Season Opener: Rochester

Specialized / Tenspeed Hero travels to Rochester CX for their first race. Though not the first domestic UCI race of the season it is often considered by many teams the kick off race heading into the World Cups

Day One

Saturday is the first day of the season for the Specialized / Tenspeed Hero Professional Cyclocross Team. We are in Rochester for the UCI C1 category race with Sarah Zoey Sturm and Ruby West. There are nerves but we also know we are here to iron out the kinks for the season, what do we need, what are we missing and the like. Bike racers being bike racers one of the kinks they want to iron out is their first result. It is a bike race after all.

We are still a bit giddy from watching Kate Courtney win the XC World Championships earlier in the day. Kate’s rainbow glow from Lenzerheide seems to be affecting the mood of the entire race. People are smiling. We talk about hard work. We talk about possibilities. We talk about Kate. We talk about dreams.

At the start line Ruby West is up front with a first row call up, her position earned with six UCI wins during the 2017 season. Sarah, new to a national UCI schedule, but not to racing, is one of the last to line up. She knows her challenge is to get points to improve her start position throughout the season. The race is of course full gas when Maghalie Rochette, the eventual winner, and Ellen Noble get a gap on the first lap. Ruby is with a select group of chasers and the youngest amongst them. By the finish line she earns her highest C1 finish of her career, 7th! Sarah starting in 36th place get’s 16th! Both fantastic results.

Day Two

Day 2 in Rochester. Ruby and Sarah reach for their black kits, black helmets, and black shoes. The day seems less rushed and Pros stop by to gossip and discuss the season with the team. Mechanic and coach, David Gagnon, prepares the bikes and adds a few stories and some laughs. Stephen Hyde ( A Pro and National Champion!!!) rolls into our compound and chats with Ruby who is listening to tunes on the trainer. All is mellow until a group of teenage junior racers get their iphones out and take close up pictures of the bikes.

The race gets underway in a similar fashion. Maghalie and Ellen again take some strong pulls, this time with Katie Keogh not far behind. A crash or two for Ellen Noble has Maghalie Rochette getting a big lead. Ruby again is with some of the top riders chasing the leading trio. By the end of the last lap Ellen is moving up but Maghalie Rochette looks confident to take the win. Some new faces in the top ten from day one has Ruby moving back a few stops and Sarah moves up a couple. Ruby ends the weekend with two U23 wins and the team ends up with Ruby 11th and Sarah 13th for the day. At the end of Rochester there are so many positives and this season is officially underway. Cross is finally here.