Monday, May 9, 2011

Jefferson Cup, women

Jefferson Cup is a 10 mile loop with three right turns, rolling hills, one climb, and a gradual uphill finish. It is a very popular race and always has a strong regional field for woman. Even though the March race was delayed until May this year, the weather still threatened cool weather and rain to provide the authentic Jeff Cup experience. By the time the first race went off, however, the roads were really not wet anymore, and the cool morning weather was already moving towards warm and humid. Our team had riders in the Women's 1,2 race as well as the women's 3 and the women's 4 races.

Women 1,2 (3)
Patty and Ava before the race
50 miles of road racing and 5 teammates by my side, I was pretty pumped for a good day. The first few laps saw attacks at the expected locations. Erin, Julie, Amanda, and Patty all worked at the front to follow attacks and launch a few of their own, while Avanell and I were pretty happy to sit in and conserve energy. After the first two laps the pack size was cut about in half. On lap 4 a rider got away solo, it was a well timed attack (because everyone was tired of jumping and chasing) that everyone thought it would come back easily before the finish, actually, I didn't even realize anyone had gone until people started calling out the time gap (hazard of sitting in the back), then I was trying to figure out who it was, because the people I had expected might get away were all still there. My teammates all went to to the front to help pull her back, but the time gaps just kept getting bigger.

Photo by team Traveller
On the last lap, I got myself into a better position within the last few miles of the race and as the last right turn approached I was on Patty's wheel near the front but mostly out of the wind. Erin and Amanda were pushing the pace steady fast up the last 2k to the finish. Sarah Fader (Sticky Fingers) crushed the sprint and took second overall, followed by Ainhoa Perez-Diez (NVRC). The rest of the pack was pretty clumped together, Patty finished 8th and I finished 9th overall. The entire team worked hard, it was a fun race. Avanell finished 8th for the cat 3 women, although the results had her as 14th and we missed the protest period.

As it turned out, the winner is a woman named Katie racing for a Florida team, who is now living in Maryland and moves a lot because of her position in the Army. She told me she doesn't race a lot... I think people will recognize her at the next race she decides to sign up for!

Women's Category 4
Erika rocked this race, her first Jefferson Cup ever and she stayed with the pack and even set the pace for a while. The last lap was pretty tough in the hills but she did great and had a safe sprint finish. 30 miles in the hills, go Erika!

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