Course: 65 miles, 2 loops of hills, 5 loops of short technical circuit
Leading up to this race our team was in a bit of predicament. Our team manager, BrittLee Bowman, was hospitalized (and is fine now) after the Winston Salem Cycling Classic Criterium and we were now down a vehicle and a team manager. The team turned on superlogistics mode and came up with roughly 25 scenarios of how we were going to get 3 riders and 5 bikes plus picking up another rider along the way with 2 bikes to Canada. We also had to figure out how to get our team manager and all of the gear she came with safely back to New York. I became the interim team manager for Gatineau as BrittLee told me ‘I was in charge now’.
Big thanks goes out many people who helped with this difficult process. Ian Broadhead who was going to ship 3 bikes back to New York for us, Jerome from DNA Visit Dallas for taking our TT bikes up to Canada (when we couldn’t fit them), Clio’s parents for hosting us and letting us use their mini-van along the drive to Canada, Steph from TIBCO for allowing us to use their cleaning supplies to clean our bikes in Canada, Wheeler’s Cycling for providing feeds for us during the road race, and Happy Tooth Pro Women’s Cycling for providing us with sick podium shoes.
After a long drive and many logistics, we arrived in Gatineau, Quebec. The city was enveloped in a breathtaking spring glean. Beautiful blue water canals drew through the city and were lined with bike trails for us to enjoy on our day off from racing. It felt a bit like racing in Europe with everything written and everyone speaking in French. Not to mention the treacherous roads filled with uneven pavement and winding streets going every which way.
In light of all of these new experiences and challenges it turned out to be a great race.
On the start line: I noticed several riders had ear pieces. riders with ear pieces?!?! Much admiration, much jealousy.
Blastoff. Our guest rider, Becca Fahringer, turned out to be an all-mighty powerhouse and sat on the front for almost the entire race. The course included 2 long loops with significant climbing, followed by 5 small loops of more urban twisty technical flat riding. After the climb on long lap 2 a break and a chase group formed. Clio and I worked with Colavita Bianchi to bring back the chase group for 5+ miles, woof. After we were all back together, teams threw out attack after attack. I worked to bring back several of the breaks as many teams were blocking. I was super psyched to be making moves and chasing down attacks in this 1.1 UCI race. Clio and I provided each other with bottles, protected one another, and communicated about tactics.
I was pooped with 1 lap to go when Becca came up in front of me. We weaved around the course together and I was ready for her to give me some sort of a lead out. Ready to launch off in the final 500m, and she doesn’t go anywhere. “BECCA, THIS IS THE FINISH” I exclaimed. “OH!” she said. While I had barely anything left in my legs and rolled in at my current position coming in 31/80, she managed to make up over 10 spots in the final 300M with a huge effort she had left coming in 19/80. Becca the Beast! She told me after the race had I not told her it was the finish she would never have known. So many watts.