|The start line at the 2011 Elite Criterium National Championship race, from the USA Cycling website|
This race was Friday and took place on a rectangular four-corner crit course in downtown Augusta, GA. With a nasty storm on the horizon the length of the race was cut from 42 laps down to 18 laps with little warning, so the lap board went from 20-something straight to 5 laps to go and things got a little crazy. In the last lap of the race Erin was pushed into the barriers and had to catch back on, making it around four crashes in the last lap to finish in 16th place among the country's best women. The winner, and new national criterium champion is Shelly Olds.
Nationals, women's road race:
This Sunday morning race was a scorcher. The total distance of the race was about 72 miles in a circuit, the loop was just under 15 miles long with about 1400 feet of climbing each lap (5 laps). The first lap had action right away with a 3 person break with 3 of the top teams represented in the break. At one point the gap was over 3 minutes, and Colavita was left to chase. The break stayed away for several laps but was brought back. The last two laps had numerous short-lived attacks, but in the end the group was set up for a sprint. The race ended with a climb to the finish line and the pack that started out at 85 was whittled down to less than 40 by the last climb. Erin rode a great race and was able to start the final climb at about 6th wheel, during the climb her legs locked up with cramps and she finished 28th. Patty was also contending the road race and raced very strong, climbing into 21st place at the end of the long, hot race. The winner and new national road racing champion is Robin Farina, a pro who lives in Charlotte, NC. A Virginia-based pro, Andrea Dvorak, placed second, it was a good day for the east coast!
We are so proud of Erin and Patty, great job this weekend! Next up for Erin and Patty is Tour de Toona, they will be racing on a composite team with five other very strong east coast riders. Other team riders will be at ID3 and Ironhill, good luck to all!