As a Chicagoan, Sydney Guagliardo (Psimet) always gets excited about riding cyclocross courses with a lot of elevation change, but Thursday’s tough layout at Hartford was a little different than she expected, “I was excited, but once I saw the elevation change didn’t actually involve climbing, it involved running, I got a little nervous.” Guagliardo was able to overcome her nerves about the running to run out to an early lead she would not rescind en route to her first National Championship in the Women’s Masters 35-39 race.

Start of the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39 race. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Start of the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39 race. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Guagliardo kept the theme of big early leads going by blasting out to a 40-second advantage after the embankment off-camber and ups and downs on the levee. The early lead was not what the Psimet racer was expecting, but oftentimes cyclocross requires riders to call audibles on the fly.

Over the barriers at the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39 race. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Alexandra Burton (Portland Bicycle Studio) over the barriers at the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39 race. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

“That was the last thing I was expecting today. I was kind of hoping to sit in for the first lap and assess the girls in front of me. Once I took the lead on the run-up I was like ‘Wait a second, what do I do? I’m going to just keep pedaling.’ So that’s what happened. I just wanted to ride really clean through the first technical section and once I felt confident in that, I just let it open.”

Sydney Guagliardo (PSIMET Racing) would take the win by race's end. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Sydney Guagliardo (PSIMET Racing) would take the win by race’s end. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Let it open, she did and Guagliardo never looked back during the 40 minute race. She held her lead near a minute as she cruised home as the 2017 Masters 35-39 National Champion.

There has been talk on the internet lately about leg warmers, and Guagliardo made her offering to that conversation during the race. Halfway through the race she ditched a loose right leg warmer halfway through the race and she joked about it after, “I think that might have been the key, that might be why I won. Like a lucky thing. No, I just didn’t pull them up high enough I guess.”

Sarah Kaufman (Stans NoTubes) finished in third place) 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Sarah Kaufman (Stans NoTubes) finished in third place) 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

While Guagliardo was cooking up a Stars-and-Stripes jersey, an epic battle for second between Alexandra Campbell-Forte (Vanderkitten CX) and Sarah Kaufmann (Stans NoTubes Womens Elite) was breaking out. The two quickly formed a chase duo and engaged in an epic back and forth tussle into the last lap.

Sydney Guagliardo makes some adjustments over the finish line. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Sydney Guagliardo makes some adjustments to her remaining leg warmer over the finish line. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The section of off-cambers and climbs along the levee were open for the first two races of the morning, and in the Women’s 35-39 race it appeared the levee sections may be decisive. During the penultimate lap Kaufmann took a small lead into the section and extended it to eight seconds through the series of climbs and frozen, rutted off-cambers.

Sydney Guagliardo puts her hands in the air for the win. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Sydney Guagliardo puts her hands in the air for the win. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

After Kaufmann opened up a gap, Campbell-Forte was able to battle back and eventually took the lead back during the next lap. After surrendering seconds to Kaufmann on the embankment during previous laps, she put everything she had into getting up the hill and into the technical woods section first. It worked, and she took the lead heading into the technical back half of the course and held it through the finish line for silver.

The thrill of winning a National Title sets in for Sydney Guagliardo. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The thrill of winning a National Title sets in for Sydney Guagliardo. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Women 35-39. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Campbell-Forte spoke about her back-and-forth with Kaufmann, “Sarah [Kaufmann] and I kept going back and forth. She had me on the hill every lap and then I’d catch up on the flat coming around and then we’d switch again. Last lap I knew I had to just get up that hill, get over, and get into the woods and just go for it. I knew I could find my line in the woods because it was pretty packed down by then.”

Kaufmann finished third, Allyson Tufano (Patapsco Bicycles) took fourth, and Stacey Richardson (unattached) finished fifth.

2017 CX National Championships Hartford Day 3 Results Masters Women 35-39

PlaceBibLastFirstTeamTimeGap
1174GUAGLIARDOSydneyPSIMET Racing39:56:00
2172CAMPBELLFORTEAlexandraVanderkitten CX40:48:0052
3178KAUFMANNSarahStans NoTubes Womens Elite41:11:001:15
4186TUFANOAllysonPatapsco Bicycles42:55:002:59
5183RICHARDSONStaceyLakewood CO43:32:003:36
6184SCHEIFELECatiWest Chester PA43:43:003:47
7171BURTONAlexandraPortland Bicycle Studio44:00:004:04
8189YEHNicoleKeep It Tight44:06:004:10
9175HETRICKJenniferLamprey Systems44:18:004:22
10176HOLICKYBreezeEVOL DevoElite Racing44:28:004:32
11182NORRISAlixLebanon NH45:05:005:09
12181MOLDENEmilyNantucket Velo45:13:005:17
13188WOJEWODAJennyHup United45:16:005:20
14180MINERYJenniferPedal Power Team-MA45:52:005:56
15187VINCENCIOVASimonaTeam Bikenetic47:17:007:21
16179KUCHARSKIGerilynnTeam Bulldog50:30:0010:34
17177HOLMESErinExeter NH53:49:0045:05:00
18173GOULDValerieGuys Racing Club40:22:0013:53
DNS185TEMBYSarahVanderkitten