Race Report Cat 4 Women's Race - Providence CX
By Nicole Hildebrand
Providence has always been a more technical course and this year was no different. There were 3 flyovers, 2 steep on top of hills that forced many to run, and one that was fun to ride on the flats. There were 2 sets of barriers on corners, along with tons of off chamber riding, a bit slick from rain and a few short, steep hills to help tire you out. The course overall is so much fun there are so many twists and turns, mixed with features and hills throughout the whole course that it never gets boring, even for the spectators.
This race starts on a paved hill, similar to Gloucester. I started toward the back and didn’t have the best start, struggling to clip in, but made up a few spots as we got going through the turns. I got hit from behind and tangled with a rider on a corner only a few minutes into the race, but was able to recover quickly. We then all raced to get to the first flyover. It was steep, slippery and very crowded so there was a lot of pushing on the first lap. Safely making it over we then barreled down a steep and fast downhill and then up the other side. The line of racers started to thin out as we made our way over the barriers, the popular table top, and second flyover. It was then onto some fast flats by the back of the course and back up the side of the hill again to take on the stairs and immediate flyover.
I was making up positions throughout the first and second lap feeling really good, I even passed 5 girls just leading to the flyover. Then I dropped my chain on the bumpy downhill and lost the 5 spots I just got, man I can’t get a break. I quickly jumped off to fix the chain and pushed to quickly get back to the group. The pressure was on to get back to the pack of racers but I had some slow cornering riders in my way. I was getting frustrated as I kept losing time and speed on every corner. I tried to get more aggressive and pass on a corner but I got chopped and ended up eating dirt. I got up but my leg was cramped and it took me a few minutes of slower pedaling to pull it together. I was able to make up a few spots on the last lap but didn’t have the same steam. Looking back I wonder if I should have played it safe and if so where I would have ended up, but that’s racing.