Monday, July 11, 2011

Ironhill Criterium

Report by Emily Joyner

This race is so much fun. The crowd is fantastic from the amateur mens race through the pro women and right until the end of the pro men you will have a difficult time finding a place to watch the race along the front side of the race with out being in a crowd. The primes are typical for a USA Crit event, constant bell ringing for $50 - $250 sprints, and that really gets the race moving. I really like the course, too, it is a 1k rectangle-shaped course through the streets of downtown West Chester, PA, and while the streets are fairly narrow the turns feel fast and the course really works well. Oh, yeah, and its flat.

Although missing some of the heavy hitting pro teams, competitors were some of the top USA Crits racers like Erika Allar (Ride Clean) and Kacey Manderfield (Pure Energy) were there to push the pace, especially during prime laps. The primes seemed to be the main motivator and kept the speed consistently fast for the first half of the race. I worked on moving up every chance I could, although my teammate Leslie always seemed to be a few places ahead of me.

photo of Leslie by Todd Leister from
The race stayed together and strung out through the mid-race points prime until Kacey attacked and Erika went with her getting a quick 10 second gap. The gap held steady for a few laps as the group was unable to organize for a chase. When the break got a few more seconds on the field Arley (CAWES) and a Kenda rider attempted to bridge up to the break. The pack was still unorganized, but a few good efforts was enough to pull the bridge attempt back. With a lap and a half to go a Kenda rider went to the front and attacked/pushed the pace until the sprint. There was the typical jockeying for position on the last lap and a two-rider wreck coming out of turn 3. I think the wreck spaced people out a bit more for the final sprint, and my position going into corner 3 was the same place I finished in.

In the end the race winner was Erika Allar, followed by Kacey Manderfield, and in 3rd place Colleen Hayduk (Pure Energy). Team Virginia Asset Group had two riders in the top 20, Emily with 11th and Leslie with 19th. Special thanks to Leslie and family for hosting us on the farm for a great weekend!

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