Our coverage is brought to you in part by Feedback Sports. See them at the Women's Forum tonight if you're in Reno.

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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.”

Friday's race in Reno was dry and dusty and also not cold. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Friday’s race in Reno was dry and dusty and also not cold. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

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.

Monica Lloyd was in control on the big climb. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Monica Lloyd was in control on the big climb. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

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.

Monica Lloyd and her sister Rachel have both experienced cyclocross success. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Monica Lloyd and her sister Rachel have both experienced cyclocross success. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

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.

Kristal Boni was among the riders at the front early on. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Kristal Boni was among the riders at the front early on. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

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.”

Monica Lloyd took a first-lap spill on the descent. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Monica Lloyd took a first-lap spill on the descent. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

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.

It was a dry and dusty afternoon in Reno. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

It was a dry and dusty afternoon in Reno. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

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.

The chasers had a big hill to climb after Lloyd's big efforts. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

The chasers had a big hill to climb after Lloyd’s big efforts. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Interviews and results are below.

The dry and dusty conditions had some riders feeling like this. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

The dry and dusty conditions had some riders feeling like this. Masters Women 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Women Masters 40-44 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlaceBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTimeGap
1131LLOYDMonicaOlympia Orthopaedic AssociatesOlympia WA36:23
2126SPORTSMANEmilyTeam Roaring MouseOakland CA37:0744
3127BONIKristalRapid RacingErie CO37:311:08
4133GLECKLERTrinityBreakaway Women's RacingSacramento CA39:483:25
5134JORDANSarahSanta Cruz CA41:174:54
6135SEPLAVYTaraFoxy Moxy DevRocky Point NY41:385:15
7123MACARELLIKatieFeedback Sports RacingGolden CO41:415:18
8128MILLERKellyDirt BirdsWest Sacramento CA42:145:51
9124ALLEGRETTIAdrienneRedlands CA42:276:04
10129SUPERKendaHagens Berman CyclingIssaquah WA44:538:30
11132DZEKCIORIUSLinaLyons CO45:008:37
12130STOVERBrittanyPortland OR45:599:36
DNF125GREENINGMaliaLiquid VeloIssaquah 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.

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.