Gloucester’s Great Brewer’s Grand Prix of Cyclocross Woman’s Elite Race, Day 2

Race Report by Christina Tamilio

Much of my focus this season has been on not only training my body physically, but training and exercising my mind. I read “10 Minute Toughness” (highly recommended to everyone except my competitors) and have learned to focus all of my thoughts positively and to really believe in what I am capable of. I’ve worked hard over the past few years to move from an avid century rider to an amateur bike racer and now to racing at an elite level.

I arrived at Gloucester’s Great Brewer’s Grand Prix of Cyclocross for day 1 pumped to race against a good collection of the best for the first time this season. I felt strong, prepared, well rested and confident. I arrived sporting my new Seven and felt totally “pro” having a pit bike for the first time. I had just finished building and fitting it the night before. It was dialed in perfectly! I couldn’t bring myself to take it out in the rain for its first ride, so I opted for a spin around the Landry’s parking garage instead. I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea to race an unfamiliar geometry and a bike I had never really ridden so I figured I’d just see how it felt through a couple of pre-ride laps. It only took me 1/4 of a lap to make my decision. I was racing my new Seven! It was super responsive, comfortable and the cornering was amazingly stable! Little Cannondale, you’ve been good to me, but its time to move to the pit….

Day 1 went well (see Crystal’s race report for details), but I had a plan for Day 2 to go even better…especially at the start. My greatest area needing improvement this season has been my starts. I just can’t seem to get my foot into my pedal! Following the race on Saturday, I practiced clipping in and going…clipping in and going…I had it down. “In and Go” I told myself. “In and Go”. Saturday evening, Sunday morning I visualized clipping in and going…All I saw was clipping in and going. I made myself believe that that was just what happens at the start.

“10-Minute Toughness” has taught me to develop performance statements like “In and Go”. I have learned to be positive and to practice that during my visualization. If you see yourself being successful, you will be.

So, I lined up on Day 2. 1 minute….30 seconds…I took a “centering breath”…”In and go” I told myself.

In I went and I was going! Just like I envisioned. At that point, in my mind I had won. Ok, only a little. I still had 44 minutes and 58 seconds to go…

The course was a blast and had a little for everyone. Technical areas, some power sections, a run up and a little climb to the finish for the roadies. I found my rhythm and chased down one woman at a time. I felt so confident on my new Seven. I found I could take corners faster and was able to ride more aggressively. Finally, I settled in with Arley, Linnea, Becca and a few others. I pushed the limits a little too far on a corner, apparently being a little over confident, and introduced my new Seven to the horizontal position for the first time. I sort of laughed at myself being so hot-headed through that corner, climbed back on the saddle and got back on my game. Kristen Gavin and I battled it out to the end from there with Arley, et al. still up ahead. Kristen took the sprint to the finish, but I finished pleased knowing that the 10th wouldn’t have been a far stretch without my mishap. Ha…isn’t that always the way in cyclocross :)

The other of LadiesFirst racers put up some good results as well:

Andrea – 8th

Christina – 16th

Anna – 17th

Crystal – 18th

Allison – 23rd

Ann – 27th

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