Val DJ-ed for us off of her MP3 player as we were cruising to the Tour of the Battenkill start line in the Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda team Mazda 5 car. I mentioned that I thought we were going to have a pretty successful day.
Myself, Véro Labonté, Mary Zider, Sara Byers, and Val Crête warmed up on our bikes before the race and made sure to ride the last section of the course. It was kind of key. It gave us a good idea of where we had to place ourselves in the pack (if the race would finish with a group sprint) to have the best shot at crossing the finish line first. The finish line was right after two 90 degree corners that were pretty close together. It's hard to move up in the corners...so I knew positioning would be crucial at the end.
The 65 mile course was pretty cool, it was fun riding in the sand and the gravel. It brought back faint memories of tearing over the cobbles in Belgium. (Dirt and gravel are a heck of a lot easier to get over though, I have to admit.) I was contemplating putting an 11-28 cassette on my bike the night before, but was more than happy that I chose an 11-25. Between the legs and the Amira, I thought we could handle it, and we did There were lots of hills but nothing long enough or too steep to justify the gaps of an 11-28.
Mary's man Lance had our bottles of Eload for us at the feedzone. Good thing. It wasn't exceptionally hot out there, but I think we would have had cramping issues without our beloved sport drink. I couldn't imagine doing a race without it. I had packed away a few Eload Energy Gels in the jersey pockets as well for extra fuel.
Véro, Mary, and I stayed at the head of the pack for the whole race. At the end there were still about 19 of the initial 63 girls with us. All we had to was sprint that puppy like we meant it. Great finish girls. 1st 5th and 15th!
(While we were racing out here in New York State, Denise Ramsden stood on the second place step of the podium out West at Berry's Roubaix, and Moriah Jo MacGregor got her first race of the season under the belt! Nice job girls!)