The name of the race is self explanatory. I stormed Oceanside beach and it was a hell of a race. I have to say that I do enjoy racing on sand and I’d like to think I do pretty well in sand. But to have the entire course SAND is a little much for me. But I want to thank the race promoters for putting on a great race! There was gorgeous views and the weather was beautiful.
The race started somewhat mellower than usual and I was in 2nd wheel. When we hit the first super sandy section it was complete chaos. People going this way, people going that way, sand flying all over the place. The sand took me off course a little bit, but I was able to save it and power through in the lead. I attacked out of the section and created a split of me, Allison Mann and Megan Elliot. We were the trio for the majority of the race. The other part of the course was hard packed and into the headwind. Then into another sandy section towards the shore. I was able to ride the first half of the section, then I would be forced to dismount and run to the shore where there was more rideable hard pack. The last time I did this race was 2 years ago and I remembered a small wave crashed into me and got my feet soaked, it was pretty funny. This year we raced during low tide and I was glad my bike didn’t get infected by sea water. After riding on the shore for about 500meters, we headed inland with a sandy run-up. Then punched up a hill, then back down into another sandy section that curved around into a set of barriers. After the barriers, you go up another short hill that led you over the finish line.
I led through the finish line the first time through and we had 2 laps to go. The next time around I could really feel my efforts from the sand, but I told myself that I really only had 1 lap to go. I waited for a perfect moment to attack and I got a gap on a long sandy section that I was able to ride and I grew the time gap by attacking the hills and doing my best to ride through the sand fast with no mistakes.
It was less than 1 lap to go and I could tell Allison was not too far behind me. By the time I hit the shore for the last time she was right behind me. I just put my head down and continued to power along the Pacific Coast. As we headed back inland on the sand, I ran as fast as I could, again thinking that I only had 1 more section of running if I make no mistakes. I hopped back on, attacked the hill and prepared myself for the last sandy section with Allison not too far behind. I made sure I was in the correct gear, then attacked the sand. Unfortunately I got bogged down and had to run part of the section, but at the same time Allison had to run too, so time was standing still. I jumped over the barriers, remounted as fast as I could and climbed to the finish for my 2nd cross win of the season!!!
Boy oh boy was Storm the Beach a really hard race as far as power goes, but it will make me stronger for next weekend at the UCI CX Los Angeles Weekend: Live at the Greek at Griffith Park!
**Photos by Brian from VeloImages