The entire LadiesFirst Racing elite squad turned out for the hometown Minuteman Road Club Sterling Classic and took advantage of strong team tactics to post 1st, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 15th places! Great big THANKS to my team for the hard work they put in helping me take home the win! I was able to sit in the pack, protected by my team, for the first 3 laps, and then have Andrea with me on the final 3. Killer position to be in.
The team wants to thank MRC for putting on a great race and also all our supporters cheering for LadiesFirst along the road!
Race report by Christina Tamilio
The pouring rain, thunder and lightening scared off several of the pre reg’d riders, but the LadiesFirst team showed up in its entirety…even our triathlete, Crystal! This was our first race together, as a team. We started off with a killer strategy, setting Anna up for the win. Andrea and Allison would use their climbing skills to chase on the hill attacks, Anne and I would chase the attacks on the flats and Crystal had a planned attack using her TT strength. Our plan went perfectly for the first 4 laps.
With three laps to go, Anna and Andrea got away in the lead group!
Allison, Crystal, Anne and I stayed together in the chase group. Our first inclination was to catch the lead pack so that we could continue to help our teammates. We hustled, pace-lining to catch the group ahead. Although they remained within our sight, we were unable to close the gap. Three other riders fell off the lead group and into our chase group and it seemed it was best to avoid bringing them back up to the group ahead. We were satisfied that Anna and Andrea had each other to work with. From here, we worked together for the last two laps.
As we approached the last two hills to the finish, Allison and I developed a plan. I would attack on the second to last hill and as soon as the group caught me, Allison would counter attack and climb her way to the finish line. As one of the strongest climbers in our group, she had a good chance of staying ahead and beating the rest of our chase group to the finish. Just as we settled in to put our plan into action, Anne attacked from behind! (Lesson #1, communicate with all of your teammates). It was a very good move and perfect timing, but it took me by surprise. I stood up to go with her…but didn’t make it across the painted white line. Down I went! I was relieved to see that I didn’t take anyone else down and elated that I only lost a little skin and a bunch of expensive clothing. I hopped back on the saddle to finish right behind my team in 15th place.
Up ahead, Allison beat out the chase group on the climb to the finish, followed by Crystal and Anne respectively. They finished 9th, 10th and 11th.
Once we re-grouped with our team, we learned that Anna had won and Andrea finished strong to take third place!
All is all, a stellar race for Ladies First!
Thanks to Pete Banach for these photos of the team.