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).

Sunni Gilbert takes the win in the Masters Women 35-39, 2014 Cyclocross National Championships. ©

Sunni Gilbert takes the win in the Masters Women 35-39, 2014 Cyclocross National Championships. ©

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.”

Nicole Thiemann raced well early and stayed on the podium. © Brian Nelson

Nicole Thiemann raced well early and stayed on the podium. © Brian Nelson

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.”

Friendly competition even at the highest level of National Championship racing. © Matthew Lasala

Friendly competition even at the highest level of National Championship racing. © Matthew Lasala

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

Place
Bib
Last
First
Team
1453GILBERTSunnyMichelob Ultra - Big Shark Raci
2447BARKERMelissaGS Boulder/Organic India
3465THIEMANNNicole
4451COOGAN CISEKCoreyThe Fix Studio
5452D'AMATOJessicaEvol Elite Racing
6459NOWLINJenniferThe Fix Studio
7463SANSOMECarol JeaneGrand Performance Cyclocross Te
8467SHERRILLEllen
9456MARSHALLBrianneTough Girl Cycling
10466WATKINSFaithAustinbikes/Revenant
11458MELENAKatie
12455HOTTMANMeganTheCyclist-Lawyer.com
13457MCKERNANHeatherTeam Small Batch
14446AMBJORNCooperTeam Hungry
15460OLEWINSKILuciRocky Mountain Road Club
16450CHURCHKristinePeanut Butter & Co. Human Zoom
17462RYDHOLMAmberGS Boulder/Organic India
18448BYEAmandaNaked Women's Racing
DNS449CAREYAmanda
DNS454HILDEBRANDEliciaTrek Midwest Team
DNS461RUSSELLShannon

 

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:

 

Be sure to see our Live Streaming Video of today’s U23 race, and tomorrow’s Junior Men, Elite Women and Elite Men’s races.

 

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.