from the others. Barker, who otherwise rode technically well today, bobbled on the tight uphill before the stairs and allowed Gilbert to ride alone up front. Gilbert would never give up that lead, although she had few brutal run-ups on the Belgian stairs, one involving her crashing into a step. We caught up to her at the end of the race, and discovered she had rode the last half of the race with her handlebars askew. “I almost face planted,” she said, “but my bike saved me.”
Barker, who would eventually take second place, looked like she took the stairs with fresh legs every lap, bounding up them with impressive speed. The Boulder native admitted that she had plenty of practice at those steps throughout the season. She told us that her goal was to make the top five, and paced herself well in the race. “Once I saw Sunny come around me, I knew I just needed to grab on to her as long as I could.”
Thiemann eventually outlasted Coogan-Cisek to take third place.
Gallery below results.
Masters Women 35-39 Race Results at 2014 USA Cycling National Championship of Cyclocross
|1||453||GILBERT||Sunny||Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Raci|
|2||447||BARKER||Melissa||GS Boulder/Organic India|
|4||451||COOGAN CISEK||Corey||The Fix Studio|
|5||452||D'AMATO||Jessica||Evol Elite Racing|
|6||459||NOWLIN||Jennifer||The Fix Studio|
|7||463||SANSOME||Carol Jeane||Grand Performance Cyclocross Te|
|9||456||MARSHALL||Brianne||Tough Girl Cycling|
|13||457||MCKERNAN||Heather||Team Small Batch|
|15||460||OLEWINSKI||Luci||Rocky Mountain Road Club|
|16||450||CHURCH||Kristine||Peanut Butter & Co. Human Zoom|
|17||462||RYDHOLM||Amber||GS Boulder/Organic India|
|18||448||BYE||Amanda||Naked Women's Racing|
|DNS||454||HILDEBRAND||Elicia||Trek Midwest Team|
Masters Women 35-39, 2014 Cyclocross National Championships Photo Gallery by Brian Nelson:
Masters Women 35-39, 2014 Cyclocross National Championships Photo Gallery by Matthew Lasala:
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.