2013 So Cal Cross Race Reports #10 and #11 – Eldorado Park

SoCal Cross Races #10 & #11
Eldorado Regional Park, Long Beach
November 16 and 17, 2013
Who Raced – Nicole Brandt
Saturday’s race started out as they usually do – with every racer trying to get the hole-shot. From the start, there was a slight descent into the first turn, which was marked by a large tree. I was second coming into the sandy right-hander and I tried to take the inside line, nearest the tree. I leaned into the turn too much and tagged the tree hard with my shoulder. The impact took me to a stand-still, but I managed to keep myself upright. As a result, I lost a few places and had to play catch-up, with Christina Probert-Turner and Hannah Rae Finchcamp up ahead.
The course was 1.7 miles and consisted of twisting turns through trees, two stair run-ups, two barrier sections, and one sand pit. A couple of sections of the course were especially bumpy, and I was able to take advantage in those sections and catch up with the leaders. By the third lap, I was able to pass Hannah, who did not make the task easy, and slowly create a gap. For the remainder of the race, I concentrated on staying consistent with my pace, avoiding silly errors which could cost me time, and steadily increasing my lead over 2nd place. It felt amazing to win my second race of the season, and with a 45 second lead.
  1. Nicole Brandt
  2. Hannah Rae Finchamp
  3. Christina Probert-Turner
Sunday’s race was held on the same course, which was altered just slightly. I knew the race would be much different today, now that Hannah (2ndplace yesterday) was in it to win it today!
Soon after the race started, Hannah and I established ourselves out front, with her taking the lead. I was able to stay with her for two laps, but she was stronger and more consistent than I was. She first created a gap by being able to ride the entire sand pit while I had a more difficult time. I tried to limit the time gap, but made some errors when crashing on the log dismount/run-over (which required a bike change), and a couple of other wipe-outs I had trying to take the turns too fast. Hannah was around 25 seconds quicker than me today.
1) Hannah Rae Finchamp Team LUNA Chix
2) Nicole Brandt          Velo Club La Grange
3) Madelaine Melcher   The TEAM SoCal Cross
I will mention also that I still hold the leaders jersey for the SoCal Cross Prestige Series, with a comfortable lead :-)
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