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by Dave Mable

On a singlespeed, no matter what gear you choose, sometimes it’s too big. Sometimes it’s too small, and sometimes it’s just right. It’s a lifestyle and riding style.

The one-gear evangelists toed the line on a warm, sunny Eastern Sierra afternoon with the Women’s Singlespeed Championship race kicking off first.

Headlining the start list was the recently “retired” Meredith Miller, who has also been serving as race announcer at the venue as well as on the USA Cycling live streams. None of the 2017 podium finishers were in attendance, making it a wide-open race between the 42 women at the line.

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Meredith Miller enjoyed a short break from announcing and was rewarded with a National Championship jersey. Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Kristen Legan (Evol Devoelite Racing) blasted off the line and led the field around the first corner and onto the gradual grassy climb toward the sand and Belgian stairs. Miller was tucked back in the top ten, and Trek rider Sarah Sturm followed Miller.

By the time the race wound its way back down to the barriers, Miller had moved into the lead and was followed closely behind by Sturm, Legan and Caroline Nolan.

At the end of lap one, it was all Miller and Sturm, the two trading pulls and looking for a chink in the armor of the other.

“I think she’s going to be the one,” said Miller after seeing Sturm’s name on the start list. “I’ve known Sarah for a long time, I know that she comes from a mountain bike background, and coming from Durango, too, she’s no stranger to altitude.”

The two Coloradans each worked their strengths, Miller’s on the north, less technical half of the course, and Sturm on the rutted and now polished off-camber climbs and descents on the second half of the course.

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

“I clearly was having issues with the off-camber section,” said Miller. “I kept sliding out. It’s slick as shit out there. Way different than it has been the rest of this week when it was more tacky. Now it’s like you’re just sliding. My rear wheel just went out from underneath me and I lost my footing. The next couple laps I was prepared for it with a foot down, but I knew that if I made too many mistakes there, I was going to have to overcompensate for it on the first half of the course.”

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Miller did eventually put some distance between herself and Sturm, but did not let her guard down.

“If I let that gap get too close,” recalled Miller, “I knew she could close it.”

The gap between Sturm and Miller only grew as the race wore on, and Miller rode across the line to her first Singlespeed Cyclocross National Championship.

Sturm finished in second only 14 seconds back with Emily Shields, the 2017 Collegiate National Champion, in third, another 43 seconds later.

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Stacy Sturm, Second. Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Stacy Sturm, Second. Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

“I wanted to be part of Nationals this year and I’ve been here all week announcing, but coming out here to race singlespeed was what was first, and then I was invited to come out to announce. It’s been fun to be out here announcing,” said Miller. “Tomorrow’s just going to be off the charts. It’s going to be really interesting to see how everybody races. I think it’s going to be fun for the spectators because the course is so fast it’s going to be racing and tactical.”

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Singlespeed Women. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Women's Singlespeed Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTime
1807MILLERMeredithRAPHA CYCLING CLUBBoulder CO42:27
2812STURMSarahDurango CO42:41
3790SHIELDSEmilyHearts Racing ClubAdvance NC43:34
4808LEGANKristenEVOL DevoElite RacingBoulder CO43:57
5824NOLANCarolineChico CA44:17
6828BONIKristalRapid RacingErie CO45:07
7832PERRYAnneUtah Cycling AssociationDraper UT45:21
8813LUPIENLeslieB2C2 Cycling ClubEnfield NH45:42
9795WOODHeidiHiFi Sound Cycling ComponetsHood River OR46:12
10791SCHAPERAmandaSanta Cruz Factory RacingSanta Cruz CA46:16
11792BARCHECKElizabethLafayette CO46:27
12802STEERSCampbellNorthern California/Nevada CyclSanta Cruz CA46:41
13817TRACELauraTeam Oregon p/b Laurelwood BrPortland OR47:17
14801TAPLINStephanieTacoma WA47:20
15830SHIELDSKatherineHearts Racing ClubSalt Lake City UT47:24
16825PROBERTChristinaMurrieta CA47:28
17797HARTLAUBLizaBerkeley CA47:53
18833SCHEHRERAnnaSalida CO48:17
19811STONEErinSan Francisco CA48:31
20829FOXLauraAnchorage AK48:58
21794ALVARESMarilaDirt BirdsSacramento CA49:12
22820ETHRIDGELeslieTopo Designs Cycling ClubBoulder CO49:49
23793GILLISStaceyDavis CA51:01
24804MAROONMary ElizabethKing KogOakland CA51:33
25836YOUNGIvySanta Cruz CA52:07
26796GRIFFO-SULLIVANDanielleBike Like a GirlSparks NV52:30
27799BYEAmandaNaked Women's RacingBoulder CO52:46
28826TRAHANCaitlinOakland CA52:56
29814KENNEDYLynnShe Wolf Attack TeamLos Angeles CA43:06
30819JORDANSarahSanta Cruz CA43:07
31821ALLEGRETTIAdrienneRedlands CA43:24
32805VALLIANTSAUNDERSKarineLiquid VeloSeattle WA43:33
33823ESTEPGinaTeam Thrive p/b Kaiser PermaneRenton WA43:48
34810PURTILLKarenStedmans Bicycle CoNarragansett RI43:50
35800LOWBERSusannahShe Wolf Attack TeamLos Angeles CA44:12
36831ENARSONBridgetteNaked Women\'sLafayette CO44:18
37822LARSONSarahLady Gnar ShreddersBloomington IN44:46
38827PHILLIPSKelseyChicago Cuttin CrewBend OR46:32
39818WONGDorothyThe TEAM SoCalCrossAltadena CA46:57
40798HIGGINSSallyArvada CO47:35
DNF803ALDRIDGERheaShe Wolf Attack TeamLos Angeles CA
DQ *809BLOMBERGMiellePortland OR

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.

Haven’t yet entered our Nationals Fantasy Game? Enter your team for a chance to win a set of Vittoria Elusion Disc Wheels and Terreno Dry tires.