|Green Mountain Stage Race Criterium. Photo: C. Johnson|
|Stage 1 podium with my NUHEAT bottle and Rumble for recovery. Photo: Gary Kessler|
In the Stage 2 road race, I planned to ride conservatively. After sitting out the first intermediate sprint I thought "that's enough, I'm going for it", decided to go for all, and scooped up the remaining sprint and QOM (Queen of the Mountains) points. I went for gold too, sprinting to a stage victory and taking the yellow leader's jersey while I was at it. I was feeling good.
|Lex Albrecht, Specialized S-Works Amria, and Rolf tubular climbing wheels|
Day 3 my job was only to protect the jersey. My plans were otherwise though. It wasn't "smart racing" attacking the field over and over from the gun, and I knew it. But it hurt, and it's going to pay off. I went for the QOM points and got them. Towards the end of the 67mi stage with tired legs, I tried to hang on to Amy Bevilacqua's wheel as we dieseled up App-Gap, a 4km climb that ends with pitches with 20% gradient pitches. With 2km to go..she stared slipping away. I lost just over a minute in those final km as Amy pounded up the hill. Seeing how strong she was made me feel good about only being 7s behind her in the TT at least. I lost the yellow jersey for good to Amy that day (she deserved it, a LOT), but managed to secure the Queen of the Mountain jersey by scoring all of the points, except the ones at the finish that Amy earned fair and square.
|That Zenberry QOM jersey was mine to keep for the rest of the race! Photo: Gary Kessler.|
Stage 4 was a just-technical-enough criterium in Downtown Burlington, VT with my favorite thing : an uphill finish. I wanted the Green sprinter's jersey to go with my Polka Dot climber's jersey. So I went for all the sprints, and the win. I got enough points to keep the jersey, and the victory was mine. The screaming fans made it even sweeter, especially the crew from Trois-Rivières Québec (where I went to university and started racing!) who surprised me!
|Burlington Criterium. Photo: C. Johnson|
Thanks to the awesome crowd for putting so much cash into the crowd-prime cup. Hearing that bell for that prime made me sprint like there was no tomorrow.
At the 2013 GMSR, I became the Queen of the Mountains, Best Sprinter, had two victories, and two 2nd place podiums. A race to remember. And to return to. Thanks to Gary and Peter, the race organizers and all of the other staff and volunteers. What an event. If you weren't there this year, you should be next year.
|Photo finish - Stage 4|
|Photo: C. Johnson|