On a frigid February day in Louisville, Kentucky, Colorado native Kristal Boni made a decision. The muddy course was frozen into snaking tire-width lines. There had been tornado warnings the night before. After a disappointing finish at Nationals, Kristal decided to block the adverse course conditions out of her mind and focus only on the race. Her only goal was to race as well as she could.
And race well she did. After 40 minutes of battle, Kristal, a Fluid athlete and Rapid Racing team member, won the Women’s Master’s 35-39 Cyclocross World Championships. We spoke with Kristal recently to learn how her race went and find out what it’s like to be a top-level cyclocross rider.
Sounds like this race was quite the adventure! What was the weather like on race day?
The whole week had brought just about every kind of weather you can imagine —snow, tornados, flooding (creating unbelievably thick, muddy conditions), and freezing temps. On Friday when I raced the ground was frozen and rutted from the previous few days of mud. It was still cold at start time but the ground started to thaw about two-thirds of the way through my race.
How did your attitude and expectation affect your performance?
I went into this race in a really good mental state. I had a really disappointing race at Nationals this year and at last years World’s race I was met with the same frozen rut situation and didn’t do well. So this year I was determined to embrace the conditions, have a great race and be happy, regardless of the outcome. Of course I’m beyond thrilled that I won! That’s a dream come true. Going into the race in the mental state that I did really relaxed me, which in turn helped me tackle the conditions. I stayed confident and just focused on what I needed to do.
How do you train for a race like this? Is cycling your life or just something you do for fun that you happen to be really good at?
Cyclocross, and cycling in general, is a hobby I’m very passionate about, but it does have to work into the rest of my life. With a family, job and a husband who also races, training is a balancing act. I’m able to train on my lunch hour or a bit in the morning. My husband and I get a sitter so we can have ride “dates” or we take turns going out. Our kids have grown up around cyclocross so they understand that mom and dad have to train and they’ve both started racing as well. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of support from family, friends and great sponsors.
How does Fluid factor into your training and how do you use it on race day?
Fluid has been great. This is the 2nd year I’ve been training and racing with Fluid and continue to love it. I use Fluid Performance on longer rides and during my race warmup and always follow up with Recovery after long rides and races. Using Recovery after races allows me to recover for another day of racing or training. Both Performance and Recovery have such great flavor and consistency that I never have to force myself to drink it like some other products I’ve tried, and they really work!