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Adversity is part of cyclocross and overcoming it is a must for athletes to be successful in the sport. On Friday in the Women’s Masters 45-49 race, Christina Gokey-Smith showed the rewards that can come from not panicking and keeping a cool head on the cyclocross course.

Normally a fast starter, Gokey-Smith missed her pedal and got pinched in a group heading off the opening stretch. Twenty seconds in and she was not where she wanted to be. However, she did not panic and relied on the power and skill that made her one of the favorites heading into the race.

“I just waited and tried to get my speed up,” she said about her early recovery. “I tried to make a move before the first dismount, which I did. And then from that point I just stayed looking ahead.”

Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Christina Gokey-Smith showed patience before pulling away. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Once at the front, Gokey-Smith received a challenge from Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport) before riding away for a comfortable win and a second-straight Masters national championship.

“I know that things are going to happen and things are going to go wrong, so mentally I prepare for that,” she said about her championship preparation.

A Fast Recovery

After Gokey-Smith’s slow start, it did not take long for her to recover and get to the front. She continues to race professionally on the road, so the long false flat at the start of the lap gave her plenty of room to recover and make up spots. Thursday afternoon’s wind was gone, which meant their was no headwind to turn it into an energy-sucking grind either.

Kristin Weber got off to a fast start. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Kristin Weber got off to a fast start. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Within half a lap, Gokey-Smith was off the front, with Weber the closest chaser. Weber stayed close for a while, before Gokey-Smith opened up an insurmountable lead. Weber’s consolation was a large gap back to the chase for third.

Neither riders’ spot would be challenged the rest of the race. Gokey-Smith took home her second straight national title and Weber her second-straight second.

Weber hops over the Little Loenhout ditch. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Weber hops over the Little Loenhout ditch. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

“I knew this course wasn’t going to be won on fitness, it was going to be won on basically not making mistakes,” said Gokey-Smith. “I just tried to ride clean and smooth; that was my only focus. Of course I don’t need to be told to go hard. Be as smooth as possible.”

Being as smooth as possible was the key to success on Friday. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Being as smooth as possible was the key to success on Friday. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

The battle for third was an exciting one. Anne Perry, Jamie Dalton and Tanya Dalton (CX Nation) battled for position into the last lap. Dalton led the way into the last lap, but Perry took over the third spot in the second half of the laatste ronde to take the third podium spot.

Photos, interviews and results are below.

Jessica Rockson and her Squid go through the sane pit. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Jessica Rockson and her Squid go through the sane pit. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

There were a couple of tough descents on the course. Masters 45-49 Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

There were a couple of tough descents on the course. Masters 45-49 Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Rubbin' is racin' for Lisa Hudson and Tanya Bettis. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Rubbin’ is racin’ for Lisa Hudson and Tanya Bettis. Masters Women 45-49. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Women Masters 45-49 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlaceBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTimeGap
1105GOKEY-SMITHChristinaRBM/Matrix RacingDenton TX35:03
295WEBERKristinBoulder CO35:5249
3114PERRYAnneUtah Cycling AssociationDraper UT36:151:12
4119DALTONJanieKensington CA36:231:20
5102GROSSMANTanyaCX NationCastro Valley CA36:301:27
6116ESTEPGinaTeam Thrive p/b Kaiser PermaneRenton WA36:321:29
791DAYCarrieDeschutes BreweryBend OR36:511:48
8101HUDSONLisaFeedback Sports RacingGolden CO36:541:51
9107BETTISTanyaElevate PHW / Bikeworks ABQAlbuquerque NM36:561:53
1093WESCOTTEricaBend OR37:072:04
1199BALIKAKarenLittleton CO37:472:44
1298MCGOVERNHollieTop ClubNevada City CA38:113:08
13111ABELMargellTeam KappiusBoulder CO38:283:25
14104ALVARESMarilaDirt BirdsSacramento CA38:353:32
1592RAGAN-MARLOWEJenniferMatrix/RBMDallas TX39:594:56
16113UETRECHTStephanieBend Elite CyclingBend OR40:195:16
17100ROCKSONJessicaUS Military Endurance SportsAlameda CA41:406:37
1894BLOMBERGMiellePortland OR42:177:14
1997WEISSNicoleTeam Thrive p/b Kaiser PermaneSeattle WA42:217:18
20117CHATOWSKYAmyNorthern California/Nevada CyclReno NV43:318:28
21108GALEOTOA PaigeReno NV44:349:31
22110KENTERAShannonDirt BirdsSacramento CA46:2911:26
23109PROUGHKristiSoundpony Triad BankTulsa OK34:35@1Lap
24112ISAACMaryVELOSOPHYKnoxville TN37:30@1Lap
25106SNOVELMaryDirt BirdsSacramento CA37:59@1Lap
26118PATCHLoriReno WheelmenReno NV46:17@1Lap
DNF96ARENDKristieALP Cycles RacingLouisville CO

For more from Reno, see our continuing coverage of the 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals on our dedicated Nationals page.

Photos from the races and reports are available to license here, with more to be added throughout the next week.

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