Race: Nittany Stage Race; Women 3/4, Womens 1/2
Date: August 1-2, 2015
Rider(s): Evelyn Korbich (Cat 3/4) and Monica Volk (Cat 1/2)
Race Summary from Monica Volk (Womens 1/2):
The first race of the stage race was the road race. I was familiar with this course from the college season but this race included one more lap for a +60 mile race with three times up the infamous climb up black mo. I was happy to get the QOM title for the race and ended up getting 2nd in the race. Some one attacked in the lead break group I was in going up black mo the third time, a move I knew was going to happen but didn’t think would stick with miles left in the race. It was a smart and well timed move with bad judgment on my part. I finished second behind the leader about 40 seconds.
The second race Sunday morning was the 8km time trial. It was a nice course through campus that was definitely hard but overall a quick effort. I had a second place time in this stage.
The final race on Sunday afternoon was a crit. The flowing 6 corner course was fast but smooth. Attacks were made, breaks attempted, breaks caught; it was a moving race. I finished second in the crit as well... Talk about consistency. I also finished 2nd overall in the GC.
I had a lot of fun racing the Nittany Stage race, being at state college, and sharing these bike-racing adventures with good friends. Can’t wait to do it again next year.
Race Report told by Evelyn Korbich
Day 1: Road Race
Location: Moshannon State Park
Saturday August 1st dawned hot and sunny for day one of the Nittany Stage Race where the 3/4 women and I would be racing 42 miles, or two laps, on the road course. The first 5 miles was the descent of the course and we were neutral down it the first time in order to avoid early crashes. Once we had gone through the first turn and the group was together we were set loose to go up the two medium-sized climbs on the backside of the course. On both, a single rider went to the front and pushed the pace but on the descent of the second one she got a flat and was forced to stop. After that it was only a few minutes until the pack made the turn onto the main climb of the course. The group stayed together until the climb shot up in pitch and then 5 or 6 riders, including myself, pulled away from the pack. Some riders dropped off a few minutes later, leaving just four riders to push the pace until we made it to the QOM sprint. At that line, one rider took off, leaving the rest of us strung out as we crested the five mile climb and began to traverse the ridgeline. I was fourth at that point and was gaining on the other riders when 1st and 2nd place caught up to each other and started working together. As they sped into the distance I felt my muscles beginning to give out under the strain of chasing and was relieved when two riders caught me as the descent began again. I worked with those two riders up and over the two smaller climbs but a small group caught us after the second one. As we turned onto the climb once again my legs continued to feel tight and sore and I started to feel dejected as I realized that I was cramping and couldn’t keep my climbing pace up. As I neared the top of the climb a rider caught and stayed with me so we worked together to the finish where she beat me on the line.
Day 2: Time Trial and Criterium
Location: On and around the campus of Penn State University Park
I arrived on the Penn State campus with an hour and a half till my 9:30 time trial start time and I used that time to warm up and spin the soreness out of my legs from the day before. The TT was only 5 miles long with a headwind going out and a tailwind coming back. The time gaps between riders from the road race were great enough that not many places would be made up in the TT alone but I had a rival who was only ahead of me by one second and my goal was to beat her. I went out slightly easier than I should have because the wind was deceivingly tiring but I was able to make good time coming back. I beat the rider directly ahead of me in the overall standings so I moved up by one place and managed to secure 7th in the TT results.
Later that day, at what seemed to be the hottest part, all of us women were tired and sore as we lined up for the crit. It was going to be 40 minutes on a 6-corner, .7 mile course with a few time bonus premes. I was not looking forward to this event whatsoever but I gritted my teeth and grabbed a wheel as we rolled off the line. I was too far back for the first few laps so I moved up little by little until the bell sounded for a preme and I dropped back again. This happened twice more, except on the third sprint a group of four separated from the pack and I chased them down so I wouldn’t lose time to anyone. I managed to find myself a wheel 4th from the front with three laps to go and there I sat until the bell lap when I made a mistake and went to the outside of the pack while following a wheel. This move had me squished up against the curb as we came around the final corner and I had to weave my way out of it to join in the sprint. Luckily, I managed to sprint for a solid 7th place and hold my position in the overall standings.
Evelyn Korbich – Road Race – 9th
Time trial – 7th
Criterium – 7th
Overall standings – 8th
Monica Volk-Road Race- 2nd