Welcome to the end of the season wrap up for 2009. Thanks for reading all season long and supporting our efforts to achieve all of our goals. We’ve got a lot to cover, so sit back and get caught up on the latest from MM Racing!
2009 was an amazing year for Mo. She won four UCI races and stood on the podium twelve times! Mo competed in 25 races this year and never finished outside the top 10. In addition, Mo won the overall USA Cycling Cyclocross National Calendar, placed second in the Verge New England Series and Mid Atlantic Series and qualified to represent the US at the World Championships in the Czech Republic in January!
We wrapped up the 2009 season with two races in Sterling, MA before heading to Portland, OR for the USGP finals and the National Championships in Bend, OR. This year we chose to skip the last two races in the New England series (subsequently giving up the overall series win) to race the final USGP events in Portland, OR. Racing in Portland would possibly increase Mo’s chances to qualify for the World’s team so we headed to the West Coast with hopes for a strong end to our racing campaign.
We spent a week in Portland with Matt’s college friends, Addie and Dan, along with their coonhound and two cats. Between races, we were able to explore the city and have a very restful, relaxing stay with great friends - thanks guys!
Here’s a recap of the races in Sterling, MA, the final USGP races in Portland, OR and the Elite Nationals.
Bay State Cross Sterling, MA 11/28&29
Saturday’s race was cold and very windy with 40-50 mph gusts blowing through the wide-open racecourse. The race seemed to break up from the start with me chasing in second place and soon joined by another rider. The flat course catered to the most powerful riders and I was finding myself low on horsepower and getting blown around quite a bit. With a few laps to go I was riding alone in third place and was soon joined by another rider. We finished the race with a sprint that I wound up as hard as I could but ended up fourth.
Sunday’s race was warmer and had very little wind, a few climbs and more technical turns. I had a stronger start staying close to the leader for the first few laps. I spent the next several laps swapping places with another rider until she had a mechanical and I picked up the pace to finish second. I also held onto the Verge New England leaders jersey.
Cyclingnews.com - Day1
Cyclingnews.com - Day2
USGP Portland, OR 12/5&6
One of the best selling points for the races in Portland is the usual guarantee of pouring rain and sloppy mud. However, the curveball this year was unseasonably cold weather with completely dry conditions. The courses were fast with some technical sections and a super-long paved straight away. I was hoping for top 5 finishes in the stacked field of riders but knew I’d have to shake out the airplane and have good legs to stay in the top 10 in the fast dry, cold conditions.
It was a super fast pace from the start and I had a strong start in second position. Within a few laps the pace increased and I was working with a small group of riders fighting for the top 5 when I slid out on some gravel and lost a few spots. The pace of the race was too fast for mistakes and I was unable to chase back the spots I had lost without a wheel to follow making the headwind on the long paved stretch even more difficult. I was feeling the effects of the flight, making my legs stiff and unresponsive but I made a final push to hold onto 10th place. Unsatisfied with my race, I hoped a good night’s rest would have me ready for the next day.
Again the weather was cold but the sun was out and the wind had died down significantly. I had another strong start and was able to stay in the lead group a bit longer before coming off the pace with a few other riders to fight it out. The more technical course was really fun and my legs felt a bit snappier and I finished the day in 8th. I was feeling confident that I would be in good form for Nationals the following weekend in Bend.
Cyclingnews.com - Day1
Cyclingnews.com - Day2
Our week off in between Portland and Bend was long overdue. Our relaxing week included a trip to the Bob’s Red Mill store, the famous Powell’s books, the Pittock Mansion, Sweet Pea vegan bakery, local markets, dog parks and a few great restaurants. I also got a great massage (thanks, Colleen!), had a great ride with Molly and friends, had dinner with Jeremy and Julia and saw the new Wes Anderson movie.
Elite Nationals, Bend, OR
We arrived in Bend mid week after they had just received several inches of snow despite a weeklong deep freeze of cold weather. The weekend forecast for the races suggested temps in the low 30’s with another chance of snow. Each day that I rode the course, it changed from snowy to ice, to slight mud with rocks to smooth packed dirt with a few slippery turns. I was feeling strong and liked the course as it had several turns, small hills and a long set of stairs to run.
We were incredibly fortunate to have the additional support of the Cannandale-Cyclocrossworld.com Team who allowed us to store equipment and warm up in their massive tent. Matt also works as one of their mechanics during the races all season and was on hand for them all weekend at Nationals.
The elite women’s race was several hours earlier than usual so I was up early to get ready, eat my steel cut oats and get warmed up at the course. The sun was out and the course had thawed out from the freeze the night before. The conditions were fast and smooth with just a few slippery sections. At the start I bolted into second place and held my position feeling strong. It was slightly windy and when two riders moved ahead of me, I settled in to draft their wheels and keep up the pace when suddenly another rider came from behind me and cut me off into a turn forcing my bike into a course post. I was dead stopped while several riders passed me in a matter of seconds and had the momentum knocked out of me. As I got back up to speed I had moved back to about 12th place.
The crash resulted in a bent shift lever forcing me to swap bikes in the pit costing me two more spots. Unfortunately, the pit lanes were slow and full of rocks and holes. I chased back through the riders one by one finishing in 9th, disappointed to have been out of the running so early in the race and unable to get the needed momentum back to gain a higher placing.
Also, check out some pictures of Matt on Cyclingnews in the pits for CyclocrossWorld.
We came home from Oregon late last Monday and had a nice reunion with our cats. Unsure of whether or not our season was over, we tried to wrap our head around Christmas. But the good news came on Thursday that I had qualified for the US Cyclocross Team for the World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic on January 31st! My cyclocross season just got six weeks longer!
We are hoping to be able to travel to Europe a few weeks before the World Championships to race in the Roubaix, France World Cup and the Hoogerheide, The Netherlands World Cup.
Unfortunately, the US Federation does not assist the athletes financially for any aspect of the trip. In an effort to help cover our airfare, accommodations, car rentals and time away from work, we are accepting donations via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail.
Maureen Bruno Roy
41 Decatur St
Arlington, MA 02474
In addition, we are in the midst of planning a phenomenal raffle for cyclists looking to donate with the option to win the prize of the year! Stay tuned…
We’d like to thank all of the friends, family and sponsors who supported, helped and cheered us on this season. A special thank you to all of our new and continued sponsors for the amazing support and friendships. There’s no way we could do this without you!
Thanks to: Seven Cycles, Wheelworks, SRAM, Mavic, Cyclocrossworld, Champion System, Franson Family Chiropractic, Thule, Ibex, Bob’s Red Mill, Mad Alchemy, Alpha Q, Fi'zi:k, TRP Brakes, Pedros, Healthworks Fitness and Atomic Café. And of course, thanks to our newest sponsor: Giro, providing MM Racing with helmets and glasses!
Photo by Daniel Schechter