Race: Wilmington Grand Prix NCC race
Location: Wilmington, DE
Riders: Deborah, Sarah, Gabby
Deborah - 22nd Women Pro/1/2
Sarah - 31st Women Pro/1/2
Gabby - 26th Women Cat 3/4
As told by Deborah Leedale-Brown
The Wilmington Grand Prix always arrives on the early season calender with much trepidation by me, not only is it an NCC race stacked with heavy hitters, but its also a technical figure 8 course that over the duration of the 25 laps gives you nearly 1500ft of climbing! When a race of this calibre is in your back yard, the challenge is not to be missed. The women's pro/1/2 started at 2:15pm to fanfare and call ups under windy conditions but thankfully dry skies. This race always goes out fast and pretty much remains fast for its entirety. With a large field and in places a narrow twisting course, the race tends to get very strung out quickly, this was made more intense by the strong headwind on the wide downhill section of the course - a lot of attacks seemed to happen here. The key was to get in a good position, as far up in the field as possible, then hold on for the painful yet fun ride! With many teams represented in numbers it was an attacking race from the the gun with riders aiming to make a breakaway stick. It ended up being two groups of breakaway riders and as the race drew near to completion the main peleton did not succeed in catching them. With one lap to go and 9 riders escaped off the front it lined up for a main field sprint. From the final corner on the course it was a long uphill sprint and even with a tailwind this felt leg-sapping. Happy to get to this point and with a lot of riders jostlng for position, I gave it my all and picked off a couple more places, crossing the line in 22nd place - in the money!