Race report by Antje.

Green Mountain Stage Race is located in beautiful, but hilly, Vermont and features a TT, two road races and a crit. This was going to be my target for the season – and after some newbie mistakes at the previous stage race, determined to do things a bit better.

I arrived the day before, and after building up my bike, checked out the TT course, which was going to be quite challenging. The TT went OK – my legs weren’t feeling great due to travel, not enough sleep and way too many work hours over the last few weeks and I couldn’t dig as deep as I wanted. I was 1:50 behind the winner (Amy Bevilacqua won by 30sec!), or ~30 sec off the top 10.

The road race next day was completely uneventful. We had exactly two attacks over 58 miles on a somewhat lumpy course. Even the QOM and intermediate sprints were considerably tame; everyone wanted to save their legs for the tough road race on Sunday, which featured two major climbs. The second road race started out like the previous one – lame. Because not many teams were represented, nobody wanted to make tempo and we rolled around until the first major climb. Even then no attacks happened, it was just tempo upwards, but enough to make me realize that the Florida hills are no good preparation for something like this. In short, I got dropped. I wasn’t alone and what started with three girls driving it on the descend ended up being 9 that caught back on to the main group on the flats. Sometimes I like negative racing (sarcasm), because if they had ridden tempo we would never have caught them. So the group riding continued (pee stop included) until the intermediate sprint, which followed a nice steep 300m wall. Again I was in the third group, and by the time we had caught the others, 9 girls were off the front and this time they were riding, so we also kept a pace till the end. The final climb starts out fairly tame but the last 500m get up to 18%. Maybe I was a bit too afraid of it, and wanted to save too much for the end, but again I couldn’t follow the main pace. I ended up crossing the line 9 minutes after the leader, all hopes for a top ten GC dropped like a stone. Or a Floridian in the mountains.

 

 

Disappointed, I turned on my ‘screw it’ mentality for the crit on Monday. I had nothing to lose and decided to race my heart out. With five laps to go, I suddenly found myself on Lauren Hall’s (TIBCO) wheel, and was very determined to not give it up. Amy Bevilacqua (now leading GC by over 3 minutes) who had stayed safe during the crit behind the pack avoiding all turmoil – came to the front with three to go to reel in the lonely breakaway and made sure she was not being caught out. Gretchen Stumhofer (Amy D. Foundation) was second, Lauren Hall third, with me still on her wheel. I was sure I’d get swarmed in the last half lap, but that never happened. Instead, Gretchen attacked before the second last corner; Lauren and I followed. We drove it around the last bend, and sprinted for the line. Gretchen secured her win convincingly, Lauren two bike length behind, and then it was me. I looked around – we actually had a gap and I had come in third. In a crit. At Green Mountain Stage Race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This made things actually complicated because I had to pack up my bike for shipping and catch a flight back home – I didn’t plan for podiums after the men’s race. But we made it, and I’m an expert at changing in a car, even if it’s moving 😉

Many thanks to our sponsors – Garneau for kits & helmets, Pacific Health Lab for fuel, Swiftwick for most comfy socks ever, Cat5gear to keep our gear organized, and especially all the financial sponsors.

Photo credit Damian Bradley from the Bicycle Tailor, who is also the best boyfriend ever.