Winter Park – Colorado Epic XC


The 5th stop on the local Winter Park series race was set to be a good one. After some good, consistent racing lately, I was feeling strong and confident to make the podium for this race. That said, I knew it would be a tough start. The race went straight up for 1000+ feet for the first 5 miles and the top was extraordinarily steep and rocky, so I knew I was going to have to hurt to stay in the hunt. All was going according to plan. As we hit the end of the first climb, I was sitting in 4th overall and still riding within myself, although it was VERY tough to go that deep at 10,000 feet. The top 2 were out of my sight, but I was still in the hunt and I knew with the hardest part over, I could really turn it on for the remainder of the race.

As I hit the 17-18 mile mark, I was flying. I decided to drill it up the climb knowing that now was my time to get into the top 3. As I went through a rather sketchy and rocky section, I came out of it feeling my rear tire going a little soft. I thought I had punctured, but my sealant had taken care of the hole and I just needed to hit the tire with some air. I stopped and did so, but heard air leaking from my sidewall. Turns out I had ripped it on something, so I popped the wheel out and changed it. By this point, I’d lost 5 minutes and was probably down to 5th or 6th place, I got back on and started to pedal like crazy. Turns out, my front was also going flat. I knew I was screwed at this point and any hopes for the podium were over. A teammate from my road team threw me a tube and I fixed the front. I proceeded to ride the rest of the last climb. About a half mile into the final 4-5 mile decent, I pinch flatted the front. THIRD FLAT! I had to walk, downhill for 4 miles for over an hour. It sucked! I ended up dead last after my amazing day turned on me. What a bummer!

It was simultaneously a great day and a bad day. I pushed through the pain and did what it took to make the lead group on a course that didn’t particularly favor me and I was feeling really good in the process. It’s probably the best I’ve felt since last cross season. At the same time, I ran tires that were WAY too light for the rocky course and it ruined my shot at the podium.

Hopefully, I’ll have better luck next time!


One Response to “Winter Park – Colorado Epic XC”

  1. 1 Susan Riley

    What a wildly unlucky turn of events. But so glad you felt good – I’m sure you would have made the podium if you could have stayed on the bike!

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