The CalGiant duo of Teal Stetson-Lee and Meredith Miller did it again at day two of JingleCross but this time it was Stetson-Lee on top. Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) won the duel with Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill) to take third. Though it was the same three women on the podium, Saturday brought mud, rain and more mud, completely different conditions and a new trickier descent off Mt Krumpet. A descent where staying upright was very difficult and a descent that Stetson-Lee took advantage of.
The rain started on Friday night, and never stopped on Saturday with the temps dipping as a cold front made its way through Iowa. By the time the Elite Women lined up, the descent was slightly modified from earlier races, a few spots were widened and moved because the UCI officials deemed that the course was already too chewed up. But still many went down on the descent and all over the course, on the slippery mud.
Butler took the holeshot but Bruno-Roy relishing the conditions, was leading down Mt Krumpet on the first lap, sure-footed in the mud. But Stetson-Lee was not far behind and she opened up a gap to the shattered field as they went through Whoville – in and around the barns on the fairground. Behind her a small chase group with Pepper Hartlon (Juventus), Miller, Butler and Bruno-Roy.
The treacherous conditions took its toll on every one but Stetson-Lee was able to ride the final section of the downhill, which was the secret to her success on Saturday. Every lap, she increased her gap, as the lap times were hovering around the 12-minute mark. With two laps to go, Miller attacked her group and started to chase in earnest, closing down the gap. Feeling the pressure, Stetson-Lee ramped it up again on the final to take the win, 38 seconds ahead of Miller.
The battle for third was heated between Butler and Bruno-Roy until Butler hit it on the final lap on the short steep kicker on the farside of the course and was able to open up a gap. Bruno-Roy took fourth. After a slow start, Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) moved up to finish fifth.
The third and final race at JingleCross is going to be a doozy. First, it’s a C1 race and then, the temperatures are still dropping which means frozen ruts in the morning. Let’s see what the conditions bring.
Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant/Specialized). “I had no idea that that little section was going to allow me to get a gap but definitely my mountain biking background paid off in some of that techie stuff today. Even spending an extra 30 seconds on the bike versus getting off and running made a huge difference in this race. On the second to last lap, Meredith put the fear of Mt Krumpet into me, so I had to ramp it up on that final lap. The techie riding out there was good for me today.”
About the conditions. “Staying on the bike is the secret today, the more you can be on the bike, the more time you can make up. It’s really slippery but part of it is having confidence, yeah I think I can ride this and doing it. And then knowing that if you can’t and if you fall, that’s okay too because actually sliding was pretty fast also today.” (laughs)
Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized). “Teal was riding super strong. She was able to ride a couple of sections that I was able to ride. I started closing in a little bit on the uphill, then towards the bottom of Mt Krumpet, she was able to ride it and I was running so that gap opened up again. Then, at that point I knew she had first place and I was happy with that. ”
Sue Butler (River City Bicycles). “I switched bikes and I went to carbon rims and into a few course tapes that second lap, and it slowed me down. I knew I had to chase back on, I decided that I shouldn’t use my brakes because they didn’t work anyways (laughs) Then, Mo was having a hard time on that side hill section and I powered by her, got in that crazy circle thing before her and just powered away.”
Top 10 Women
1. Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant/Specialized)
2. Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized )
3. Susan Butler (River City Bicycles)
4. Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill Pb Seven Cycles)
5. Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)
6. Julie Krasniak (Team Rapha Focus)
7. Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club)
8. Kelsy Bingham (Roosters/Bikers Edge)
9. Serena Bishop (Silverado Jewelry Gallery)
10. Rebecca Blatt