Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Racing with the Big Girls

So I've only done a couple of "pro" races and would really like to do more. I became a Cat 2 rider last year and competed at Fitchburg and a couple other big races, but most of my racing has been pretty local. This past Sunday I drove up to Washington DC to race with the big girls for the first time this season. Hub Racing hosted the City Bikes Criterium at RFK Stadium. This is an awesome event, drawing some of the biggest names in professional cycling to the area. They had $10k in prize money for both the pro men and the pro women's races, some of the biggest cash for racing anywhere in the country. I raced in the women's pro race and saw a lot of familiar faces (among them were Rachel Warner and Amity Elliot from Team Salamander, Deidre Winfield from C3 Sollay, Sonya Evers from CycleLife, Carol Ennser from Artemis, and Julie K and Emily Joyner from Marshall Mechanical) and also got the chance to meet two of the women from the Vanderkitten pro team who came to town for the race (Melissa Sanborn and Leigh Hopkins). The race was pretty fast, averaged 25mph for the 35 mile race. I felt very comfortable, except for in one of the turns that was pretty tight. There was a lot of slowing down for and accelerating out of that particular turn and it was hard on the legs to make the jump if you weren't toward the front of the pack.

I tried to position myself toward the front as much as possible, and was able to get in a good spot for the final couple of laps. Although there had been several break attempts, none stuck so we were a pretty big pack coming down the finishing straight. I was in the main field for the finish (placing 30th). It was a lot of fun being out there with some of the biggest names in women's cycling, and to watch how frickin fast some of those girls can SPRINT!!!

So here's a link to the video finish of the women's race: http://www.hubracing.com/news/2009/05/video-of-womens-finish.html

A link to the final results: http://www.usacycling.org/results/index.php?permit=2009-509

And finally, the write-up for the race from Hub Racing's website:

"The race was littered with attack after attack from as teams tried to duplicate the breakaways that have won half of the previous women's pro races at RFK. But 10 individual $200 primes kept the entire field pulled out like a rubber band all race long as everyone wanted a share of the cash. Sara Carravella of Alan North American showed her power as she timed the jump correctly out of the turn to take 3 of the big money primes. But her effort would hurt down the stretch and she was shut out of the finish money. Host team Hub Racing launched 4 seperate attacks with Sally Annis. She won a prime on the way, but never got further than 3 seconds before juggernauts Colavita/Sutter Home and the Australian National Team hammered it back. When the group came out of the headwind through the hairpin final turn, it looked like Colavita had it together for Tina Pic. But Laura Van Gilder riding for C3/Sollay dove to the rumple strip on the inside and launched from 200 meters. Laura took Tina at the line by a bike length, with a Lauren Kitchen of the Aussies just along side Tina for 3rd. Hub Racing's Elizabeth Morse Hill was just behind for 9th, and Hub's Amy McGuire held on after the lead out for 20th."

Ride Safe!

1 comment:

kendallf said...

Racing with Van Gilder and Tina Pic? You're such a badass!

..is Van Gilder as muscular/huge as she looks in pictures? Idle curiosity... :)

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