Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic
June 17, 2012
Women Pro 1/2/3, 11th out of 32 finishers
I made a last minute decision to head into NYC and race around Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, NY. I had been practicing my criterium skills out in Montague on Wednesday nights and was finally able to stay with the fast kids in the A race so Harlem seemed like a pretty good option to go check out. I unfortunately missed racing with the team the day before due to a wedding conflict so I instead had fresh dance floor legs!
In NYC The scene was pretty amazing with more spectators than I’ve seen at a bike race! The race was a straight forward flat 4 corner crit around the park. The longest straightaway was the finishing stretch. Each corner had a platform with a camera and there was a giant jumbotron televising the entire race in the first corner! There were a few crashes and a delay in the race before ours so that meant our race would be a little shorter than the 45 min time allotment, and we were able to get some TV time because the live feed started at 4pm. My expectations were low for staying with a P 1/2/3 race which I meant I wasn’t nervous and I didn’t try to line up in the front. Off the line I was in the back third of the pack where I didn’t feel all the comfortable. The race started out on the fast side but I think the group stayed together. I kept moving up and was at times in the middle or so of the pack. Once I helped chase down a racer and was second wheel in the chase. There was one prime lap which I was happy to see Frances get. Her positioning was much better than mine and I kept telling myself I need to move up to avoid crashes. My confidence built during the race once I realized I had no problem staying with the surges. I never felt all the pinned during the race even when we were moving pretty quick. At one point I didn’t like my position and I moved all the way up to the front and sat on the front right next to Laura van Guilder! Going into 3 to go the race pace picked up. The last 2 laps were fast and I made sure that I was up with the top group. I made it through the last corner losing a little bit of ground but sprinted as hard as I could. I didn’t jump as quick as I should have but that’s a learning point. I was so happy to find out that I crossed the line in 11th right with Molly Hurford who took 10th. The race promoter was paying 12 spots deep so I happily collected my very first prize money check in a top level crit! Yay! 🙂