Jenny Lucke uses her technical skill, fitness and the advice of her team captain to take the win at the Rocky Mountain Regional Cyclocross Championships in Longmont, CO.
It was perfect cross weather last weekend at the Rocky Mountain Regional Championships! It was sunny, in the mid 40’s, and the course was pretty much dry. That is my kind of course since it is a fast endurance race to the point where it is almost a dirt crit. As a fellow racer said my “inner roadie” came out in the race.
At the start line I got the third call up and chose the far left spot. The whole week leading up to this race I practiced sprinting and starts. All that work paid off and I got the whole-shot! The entire first lap felt like it was a never-ending sprint and I could see everyone right on my wheel after every turn. As I passed the finish line the first time, Petra, who was in second, passed me but she was too fast for me to stay on her wheel! I could feel myself starting to fade during the second lap. However, my second lap is always my slowest in every race so I knew this was inevitable. Two more people passed me during this lap and I started to get discouraged as even more people were catching up. I thought the race was over and I had lost and was only going to maybe get top 5. I almost wanted to ease up after that since it seemed impossible for me to catch back up.
Finishing up my second lap I saw Petra running on the side of the course due to a mechanical. I started to have more hope then since I was now in 3rd place. This boost of courage had me pushing the pace the next lap and I caught 2nd place. Halfway through the third lap I was right on the leaders wheel and I waited until one of the steep uphills towards the end of the lap to sprint by her. The whole last lap I was in the lead and I was exhausted! But I knew that 2nd and 3rd weren’t too far behind and they were also giving this last lap everything they had. My parents were encouraging me from the sidelines and my heart was beating out of my chest! Luckily I had a smooth last lap and didn’t make any mistakes. Finishing only 10 seconds ahead of second place I won the race! This was my first win as a Cat 3 and I won the Rocky Mountain Regional Championship title as well!
Although this was a challenging race for me both mentally and physically, I am incredibly happy that I didn’t give up and fought for the top step on the podium! I would also like to dedicate this win to Amanda Bye, the Cyclocross Captain, since before the race she told me to win and you must always listen to your captain!