After her race on Wednesday, Taylor Kyuk-White admitted she was a bit amused by being a Masters bike racer in her early 30s, but that doesn't mean she did not hit the line for the Masters 30-34 race ready to give it her all.
Kyuk-White took the holeshot and then got an early gap on the Baby Masters field in the sandpit. Emily Payonk (Ft. Wayne Outfitters) and Julie Hunter came back to her to form a group of three at the front.
After the trio crested the last climb at the end of Lap 1, it was go time for Kyuk-White. She took a six-second lead after the first lap and then extended it in the first half of the lap. Midway through the race, her lead was up to 43 seconds.
Kyuk-White kept it steady the rest of the way to take home the Baby Masters win to start her week that will culminate with racing the Elite race on Sunday.
"This is the first time I've ever been to a national championship, so to be able to come out, hang out and relax into it and race the course, it was was a lot of fun out here today," she said about the win.
Women Baby Masters Start the Week
With most Baby Masters racers racing Elites at the local or UCI level, there is always a lot of uncertainty surrounding the race. One familiar name thanks to her time on the UCI scene this season was that of Taylor Kyuk-White.
She lived up to pre-race shoutout from the announcers by taking the holeshot and leading the field out onto the course. When she cleared the sandpit for the first time, Kyuk-White already had a gap.
"I took the holeshot and just really tried not to overstart myself," Kyuk-White said. "I kind of led a steady pace. I was able to ride through the sand in the first lap and got a bit of a gap, but they caught me on the flyover."
Payonk and Hunter bridged up to the fast-starting Philadelphian, and when the field hit the limestone steps for the first time, Kyuk-White, Payonk and Hunter were the lead selection at the front. The three stayed close together up and down the bowl and cleared the last climb close to one another.
After exiting the bowl, it was time to rock for Kyuk-White. From Pit 2 to the finish line she opened up a six-second lead. With a clear look at the course, she powered into the first half of the second lap, quickly extending her lead.
When the second lap ended, her lead was up to 43 seconds. Payonk and Hunter joined up and chased for second.
"I'm not really sure what happened, I just kind of heard that folks were battling for second place," Kyuk-White said about her gap. "I tried to keep it steady and was able to finish well."
Kyuk-White continued to extend her lead fro the rest of the five-lap race. She was not challenged the rest of the way en route to winning her first national championship after taking up the sport just three years ago.
Payonk started to get a gap on Hunter in the third lap and held on to take the silver. Hunter got the bronze.
Winner Interview, photos and full results are below.
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