In the Pro/Open, Kristine Contento-Angell had a clean, smart start, sitting in on the long, fast prologue and then accelerating into the wooded singletrack. She was on Jane Pearson’s wheel as they roared into the raw tech of Waway. Jane was able to ride her off her wheel and Kristine settled into a steady pace.
Kristine was the second rider on the course and was looking to keep the gap to the riders behind. “I just tried to keep my pace strong,” Kristine said. “In the technical sections, I kept thinking to myself, slower is faster, just be smooth.”
Kristine noted she took some sections slower but that she rode them clean, staying relaxed in the more rocky sections and then gassing it through the fire roads.
Kristine powered the climbs steady hard and drilled the descents at a smart race speed, backing off a hair and hugging the rocks and barriers that she would normally just jump at speed. Some of the rocks at Wawayanda can make for loose gnar, and Kristine kept it all business.
She was able to catch Jane on the second lap and push the pace through the twisty and tighter sections, then drilling the final climb, taking the win. Kristine is improving every race this year. She has strength in the legs to handle the rocks and now can push a harder, steady pace on both the faster sections and the climbs, able to generate more and more race velocity on each course. Her next two races will be at French Creek and then at the mecca of MTBing, Jungle Habitat.
Laura Slavin finished 4th. Laura’s will also be racing at French Creek and Jungle, planning to fully peak for XC MTB Nationals at Mammoth Mountain, CA.
In the men’s Wawayanda Cat-1 race, Jesse Walker rode third wheel in the prologue loop and then slid behind the leader on the early climbs. When the leader moved to the side, Jesse accelerated and took the lead, pulling away. Jesse is one of NYC’s most powerful cyclists, a successful road racer for e2Value, and he can ride a MTB, too, having grown up riding bikes in Arizona. He is able to use his raw MTB agility, ride the rocks at his own pace, aim to make zero mistakes, just get through it, and then drill the power sections. This is the second MTB win of the year for Mr. Walker.
Stacey Barbossa was able to continue to shake off her racing rust and ride the Wawayanda couse in impressive fashion, winning the Cat-1 event. She was fired up to be racing her MTB in one of NJ’s legendary techy courses and she felt strong on-course, able to power a strong second lap, making for a terrific day of hard training.
Allison Oishi WON the Cat-2 race! Allison is having a great start to the season, this is her 2nd MTB win of 2015, and she is planning to race more MTB events as she prepares for a full season of cyclocross competition.
Her husband, Eric Oishi, finished 3rd in the Cat-1 19-39 race. Early on, he came out of the first technical section in 3rd or 4th, feeling good. A rider in front of him bobbled in a slower section and Eric face-planted into the only mud puddle on the entire course. He was able to rebound and ride a clean, smart race, using his agility in the slower sections and aiming to keep the power up in the steadier sections. Overall, he had a very strong performance, having to stop a few times to Co2 his tire, finishing with impressive form, closing on the rider in front of him, finishing 30 seconds down from 2nd. This is Eric’s first Cat-1 podium.
Kirt Mills was able to get 3rd in the Cat-1 40-49 race. He noted he didn’t feel super, the legs were tired, but he was able to perform well in the start. “I had a solid start, got past a few people and then didn’t see another rider from my class for the entire rest of the race. I was surprised and excited to have gotten the bottom step today.” Kirt Mills is racing both French Creek and Jungle Habitat next and is in contention for the H2H Series Overall.
Jennifer DeFalco was 3rd in the Cat-2 40+. She has had to travel a lot lately so a key to her race was remaining 100% in controlled all day and measuring her efforts carefully. She was in the middle of the group as they headed into the woods and she felt comfortable pedaling briskly. On the first hill with rocks she was able to pass a few riders.
“I only toppled once in a long rocky section maybe three-fourths of the way out,” Defalco said. “I was just getting a bit tired. But I rode just about everything. Last year a course like this would have kicked my butt, and I would have fallen alot. I was very happy staying upright on that course. I was spent but happy.”
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