Skip to content

Colorado: where the women are strong, and it showed at cyclocross nationals

January 23, 2013

Garrison Keillor coined the phrase, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average” to describe the mythical Lake Wobegon, but the same could be said of Colorado’s cyclocross community.

The strong women cyclists of Colorado claimed eleven championship medals at this year’s USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Wisconsin. That’s 22% of the total 49 awarded, excluding the collegiate divisions, which exceeds the Colorado men’s take by almost two percentage points.

OK, the difference probably isn’t statistically significant. But will the guys try to step up their game to bring home more medals than the women in 2014?

*  *  *

Female Colorado cyclocross racers are tough chicks. Rebecca Blatt (Van Dessel Factory Team), Brianne Marshall (Stan’s NoTubes), and Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport) not only medaled in their masters races; they also completed the women’s elite race among the 28 of the 78 starters who finished and weren’t lapped.

Stacey Barbossa and Brianne Marshall chase Kristin Weber in the 2013 elite nationals contest. They finished 26th, 27th, and 24th respectively.

Stacey Barbossa and Brianne Marshall chase Kristin Weber in the 2013 elite nationals contest. They finished 26th, 27th, and 24th respectively.

*  *  *

Rebecca Gross (Tough Girl Cycling) is tough too, as her team’s name implies: she came in fourth in the masters 30-34 race and third among the collegiate division 2 women. She’s also resourceful. During her third race at nationals, the women’s elite race, she captured a cash hand-up.

Rebecca Gross caught some cash in the elite race at 2013 'cross nationals

Rebecca Gross caught some cash in the elite race at 2013 ‘cross nationals

*  *  *

A single speed contest requires a different style of racing and it’s more challenging on a hilly course like the one in Badger Prairie Park. Kristal Boni of Rapid Racing decided to take on that challenge after encouragement from her husband. The only Colorado lady on the start line, she placed mid-pack, eight of thirteen finishers. Pretty darn good for her first single speed outing.

Kristal Boni dares to conquer to single speed race at the 2013 cyclocross national championships

Kristal Boni dares to conquer to single speed race at the 2013 cyclocross national championships

*  *  *

Georgia Gould (Luna Chix Pro Team) said after the women’s elite race: “There are a few places you could pedal and the rest of the time you’re just trying to stay upright – or at least I was…”

Georgia Gould rides to 4th in the 2013 national championships

Georgia Gould rides to 4th in the 2013 national championships

*  *  *

Nicole Duke’s (Alchemy Bicycle Company) fearless fast descents left spectators wide-eyed with awe. After the women’s elite race, Duke said, “I knew if I could just stay steady on all the flats and the uphills, that I had everyone on the downhills. And it felt really good; it gave me confidence.” One of Duke’s preparation secrets for a sub-freezing race: latex gloves under cycling gloves to keep hands warm.

Nicole Duke chased by Meredith Miller and Katie Antonneau near the end of lap 2 at 2013 cyclocross nationals

Nicole Duke chased by Meredith Miller and Katie Antonneau near the end of lap 2 at 2013 cyclocross nationals

*  *  *

Lots of things make the women’s races different from the guys’ races. For example, the women tend to acknowledge cheers more often with verbal thank you’s while the guys will show expressions that seem to say, “Thanks, but that only counts if I can hang on.” Both genders smile after the finish, but the ladies’ smiles appear to come more easily regardless of their results. Is that just relief, or is it joy in having shared the experience with friends?

Three happy ladies (l - r) Kristin Webber who landed 4th, Lisa Hudson with 7th, and Margell Abel with 5th in masters 40-45 'cross nationals race

Three happy ladies (l – r) Kristin Webber who landed 4th, Lisa Hudson with 7th, and Margell Abel with 5th in the 2013 masters 40-45 ‘cross nationals race

*  *  *

Meredith Miller approached the start line of the elite race with a firm goal: “I hope to get onto the podium,” she said prior to the race, with special emphasis on the following words: “not just a fifth place podium, but a second place would be pretty awesome today.” It wasn’t to be at nationals – Miller finished eighth, but generally when this lady sets a goal, watch for her to achieve it. In October she told VeloNews, “that she still has her sights on securing one of five spots for February’s world championships in Louisville, Kentucky.” After spinning out mid cross season on her trainer while recovering from hand surgery, she worked her way to one of those five spots and will set tire to Louisville ground in February.

Meredith Miller led the field onto pavement after the 2013 'cross nationals elite women's start

Meredith Miller led the field off pavement after the 2013 ‘cross nationals elite women’s start

*  *  *

Katie Compton’s ninth national championship in a row might make this Trek Cyclocross Collective star appear to be more machine than human. Her thoughts as she crossed the finish line — “Thank God I don’t have to do another lap,” left no doubt that Compton is flesh and blood.

Katie Compton wins her 9th national championship

Katie Compton wins her 9th national championship

*  *  *

Shannon Gibson (Stan’s NoTubes) from Durango, whose racing age is 47, is the current cyclocross world champion in her age group and MTB Super D masters national champion. Gibson raced in events across the country during the 2012 ‘cross season but according to available data didn’t manage any top tens aside from her seventh at nationals last year. This year’s victory in the masters 45-49 category must have been beyond awesome for her.

Women's 45-49 'cross nationals podium (l - r) Jeanne Fleck 4th, Antonia Leal 2nd, Shannon Gibson 1st, Stacey Barbossa 3rd, Geraldine Schulze 5th

Women’s 45-49 ‘cross nationals podium (l – r) Jeanne Fleck 4th, Antonia Leal 2nd, Shannon Gibson 1st, Stacey Barbossa 3rd, Geraldine Schulze 5th

 

Advertisements

From → Cyclocross

3 Comments
  1. This post rocks!!!! Women rock!!! You rock!!!! 😀

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Pete Webber wins the cyclo-cross award that matters the most « ProVéloPassion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: