8 Nov 2016


At the Derby City Cup warm temperatures and a dusty course greeted an outpouring of riders from around the country as racers flocked to Louisville, KY to contest the UCI C1 and C2 events at Eva Bandman Park, a purpose-built park for hosting premier cyclocross events. The venue was first put to use for the 2010 USGP and several years later played host to America’s proudest cyclocross moment, the 2013 World Cyclocross Championships.   At the sixth edition of the annual UCI race at Eva Bandman, Caroline Mani finished fifth in both the UCI C1 and C2 races. Lance Haidet finished 16th on Saturday’s C1 and was able to improve his result by five places to finish 11th on Sunday.   With its numerous sand pits, technical bits in the woods, several run-ups and fast sections where riders can really rev the engines, it’s no surprise the course at Eva Bandman ranks as one of the favorites amongst the riders.   “The course was awesome,” said Haidet. “It was superfast There was a lot of everything going on. Some sections were single file going through technical corners where little mistakes could open big gaps. And when it wasn’t technical, it was wide-open, full-gas, drilling it.”

Mani, who was fresh off winning a bronze medal at the European Cyclocross Championships, wasn’t feeling so fresh after her transcontinental flight back to the US. The three-time French national champion and 2016 World Championship silver medalist struggled to find high end speed needed on this course to race at the pointy end of the race, but her drive to perform well kept her respectably positioned amongst a strong field.   “I was a bit better today (Sunday), but the result wasn’t better,” said Mani. “I am a bit cooked. I had one speed and no acceleration all weekend. I was better today because I was able to be on the front longer. Overall it could have been worse so I will take fifth place.”

Wrestling with a variety of issues for much of the season that he can’t seem to nail down, Haidet wasn’t satisfied with his weekend results but he was still able to find positive light once the dust had settled.   “On Saturday I didn’t feel good at all,” Haidet said. “On Sunday I didn’t fade nearly as much, but I didn’t have a good start. I was tacked onto the back of the front group, but I was getting yo-yoed. When I started having more back issues, Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) and I popped off the back of that group. We rode chill and consistent, and then we both started feeling better. Eventually we were able to ramp it back up, so it seemed like we were going a bit better in the end.”

Images courtesy of Meg McMahon
Article credit to Raleigh Clement Pro Cycling Team
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