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Karen Hogan wins a frosty Frisco Cross

October 5, 2013
Frisco Cross women's open podium (l-r) Kristin Weber 3rd, Karen Hogan 1st, Kristal Boni 2nd, Rebecca Gross 4th, (Jess D'Amato 5th, absent)

Frisco Cross women’s open podium (l-r) Kristin Weber 3rd, Karen Hogan 1st, Kristal Boni 2nd, Rebecca Gross 4th, (Jess D’Amato 5th, absent)

[updated 10/11/2013 with photo gallery]

Hand-rubbing began in the minutes before the start. The temperature lurked in the low twenties Fahrenheit this morning at Frisco Cross, leaving several of the women’s open contenders with frozen fingers and thoughts of racing into the warmth of the day lodge after about twenty minutes of cutting into the wind.

But they all persisted and in spite of the cold, the racing ran hot with a group of four vying for first place until the end. The fresh loss of pro cyclist Amy Dombroski motivated the group as well. They wore decals to honor Dombroski which read, “We ride fast because of you.”

Race action

“It’s time to remember Amy,” one of the women said, as they lined up on the glistening asphalt to begin their early morning effort. Thirty seconds later they sped off up a long gradual paved climb before veering onto frozen ground. Icy in places, course conditions changed throughout 45 minutes of racing as wind gusts filled center lines with snow.

Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport) and then Kristal Boni (Rapid Racing) took the early lead on a challenging loop that unwound predominantly over hard pack that had been covered in a few inches of snow overnight. A front group opened a gap early to the rest of the field; Weber, Boni, Karen Hogan (Team Kappius), and Rebecca Gross (Raleigh-Clement) maintained their dominant position through the final lap.

Jess D'Amato rode to 5th place in Frisco

Jess D’Amato rode to 5th place in Frisco

Jess D’Amato (Evol Foods) rounded the group up to five for the first lap. After a good start, she got “a little too over-excited,” she later said, lost ground after some slips and slides, and completed her ride solo. “I tried hard to get back on but then I couldn’t,” the Evol rider said.

Just behind D’Amato another group of four worked together for the first half of the 5 lap race. They split apart as Rebecca Blatt (Van Dessel Factory Team) pulled away; Blatt would claim sixth place. This group also included junior Ksenia Lepikhina, Tracy Yates (Tough Girl), and Kristen Peterson (Evol Foods).

“We had a small pack of four of us which was nice because a lot of times in the middle it just stretches out and you’re kind of in no-man’s land,” Peterson said after finishing seventh. “So this time it was fun because we actually got to have a race with ourselves and battle for position; it was a lot more fun than usual in the middle of the pack.”

Hogan’s winning move came with two laps to go. “The second to last lap we were all together going up the hill,” she said, “and right at the top I decided to see if I could make a push and get into the single track first and I did and then I was able to put a little gap on them…” She won with a ten second lead.

The downhills proved challenging for Hogan, but she found a way around that bit of trouble as she pulled away. “…the ladies were going downhill a lot faster than I was on all the other laps; so I thought, ‘they know something I don’t know,’ if I could just trust my equipment a little. And I did and I was able to get a little bit more of a gap and then just rode free and I think that helps when you’re riding by yourself.”

None of the three leaders could match Hogan’s speed when she attacked.

Weber quoted a male pro sprinter (possibly Mark Cavendish) when asked about Hogan’s move. “’When the ice breaks you have two seconds to respond; you either can go with a group or you can’t,’” Weber said, “and none of us could. She [Hogan] just laid it down really strong.” Weber came in third, and Boni second.

Gross finished fourth, having conceded her third place on course to Weber in the next to last lap when, according to Weber, she tripped on the run-up. All of the ladies ran that steep hill which was located half-way through the course. Riders also ran over two barrier sections.

D’Amato rolled in fifth, the decal honoring Dombroski on her lower back and still firmly in place.

Remembering Amy Dombroski, who would have ridden fast

Remembering Amy Dombroski, who would have ridden fast

Gallery

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From → Cyclocross

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