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Judy Freeman takes 7th win at Cyclo-X Westminster, Kristen Peterson second

November 25, 2013
Judy Freeman's mom cheers with a cowbell from India

Judy Freeman’s mom cheers with a cowbell from India

[updated 12/12/2013]

On a course that proved Judy Freeman’s ability to tackle yet another set of conditions, the Crankbrothers Race Club rider won her seventh cyclocross race of the season on Saturday.

At first the Cyclo-X Westminster course appeared like an easy target for a roadie. Long stretches of pavement and gravel path in Westminster City Park connected three technical sections of turns on dirt or grass as well as concrete stairs. The light snowfall from earlier in the week wouldn’t begin to melt and make corners slippery until late in the women’s elite/open contest.

However once racing commenced it became clear the mixture of power and technical sections gave riders stronger in either type of terrain almost an even chance.

That’s “almost” because any betting person would have placed high odds on Freeman sweeping up another win given her collection of medals so far this season.

Melissa Barker gets women's elite holeshot at Cyclo-X Westminster

Melissa Barker gets the women’s elite holeshot at Cyclo-X Westminster

But that didn’t discourage the rest of the field. In fact, it motivated many, like Kristen Peterson (Evol Foods).

Peterson conceded the holeshot to Melissa Barker (GS Boulder / Studio 1 Dental) then took the lead on icy stairs and held it for half of the 45 minute race before finishing second after Freeman.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Peterson said about Freeman’s string of successes. “It’s great to have that level of competition around here. We all have something to shoot for which is great every weekend we come out here, and just see her [Judy] go, but hopefully try and battle it out as much as we can throughout the race.”

Freeman commented on the day’s result after the finish. “I’m very happy, and feel really fortunate to have gotten a seventh win today. It’s just awesome coming out here and battling with everybody. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a good spirit.”

Race action

The riders sped off uphill from the paved start area under a black, yellow, and red striped Belgian-inspired arch. Emma Dunn (Feedback Sports), Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport), Laurel Rathbun (Hammer) and then Ksenia Lepikhina (BMC XC Racing Team) followed after Barker and Peterson through the first turn. Freeman pursued in seventh place.

Judy Freeman tests her legs on the uphill start at Cyclo-X Westminster

Judy Freeman tests her legs on the uphill start at Cyclo-X Westminster

After a bit of grassy track the women scaled two sections of concrete stairs on their way to the highest point on course. Peterson passed Barker there and took the long sweeping downhill back onto pavement with Dunn several bike lengths behind her.

Peterson reached the stairs in the second lap with Freeman just steps behind her. A small gap separated them from the next group. Led by Weber, the chasers included Barker, Rathbun, Rapid Racer and masters world champion Kristal Boni, Dunn, and Ann Trombley (Tokyo Joe’s).

Kristen Peterson and Judy Freeman on the concrete stairs

Kristen Peterson and Judy Freeman on the concrete stairs

By lap three Freeman had closed in on Peterson and any gap between them was determined by their different strengths as riders. “I think I gapped Judy out a little bit on the power stuff,” Peterson said later, “and then as soon as we hit the technical stuff she was right back there.”

Freeman took the race lead as the pair headed into the last twisty dirt section before the finish straight with two laps remaining. Peterson tried to remain in contact but saw Freeman slip further away in the technical sections and finish with a 19 second advantage.

Among the chasers Weber held third place on course. Rathbun raced in fourth then pulled out with a damaged derailleur. Next on course, Boni and Barker rode briefly as a pair until Boni took off in search of third place. She and Weber fought for the third step of the podium over the final two laps.

Kristin Weber ahead of Kristal Boni going into one of the technical sections in Westminster City Park

Kristin Weber ahead of Kristal Boni going into one of the technical sections in Westminster City Park

Boni later explained that she moved ahead on a paved section but Weber reclaimed third by passing her on the stairs in the bell lap.

Nonetheless Boni felt satisfied crossing the line in fourth just three seconds after Weber. “I’m feeling really good,” the masters world champion said. “I feel like mentally and physically my race conditioning is really starting to come around and my head is getting in the game and so I’m really happy.”

Peterson was pleased with her performance as well. “It was great. It was fun to be able to chase someone and actually be in the race this time which is always fun.”

Weber continues to lead the eight-race Cyclo-X points series which concludes on December 7 with double points on offer at the Boulder Reservoir venue.

For full results from Cyclo-X Westminster see the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado’s website.

Women's elite podium recognizes movember (l-r) Kristin Weber 3rd, Judy Freeman 1st, Kristen Peterson 2nd

Women’s elite podium recognizes movember (l-r) Kristin Weber 3rd, Judy Freeman 1st, Kristen Peterson 2nd

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