Monday, June 4, 2012

Philly- Liberty Classic

report by Emily Thurston
Stephanie, Amanda, Nikki, Patty, and Emily at the line
It is so amazing to race here in this venue with all the publicity and spectators that surround this event - the local people seem to feel honored just to know someone who's racing - not to mention racing with such a group of world-class riders and teams. I came in to this race hoping to do a repeat of last year's top-20 result, or maybe move some better this year, but, given that my training has been curtailed by knee injury since I crashed on July 31 of last year that was a long shot for me. I have to say that the opportunity to come and race here has been a big motivation. I've had a great month of training trying to prepare and get up to snuff!

Amanda on the climb up Manayunk

We went for a team prep ride on Saturday morning before we registered. We rode the first half lap behind/ with the Specialized Lululemon team - which was apparently very focused on winning this race today. Then we bombed up Manayunk Wall while the Lululemon gals slowly monied up, and finished our prep ride on our own.

Anyway, when the field got all strung out on the first time up the Manayunk Wall, I popped off the back.  Worked with a group of 20 riders (including Stephanie and Nikki and maybe Amanda - or was Amanda always up front - i am foggy… ) and caught up finally… just before we entered the flat part of Manayunk! Popped off again the second time up the hill, which was unsurprising given my winded status from all the chasing. The chase group for the second lap was similar size, with me and Nikki - Stephanie & Amanda managed to stay up front the second time. We just worked together and rode along, and although we passed the caravan the third time up Manayunk Wall - we were within spitting distance of the field - somehow we were unable to close the gap, which grew much larger over the final lap.
Photo by Chatura Atapattu

A lot of riders were dropped and pulled throughout the race. I have the impression that Nikki and I finished roughly mid-field somewhere. I surmise that Lululemon Specialized controlled the pace throughout the race, keeping things steady and strung out to neutralize attacks. The other major teams were also interested in  keeping things together to protect their best sprinters. 26 women of roughly 130 starters made the front group, far fewer than in last year's race. Evelyn Stevens and Ally Stacher didn't make the final group. So we were in good company in not finishing with the lead group!

Ina Teutenberg won the sprint, with Rochelle Gilmore taking second and Giorgia Bronzini in her rainbow jersey, third.

I come out feeling again more motivated with a new sense of direction for my training for the remainder of the road season.  I also enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the Tradewinds Racing group and schmooze with friends and contacts from some of the other teams racing. It was a valuable experience for me!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Become a fan on Facebook