Since the Valmont Bike Park opened, there was no doubt it would hold numerous cyclocross races throughout the fall. With multiple sand pits and stair climbs, it has all the suffer obstacles one could think of for a perfect CX course. Not only was I pumped to race there due to the terrain, it's only a 7 minute bike ride from my house so the logistics couldn't be any better!
The day started out great with getting the holeshot on the start then settling in behind rockstar Nicole Duke. About half way through the first lap, I noticed my front end getting incredibly squirrely and soon noticed I was completely flat! I tried to ignore it until I went around a corner and totally wiped out. I very easily rode into the pits while almost all 28 girls in the field passed me and changed my wheel as quickly as possible. I got back on course and managed to pick off girls through the next 4 laps but my head just wasn't in it. I was super bummed that I had blown a tubular in the first 4 minutes of the race and just didn't have the right girls around me to get me back in the game.
Although I wasn't racing my heart out, I managed to get back into the top 10 with a 9th place finish and a minute or two behind the race leaders. I was also very happy that I didn't burp any air out of my spare front wheel as I'm trying them out as a tubeless setup! PSI was a bit high but it got me to the finish :)
Since I didn't have the race I was looking for at Valmont, Bryce and I drove down to Buena Vista early Sunday morning to try it again! It was a perfect fall morning with no clouds and crisp cold air that eventually hit mid 60s just before the race start! There wasn't a large field since it was a solid 2.5hr drive from Boulder, however, it was strong one. Apparently this was the weekend to get the kinks out because I totally biffed during a practice mount on a warm up lap and sliced the top of my knee cap really good. So, before the race started I was already a blood mess with a swollen knee. Oh well! During the first lap, I found myself in second behind a very strong girl and looking to stay close. On the first sandy hill, I attempted to ride it instead of run (which was dumb) and accidentally dropped my chain which caused me to move to 3rd. I chased the girl down for a few laps then decided to make my move on the final lap. That didn't last long as I totally wiped out on another sandy/rocky run up and aggravated my hip REAL bad to the point of having to soft pedal in. I remained in 3rd and came home with a bit of cash but mostly happy to be getting these silly issues and mishaps out of the way earlier in the season!