Saturday, June 17, 2017
Race: Grandview Grand Prix - PA State Championship Crit
Location: Lancaster, PA
Rider(s): Shaina Kravitz, Deborah Leedale-Brown,Allie McCabe, Emily Underwood
This year's edition of the PA State Championship Crit was a whole lot different than the previous year. Almost as hot, with temps about reaching 90 along with the chance of storms all day, the field was even hotter. We were surprised that a number of fierce riders stayed local rather than traveling to the Midwest for over a full week of racing. However, one thing did remain the same and that was to get Deborah to keep the PA State title for another season.
Much like the weekend before, the mile-long course was a technical multi-cornered affair through a picturesque suburban neighborhood. The idea again was to start fast, string it out and make it safe through the turns. This time things did pick up right off the line. With a small rise after the first corner and a false flat going into the final sweeping turn, it was easy to fatigue if you didn't follow a strong wheel. By the second lap we had already shed some riders.
The first attack came shortly after but was brought back quickly. Working their magic at the front, Emily and Deborah kept putting in great efforts to make the group work. The first preme lap came about halfway through the 20 lap race, after which I put in a dig to see if anything would happen. I settled in for a few laps to control the front, keeping it steady and watching for any moves. The group mainly stayed together.
With 3 laps to go, I made one more move after the final preme. No one followed immediately, but after the first few turns the pack reconnected. I sat at the front to keep the pace high and get Emily and Deborah set up for the sprint. The group surged around me early, even before we rounded the final corner, and it was a scramble to find the right position for the long downhill finish. Deborah contested the sprint to cross the line 5th (4th for PA) while Emily and I rolled in after our work was done. (Unaware that they were scoring Cat 3 riders separately, I casually crossed the line 3rd.)
Although this was not the end we hoped for, it was quite an accomplishment given the number of talented racers in the mix. We knew it wouldn't be an easy day and Deborah did an amazing job at the end. A huge thank you to Emily for traveling all the way to PA to help us vie for the title. I'm always inspired by the of amount of teamwork brought to each race, and consistently appreciate all of the help and support as I figure out my strengths and shake out the nerves. Even if things didn't go to plan, we walked away with more valuable experience and new ideas on how to execute as a team in races to come. Till next time!
Deborah Leedale-Brown- 5th
Shaina Kravitz - 12th
Emily Underwood -13th
Allie McCabe - DNF