Race: Cherry Blossom Challenge (Crit)
Location: Newark, NJ
Rider(s): Women 1,2,3 – Sarah, Emily, Gabby, Andy; Cat 4 Women – Nikki, Alli, Danielle, Victoria
Elite write up from Emily Underwood:
The morning started off with feel like temps in the high 20's. Not ideal for going into it without having warmed up!! Sarah started out with a nice attack as soon as the whistle blew. She kept it at tempo for the first few laps. Following Sarah, on the 3rd lap I decided to do a hard jump to really pick up the pace. It helped a little bit as I was solo for about 3/4 a lap. As soon as I was caught the field finally decided to start attacking, but only to be caught moments later. I think the cold weather really prevented people from putting 100% effort in.
During the last two laps Andy did a great job of staying at the front with a harder pace, which prevented girls from attacking her. Gabby stay on my wheel as a sweeper checking periodically to see if anyone would jump. About 300 meters left; and Gabby is getting antsy so I tell her to jump! She goes for it stringing out the pack! Finally Sarah jumped Gabby and I got on her wheel... As soon as that happened, Fearless Femme rider Amy Cutler jumped, and I followed her for a 250 meter sprint to the finish. It was soo cold that I could barely feel the blood flow to my legs! I could see H&H rider Lauren Dagostino in my peripheral vision, pushing even hard to out sprint her I ended up coming in second place to Amy.
Our team really came together at the end of the race and pulled through!! Just seeing how we worked together in our first race, I'm excited to see the strength and talent on the course this season!
Cat 4 Women Race Summary from Alli McCabe:
The Cherry Blossom Challenge was the season kick-off race for most of the Riptide-Cawes team. It was a chilly morning with snow on the way, but excitement and spirits were high. Cat 4 women showed up with a group of 23 ready to race. The whistle blew and we were off, the first lap was getting used to racing again, scoping out who was strong, who would likely attack. The course was a 2 mile loop through a Cherry Blossom Park that included one left hand turn on a slight downhill. There were a few attacks on the back side before this turn. However, with a field full of strong sprinters and solid time trialist’s, no racers were able to make a break stick until 3 laps to go when a Princeton University racer exploded out of the turn and was off at lightning speed. A few of us went to try and catch her, but with a peloton of 20 something riders right at our heels, she was gone. Danielle and Nikki both had great attacks getting the field jumping. The final lap would be a sprint for second. We came into the left hand turn one final time when there was a crash. Luckily Riptide-Cawes stayed upright, but caused Nikki and Danielle to slow to almost a stop. Alli was to the left of the crash and took the inside line to jump out of the corner. In the final stretch she was sitting 4th wheel trying to gauge the right time to jump, but when riders started to pass she jumped and finished with a solid 7th place. Our junior rider, Victoria, had an amazing race, never giving up and finishing STRONG!
Alli – 7th
Nikki – 15th
Danielle – 16th
Victoria – 23rd