Top Honors and Two Muddy Races

Photo by Matthew Lasala-State Champs-Mielle

Photo by Matthew Lasala-State Champs-Mielle

The first weekend in December was busy for those racers still staying in racing shape for US Gran Prix in Bend (December 8th and 9th) or just getting in the last bit of mud before hanging up the cross bike for the year. A choice of two races with very different courses and nothing but bragging rights to be earned and maybe a shiny medal. Sandwiched in between these races was the Cross Crusade awards party held at Indent Studios in SE Portland with this year’s theme being ‘Office Christmas Party”. Ugly sweaters anyone?

Rain had been hanging around for the last few days so chances were good that the OBRA State Championship race in Eugene, OR was going to be a soggy mess.

State Champs line up

State Champs line up

Held at Camp Harlow again, the same location as the Psycho Cross race series,  the course had previously offered muddy, technical sections in the trees, a couple of run-ups, a sand pit and several off camber sections. Changes to the landscape removed one of the more technical sections but another one was added. Where the stout cornfield stood  in October, a flat muddy field stood now. And, one huge section of that field had a ‘lake’ with ankle deep water.

Riding the lake in Eugene

Riding the lake in Eugene

It didn’t rain at all for the entire day but the course was still slick and caused some crashes. Mostly the course was flat and fast with only a few sections of technical mud riding in the trees. Several barriers and one railroad tie run-up. This mostly flat course  favored the roadie.

I was the only Les Femmes racing State Champs this year. I led my race in the first lap sitting 3rd overall gaining a gap (A, master A women raced together) but in a sprint attempt my shoe came unclipped from my pedal and I dropped my chain. As I stopped to put it on my pursuers caught me. Rode the lake every time since it was the quickest line but cold on the legs and feet. I chased back on, over took 3 girls and made my way back up to 4th position. I was able to overtake one more racer but could not bridge up to 2nd and 1st that battled to the line for the win.

Meg Hamilton 2nd, Mielle 3rd at State Champs

Meg Hamilton 2nd, Mielle 3rd at State Champs

I finished  3rd and brought home something shiny. 2 hour drive home to get clean and pretty for the awards party.

Saturday night was all about the Cross Crusade awards. Not only did Team S&M have the best overall results, bringing home the bike frame/giant wine bottle trophy for the second year in a row, but we also had ladies on the podium.

Alice took 2nd and Beth Ann took 9th in the A women overall podium.

Brad delivers the Team Award

Brad delivers the Team Award

Both ladies were out of town racing and could not attend the awards ceremony. Margi and I stood on stage together for the master A women. Margi took 5th and I took 3rd overall. Schwag bags and medals for all. And kudos to Kim with her outstanding 12th overall finish in the A’s.

Remy and Margi at the party

Remy and Margi at the party

Mielle and Margi on the podium

Mielle and Margi on the podium

Beth F and Audrey-festive sweaters!

Beth F and Audrey-festive sweaters!

Audrey, Beth F, Margi and Mielle

Audrey, Beth F, Margi and Mielle

Sunday was spent at the Washougal Motocross Park for the last race in the Grand Prix Tina Brubaker series, Winter Cross.8245388483_0d08c6de35 Cloudy but no real rain until late in the day, the course had plenty of climbing, deep, unridable mud and its share of broken bikes.

Kim  and Remy raced in the A’s, slogging lap after lap through the quick sand-like motocross course and tromping up the run-up on the back side of the course. Kim decided to go for a swim and did a complete face-plant in the mud. Remy had a much cleaner race, smiling as she passed the team tent each lap. I took on the master A’s and ran the race wire to wire. I brought home 1st place and a GPTB T-shirt.

Kim in lap 1

Kim in lap 1

Remy running the muck

Remy running the muck

Remy gettin ready to rumble

Remy gettin ready to rumble

Totally Pro

Totally Pro

The mud is deeper than it looks

The mud is deeper than it looks

Nice work to the entire Les Femmes team for helping put Team S&M on the podium for Cross Crusade. It was because of us ladies (and a few guys I guess) that we ran away with the trophy.

Special thanks to Chris Valencia(Team S&M), Matthew Lasala and Klaus Ochs for the wonderful photos!

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