Sunday, June 5, 2011

Liberty Classic, report

Over 100 of the top professional female cyclists (from this country as well as racing internationally) racing one of the most prestigious and longest-runing women’s races in the country. The Philly Liberty Classic consists of a 14.4-mile circuit that the women complete 4 times for a total of  57.6 miles. The circuit takes racers through Philadelphia and up the grueling Manayunk Wall, one of four taxing climbs. This race is one of the historically longest-running races in the country and is also a great race for spectators.

Yesterday, the team arrived in town and took a ride over the course. It was exciting to see so many big teams and top pro riders doing the same thing. Today, teamVA Asset Group p/b Artemis/Trek lined up with five strong (three elite team riders and two guest riders) at the start of the race.

The first two laps were a group ride along Kelly Drive with most of the action occurring leading up to Manyunk Wall, Strawberry Hill and Lemon Hill. One wreck occured on Manyunk Wall on lap two, causing Brenna to get off her bike, sprint up the hill, then and chase for 11 miles, using up all her energy to catch back on just before the same climb. The first lap averaged almost 26 MPH and the pace picked up a bit on lap three, but lap 4 was the killer. Judy rode well but fell off the back near end and couldn't get back on.

Going into lap four Erin and Patty were still with the group and fairly well positioned going into Manyunk Wall. Once over the wall for the last time it was game time. Erin got on the Colavita train up Strawberry Hill while they drilled it. Then the group bunched up again before Lemon hill.

The sprint was crazy. People were grabbing and shoving people off their bikes, it was nuts! Erin found a few key sprinters in front of her in the final 1K but was boxed and could not squeeze through. It was a lesson on jockeying and finding the right place. Erin finished off the race in 30th and Patty in 44th.

Cycling news race report with full results

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