We arrived at the scene of the Providence Cyclocross Festival to another beautiful sunny day and a fantastic course, winding its way around the East Coast Interbike demo. LadiesFirst was once again well represented in the elite field, and started the race with 3 women on front row. On Saturday, the race got off to a quick start and I think Andrea and Rebecca Wellons split the hole shot. Meredith Miller quickly worked her way to the front and started pushing the pace. I was trying to stay smooth on the fun roller coaster section in the middle of the course and put the power on for the 2 long straights on the front and back side of the course. With several laps to go, I passed Meredith Miller running with her bike on the top side of the course. She was one of many racers who flatted over the course of the weekend. The middle of the race found Crystal and I trying to work together to bring back Sara in 4th place, when Crystal also flatted on the top side of the hill, with a long run to the pit. I spent the last two laps working on my own, with Sara just out of reach in front of me. Half a lap to go, I saw pink out of the corner of my eye and realized that Meredith Miller had worked her way back up through the field and was only seconds behind me. She closed the gap on the long back stretch and passed me on the grassy section leading to the final run-up. Fortunately, I had a good run and remount and found myself clinging to her wheel through the final corners. I almost pulled even right before the pavement, but then she jumped ahead. I gave everything I had to the final sprint up the pavement and managed to throw my bike ahead just in the nick of time to keep my 5th place finish. Meanwhile, the entire LadiesFirst team had a strong showing:
Sunday’s course sacrificed some of the straights for even more twisty turns, a new high speed set of stairs, and a tricky off camber section just prior to the barriers. Several of us ended up together after a crash in the field on the first lap: Crystal, Christina, Anna and myself formed a train through the middle of the field while Andrea worked her magic at the front. Over the course of the race, a few bobbles and mechanicals put several of our ladies a few positions back from Saturdays results, but we had very strong results all around with 4 of us in the top 10.
Look for several of us at the Minuteman Road Club CX race in Lancaster on the 17th!