A muddy track, challenging terrain and tough competition. As a racer these are the conditions you live for and Cincinnati Cyclocross certainly delivered the goods. This race has quickly become one of the marquee events on the domestic UCI race calendar and the team certainly looks forward to it every year!
Lance Haidet was really looking forward to this weekend. He had competed in his first UCI junior race at the King’s CX venue and had good experiences at the course. "Saturday's race was one of the slickest tracks I have ever raced on," said Lance. "The ground was really hard, with about a half inch top layer of mud and wet grass. That, combined with a steady drizzle throughout the race, made for extremely unpredictable traction that required 100% focus."
Lance knew it would be important to be at the front of the race to avoid crashes and mishaps. "Halfway through the first lap I took the lead and pushed the pace until it was a group of four of us going into lap two." said Lance. "Gage (Hecht) attacked and got a gap that would stick for the rest of the race." Lance chased hard and eventually found himself sitting in second place. A place he would take across the finish line and to the second step on the podium. Sunday was a completely different day. Warm temps and high winds dried out the course and made for a very fast pace. The race was full gas from the gun and the gusty wind kept a huge group together for the first couple of laps. A slipped seat post forced Lance to swap bikes and try to claw back to the lead group. "Just as I got back onto the back of the large lead group, it blew apart. " said Lance. "I was totally gassed and had nothing left on the last lap. I’m not super happy with 9th, but I guess you can’t have a perfect race every day!"
Laurel Rathbun made the quick two hour drive from Marian University to join all the fun in Cincinnati. Besides fun with friends she was also looking forward to some fun in the mud! "I knew it was going to be a challenging course, but luckily my teammate Lance pre-rode with me and showed me the right lines," said Laurel. "He is one of the best technical riders I know."
With so many slick off-camber sections, she also knew it was important to get a good start. "People were crashing left and right," said Laurel. "I was pretty lucky to make it through the first lap without crashing or being taken out." She battled through the tough course and would finish a solid 12th on the day.
Like Lance, Laurel found herself going full gas from the gun on Sunday. Unfortunately a bad start meant she missed the break and could not bridge back to the lead group. She finished 15th on the day. Ever the optimist Laurel stated, "This weekend showed some real signs of improvement for me and I am super excited for the Pan-American Championships this weekend!"
This coming weekend Laurel, Lance and team mechanic James Sullivan will be heading north of the border for the Pan Am Championships in Canada.
Rider Tire Selection and Pressure
Laurel Rathbun (Sat.)
Front: PDX / 18 psi
Rear: PDX / 19 psi
Lance Haidet (Sat.)
Front: PDX / 19 psi
Rear: PDX / 20 psi
Laurel Rathbun (Sun.)
Front: LAS / 22 psi
Rear: LAS / 23 psii
Lance Haidet (Sun.)
Front: LAS / 22 psi
Rear: LAS / 23 psi
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Team Mechanic and Product Manager James Sullivan