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2013 Cyclocross National Championships: A Twin Dream Come True

2013 Cyclocross Nationals

I began this year’s cyclocross season with the goal of winning two national championships, and mother nature did everything possible to try to derail me, giving me a lesson in patience and perseverance. It started with a bad ankle sprain just before the start of cross season, then continued all season long with illness, mechanical issues, fatigue, and even a hornet sting on my sprained ankle! Somehow, I found a way to race through it all.

I used each new challenge as an opportunity to practice worst-case race scenarios for Nationals and Master Worlds. Or that’s what I told myself when they were happening anyway, so I could stay motivated to finish.

At Nationals, my perseverance paid off, with everything going to plan, and no unwanted surprises. The race plan was basically the same for both the National Championship Single Speed and Master 30-34 races: Smooth start, take the hole shot, make top 3 selection by the first hill, actually ride the first hill, then race the second half of the race faster than the first half. To have it all go perfectly was beyond expectations, especially after the difficult season I had endured.

The course conditions in Wisconsin were surprisingly Seattle; “warm” 38-40+ degrees with mud on permafrost/ice for both of my races. “Bike-skating,” my favorite! Plus, I almost felt right at home in Wisconsin because nearly one-fourth of the women’s Single Speed field were from the Northwest!

I executed my start perfectly, clipping in smoothly and taking the hole shot. A rider passed me to take the lead just before the first turn, but I could tell from her bike handling that she was already at her limit, and I made my move back into the lead just as we began the critical first hill, riding up it while she ran. I pressed the false-flat after the hill to open a gap on the field, then spent the rest of the race keeping my pedaling dialed and keeping the control of the bike on the icy course. I stayed true to my goal of racing the second half faster by monitoring lap times. That kept the remainder of the race challenging, as I was constantly on the lookout for the best lines and ways to gain speed.

2013 Cyclocross National Championship podium

For the Master’s 30-34 age group race, which featured muddier course conditions and mucky derailleurs, I utilized Team Redline pit support every half lap. This race featured the largest field of all the women masters races, with 24 riders, so I knew I would need a perfect start.

Thankfully, my Giro Code mountain bike shoes instantly connected with my pedals as I sped off the start line straight, tied for the hole shot, and patiently rode second wheel into the first pivotal hill. Once again, while the racer beside me ran, I rode the hill, passing her and riding into the lead. I rode hard to open a gap on the false flat, and the two of us traded the lead several times for the next half lap before being passed going into the course’s second hill by the current Masters 30-34 World Champion. Luck was with me this time though (well, that and good planning), when just as we crested the hill, she had a mechanical and I rode by. I was instantly glad I had already exchanged bikes with the awesome Team Redline pit crew. In spite of the muddy, greasy, icy course conditions, I worked to increase my lead to over 15 seconds and made each lap faster.

The course seemed to demand more finesse than fitness, but the tricky “bike-skating” also required a lot of physical strength in maintaining control. I was taking more risks on the last lap to go faster until I took out a course marker with a quarter lap to go. With second place in sight behind me, I decided to play it safe and just get to the finish line first. After twice before losing this championship in the last half of the race, finally crossing the line first–winning it–was emotional.

It’s a dream come true to have earned two National Championships titles this past week. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for everyone who has helped support and challenge me this season.

While only one person gets to stand on the podium, it is the support and efforts of many that get you there. I am especially grateful to Team Redline for fast bikes and the opportunity and honor to represent their brand; the Team Redline cross sponsors Giro, FSA, Challenge Tires and Honey Stinger Nutrition, who helped further my ability to fly on the bike in both races and all season; and Corpore Sano Physical Therapy for keeping me in motion and racing while recovering from ankle and shoulder strains! And, most importantly, the amazing support from my husband, cross community, friends and family. Thank you everyone.

Kari in Bothell – Kenmore Reporter!

Check out the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

http://www.bothell-reporter.com/sports/138089993.html

Kari Studley wins a National Championship!

Our very own Kari Studley has won a National Championship on 1/4/12 in Wisconsin!

http://www.cxmagazine.com/cyclocross-national-championships-2012-single-speed-women-madison

2 for 2 in Bend OR – Team Ligament

Kari and I had ligament misfortune in Bend OR last week at USA Cyclings Cyclocross National Championships. They were both non-dramatic injuries. Kari separated her shoulder and I tore up my ankle one day after the other. Kari’s bike made it farther into the race than she did. Of course this was a bummer for Kari as she was getting ready to harvest some gold over the weekend of racing. The impact of my injury was such that I needed a crutch at the Deschutes Party. Quite an inconvenience I must say. Needless to say we are gimping around the office this week and doing quite well. Please be comforted in the fact that we are doing our rehabilitation :) Kari likes to think that her PT is so outstanding that she can tie one arm behind her back to keep the competition fair.

Kari Studley PT wins WA State Cyclocross Title

Congratulations to our Physical Therapist Kari Studley who won Washington State Cyclocross titles in Elite Women and Single Speed Women!

Kari the Mud Stud

Here is Kari’s report from the recent Single Speed World Cyclocross Championships! We cheer her on in her preparations for National Championships in Bend, OR.

So much mud, so little time! I had the best race of my life in all the chaos, fun, and mud that goes along with a defending the Single Speed World Championship title in Seattle! My only complaint was hearing “she’s just a head of you!” only then to catch another “girl” who turned out to be a guy with a wig and skirt – over and over and over again! Unfortunately, I never caught the one that was Wendy Simms and lost the SSCXWC title to her by less than 15 seconds! Huge thanks to Simon Lawton of Fluidride and Team Redline for all the help and support, and to W.U.S.S. for such a great event!

Congratulations to Kari Studley for Big Finn Hill Victory!

Weighall and Studley Dominate Big Finn Hill in the MFG Season Opener

http://www.cxmagazine.com/weighall-and-studley-win-big-finn-hill-mfg-cyclocross-2010

Kari is working at Corpore Sano as a Physical Therapist in her spare time :). Come experience her excellence!

Cyclocross is Coming!

Check out the new FOCUS cyclocross bikes! The cyclocross season is fast upon us. Come and get them at Corpore Sano!

Check out FOCUS cyclocross bikes at Starcrossed CX race Sept 18th at Marymoor Park (near the velodrome).

 

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