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The third race on Friday morning provided cyclocross fans at Rancho San Rafael Park with three national champions for the price of one. The 60-64, 65-69 and 75+ women all took the course at the same time to vie for the coveted Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.

The 60-64 race turned into a good one from the opening lap. Debra Hakansson (Truckee), Susan Bernatas and Heidi Haussermann escaped off the front early in the first lap and then battled for position. The three were inseparable until Bernatas opened up a gap early in the last lap. She was able to hold onto her lead through the last lap to take home the Stars-and-Stripes jersey.

Women from three age groups were going for titles in Friday's third race. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Women from three age groups were going for titles in Friday’s third race. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Bernatas said she didn’t consider herself a bike racer before Friday’s race, but after her result, that may change. “I guess I am. I get a nice jersey now. I’ve always wanted one, figuring, you know, I look good in stripes.”

If Susan Bernabas didn't consider herself a bike racer before, she does now. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

If Susan Bernabas didn’t consider herself a bike racer before, she does now. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

What were her keys to success? “I worked hard to get my bike and me together,” she said. “I listened to my friend Russell, he is a real racer, and I approached it as a great day to ride. Just ride fair, hard and go nuts. Because why not go nuts out there?”

The Masters 65-69 race featured a cyclocross warrior in Maureen Sweeney. Sweeney started the race with a broken wrist and then endo’d during the race and took home a nice souvenir for her courage.

The three-time champion Sweeney was joined at the line by Tove Shere, who won the 65-69 race in Hartford a year ago. Shere was able to capitalize on Sweeney’s misfortune and win by a comfortable margin to take her third national championship.

Shere enjoyed her afternoon of racing. “The track was great,” she said. “It was dry, it wasn’t muddy. The sand was a little harder because the guys had laid that beautiful track in it, so we had soft sand. It was a little bit harder to ride that, but beautiful course. Thumbs up Cody. Good job.”

Tove Shere got the win in the Masters 65-69 race. Masters Women 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Tove Shere got the win in the Masters 65-69 race. Masters Women 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The third race was the Masters 75+. Nationals mainstay Julie Lockhart was joined at the line by Frances Marquart. Marquart hails from the Seattle area and came down to Reno for her first National Championship. The trip was a worthwhile one, as she came away with the Stars-and-Stripes jersey. After the race, she said it was a tough day at the office.

Frances Marquart and Julie Lockhart shake hands after their race. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Frances Marquart and Julie Lockhart shake hands after their race. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

“Very tough,” she said about the course. “It was fun, but I did an awful lot of walking in that second half.”

With Nationals heading to Washington in 2019, there is a good chance we will see Marquart again. “I live a half mile from the start line,” she said. “I don’t think it’s as tough as this course. ”

Frances Marquart had fun racing Friday. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Frances Marquart had fun racing Friday. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

See interviews and results below the photos.

Frances Marquart was a blur out on the course. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Frances Marquart was a blur out on the course. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Julie Lockhart grabs a wheel on a straight. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Julie Lockhart grabs a wheel on a straight. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Riders were still able to find some water on the course. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Riders were still able to find some water on the course. Masters Women 60 Plus. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Sheryl Johnson makes her way around the course. Masters 60+. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Women Masters 60-64 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlaceBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTimeGap
116BERNATASSusanBoise ID30:42
224HAUSSERMANNHeidiPacific Grove CA31:0018
323HAKANSSONDebraTruckee Bicycle TeamTruckee CA31:2543
421ELGARTLindaDirt BirdsSacramento CA32:001:18
517BEARKimNew Mexico Spokettes Racing TeSanta Fe NM32:041:22
620SMITHTerriFeedback Sports RacingNederland CO33:292:47
719PURTILLKarenStedmans Bicycle CoNarragansett RI34:213:39
822JOHNSONSherylEgenciaSilverdale WA34:434:01
918HOODLindaAuburn NH31:08@1Lap

Women Masters 65-69 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlaceBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTimeGap
113SHEREToveSport Systems 505 CyclingSanta Fe NM34:01
214SWEENEYMaurineRacer X Cycling/ColoBikeLawHighlands Ranch CO36:001:59
312HALLSusanMontrose Bike ShopSimi Valley CA45:4311:42
411LEIBOWITZFloCorvallis OR30:14@1Lap

Women Masters 75+ Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlaceBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTimeGap
11MARQUARTFrancesLakewood WA36:01
22LOCKHARTJulieNortheast Bicycle Club NEBCDunstable MA39:083:07

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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