The Lone Star party kicked off earlier this morning, and in the afternoon, Catherine Moore (Trek Cyclocross Collective) took to the start line in the Women’s Masters 45-49 race to keep it going. Moore jumped out to an early lead and stayed strong and focused to take home her 10th Cyclocross National Championship in Hartford.
As the schedule entered the afternoon, the temperature got up near 32 degrees and some of the top layer of frozen mud began to melt. Several parts in the second half of the course got much slicker and added a new challenge to the frozen ruts that have become ubiquitous throughout the Hartford course.
Moore wasted no time in jumping out to an early lead as the field strung out at the front of the race. When the riders trekked through the rutted woods Moore led a train of riders strung out with 8-10 second gaps between each. Andrea Cox (Riverside Racing) took the second position, Katrina Dowidchuk (Colavita Mid-Atlantic Women’s Team) third, Kristie Arend (ALP Cycles Racing) fourth, and Erin Mascelli (Yukato Yoga p/b Sole Ales) fifth.
Moore said the fast start was her plan for the afternoon, “That was my goal, to go out hard and be the first one there. I knew in the technical sections if I don’t go super hard, but just follow your lines and if you get off, just go with it. Sometimes it takes you to a place you thought was bad, but actually wound up being really good.”
Throughout the day Thursday, the technical second half of the course near the gazebo was where most large gaps seemed to open. Organizers have put a series of off-cambers and tricky corners in the course layout that really put a premium on technical bike handling though the section.
Andrea Cox talked about the changing conditions, ”It actually changed in the race. Over on this side [gazebo section] it actually started softening up. Ruts I was riding in the pre-ride, I would ride over and slide out because the tops of the ruts have slicked out. And even within the half hour it slickened up.”
In the Women’s 45-49 race, the first trip through the technical gazebo section broke the strung out train apart and a clear pecking order emerged. Moore established a strong lead at the front, and a chase of Dowidchuk and Cox emerged with Arend 20 seconds behind them.
Moore conquered the embankment and the technical gazebo sections on laps two and three to ride home with a nearly two-minute victory and another Stars and Stripes jersey for her collection.
Shortly after the start of the second lap, Dowidchuk and Cox joined forces for a friendly chase battle for second. The two rode wheel-to-wheel until Dowidchuk was able to pull away through the technical gazebo section during the penultimate lap.
After the race Cox said her high-risk, high-reward riding style was partly responsible for falling behind Dowidchuk, “I was pushing it. I was trying to get [Dowidchuk] and I think I was just acting stupid. I don’t care who it is or where they are, I never look behind I always go at what’s in front of me. I go as hard as I can, as long as I can.”
Dowidchuk stayed strong through the last lap to take the silver medal and Cox kept her third-place spot for the bronze and her first Cyclocross Nationals podium appearance. Tracy Yates (unattached) finished fourth, and Arend took fifth.
Dowidchuk said she enjoyed her chance to race at Nationals, “This year was just come out and ride as hard as I could. I was just coming to race really hard, and I felt good today. I really felt strong. Once I noticed I was in third, I knew I could get the girl in second. And when someone’s in front of you, you’ve got to beat her, right?”
A Special Day for Moore
Cyclocross is a hobby for most Nationals racers, but sometimes races are more than just a race. For Catherine Moore, her 10th National Championship had a deeper meaning:
“I had a good friend, a buddy of mine, pass away. She was hit by a car in November. I dedicated this race to her. That made it more special. Any time I felt a little off it’s like ‘I’m doing it for her.’ You know, just keep going.”
“She was one who never gave up. She may not have been the best on the course, but she had an attitude where she would push no matter what. She never gave up, no matter what the circumstance was. She would always push through, she’d never give up. That’s what I took with me today, don’t ever give up. Just keep going.”
“Once I got to the flyover I just got all emotional and I could feel her there pushing me through.”
2017 CX National Championships Hartford Day 3 Results Masters Women 45-49
|1||105||MOORE||Catherine||Trek Cyclocross Collective||38:47:00|
|2||99||DOWIDCHUK||Katrina||Colavita Midatlantic Women's Te||40:46:00||1:59|
|5||92||AREND||Kristie||ALP Cycles Racing||43:08:00||4:21|
|11||93||AYOTTE||Melissa||State 9 Racing||45:13:00||6:26|
|12||103||MASCELLI||Erin||Yukato Yoga p/b Sole Ales||46:05:00||7:18|
|14||115||WEISS||Nicole||Team Group Health||35:43:00||@1Lap|
|16||104||MONTGOMERY||Kelli||fusionTHINK / VOSS / AirLine /||37:18:00||@1Lap|
|17||107||PROUGH||Kristi||Soundpony Triad Bank||40:22:00||@1Lap|
|19||109||RAMOS||Janet||NEBC p/b Cycle Loft||47:31:00||@1Lap|
|20||113||SAKSENA||Yun||Boston Road Club||50:23:00||@1Lap|
|21||98||COZZA||Sherri||UPMC/ Pro Bikes||35:04:00||@2Laps|
|DNF||106||NIEZ||Katrina||Class Cycles/Ovens of France|
|DNS||96||BRANDT||Kristin||Steve the Bike Guy Velo Studio|
|DNS||100||FISHER||Lara||KUHL Cycling Team|
|DNS||102||HALL||Christine||State 9 Racing|
|DNS||112||ROZENTAL||Tatyana||New York NY|