by David Mable
Friday’s first afternoon race was contested by the Masters Women ages 50 to 54.
Stacey Barbossa was tired of being a bridesmaid and was eager to reach the top step of the podium after finishing on the podium four times at Nationals.
The defending champion Laura van Gilder did not take the start. But would her absence present an opportunity for Barbossa to finally climb up to the top after years of heartbreak, including ripping off her rear derailleur while in the lead in 2016 in Asheville?
Even though Van Gilder stayed home, current Masters World Champion Libby Sheldon was primed and ready to add to her current wardrobe.
From the gun, Tracy Yates blasted to the front, leading the field up the starting straight, with Sheldon right on her wheel. Barbossa found herself caught in traffic as the race wound up toward the first set of stairs.
“I had a typical terrible start,” said Barbossa. “I was in about fourth, and I just got to the front before the first set of stairs and I just tried to ride away.”
Barbossa, who’s had two silver and two bronze medals in in her previous five tries, rode clean lines and was able to stay away, but not without facing the challenges presented by a dry course that’s been heavily used for the past several days.
“It was hard. It was really, really dry today,” said Barbossa. “It made it ‘skiddy’ trying to go up that steep hill. I just tried to keep the rubber side down coming down the other side and I was just skidding all over, but thankfully I kept it together.”
Sheldon put her head down to chase, but could not match her speed.
“She’s a fast one,” said Sheldon of Barbossa, “I knew I wasn’t going to keep up with her. Third was right there. It was tough. Laura (Trace) is awesome, I knew she was going to come up on me. She would catch me on the backside, on the hill, and then I would make a little gap going up the straightaway, which I didn’t think I would be able to do. I knew I had to go really hard on the straightaway. Probably another lap she would have caught me.”
Sheldon was able to stay clear to take home the silver and put nearly 20 seconds into Laura Trace at the line. Trace kept a chasing Christina Probert and Nina Donahue off, and finished third.
Barbossa was thrilled to finally land on the top step of the podium after being so close so many times before. In Asheville, she lost a lead due to a mechanical.
“It feels really, really good,” said Barbossa. “I have two silvers, two bronze, but now I have a gold and that’s why I’m here. I have a table setting of bronze and silver for friends who come over, I needed the gold. I’m enjoying this very much.”
Full photo gallery below the results.
Women Masters 50-54 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals
|1||72||BARBOSSA||Stacey||Colavita Midatlantic Women's Te||Mountainside NJ||35:50|
|2||68||SHELDON||Elizabeth||Crosshairs Cycling||Washington DC||36:19||29|
|5||62||DONOHUE||Nina||ALP Cycles Racing||Boulder CO||37:49||1:59|
|7||61||MOFFAT||Michele||ALP Cycles Racing||Boulder CO||39:10||3:20|
|9||71||DAUBENY||Carolyn||Deschutes Brewery||Bend OR||42:49||6:59|
|10||75||BJORNSEN||Trudy||Davis Bike Club||Vacaville CA||44:12||8:22|
|12||67||LAMB||Tamara||Westlake Village CA||34:21||@1Lap|
|13||73||THOMPSON||Isabelle||Montrose Bike Shop||La Canada Flintridge CA||34:26||@1Lap|
|14||77||MARTIN||Sarah||Olympia Orthopaedic Associates||Olympia WA||36:07||@1Lap|
|15||70||ROSS||Sonia||Santa Barbara Bicycle Club/SBBC||Santa Barbara CA||36:16||@1Lap|
|16||66||OREN||Lucie||Bike Like a Girl||Reno NV||38:43||@1Lap|
2018 Cyclocross National Championships – Masters Women 50-54 Photo Gallery: