For full coverage, schedules and information on the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships at Badger Prairie County Park in Madison, Wisconsin, visit our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

by Molly Hurford

Kari Studley wins the 2012 Women's Singlespeed Cyclocross National Championships © Tim Westmore

Kari Studley wins the 2012 Women's Singlespeed Cyclocross National Championships © Tim Westmore

VERONA, WISCONSIN – To kick off the championship racing at Nationals, the 15-person deep women’s singlespeed field hit the chilly, cloudy course in Verona at 2 PM. There were few spectators, but the music, beer and food were flowing, and the announcers were injecting energy into even the warm up laps. In the earlier races, riders found the ground frozen in some spots, greasy in others, and just muddy enough to render kits dirty by the end of the races.

Gaertner takes the holeshot. © Tim Westmore

Gaertner takes the holeshot. © Tim Westmore

With last year’s winner Kathy Pruitt and the other top seven places from 2010 not attending, one could argue that last year’s eight place, Dorothy Wong from SoCal was the favorite. But a stacked lineup including 2010 contender Kari Studley (Redline) who crashed out, and new Raleigh pro Jennifer Gaertner lined up for the 2012 event, promising to make the race for the title a serious one.

Gaertner took the holeshot, going immediately into “racer mode,” as one announcer put it. The racers were all spinning their one gear madly through the start/finish as they entered the course on a slight downhill.

Within the first lap, the racers had spread out over the course: with the single-speed race open to all categories, racers of all abilities started so it was no surprise that the race quickly broke up. The first lap took the leaders just over 10 minutes, with Kari Studley (Team Redline) in the lead, and Jennifer Gaertner relegated to third behind Meghan Korol (Bob’s Red Mill). The leaders were strung out, all battling the course obstacles and steadily dropping temperatures alone, as the wind picked up and the cloud coverage grew denser.

By the mid-way point, Korol had moved 22 seconds back from race leader Studley, who cooly crossed through the finish in a lap time rivaling her first lap. Gaertner, using a Gates Carbon Belt drivetrain rather than the traditional chain, had dropped back from third, replaced by Lauri Webber. She was followed by Julie Lewis-Sroka (Lake Effect Cycling Team).

The leading four women off the front. © Tim Westmore

The leading four women off the front. © Tim Westmore

With one to go in the four lap race, Studley rolled through the finish grinning, with a large gap to second place, Korol, and Webber over a minute back in third. The bell for the “one to go” lap broke after ringing in Studley, causing announcers to frantically yell for any and all “bell repairmen” to make their way to the finish line. Luckily, Shimano neutral support was well-prepared with a spare bell, though that didn’t stop the announcer from snarking, “Right now someone in Switzerland is cringing at UCI Headquarters, thinking ‘Can the US ever get it right?'”

Studley cruised into the finish with a comfortable lead, followed by Korol and Webber.

Studley in control. © Tim Westmore

Studley in control. © Tim Westmore

Cyclocross Magazine caught up with a proud Studley post-race, before she ran off to cool-down. Since Studley races in the Master’s race on Friday and again on Sunday, post-race routine is more important than ever for the Redline rider. She told us, “Last year was pretty heartbreaking because I separated my shoulder a minute into the race, so I wanted it this year. I was pretty excited to make it past the second turn.”

When we asked if she had any tips for the course, Studley replied, “You just have to respect it. You can’t get cocky.”

Stay tuned for more video interviews. Full results below the photos.

Kari Studley on her win:
[youtube q_z7jrKw4mI 580 380]

Kari Studley Part Deux!!
[youtube uCZbQPbKZ74 580 380]

Meghan Korol, 2nd Place:
[youtube ZUvELa8n4cw 580 380]

See all of Cyclocross Magazine s 2012 USA Cycling National Championships video interviews here! Keep up to date on all of the action at 2012 Cyclocross Nationals on Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

Photo Gallery by Tim Westmore:

Photo Gallery by Andrew Yee:

Photo Gallery by David Hurford:

Full Results:

2012 USA Cycling Women's Singlespeed Results

Place NameCity, StateTime BibTeam
1Kari STUDLEY   Bothell, WA41:26 805 Team Redline
2Meghan KOROL   Asheville, NC41:54 807 
3Lauri WEBBER   Newark, DE42:45 814 
4Nicole BOREM   Warsaw, IN43:31 809 Men Of Steel Racing LLC
5Jennifer MAXWELL   Washington, DC43:33 808 Van Dessel Factory Team
6Elizabeth SHELDON   Washington, DC43:39 815 
7Jennifer GAERTNER   Coeur D Alene, ID45:31 801 Coeur d 'Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)
8Katina WALKER   Tully, NY45:36 811
9Alice DROBNA   Bend, OR46:07 810 WebCyclery Racing/
10Dorothy WONG   Altadena, CA47:39 803 The TEAM /The TEAM - SoCalCross
11Julie LEWIS-SROKA   N Royalton, OH49:18 806 Lake Effect Cycling Team/Team Lake Effect
12Kimberly THOMAS   Belmont, MI50:25 804 Fusion Cycling Team/Fusion IT
DNSCristina BEGY   Boulder, CO 813 
DNSChristina PROBERT   Murrieta, CA 812 The TEAM
DNSJulia CASALS   The Plains, VA 802 Van Dessel Factory Team