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Wins harder to land in Colorado’s amateur elite women’s field

November 10, 2014
Kristin Weber got her first win of this season at Cyclo-X Sienna Lake in Broomfield, Colorado

Kristin Weber got her first win of this season at Cyclo-X Sienna Lake in Broomfield, Colorado

When would not winning as often be a good thing?

By this time last year Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport) had stacked up five cyclocross wins. Coming into last weekend’s Front Range Cyclo X Sienna Lake race, she had yet to score her first.

Instead of dwelling entirely on whether she’d ever win again (banishing that thought forever is difficult for nearly all humans), she considered the big picture. “I actually just kept saying to my coach Anne Trombley that I felt like I was faster than last year, even though I had a bunch of wins last year.

“There’s always six to ten women who come out on a given weekend and can win a race. I knew it was making me faster by having all those fast people randomly show up to a lot of our local races,” Weber said, referring to a set of very strong local amateur women combined with a pro rider or two at every weekend race.

“But I think the competition has gotten faster. So I just feel like the bar has been raised a little bit.” Even the juniors, she said, are faster this year.

Megan Carrington, third at Sienna Lake, raced Cat 3 last season

Megan Carrington, third at Sienna Lake, raced cat 3 last season

Part of the explanation for what she’s experiencing could be the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado’s added emphasis on attracting women to bike racing. The lower category fields are expanding in numbers. With that growth, perhaps more women are taking what might be the toughest leap up in competition: from category 3 to elite or open races. Several women in the Sienna Lake field raced category 3 last year.

More women racing and advancing their skills is a great situation overall; additional competition drives riders to improve which makes winning all the more satisfying.

“It feels really good [to win] to tell you the truth,” Weber said after crossing the line first at Sienna Lake, “because we’ve just had so many strong women this year.”

Race action

An errant cyclist pedaling across the road near the start area created a bit of disarray after the whistle. Weber slotted into fourth position on the first bend. Typically a fast starter, she had aimed for the front, but hesitated in the confusion.

“I wanted to be in the ditch first,” she explained later. “I came by three people to get to the ditch first because often in the beginning of this race the ditch can be a big divider if someone crashes or everyone is nervous about it.” Sure enough, her concern came to pass in the men’s elite race that followed.

Only Evol Racing’s Kate Powlison could match Weber’s trajectory around the predominantly grassy and pavement course. The two pulled away early and stayed away together until the next to last lap.

Kate Powlison and Kristin Weber mid-race at Sienna Lake

Kate Powlison and Kristin Weber mid-race at Sienna Lake

“Kate [Powlison] was riding so strong on the power sections and I knew I was faster than her in the technical, so I just made one move,” Weber said. “Right before the ditch I just stepped it up for like 10 seconds and then I made that gap.

“I would get ahead of her in the technical sections and then she would close it up. It was definitely some cat and mouse with us because we had different strengths today. I was worried.”

Behind them Margell Abel (Natural Grocers) and Megan Carrington (Naked Women’s Racing) fought for the third spot on the podium; Carrington captured it. Abel finished fourth. Kristal Boni (Rapid Racing) and Karen Hogan (Kappius Components) came in together and placed fifth and sixth.

See the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado website for full results from Cyclo X Sienna Lake.

The next Cyclo X series race takes place at the Boulder Reservoir on November 15. Melissa Barker (Evol Racing) currently leads the seven-race series by two points over teammate Kristen Legan.

Kristin Weber's family watched her win at Sienna Lake

Kristin Weber’s family watched her win at Sienna Lake

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