After the epic conditions on Friday, Lizzy Gunsalus (AP Junior Development) was expecting an icy, muddy Saturday morning in the Women’s 13-14 race. When she got to Riverside Park this morning, the frozen but clear conditions on the course made her change her plans.
“Yesterday we thought it was going to be really icy, and it was,” said Gunsalus. “We came out this morning and I was on my muds and was like ‘There’s no ice!” So I actually rode [file treads] today and it was a lot easier. Really fast and smooth.”
Gunsalus fought off a strong early challenge from Lauren Zoerner (Alpha Bicycle Co. – Vista Subaru) to add a second National Championship to the one she won in Austin in 2015.
Zoerner was the early animator in the race, taking the lead heading into the first half of the course. Gunsalus eventually jumped on an opportunity to take the lead, and once she got to the front was able to stay at the front to win.
Junior women to the barriers #cxnats pic.twitter.com/iIbT8vPRdM
— Cyclocross Magazine (@cyclocross) January 7, 2017
Said Gunsalus about her move to the front, “It was hard, it was really getting to my head. I was like ‘I gotta go.” If I don’t go now, I gotta go. Lauren was in front of me right before Bonk Breaker [hill] and I was like ‘I have to get past now.’ If I didn’t pass her, I probably wouldn’t have won. I did it, and I’m really happy I did.”
Zoerner held on for second with a solid ride. She said the frozen ruts were just like heading to an amusement park, albeit with a cyclocross vibe, “Oh my gosh, there’s so many bumps on the course. It’s like a roller coaster ride, except it’s all compacted into a square inch and then do multiple roller coaster rides.”
Zoerner finished second to Gunsalus in Austin, but she still had a positive take on the experience, “I’ve finished right behind Lizzy every year. I wanted this year to be the time where I would beat her, but c’est la vie. I mean, it’s part of ‘cross.”
McKenna McKee (unattached) and Cassidy Hickey (Boulder Junior Cycling) had a great battle for third that McKee ultimately got the leg up on. Kaia Schmid (Cyclocrossworld) took fifth to round out the top five.
2017 CX National Championships Hartford Day 5 Results Juniors Women 13-14
|1||119||GUNSALUS||Lizzy||AP Junior Development||19:52|
|2||132||ZOERNER||Lauren||Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru||20:10||18|
|4||120||HICKEY||Cassidy||Boulder Junior Cycling||21:05||1:13|
|6||115||CUMMINS||Olivia||Rage Cycling Team||21:43||1:51|
|7||129||SARKISOV||Katherine||Rock Creek Velo||22:23||2:31|
|8||112||BENNETT||Keren||J.A. King p/b BR'C||22:37||2:45|
|10||116||FERGUSON||Lilly||Central Junior Cycling Devo||22:49||2:57|
|11||131||SCHULZE||Michaela||Lionhearts Junior Racing||22:55||3:03|
|12||111||BENAVIDES PEREZ||Irene||Northwest Cycling Club||23:31||3:39|
|13||121||LONG||Reagan||Boulder Junior Cycling||23:34||3:42|
|14||114||CLINE||Kaya||Boulder Junior Cycling||25:09:00||5:17|
|15||125||PETERSON||Erika||NorthStar Development Cycling||25:20:00||5:28|
|17||117||FOWLER||Mira||JAM Fund / NCC||28:08:00||8:16|
|18||128||SANDOVAL||Olivia||Baltimore Youth Cycling||19:12||@1Lap|
|19||118||GIBERTONI||Sarah||CT Cycling Advancement Program||20:24||@1Lap|
|DNS||126||ROBINSON||Callah||Rad Racing NW|
|DNS||113||CARLETON||Hannah||Steve the Bike Guy Velo Studio|