Lauren de Crescenzo (Cinch) overcame a loose aerobar and a veritable buffet of headwind to win The Mid South in an impressive solo effort.
Moriah Wilson (Specialized) and Savilia Blunk (Orange Seal Off-Road) sprinted to a 2-3 finish 12 minutes behind de Crescenzo in downtown Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Although snow blanketed the course on Friday, by Saturday morning almost all of the gravel and red-clay roads were dry.
Two technical pinch points played a major role in the race. At mile 25, a marshy two-track forced riders to dismount and run through mud. At then at mile 52, a dry creek crossing forced the front group into a singlefile on foot, and then a steep climb immediately following provided a springboard for strong riders to shed some competitors. Wilson caught Blunk in the closing miles, and got the better of the Orange Seal rider at the finish. Coming into the muddy, cyclocross-style section at mile 25, De Crescenzo was a bit too far back in the field, she said.
As with at many gravel races, women and men start and race together at The Mid South.
“I was a little bit too far back there,” De Crescenzo said of the mud section, which saw her off the pace of the front group by the end. “I’m not great at running through mud I guess. I was with Ruth [Winder] and Moriah [Wilson] for a while.”
But while De Crescenzo was a bit off the pace for a while, she was undeterred. And, as she has done […]