If at first you don't succeed, try again. That's what Katie Clouse did on a demanding course in challenging conditions in the Women's Junior 15-16 race at the Cyclocross National Championships in Asheville.
On perhaps the muddiest day of the week, Clouse and the rest of the field took to the course this past Sunday and slipped and slid their way to the finish. With riders falling left and right, it was Clouse first on the deck in one of the very first turns. As she told Cyclocross Magazine after her race, "I kept on crashing. On the first lap I crashed probably over 10 times."
"Three or four" trips to the pit kept the bike as clean and running as smooth as can be. But Clouse wasn't without mechanical issue. One of the 10 or so falls she had on the first lap resulted in some shifting issues her crew sorted out, and she also suffered a "shoe mechanical," not unlike Katerina Nash's mishap earlier this season at Jingle Cross. Thankfully, Clouse was able to hang on for the win.
In our ever-growing collection of 2016 Nationals bikes, we take a look at the bike that helped Clouse to the win: a titanium Moots Psychlo X, similar to her teammate Gage Hecht's which we featured last year.
While many racers today opt for carbon offerings, the Alpha Bicycle Co-Vista Subaru squad races aboard the well-known titanium offerings from Moots in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Some of Clouse's teammates are on the Psychlo X RSL but her machine is the Psychlo X with 142 x 12 thru-axles paired with a carbon TRP 15mm thru axle CX fork. Many racers find that titanium's ride quality and durability make it well-suited for cyclocross. And with nearly 20 years experience building cyclocross bikes, Moots' offerings are up to the challenge of racing for the win at Cyclocross Nationals.
Clouse's chosen drivetrain features is an assortment of tried and trued cyclocross equipment. A single WickWerks ring mated to a Rotor crank is paired with a SRAM Force 1 short cage rear derailleur, while a seat tube clamp-on chainguide provides a measure of insurance from dropped chains.
Clouse rolls on DT Swiss RC38 Spline T db tubular wheels shod in Clements tubeless tubulars with their PDX tread, designed for conditions like those the Junior Women 15-16 field faced in Asheville. Stopping duties were performed by TRP's Spyre SLC's cable disc brakes.
Clouse's Fizik Donna women's offering sits atop a Moots titanium post, while out front the PRO PLT compact bars are clamped to a Moots titanium stem. Many feel that the matching post and stem from Moots contribute to the bike's overall clean look.
Rounding out the cockpit are a set of SRAM Red levers with the right one strung with gold aluminum Road Elite Link housing from Jagwire. Compressionless, it also purports to be 20% lighter than standard housing, so it should save grams and offer improved shifting.
"Amazing," is what Clouse said when asked how it felt to win. Having won the Junior Women's 13-14 last year in Austin and taken the title the year prior in Boulder, she added, "I was so happy I could win again this year. It's awesome."
Photo gallery below the bike specs. See the growing list of 2016 Nationals-winning bike profiles here.
Katie Clouse’s Junior Women's 15-16 Title-Winning Moots PsychloX Spec Highlights:
Frame: Moots PsychloX Ti
Fork: TRP 15mm thru axle CX carbon
Brake Levers: SRAM Red
Shifters: SRAM Red
Brake Calipers: TRP Spyre SLC
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force 1 short cage
Front Derailleur: N/A, MRP chain guard
Cassette: SRAM Force 11-32 11-speed
Crankset: Rotor crank with WickWerks 38t 1x Z-chainring
Stem: Moots Ti
Handlebar: PRO PLT compact ergo bend
Seatpost: Moots Ti
Saddle: Fizik Donna
Wheels: DT Swiss RC38 Spline T db tubulars
Tires: Clement PDX tubulars
More info: http://moots.com