Katie Urso takes 3rd place for Wmn Cat 2 19-34
After a week "off" cycling around Italy at low intensity levels I wasn't sure how things were going to pan out. In addition, the fourth of July weekend offered a bit more beer drinking than I typically have on a racing weekend.
We spent the night in VT and arrived at the race venue in mid morning. The farm area is beautiful and the weather was perfect. Some rain from Thursday made the course slick but no mud pits. I pre-rode the course as part of my warm-up with Pete and Sean. I expected a fun but easy ride and was surprised with some of the mini-techy spots that were thrown in. Overall the course had a nice flow and the trails were going to be fun at race pace.
I finished my warm-up solo and felt pretty good. Thats always a good sign. The start was a bit delayed so I hid in the shade away from anxious racers. My start was less than ideal, second row and slightly on a double fall line. The whistle went and everyone blasted off. I fell into 4th or 5th position on the fast dirt road. Sean attacked and I could tell he was about to split the field apart so I hopped on his wheel and fell into 3rd position.
We rode the first 15 minutes together as a lead pack of 4. Sean bobbled a steep uphill and I got past him with Pete on my tail. We hit the largest climb (which isn't much) and I decided to attack the leader and make a pass on the single track. This was mostly an experimental tactic and I wanted to see if I could attack on the biggest climb and create a large enough gap to keep the rest of the lead group at bay. It worked although Pete and Hugo were dangerously close.
At the end of lap 1 I attacked again to increase my gap on Pete. It appeared to work and all that road biking must be paying off.
I rode lap 2 and 3 very fast but conservatively to hold my lead and win the race. It was awesome. Chocolate milk and podiums filled the rest of our afternoon. Glorious day in NH. Thanks Stonewall Farm!