Monica Lloyd (Olympia Orthopaedic Associates) hails from Washington state, so she knows a thing or two about rough cyclocross conditions. Despite that, the weather has played a role in her Nationals participation.
Lloyd first raced Nationals in 2016 in Asheville, but opted not to race in Hartford in 2017. Why? “I didn’t want to go to Hartford because it would be cold.” She clarified, “Although I don’t mind riding in the snow.”
Fortunately, for Lloyd, there was little question about racing in Reno. The weather on the January Friday afternoon was near perfect with temperatures just right for an all-out effort on the cyclocross course.
Lloyd got a tough challenge from a group of talented riders in the Masters 40-44 field and had to overcome some adventures on the technical hill, but she rode the second half of the race solo to capture her first national championship.
For Lloyd, a Nationals win is just continuing a sibling tradition. Her twin sister Rachel was one of the stars of U.S. ’cross in the 2000s, with many Nationals podiums to her name. After Rachel stepped away from the sport, Monica stepped in to continue the Lloyd family tradition. On Friday, Monica got her chance to shine on the sport’s biggest stage in the Masters 40-44 race.
Lloyd’s next tough test may be the most challenging yet. The Lloyd sisters have never raced against one another. Time will tell if they will experience the ultimate cyclocross sibling rivalry.
Treachery On the Slopes
Lloyd got out to a fast start and took a six-second lead past pit two and out toward the technical hill. Behind her Kristal Boni (Rapid Racing) and Emily Sportsman (Team Roaring Mouse) led the chase.
The first trip up the climb was no problem for Lloyd, but the descent quickly became her nemesis. Her first-lap lead was erased when she took a spill on the descent.
“I was having a heck of a time,” she said about the descents. “It was so much drier than it was yesterday when I was riding pre-ride laps. I just couldn’t ride it. My front wheel slipped out. I was trying different things. I tried putting a leg out, but then putting my feet back in the pedals for the switchbacks, which I love. But I was just creeping down them.”
After one lap, Lloyd, Boni and Sportsman were all within a few seconds of one another. There was a lot more race to go.
Lloyd was not deterred by her crash, or perhaps she was motivated to get some space before the sideslope that became the bane of her existence on Friday. Lloyd moved off the front and opened up a nice-sized gap on the other riders. Despite the off-camber, she extended her lead and entered the second half of the race in good shape.
From there, Lloyd cruised to victory. The last lap, she dismounted and ran the off-camber for a good margin of safety. Sometimes you have to change things up if something is not working, right?
Behind the victorious Lloyd, Sportsman took control of the second position and Boni rounded out the podium in third.
Interviews and results are below.
Women Masters 40-44 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals
|1||131||LLOYD||Monica||Olympia Orthopaedic Associates||Olympia WA||36:23|
|2||126||SPORTSMAN||Emily||Team Roaring Mouse||Oakland CA||37:07||44|
|3||127||BONI||Kristal||Rapid Racing||Erie CO||37:31||1:08|
|4||133||GLECKLER||Trinity||Breakaway Women's Racing||Sacramento CA||39:48||3:25|
|5||134||JORDAN||Sarah||Santa Cruz CA||41:17||4:54|
|6||135||SEPLAVY||Tara||Foxy Moxy Dev||Rocky Point NY||41:38||5:15|
|7||123||MACARELLI||Katie||Feedback Sports Racing||Golden CO||41:41||5:18|
|8||128||MILLER||Kelly||Dirt Birds||West Sacramento CA||42:14||5:51|
|10||129||SUPER||Kenda||Hagens Berman Cycling||Issaquah WA||44:53||8:30|
|DNF||125||GREENING||Malia||Liquid Velo||Issaquah WA|
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.
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