USA Pro Nationals and Europe
USA- Knoxville and Louisville
June 25th I raced USA Pro Nationals for Road Race. I felt good and stayed with the front part of the group for the majority of the race. Unfortunately, I missed the last move up the climb with 2 to go and was stuck in no-man’s land until the group caught me. Finished 22nd, which I was wanting a better finish. But I have to learn from the mistake and move on.
July 2nd in Louisville, KY I raced USA Pro Nationals for Criterium. I really like the course and felt good going into it. The pace was fast and aggressive from the start. When I missed the breakaway of Erica Allar and Lauren Stephens, I knew that was the one that could/would stick and I wasn’t going to make the mistake again. So I worked hard to bridge early. But that effort was futile as the main group was still going hard and the breakaway was also moving fast. So I got caught, took a couple laps to regain energy and attacked again. I was bridging up to the break when a crash caused a neutralization and stop of the race. When we started again I was put 30 seconds after Erica and Lauren, and 15 seconds in front of the main pack. With 6 laps to go. So I knew it was now or never. So I gave it all I had and pushed those final laps with everything. In the final lap I was getting so close to the break and half a lap to go I caught them. Using my speed I attacked around them, but they got on my wheel. I was in full power mode and kept drilling it. But they stayed on me and in the final turn Erica attacked for the win. I gave it everything and finished with the Bronze. I was really happy with this finish and a lot of people said how amazing I made that race to watch. So exciting and never giving up.
July 10 I flew to Brussels, Belgium to meet my SAS-Macogep team for our next race.
13-16 July we raced the BeNe Women’s Tour. Starting in The Netherlands and finishing in Belgium it was a hard and fun race.
Prologo 1.9km- 70th – In such a short race I was just 18 seconds behind the leader, but many factors that add just 1 second and change a lot.
1- 127km Road Race- 40th- Focused on positioning and had a lot of fun getting back into the feel of european racing. Hard, fast, close and aggressive. With strong wind and rain at a couple points it made for a hard race. I stayed in the front group when the main pack split and finished in the sprint, but my legs didn’t have the kick I needed to be top 10.
2a- 98km Road Race – 23rd. Fun race and stayed in good positioning the whole time. Just a small cobble section each lap but didn’t break up the group so it was a full group sprint finish.
2b- 10km Time Trial – not good because of a mechanical problem and my back wheel was rubbing on the bike frame the entire race.
3- 112km Circuit Race- 13th- Very fun circuit and very technical. Felt like an american crit race. Always looking to move up and positioning. I had fun going with attacks and my legs felt good. In the final lap I focused on moving up and trying to position well. Would have liked to work for my teammate for a good finish, but we didn’t communicate as well as we should have and I could only hope she was on my wheel and would pass me in the finish. Next time.
After the BeNe Women’s Tour my team went back to France and I have stayed in Belgium to keep racing. I have a rental car and my phone and a list of races I want to do. Initially it was a bit of a nervous adventure as I had no lodging and just an airbnb set up for 4 nights. Now I have met some people and with contacts organized housing for the next couple weeks that I’ll be here.
18 July – Strijpen-Zottegem- 90km circuit of 8 laps- 1st
With just 1 day of rest between the tour and this race I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel. But I stayed relaxed and in good position at the start. There were a couple early attacks but nothing to go. Then halfway through the first lap on an uphill I saw an opening and made a move. Not thinking I would have a gap, but I did. So I kept motoring and got more time. If I stayed away it was going to be a long day. So I passed the start/finish and with 7 laps to go thought, oh boy. Each lap I just focused on my turns and staying aero in the wind. At one point the car said I had 1’25”, so I thought I was gaining a lot of time. Then with 2 laps to go the car said I had 55 seconds. With this I thought the group was chasing and I had to put in a big effort. So I pushed and knew if I could get to half a lap to go with that time I could make it. Finally after the main hill/small climb the car came up and said “congratulations”. This was a relief but I still powered until I saw the finish. I raised my arms and felt this great victory and a victory to show how strong I am.
19 July- GP Glineur- 7th or 8th
For this race I knew I would be marked from the start. I also knew my legs were pretty tired from yesterday. So I stayed patient and in good positioning. A couple solo attacks went but were brought back pretty soon after. In the last half lap (of 4 laps total) a girl attacked hard where her team had been sitting in the whole time. The team blocked for her at the front so the effort to catch didn’t succeed, she took it to the line almost getting caught at the finish. The last 1.5km was a straight road slight uphill, about 4%. I stayed patient, and in a good position for the sprint. But when the sprint arrived and time to kick my legs wouldn’t surge. I finished solid in 7th or 8th but wanted better.
24 July- Boezinge- 40 laps-
A more competitive race with a couple of stronger racers and teams. In particular, Jolien D’hoore, the Belgium national champion and world champion on the track was there. The race was aggressive as there was a prime every lap of 10 euro. I attacked in the early laps and got a break. I was solo for about 3-4 laps until I noticed someone with me and it was Jolien. We worked together for the following 20 laps but the group brought us back. In the pack there were more attacks, and I also stayed aggressive trying to get away again. Then with about 12 to go a group of 3 got a way. They got some time and distance. With a lap to go they were getting closer. I attacked with 1/2 lap to go to see if I could get a gap leading into the finish but the group was going very hard. In the final turn a girl went very far wide and pushed me out almost into the wall. I jumped onto the sidewalk and avoided a trash can before getting back on the course. At that point I was too far back to make the sprint for 4th place. The break ended up making it to the finish and taking the podium. I wanted a better result and worked hard to get away. But sometimes the risks and attempts just don’t come through. It was hard racing though and I feel myself getting so much stronger
I’ll be in Belgium until the 31st July, then to The Netherlands until 10 August, then back to Belgium for more racing. The next big team race will be Plouay on 26 August in France.
Yellow is host housing, orange was this week, blue is 30 July -8 August, red is 8 August – 20 August