The Third Season, Part One: Iowa City (A Photo Essay)
Let me open by saying that we aren’t here on accident. Luck feels good, and successes, whether small or big, always feel magical. Sport certainly manifests luck in beautiful ways, benefits from it in its storytelling—yet Team S&M CX was founded three seasons ago with intention. We aren’t gamblers, and we’re always in it for the long-haul. We’re loyal and dedicated to the process, and that has more staying power than luck.
Erik, Beth Ann, Clara and I initiated this project with specific goals in mind. In the spring of 2017, shortly after the 2019 Tacoma-based Fort Steilacoom Nationals venue was confirmed, we met for the first time and made a plan. We had raced together in the orange and blue colors for years already. We had traveled outside of the Northwest to support each other’s cyclocross racing pursuits already. We believe in women’s racing, we believe in structured racer development in a familial environment, we believe in cultivating talent locally and raising it up to a bigger playing field. And we’re deeply committed to cyclocross. And so, in that initial meeting, we each signed on and agreed to take “Team S&M”—our 20-year old, Sellwood Cycle Repair shop team that has led many a dirt racer to a pro career—and extend the name to “Team S&M CX.” We were intentionally building a professional women’s cyclocross program that would launch in fall of 2017 and make it to the starting line at Tacoma Nats three seasons later with domestic and international experience under the collective belt.
And, wow, what a long way we’ve come in a short amount of time. We’ve medaled at national and continental championship events, competed in Europe each winter, expanded our roster by signing Sophie, and just a couple weeks ago, Clara stood on a World Cup podium in Iowa City.
Here we are, one month into our third season. We’ve harvested a lot of success in September, and we’re staring down the barrel of a momentous year. I know we said we don’t count on luck, but we sure do celebrate hard work and the special feelings that come with lucky-feeling success and good execution.
Thanks for being a part of our story, and for celebrating. We feel your support.
A special thank you to our photographer, Drew Coleman (@lcn_pdx), for his hard work. All images are his.
Day 1, Friday Night Lights C2 at Jingle Cross:
Riders: Beth Ann Orton & Sophie Russenberger
Challenge Baby Limus Pro Edition at 19/20 psi
Just after sunset, and the dew point hit hard
Day 2, Jingle Cross World Cup:
Rider: Clara Honsinger — 3rd place in the season opening World Cup
Challenge Chicane Team Edition at 17/18 psi
Humid and sunny for race time, but with a midwest storm cloud ever-looming on the horizon
Day 3, Jingle Cross C1:
Full roster, all three riders
Challenge Limus Pro and Team Editions at 15/16 psi
A storm of iconic proportion rolled through Iowa City the night before, dowsing the race course in slime and heavy humidity