Regina Doubles up With Wins at Woodstock and Mt. Blue

Women’s Woodstock 3/4 (5/2/15)

I was excited for this race, as it was the first race of the year with a solid climb. This was my first time racing at Woodstock, so I took some time (at 11pm the night before) to study the map with teammate and captain, Natasja Brooijmans. We both knew the race would come apart on the two-mile climb, so it was just a matter of being at the front come mile 24 when the climb started and quickly descended to the finish.

Little did Natasja and I know, there was also a short punchy climb prior to mile 24. This gave us a chance to size up our opponents to see who could climb and who could descend. As I watched the climb carefully, Natasja was able to spot slower descenders and so we had our riders to mark on the final climb. We noticed a CRCA rider that could climb, but was slower on the descent. The plan for the rest of the day was simple, stay on the climb with CRCA and beat her on the descent to the finish.

B2C2/Boloco had five women in the field, which was nice because they pushed the pace to lead their teammate to the climb, which left Natasja and I to sit in and enjoy the ride.

Regina-WoodstockBy the time we got to the climb, the sun was out and it seemed a lot steeper and longer than described in the technical notes I reviewed. I stuck with CRCA and even delivered a few newspapers (i.e. traversing across the road to roll some level ground) with her. We quickly created a 15 second gap and maintained it after the first mile of the climb. Come mile two, CRCA managed to create a gap on me of about 10 seconds. About 25 yards from the top of the climb I knew I had to go, as she was already on the descent.

The descent was fast with one tight turn near the bottom, we descended quickly, but I was unable to make contact until we came into the turn. It was here where I caught the leader and hung on to her wheel as we quickly descended another few miles. We were in the clear, but still needed to push the pace to hold our gap. We worked together, trading pulls, and had one more short climb on the lead into the last turn before the finishing straight. We came around the turn and I was sitting second wheel, waiting for her to jump. Once she did, it was easy to stay with her until coming around to win the sprint.

Mt Blue Crit Women’s 3/4 (5/3/15)

This was the second year of the Mt Blue Crit and for a women’s field. This course is flat, fast and hard to attack and stay away. We had a team of two and NEBC had a team of what seemed like 12 (but really only four of them). Our race was trimmed down to 45 minutes rather than 50.

The race started out with a slow easy first lap before the pace picked up and attacks started. There were two attacks that I chased down as no one else seemed interested in the chase. The gap would build and then the group would come back together quickly each time. I made one attack on the slight incline after the start/finish, only to be caught on the long flat back stretch.
Natasja (who I may start calling “coach”) told me to save my legs and let someone else chase. The only problem was that no one else wanted to chase and I had no intention of letting anyone make get in the break. The plan was to keep Natasja fresh and lead her out to the finish.

With two laps to go, there was a crash which brought the field to a dead stop and then neutralized back at the start. We lined up and officials told us we had one lap left on the whistle. Our 45 minute race had been reduced to a 3 minute drag race.While it wasn't ideal to go from two minutes of standing around directly into the a sprint for the finish, we didn't really have a choice in the matter. Natasja nudged me to the front row with the goal l of keeping her covered until we rounded the final turn, then lead her out for an easy win.
Our plan could not have worked better as my lead out gapped the field and we were on our way to finishing 1/2. Natasja took a look back, noticed we were clear and held her sprint, letting me sprint through the line for the win.