The racing season is under way! Last weekend was the Chris Hinds Crit and this weekend has both Battenkill and Myles Standish. The Spring Clinic is a smashing success for yet another year with NEBC developing more racers. Below are race reports from Katherine Snell and Marissa Acosta, both part of the 2012 Women’s Development Team. Yesterday there was a strong showing of racers at Battenkill with Clara Kelly, Cathy Rowell, Carrie Mosher and Eileen Flaherty. Today at Myles Standish we have a large field that appears to be getting even larger with the racers the Spring Clinic is producing. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Women’s Development Team Race Report
Chris Hinds FUJI “Sunshine” Criterium, 7 April 2012
Katherine Snell: 5th, 12 starters
The Chris Hinds course is at Ninigret Park and is built on a former airstrip next to the ocean which should tell you that it might be windy. In fact, it is always windy and Saturday was no exception with a steady 10-15 mph headwind at the start/finish. The course is roughly an open figure eight and lets one experience the wind from virtually every direction.
My goal of racing Chris Hinds was to see if I was back in shape after a bad ski race crash at the end of January involving a bad concussion, 5 broken ribs, 3 leg clots and being generally smashed up. I had more or less stuck with the group at Wells Ave “B” race the previous week so I knew I could do some hard efforts. The Cat 1/2/3 was small but had some tough contenders. I knew Silke Wunderwald (Kenda) would attack continuously until she was able to breakaway as she had two years previously and lapped the field. I also knew that I would have also have to breakaway to win against Kim Edwards (Team Affinity) and Laura Summers (Central Wheel) who are two very strong sprinters.
I was not feeling super energetic during warm-up so I decided to stick with my original plan of letting Silke attack and let the other gals bring her back. The race started fast and took its toll on those not able to get clipped in fast. I made a particular point of letting the other racers do the work and not get on the front too much though I’m pretty sure I had a turn by the time the first lap was done. Also true to form, Silke attacked on the second lap and was gradually brought back and things pretty much continued this way until after a second prime when she attacked and broke away with Kim Edwards trailing her. The chase was then full-on and we held the time gap for a bit with Ivy Luhrs (PVC), Nancy Giguere (Ladies First) and myself driving the pace. After about three laps Kim had had enough and came back to the pack but the chase then began to slow down as no one else was willing to take pulls and the time gap grew insurmountable. I went for a prime with about 8 to go but timed it badly and was pipped at the line.
With about 3 to go, the race changed from a crit to a track match sprint (not a surprise given Kim, Laura, Ivy and myself are experienced track racers). At one to go I was on the front and Ivy and Kim were bumping behind me for my wheel. I managed to slip back a bit as we came into the corner into the finish straight and then Kim jumped with everyone chasing. I was able to work past a couple of riders and held on to finish 4th in the sprint and 5th over all. Although under ideal conditions I should have done things a little differently (like break away with Silke and Kim), I was pretty happy with the race given everything I’ve been through and am hoping to being back to 100% by Bennington.
Bad news is I came in dead last. But the good news is that I came in dead last because I attacked rather than sucked wheel the whole race. I wanted to use this race to get a feeling of my early season fitness, and it certainly served its purpose. I wanted to practice my sprinting and see if I could recover and still hang on with the pack. The sprinting went okay but I paid for it. So now my goal is to be able to sprint/attack and still be able to have enough energy and be in the right position for the final sprint. Season is young so let’s see what happens.