Monson Cross: 1st win for LadiesFirst CX in 2011

Written by Nancy Labbe-Giguere

Monson was my first cyclocross race of this season. For a short story, it did not go as well as I hoped and I explained it below, but Andrea Smith was there and she won for LF!

The race day started by a run to a local bike shop because I found a way to break my bike the night before. Then I picked up my teammate Rebecca for the drive to Monson. We got there with plenty of time to warm up and register. The lap around the school was on the short side and included a run up, a downhill with exposed rocks and plenty of turns on a grass field. The conditions were dry but it was cloudy and rain was expected due to the hurricane. While I was warming up on the trainer, I saw at least 20 women getting ready including Sally Annis and Andrea Smith, two of the best cx racer in New England. Then, it started pouring rain transforming a dry course into a muddy one. My last race with mud was Gloucester in 2009 and that type of condition worried me more than amused me.

I lined up near Sally and Andrea and at the GO, they were both gone with other people and I was still trying to clip in and accelerate. I was delayed at the long run up that became slippery but I was still confident that I could catch up. A thick muddy-grassy section was next and I rode as close as possible to the fence and I crashed quite hard and everyone behind me passed. When I jumped back on my bike, Andrea and Sally were out of sight and my race was over. I noticed that Victoria gates passed me while I was down, although she is quite fast for her young age, she should not finish in front of me. So, the motivation came back and I passed her when she slipped in a corner. I started to feel much better and caught more women. Then, I tried a different line in the rocky downhill section and I noticed low pressure in the rear tire. I did not worry but the bike handled weirdly, shifted poorly but I was able to finish the last 2-3 laps. I saw Andrea after I finished and I asked her if she won and she said yes.

Andrea Smith: 1st

Nancy Labbe-Giguere: 7th

Rebecca Wolski: DNF

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