Race: Lower Providence (Crit)
Date: Sunday, April 24, 2017
Riders: Alexa Gubinski, Andy Maher, Alli McCabe, Cheryl Clark, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Emily Underwood, Emily Smith, Shaina Kravitz
Support Crew: Teresa DiSessa, Sarah Iepson, Jeff Johnson, Greg Dorsch
Lower Providence crit was one of the first races where EPS has a full squad! We controlled the race! What a great feeling it was to not have to do "anything" in the race as I had a handful of other riders cover attacks and create breaks.
This race though was just not about finishing well, but making sure we had our newer/less experience riders play a huge part in the race. Showing them tactics, like when to attack, when to counter and cover. I was making sure to check in with each of the riders throughout the race to see how they were feeling. If they were blown from doing a hard effort I told them to recover, stay on my wheel and don't get dropped.
I think a lot of people in crit racing when they get to the front try and "conserve" their energy. Crits need to string out for the safety of the riders. I find being at the front, you need to go hard and all out; this is only after being confident in your recover period after a hard effort. One of my main objectives was to show the girls that you can do a hard effort keeping the pace high and still be able to recover properly within the field. From doing this and launching attacks, we were able to make the other teams work. Direction from our director and crew on the sides of the course helped to keep the pace high and keeping an eye on the front and back of the peloton.
With 4 laps to go, we had Cheryl and Andy stringing out the field at the front. We also had Alexa on my wheel sweeping, making sure that no one was able to hop on my wheel. With Deb behind Cheryl in the final lap, I started giving direction to Cheryl on sweeping left or right, and pedalling faster. Last lap, after turn 3, we were on full throttle! Girls were getting lined up, and I told Deb to GO! Wow could Deb LIGHT IT UP!! Into turn 4, (on the book for the fastest and aggressive turns) we created a gap. One other girl on my wheel at this point, Deb had taking the corner perfect and literally sling-shot me out and around her. Still not yet gassed, head down, I went for it from my peripheral vision I saw no one. I went even harder, realizing I'm getting so close to the line I realized I'm going to win. I won!
And guess what...the second person to cross the line from our team was Deb in 6th. I say this because when a lead out train is successful, every single teammate who lead you out should be exhausted and out of breathe. I couldn't be more proud to see the work that team EPS put out on the course. There was so much learned, and we still have a lot more to learn, but for our first big team race together it was a success.
Emily Underwood 1st
Deborah Leedale-Brown 6th
Alexa Gubinski 18th
Alli McCabe 21st
Andy Maher 26th
Emily Smith 28th
Cheryl Clark 29th