Rochester Cyclocross Reactions

Saturday – UCI C1

Photo by @pinnedgrit / @jpovphoto

Stephen Hyde – 1st, Elite Men

As the first race of the season, it was all nerves and anticipation. Not knowing who is gonna be on point this early is always hard. Not knowing how good you are compared to your competitors is unnerving. I have been on the podium a few times at this race and really wanted to win here. It’s a great feeling to know you have both the legs and the head to race this early.

Today was a great mix of known and unknown competition. We have the usual suspects like [Jeremy] Powers, [Kerry] Werner and Tobin [Ortenblad] . Some new additions like Rob Peeters and even some up and coming talent like Spencer Petrov. I needed to see who was going to be able to go at the end of the race, and I forced the separation kind of early. Rob and I got a gap and maintained it with some yoyoing until the last lap, when Powers and Petrov regained contact. Petrov got dropped and it was the three of us for the sprint.

Now that I know my legs are on track. I will likely sit back a little longer and play my tactics late.

My big take away is that I am starting off with not only with good legs but with a good mental start to the season. I think it’s a great starting point to progress toward my goals.

Photo by @pinnedgrit / @jpovphoto

Kaitlin Keough – 3rd, Elite Women

I would rate my first race as an seven. I come into every race wanting to leave it all out there and do my best on that day. I didn’t set a specific goal number wise, but I had a lot of little goals within the race. Having those goals like that help me to stay present and focused on what I’m doing. I know that if I stay with my process goals the specific number results will come.

I was a bit off technically today. Not because others were technically better, just because I need to toughen up a bit mentally when it comes to hopping certain obstacles. My engine was for sure there because I was able to come back a few times after the technical section with the log that I was loosing time on and I burned matches that way.

The first race of the season is always a bit of a shock to the system. I’m very happy with my form and I’m glad to have the first race under my belt. It’s nice to be clear with where I was loosing the time and why. My hard work during the offseason has prepared me well and I’m really enjoying riding and racing my bike.

Photo by @pinnedgrit / @jpovphoto

Emma White – 4th, Elite Women; 1st U23 Women

I had high hopes going into today, what with finishing 2nd here last year, and just coming off my road season. I certainly can’t be disappointed with 4th, though! The leaders were strong and deserving. I’m happy with my ride and look forward to improving.

Maghalie and Ellen are definitely coming into the season hot and that is no surprise. Of course I knew Kaitie would be flying too. Ellen was good in the technical sections so she would take the lead at certain points and drill it. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to recover on this course so it was spread out pretty quickly.

I lost the wheels of the top 3 and was battling it out with Crystal Anthony for 4th place. We were going back and forth in the last couple of laps but I came out of an off camber before her on the last lap and did everything I could to hold the gap I had gotten. I was able to hold on to 4th for the finish.

I’m feeling good! This weekend is all about getting the feel for racing hard before the World Cups coming up. I feel that I went out a bit hard in the beginning, so I may be a bit more conservative in the beginning. But otherwise, I’ll leave it all out there and race my hardest!

Sunday – UCI C2

Photo by @pinnedgrit / @jpovphoto

Kaitlin Keough – 1st, Elite Women

It’s always a big deal and special to me to get a UCI win, especially with how competitive the elite women’s field is. Back to my process goals, if I focus on those, like I really made a point of doing today, the great results will come.

Yesterday’s race was great but today was even better. I rode a much better race today technically and improved on where I was at a disadvantage to Mags & Ellen yesterday. Mags is a legit mountain biker, and while I’ve improved technically a lot over the spring and summer, she still had a bit of an advantage out of this one section ever lap. Being being able to claw back to her every lap was a turning point every lap.

I’m not sure why I’ve had lots of success here in Rochester. Fast power courses like this used to be a big weakness of mine, and I’ve tried hard over the past several years to try to get a bit more powerful. I think it’s just proof to me that I’m slowly becoming more powerful on fast courses like Rochester where there is a lot of pedaling.

Yesterday, I learned I needed to suck it up apply what I do in my technical training to my racing. I still have a bit of a mental block in racing with hoping logs or barriers. It was a big advantage to be able to hop the log in the woods and it worked out well for me.

All in all, it’s great to have the first weekend of the season in the books and great confirmation of where I’m at heading into the next to World Cup weekends.

Photo by @pinnedgrit / @jpovphoto

Photo by @pinnedgrit / @jpovphoto

Emma White – 2nd, Elite Women; 1st – U23 Women

Today, I went in with a bit more experience on the course and a plan to conserve my energy a little more in the beginning. I didn’t go out as hard and forced myself to recover when I could. I feel that I had more consistent power throughout the race because of it. I really focused on improving my riding technically today. With the help of Stephen in pre-ride, I felt much more comfortable on the course today.

I bobbled on a technical dip in the course and lost the wheels of the 3 leaders. I fought back as much as I could, but burned a big match doing so. I never quite made it back into the group. But when Ellen made a mistake, I was able to attack and get a gap which put me into 3rd and I was able to keep that position.

It’s a great course for the start of the season! I’m definitely taking a lot from this weekend that will help me in the upcoming season. The races go by so quickly so there is no holding back – I need to leave it all on course. It was a really good first weekend. It shed light on things that I still need to work on but also gave me confidence in where I am. I’m really happy for Kaitie and where she is now too. We have a lot of fun coming our way!

Stephen Hyde – 2nd, Elite Men

Today’s race was a test of more of my patience than my fitness. I raced much more conservatively and let others do the work. Some of the riders were taking their cues from me and I ended up dictating when and where the efforts went. So today, I wanted to flip the script and see what happened.

With one lap to go we had a large group of six riders or so, so it was going to be a “sit up and look at each other” kind of ending. Kerry Werner ended up getting a good lead from that. Then the rest of the group got blown up when the chance started.

For me, I take away the idea that I need to be able to dictate how the races go; To learn how to manage and manipulate the race better. I did come away with a good sense of my fitness and what lies ahead. I think it’s all good.

I think this weekend may have exceeded my expectations. I really wasn’t sure what to expect after getting sick just a few weeks ago. I’m looking forward to getting back to work and making a season of it!