2013 SCNCA Cyclocross Championship Race Report

SCNCA Cyclocross Championship 2013
December 28-29, 2013
Irvine Lake, CA
Who Raced – Nicole Brandt

December 28
“Cross Into 2014” – presented by the SoCalCross Prestige Series team

Saturday’s race was the non-championship race, but that didn’t mean we weren’t going hard! I had my sights set on Nationals the first week of January 2014, so I wanted to race hard both days and just do my best. The course was mostly dirt, with a couple of power climbs, three sand pits, and two barrier sections. Soon after the race started and within the first lap, I knew my legs were feeling the best they’ve felt all season (and since I’ve been back from having a baby). I took the lead, as Hannah Rae-Finchamp was close behind, but by the second lap, I took control of the race and continually increased my lead over 2nd place. By the final lap, I was able to ease up my pace and enjoy the feeling of victory for the 3rd time this season!

1. Nicole Brandt (Michelob Ultra Velo Club La Grange)
2. Hannah Rae-Finchamp
3. Solana Kline (Portland, OR)

December 29
The Southern California/Nevada State District Cyclocross Championships

Sunday’s race course was altered sightly, with only one small climbing section, and riding in reverse from Saturday. However, the greatest change on the day was definitely the wind, with gusts that almost blew you off the bike, and some people were even wearing goggles while racing! Having grown up in Palm Springs and having ridden in the unrelenting winds there, I was actually hoping for the scary-fast winds, but by the time my race went off, the winds weren’t quite as daunting but still a factor.
The race started off with Hannah Rae-Finchamp, Amanda Nauman, and myself quickly establishing ourselves out front. By the end of the first lap, Hannah and I were able to break away from Amanda, however, Amanda has a way of coming back with a vengeance. Today, the sand pit sections got the best of me, and I made some errors which caused me to lose contact with the leader. Having lost contact with Hannah, and my legs feeling the effort from yesterday, I went as hard as I could to try and maintain 2nd. Unfortunately, with about a lap-and-a-half to go, Amanda caught and passed me and was able to maintain her lead over me.
With all said and done, I had a successful and fun weekend of racing. I want to also point out that the women who I competed against this weekend were tough competitors – Hannah Rae-Finchamp is the current under-18 world Xterra champion, and Amanda Nauman is ranked 17th CX racer in the nation.

1. Hannah Rae-Finchamp
2. Amanda Nauman
3. Nicole Brandt (Michelob Ultra Velo Club LaGrange)

And a shout-out to Matias, who WON on Saturday, and got 2nd on Sunday!

Thanks for reading,

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