Race: Tour de Milersburg
Date: 8/6 & 8/7 2016
Riders: Evelyn Korbich, Gabby Longchamp, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Emily Underwood
(As told by Emily Underwood)
What a weekend of racing and amazing team work, that lead to huge wins for team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell or RipTide, RT, Team Orange, Green & Blue and whatever other nick names that were given by our wonderful host family, and painted all over the road race course! Truly an experience for any team to have had!!
The race began with a flat and fast TT course! Deb was are only one who had a TT bike and the rest of us did it Eddy Merckx style. I ended up coming in 7th, so a position within the top 10 was really great. Had I been aero I may have won it! Hahaha (kidding!)
So we started our race weekend off well and went into the Crit planning to work for Deb who was lying 3rd in the GC. The Crit was a short 1km loop that was narrow and technical in that it had a fast descent, sharp right corner into a power climb, being a short loop, meant that it felt like a hill repeat session within the Crit! The plan was to get it strung out from the go so I started out very fast, and girls were popping off the back right away. After the 3rd lap I was hoping for a counter attack to create a separation and it actually worked! Deb read the attack well and got into a 4 person breakaway, our job now was to police the field and not do any of the chasing.
With 4 laps to go the successful breakaway actually lapped the field. The Breakaway had at this point just split, with two riders creating a gap. As they passed I looked around for Deb, who was joining our lapped field with the other breakaway rider, I wanted to ensure that Deb was getting a wheel to sit on so I got in front and pushed on the pace. Evie then made a great attack off the front which kept the pace high. and I encouraged Deb to sit in and hang on, finally launching her to sprint for a 3rd place finish. I finished in 5th place and I held onto my 5th place GC while working for Deb, who had solidified herself into the top 3 GC!
Following the Crit our amazing host family took care of our every needs and we spent a relaxing evening in the pool, followed by grilling, a game of ghost in the grave yard with the kids and S'mores!
The next morning our plan was to help Deb keep her 3rd place in the GC. The course was 3 laps of rolling beautiful roads and local Amish pulling their buggies over to watch us, with one key hill it provided opportunities for climbers to put in their attacks. That happened right away on the first time up the main hill which actually forced the pace very early in the race, We made sure that kept Deb in with the main contenders at this point and finally the loan breakaway riders was pulled back. The field remained together starting lap 2, however early into lap two a 2nd attack occurred taking the top two GC contenders with it. Deb made sure to keep an eye on the rider who would be a threat to her 3rd place GC, and I made sure to stay with Deb. Evie and Gabby were riding solidly to also be around Deb as we prepared to chase the break. I suggested a pace line.. which actually took place pretty successfully, but due to all the different strengths and skills within the field we were unfortunate, and didn't catch the break. On the last lap I told Deb not to leave my wheel as it was becoming evident that it would be setting up for a field sprint, the finish was fast, involving a steep downhill, sharp right turn to a straightaway, with a final right then left turn onto the finishing straight. I took the lead at the downhill with Deb firmly on my wheel, flying into town at over 35mph I took the last corner so nicely and actually created a little gap between Deb and I. She told me to go and her momentum through the corner got her back on my wheel. I went and left it all out there taking her towards the last two corners. With the rider in 4th place GC jumping off Debs wheel, Deb then jumped from me to her taking the final corners in a key position to sprint out for a 4th place finish, with my legs absolutely toasted, I hung on strong for 7th.
This was a goal race for us, and our solid teamwork throughout the weekend ensured we secured 3rd and 5th place GC, Gabby and Evie rode a stellar race at every stage, in particular the road race, putting time on the front to keep the pace high. Along with our GC results we had an extra bonus as Deb took the win for the PA State Road Race championship, Cat 1/2 and Evie took gold for Cat 3. Our post race podiums were full of smiles and medals and a few $$$ too! Once again our biggest shout out must go to our host family who embraced every part of this race and looked after our every needs, we can't wait to be back again next year.
Womens Omnium 1/2/3
Deborah 3rd place
Emily 6th place
Evelyn 11th place
Gabby 15th place