Pro Tour #5 Nordic Ski Area, Wisconsin–Zephanie

I have heard this venue was one of the best on the circuit and it was. Tight singletrack, roots, rocks and a lot of green, which is something I do not have in Tucson, AZ.  It was nice to get away from all the smoke, heat and sand in Arizona right now.

Our whole team of 5 was at the event, and it was the third time this season that all of us were able to make an event together.  The best part of our team is that we all are friends and we bond well, which makes for less stress and a lot of laughter and smiles.

The team flew out Thursday to Milwaukee, WI and drove another 2.5hrs to the venue.  Friday we were able to unpack our bikes. Jimmy Deaton, our awesome mechanic, made sure everything was in tune on the bikes and then we pre-rode the course.  There were so many different lines to chose on the course it made for a longer ride than usual, but the time spent checking out optional lines was well worth it.  This course was the first time on the circuit where there were two sections with “A” or “B” routes.  “A” routes were faster but more technical than “B” routes. Luckily I was able to do both “A” routes.  You can check out www.cyclingnews.com to see photos of the xc and stxc course and riders.

Saturday, June 25th the Pro Women’s field raced 5 laps at 12:30pm. It took a little under 2hrs for me to complete the race.  The dirt was perfect, it rained during the week and was sunny for the weekend. I started in the last row due to my lack of UCI points since I only raced a few local events last year.  I was able to move up and race with my teammate Kathy for the first lap and then on the second lap coming out of one of the most technical sections with a ton of spectators I wrecked on a tight off-camber left turn climb.  I started to push my bike up the hill so I could hop on when I reached the flat section when my left foot came out of my shoe!!!!  Yes, out of my shoe….  By the time I got my shoe back on, Kathy was out of sight and Chloe passed me.  It shook me up a little bit, but luckily my teammate Nina caught up with me and we were able to finish the rest of the race together, pushing each other for 3 laps.  We finished 11th and 12th.

Short-track XC was Sunday at 1:15pm for the women. The race was a little under 30min long, 18min + 3 laps. Fun, power course.  I started in the second row this time since the start list went off yesterdays XC results.  So I lined up right behind Georgia Gould, usually a perfect place to line up.  But not this time. She had a slow start which caused a bunch up on the tight right turn which  almost ended up with a few of us off our bikes.  But instead we were able to stay on our bikes and I ended up in last place.  I’m not sure what my problem was this weekend but I wrecked again on a right off-camber hill where I was having problems clipping out of my pedals while I was on the ground.  But once I got up and on the bike, I moved myself up to 7th place!!!

Not a bad weekend at all, might need to work on turning on an off-camber hill though :)   All in all I am ranked 10th in the series for XC after this event and with missing one of the of the races to do the Whiskey 50.

Next up will be the World Cup in Windham, NY on July 9th.   Thank you for reading :)

Zephanie Blasi

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