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.”
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Women Masters 45-49 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals
|1||105||GOKEY-SMITH||Christina||RBM/Matrix Racing||Denton TX||35:03|
|3||114||PERRY||Anne||Utah Cycling Association||Draper UT||36:15||1:12|
|5||102||GROSSMAN||Tanya||CX Nation||Castro Valley CA||36:30||1:27|
|6||116||ESTEP||Gina||Team Thrive p/b Kaiser Permane||Renton WA||36:32||1:29|
|7||91||DAY||Carrie||Deschutes Brewery||Bend OR||36:51||1:48|
|8||101||HUDSON||Lisa||Feedback Sports Racing||Golden CO||36:54||1:51|
|9||107||BETTIS||Tanya||Elevate PHW / Bikeworks ABQ||Albuquerque NM||36:56||1:53|
|12||98||MCGOVERN||Hollie||Top Club||Nevada City CA||38:11||3:08|
|13||111||ABEL||Margell||Team Kappius||Boulder CO||38:28||3:25|
|14||104||ALVARES||Marila||Dirt Birds||Sacramento CA||38:35||3:32|
|16||113||UETRECHT||Stephanie||Bend Elite Cycling||Bend OR||40:19||5:16|
|17||100||ROCKSON||Jessica||US Military Endurance Sports||Alameda CA||41:40||6:37|
|19||97||WEISS||Nicole||Team Thrive p/b Kaiser Permane||Seattle WA||42:21||7:18|
|20||117||CHATOWSKY||Amy||Northern California/Nevada Cycl||Reno NV||43:31||8:28|
|21||108||GALEOTO||A Paige||Reno NV||44:34||9:31|
|22||110||KENTERA||Shannon||Dirt Birds||Sacramento CA||46:29||11:26|
|23||109||PROUGH||Kristi||Soundpony Triad Bank||Tulsa OK||34:35||@1Lap|
|25||106||SNOVEL||Mary||Dirt Birds||Sacramento CA||37:59||@1Lap|
|26||118||PATCH||Lori||Reno Wheelmen||Reno NV||46:17||@1Lap|
|DNF||96||AREND||Kristie||ALP Cycles Racing||Louisville 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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