2013 CX National Series Round 3 & 4

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After a successful weekend in June at Round 1 & 2 of the Cyclocross Nationals in Adelaide, I was excited to live the dream at the next 2 rounds in Sydney. A solid hit-out at the local race last weekend was perfect preparation physically and mentally. Combine good form, perfect sunshine, blue skies and accommodation on a peaceful lake and you know its going to be a good weekend.

Saturday brought more sunshine and round 3; heavy, bumpy, soggy horse paddocks, muddy grassy corners, barriers, stairs.. Doesn't that sound great? Who wants to ride that? OK so throw in a bit of single track and parts of a BMX track and now we're talking.  With the addition of Lisa Jacobs to these rounds I was excited to see how I would fair against last years NCXS champion. 

The whistle went and I managed to slip my pedal 3 times before clipping in - luckily it didn't seem to hold me back though as I still took the lead before the first corner. It wasn't long before we had a trio of myself, Rowena Fry and Lisa Jacobs setting the pace. We swapped places and battled it out until Lisa crashed and couldn't close the gap back to Row & I. Row attacked (in a very subtle manner - as it appears she seems to do to me every race!) and opened up a gap and suddenly the 3 of us were on our own - seconds apart! Giving it everything; the last lap was my strongest and fastest as I closed the gap to Row, crossing the line 1 second back! 

Rewind a few years and racing this close to Row Fry was an absolute dream..
Round 3 Brew CX interview..

Round 3 Top 5 Elite Women Results:
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Full results and race simulation for round 3 can be found here

 
Round 4 saw even more sunshine, and the course basically in reverse with a few new technical sections thrown in for good measure (or extra pain). The heavy soggy grass had dried out from round 3 and overall the course seemed to be a lot of fun.. Until race time.. Apparently my skills decided to spectate. The start straight lead directly into a couple of corners before the log jump, so a strong start was the key. Slipping my pedal AGAIN! (rookie) I was a little sluggish and then put the power down to take the lead - happy to lead out and set the pace, it wasn't until the end of the first lap at the single barrier that Row took the lead. Row had decided to bunny hop the barrier. This is something I have not practiced; yet know in myself that I have the ability to do it. Then there is the fine line between pulling it off smoothly, or face planting and damaging myself or the bike. I chose 'safety first', with the goal to remain consistent for the series; injury and mechanical free. However, the advantage of bunny hopping the barrier was massive. So for the next few laps it was a battle to always close the gap after this section. The first few laps felt a lot more comfortable than Round 3, settling in to a good rhythm with Row & Lisa, and with Lindsay and April not far behind. Row continued to demonstrate her bombproof skills, and had myself & Lisa chasing hard, the gap started to open, and the top 3 became 20 seconds apart, battling it alone. Happy to roll over the line in 2nd place again, after a pretty uncoordinated display of skills!

Saturday was the highlight of my weekend in terms of how I felt and my result, but I learnt so much more from Sunday's race, and they are the experiences that you require to get smarter and stronger for the next race...National Championships.. August 10. 

Thanks as always to Dean & Gen at TORQ Nutrition for your support, Coach Neil Ross for your wisdom, Al for making the trip over to support me, the organisers for hosting a successful event, and all the riders for making it an awesome weekend.

Round 4 Top 5 Elite Women Results:

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2013 National Cyclocross Series Rankings after Round 4...
 
 
 

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