Race: Iron Hill Twilight Crit West Chester- NCC Level
Date: Aug 8th
Riders: Monica Volk, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Carren Stika
(As written by Deborah)
This is always a favorite race on the calender. Its an evening race for both the pro men and women, its in a the charming location of West Chester who's many restaurants and bars look to draw large numbers of spectators. This year was no exception, the weather was perfect and cycling fans and racers were out in force.
Upon first glance the women's field was not as large as last year, but that did not mean the race was going to be slow! Even with a slightly smaller field of 30 women the depth of talent was there. Riders who just completed Tour of Utah and Giro Rosa to name a few. After a small delay the women's race went off at 7pm to the roar of the crowd, just like last year the race started fast from the whistle and with premes being slotted in all the time the pace really did not ease off that much. The course at a glance appears to be straightforward, four corners. But its actually pretty technical, its a very short lap, the road is narrow in places and the corners all require an amount of braking. Combine that with a bumpy road surface, two sides with a hill and you have a race of constant braking and accelerating.
With the race being kept at a high pace, many riders were popped off the back within the first 10-15 laps of the 35 lap race. Monica was our designated rider and from where I was in the race I could see she was holding good position no more than 4-6 riders back from the front end. I was just aiming to keep myself up towards the middle and see if I could keep strong. A couple of breaks/attacks happened but there were enough of the key players watching and reacting so the race pretty much stayed together till the penultimate lap. The organizers threw in a 'gamblers preme' on the bell lap and so one rider (Tifffany Pezzulo) sprinted for the preme and then continued on her flyer opening up a significant gap for the last lap, as we came around the final corner she still had a gap and as she neared the line she made the error of easing off and sitting up, only to be got on the line by a flying Laura Van Gilder and Amy Cutler, who threw their bikes in unison. Laura won, Amy 2nd and Tiffany had to settle for 3rd, then the pack flew in just behind, Monica finishing a solid 7th, myself 14th & Carren 27th.
Monica Volk 7th,
Deborah Leedale-Brown 14th,
Carren Stika 27th