Another weekend of racing, this time in Colorado Springs for the 4th stop on the US Cup circuit. The neat thing about this weekend for me was that I got the chance to see where Waldek and Alison live and meet Waldek’s Kids Michael and Tyler.
I love seeing new terrain and Colorado didn’t disappoint with its unique red rock jutting out of the ground seemingly at random and large white capped mountains looming in the background. The course was rather unique as well with a fast track containing only a slight grade climb and several rock gardens to manoeuvre.
We raced Short track on Friday night with home town favourite Alison Dunlap joining the Luna Squad to make us 5 strong. The track was predominantly single track with only one good place to pass making it a race of patience and timing. Katerina and I made the front group early on with Katie Compton and Heather Irmiger. We were doing well with 2 laps to go, but with only one place to pass someone was going to get shut out at a crucial moment. Unfortunately we both did as Katie grabbed 2nd wheel to heather going into last lap and we were on Chase mode, unable to clench the lead again before the finish. Heather took the win followed by Katie, myself and Katerina.
The xc race followed this years’ trend of being short, hard and tactical. After a good start I was second wheel onto the dirt behind Heather. Like the previous day we got off the front with Katie Compton. I was able to take over the lead mid race and had a slight gap going into 2nd lap, but Katie and Heather were chasing me down. Katie made contact early second lap and remained within seconds the entire race, changing up the lead with me several times. Last lap I thought the win had escaped me when I attacked into the first rock garden only to lay my bike down and have to run. Katie was off her bike and running past me. As I tried to remount my lack of cyclocross skills showed themselves as I missed my remount. Yes embarrassing considering the lead moto was following me with a helmet cam! I did get back on but my chain had dropped. I thought Katie would be gone, but she had only opened a small gap. It gave me confidence that she might be tiring and I worked to close the gap in a hurry and then attack for the lead again. She stuck with me and shadowed me to the finish. It would come down to the line so I pushed the pace hoping to take the sprint out of her legs. Through the woods it was about not making mistakes and then charging to the finish. I was able to hold her off and grab the finishing corner in the lead and hold it for the win.
This year racing has been really exciting, fast and tactical. Next up for the Luna team is a big change of pace as we try out our first mtb stage race in British Columbia. Stay Tuned!