Page Valley Road Race is a really unique race on the VA calendar, here are some ways it is different: there are 2 serious climbs complete with QOM points, you can get over 50 MPH on the biggest descent, the race is over 50 miles long, and no one is thinking about the sprinters at the end this course! In fact on the flyer for the race weekend next year they could put "Sprinters: enter at your own risk" Or "Sprinters beware". Now I know how Robbie McEwen feels... at least on the climbs. I know people get pretty pumped about Jefferson Cup, but I think this race would be way more prestigious to win. A really challenging women's field showed up for the race, many of them the best from their respective districts, and just about everyone is faster at this time of the year than Jefferson Cup. Also, the course is way harder.
My race basically went like this: get to the front at the bottom of the hill, try and stay on until the top of the hill, close the gap on the downhill. Repeat 5 times. I did enjoy the challenge of it and the fast downhills. By the final lap there was a group of four riders on the front and a group of 5 riders chasing. I was in the chase group, but was told it came down to a slow up hill sprint for the line between Amanda W (fruit 66) and Ainhoa (Cardio Sports Lab), with the later taking the better line and the win. Heidi (Kenda) took 3rd... and I came in 5th for 1,2 women.
This race was like hill repeats, for an hour, with the finish line at the top of the hill. Ouch. Add to the difficult terrain the fact that riders on their way back from prestigious races such as masters nationals and the Charlotte Criterium stopped in to race, and it was a very challenging race!
Erin Silliman (Fruit 66) broke away at the beginning of the race and stayed away (actually lapping the field close to the end). Jen R (Kenda) chased and soloed in for second, and Amanda (fruit 66) took the field sprint for 3rd place and the overall omnium title. I came in 7th.