Mar 25, 2012

Stage 3 Criterium: 2012 Redlands Bicycle Classic

The criterium course at Redlands is known for it's CORNERS.  9 of them, on each mile-long lap.  The women's field raced for 60 minutes, and Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefits Strategies tried to make the best of each second.  There are some cool pictures on the official team site for both the men's and women's races: Optum Pro Cycling Redlands Criterium Race Report and Photos

Pedaling through the corner with an "emergency" Clif Shot gel stashed away under my Champion Systems short band, just in case
We went into the race with Joëlle in the sprinter's jersey, and Jade in the climber's jersey.  There were no climber's points to be gained on the flat, speedy course.  (In fact, the average speed of the women's race was over 26mph, which is quite a bit considering how technical the course is relative to most other criteriums)

We raced well.  We attacked, we covered, we initiated breaks.  Halfway into the race, I attacked and pounded around the course for two laps solo.  When the field caught me, Denise Ramsden went off the front for over 7 laps with one other rider.  Courteney, Jade and Joëlle worked together to score points, and Anna and Kristen rode a great race too.

In the final lap there were two crashes, one somewhere behind me that I could only hear, and one in front of me, and everyone else.  Coming into the finish line, Joëlle was second wheel (the second rider from the front).  It was the girl in front of her who went down, and Joëlle managed to avoid going down with her, cranked up the speed again, and still managed to sprint to a super 1st place finish.

Excellent racing girls.  That was fun.

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