Sunday’s big race at JingleCross, the all important C1 race, became a race of who would make the less mistakes on the muddy and course especially after everyone already had two days of tough racing in their legs. In the end, Meredith Miller (CalGiant) was able to overcome a few bobbles, including a bad bike exchange and take the win. Making three for three for CalGiant.
Mudder Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill), in her element, finished second and Julie Krasiak (Rapha Focus) was third.
Though it was not raining on Sunday, the course was still saturated in some spots, which led to thick mud and grass getting caught on the pedals, shoes, cassettes and everywhere else for the third and final day of Jingle Cross. Getting a clean bike and a smooth bike exchange became part of the race strategy. The course was slightly modified from the previous days, the runup on Mt Krumpit used Friday’s configuration where the bottom was all chopped off forcing everyone off their bikes, then a false flat to the top and then a new descent, grassy and rideable to the bottom. Also returned to the course were the fly-over and the lincoln logs. But it was some of the slippery corners that caused many to go down, finding traction and the right line through the muck and having enough power to run was the key to success.
The women stayed bundled up until the last minute on the cold and blustery day but the race got hot immediately as the gun went off. Canadian Pepper Hartlon (Juventus) took the holeshot and lined up the field behind her while Miller, not liking her tire pressure, went in for the her first bike exchange of the day. Riders were going down on the turns and quickly getting back up. After a quick start, Krasniak came around Hartlon on the false flat and put the pressure on with Miller, Bruno-Roy and Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) lined up behind her. Saturday’s winner Teal Stetson-Lee (CalGiant) was not able to stay with the pace and settled in into her own rhythm.
Krasniak slowly pulled away to establish a slim three-second lead by the second lap. The next lap brought more re-shuffling in the top five, with bobbles and riders chasing back on. With two laps to go, Krasniak was solo off the front with Bruno-Roy leading the chase, followed by Carey and Miller. Once again, the riders went into the pit to get a clean bike at the start of the lap, Krasniak has a smooth one but Miller slip on her handlebars and went down. After quickly getting back up, Miller, a pissed off look on her face, started to chase once again. She picked off Carey and then made junction with Bruno-Roy.
The chase on to close down the 11-second gap with one lap to go. Then, Krasniak slid out in a corner and Bruno-Roy jumped on the opportunity to close down the gap. The three were together as they started the final time up Mt Krumpit where Miller was able to use her power to be first over the top and build up a gap of 12 seconds by the time she came back to the second through the pit. Then, it was about riding smoothly to the finish.
Bruno-Roy dropped Krasniak to take her first UCI podium of the year.
Meredith Miller (CalGiant). “First of all, I rolled off the line and realized that my rear tire was either flat or way too low so I did a bike change right away. The one that I bobbled, I just went for the bars and one hard slipped off and then it was just a disaster. But on a day like today, you can’t ever give up because as we showed out there anything can happen, anybody can have a bobble at any time and you can close that gap in front of you. So I just had to stay focused and put my head down and keep going.”
“Mo is a good strong rider especially in conditions like this. Again, I knew that I had to be strong and keep my composure and if I happened to bobble, just hope that someone else would to. Fortunately enough on that last runup, that section after the run, Julie tried to get on her bike a little too soon, or just missed a pedal or something, and I was able to come around her. And then I used my power to open up the gap a little bit more as we rode up to the top.”
Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill). “Trying to fight for position and make up as much as you can and not make mistakes. I had a little bobble right before the logs, you really just try to push it and move forwards. ”
About Krasniak’s early gap. “At first she had a pretty good gap, I was concerned in the sense that I thought she could keep it and then I saw, the fourth, fifth, sixth were starting to pull apart and Meredith needed a bike change, her bike was making a ruckus, and I knew Julie was only ten seconds out, she was starting to hurt a little bit at the end.”
About the conditions. “They were perfect. I had some mountain biker tell me to always take the path of least resistance which if you think about water is the one that is the wettest. I was running about 18 psi in my tires, that’s really what I prefer when the conditions are pretty slippery and you have to push through the mud. I just tried to ride everything I could and really push it out there.”
Julie Krasniak (Rapha Focus). “I had a food start, it was the first time that I had a good start, it was the first time that I was able to clip in just at the start since I started cyclocross, so I started fast. After that, I went to the front immediately, I passed the other on the climb, I felt that I was good and that I could get a gap quickly, it was tough after the running section. I got a good lead because it was pretty technical. Actually, it was more slippery and trickier than yesterday.”
About the final lap. “After that, I tried to keep the pace and maybe I settled in too much, I should have continued to put pressure on but I was trying to keep some gas for the final lap but, I didn’t have any left for the running section. I’m really not a fast runner. That’s where I was caught in the end, on the running section, it all happened there. I was behind on the descent and I was not able to chase her down.”
Top 15 Results
1. Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized)
2. Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles)
3. Julie Krasniak (Team Rapha Focus)
4. Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt)
5. Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant-Specialized)
6. Susan Butler (River City Bicyles)
7. Coryn Rivera (Marian University)
8. Arley Kemmerer (C3 – Athletes Serving Athletes)
9. Serena Bishop (Silverado Jewelry Gallery P/B S)
10. Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club)
11. Kelsy Bingham (Roosters-Bikers Edge)
12. Rebecca Blatt (Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder)
13. Linda Sone (Cycle-Smart/Flanders)
14. Corey Coogan-Cisek (Team Plan C p/b Stevens)
15. Samantha Schneider (Cyclocrossracing.com )