The 2018 Lost and Found 100-mile Pro Women’s race was a tale of patience, persistence and flat tires, with defending champion Katerina Nash and last year’s second place, Olivia Dillon, doing their best to nurse punctured tires to the finish line.
Early on, Nash looked determined to keep her title, and took to the front on the first climb of the new 2018 course.
Dillon wasn’t worried. “I know racing at altitude I have to stay within myself on the first climb,” Dillon explained. She came to the 2018 event hoping to continue improving, after finishing third in her 2016 Lost and Found debut and climbing up one podium step in 2017. “There were a bunch of women ahead of me, but I knew I’d race into it.” She expected to catch back up, knowing the risks that riders faced in the Lost Sierra.
Those risks certainly impacted the front of the race, as well as the rides of nearly 1400 competitors.
Nash’s title defense hopes lost quite a bit of air early in the race. “It started off really well, I was in the lead on the first climb, and then I got a flat tire,” Nash recalled.
Nash installed a Dynaplug into the cut at the crown of the tire, but after blasting it with CO2 and taking off to ride with Dillon, her plugged Maxxis Rambler continued to slowly lose air. She stopped to add more CO2, ran out of that and then eventually had to pump away with her ultra-mini pump. As she rode on, her tire kept losing air, forcing her to finally insert a tube and add a few hundred mini pump strokes to her day’s workout.
With so many tire delays by Nash, Dillon was gone, in pursuit of the only Lost and Found podium step that had eluded her. The former professional road racer was just hoping to elude the course’s many tire hazards.
She powered away on the course’s steady climbs, but sure enough, eventually found herself in the same situation that Nash was in hours earlier. “Fifteen miles to go, my rim was down on the fast gravel section, so I pulled to the side, did CO2, but then on the headwind road section it was down again.”
With Serena Gordon chasing and Nash finally rolling on an airtight inner tube, Dillon’s title hopes were taking on water, but thanks to a fellow racer, she got help in the form of a plug to help seal her sidewall gash. Would it be enough?
It still didn’t hold. “On the last climb, it was down again, so I had to grab another CO2 again and put it in. I just wanted to get the finish!” Dillon exclaimed. “I knew Katerina and Serena were chasing behind.”
Get to the finish she did, and with seven minutes to spare, she completed her step-by-step climb up the Lost and Found podium.
Nash passed Serena Gordon and held her off by just seconds to finish in second.
2018 Lost and Found Women’s Race Notes:
- When not podiuming at the Lost and Found, Dillon, originally from Ireland, works with Velocio as Director of Retail Sales, and wore a special edition white Velocio jersey that she said Ted King and Josh Berry also debuted during their winning and podium rides at Dirty Kanza.
- Dillon raced a Specialized Diverge with a CGR carbon seatpost instead of the stock dropper, and used the 38mm Trigger tires at 30psi.
- Katerina Nash raced an Orbea Terra gravel bike and estimates she inflated her Maxxis Rambler tires in the “upper 30s.” She hasn’t spent much time on her bike, hopping on it a “couple times earlier this year” and once at the Sagan Gran Fondo. Stay tuned for profiles of each bike.
2018 Lost and Found Pro Women's Results - 100 Mile