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Carmen Small shows stunning cross talent in Boulder

October 29, 2012

Carmen Small gets ready for a corner at 2012 Boulder Cup

There’s a new kid on the women’s cyclocross scene and she’s already leaving lots of more seasoned racers behind.

Carmen Small and her Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team made their ‘cross debut at the USGP of Cyclocross Smartwool Cup in Fort Collins, Colorado, early in October, where she placed 6th and 10th over a weekend of racing.

Those results left room to improve and this past weekend Small showed she was up for the challenge. She again lined up with a field of the best female ‘cross racers in the U.S. on Saturday at the Colorado Cross Classic and Sunday at the Boulder Cup.

She won a battle for fourth place on Saturday. By Sunday she made the podium with second.

Small, ecstatic about her result, shared her Boulder Cup strategy as she cleaned up before the podium. She didn’t feel she could match the pace of Luna Chix Pro Team’s Georgia Gould, so she went into the race with a strategy for next best. “I knew I just needed to lead most of the race because my weak sections are the technical parts…” She executed on her plan, leading or second wheel in the select group just behind Gould.

Small leads sprint for second at 2012 Boulder Cup

As she turned the last corner with Elle Anderson (LadiesFirstRacing) and Amanda Carey (Volkswagen Boise), Small led out the 100 meter sprint for second place.

“I sprint all the time on the road, intermediate sprints and sprint finishes,” Small said after the race, “I’m a lead-out for our normal sprinter on our team so I just have a ton of experience with that so I was pretty confident coming into the last corner if I could get first [position] I could outsprint those girls that were with me.” Small is the 2012 National Racing Calendar champion.

It comes as no surprise that she likes racing cross. “It’s really fun. It’s completely different from road racing, but I enjoy it,” Small said. “It’s a whole different feel, vibe…It’s a fun way to keep it kind of fresh and not too much pressure.”

What might come as a surprise? “This is my off-season so I don’t really do much. I’m not training for these events…I ride on Wednesdays. I do some other riding; I don’t train specifically for cross.”

With these results, there will be no place for Small to hide at her next race, the USGP Derby Cup in Louisville.

Carmen Small on 2012 Boulder Cup podium with second place

2012 Boulder Cup women’s elite race gallery

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From → Cyclocross

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