ASHEVILLE, North Carolina—The last race of the day saw the combined Master Women's 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75+ fields take to the course. The women in the field fought good battles, had tumbles and raced their way on to the late afternoon podium.
There were three racers in the 60-64 "baby super-masters" field and a furious battle raged for the top spot with Kim Bear (New Mexico Spokette Racing Team) and Karen Purtill (Stedmans Bicycle Co.) vying for the gold medal.
Despite a tumble by Purtill coming off of Heckle Hill and Bear taking the lead, Purtill was able to get back to Bear and then pull away from her for a solid victory with a wide margin. Purtill's win was made sweeter by the fact that she started racing cyclocross just three years ago and this was her first trip to the Cyclocross National Championships.
In both the 65-69 and 70-74 "U75" race there was but one competitor, Maurine Sweeney (Racer X Cycling) and Nancy Brown (Goldenrod Pastries CX) respectively. Each rider by virtue of completing the race earned the right to race next year as the reigning Cyclocross National Champion in their age categories.
Sweeney had a great race making an inside pass on a tricky off camber to ride into the overall third spot ahead of the 60-64 bronze medalist. With that move she was besting riders in the age bracket below and she easily rode to the 65-69 title.
As for Brown, she is no stranger to the podium at national events. She's a past Cyclocross National Champion having won the 65-69 race in 2008 and she holds two silver medals in Time Trial National Championships as well. She credited her daughter who also races with getting her back to Nationals for another shot at the title, this time in the next age group.
In the 75+ race, Julie Lockhart (Northeast Bicycle Club) took on Graciela Val of Illinois. The two women traded the lead and Lockhart clearly had a tumble on the technical course as her right hip was covered in dirt after the race. In the end, Val took the title leaving Lockhart in second.
Each woman in every field put on a great show and raced like the champions they are.
Scroll through the slide show to see video interviews with the winners, photos and full results.