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An education in cycling

By:
Missy Erickson
Published:
August 20, 2010, 17:35 BST,
Updated:
August 20, 2010, 18:40 BST

Missy Erickson finds success in Superweek

As if you haven't heard enough from me lately, I decided to venture on to another stage race, the International Cycling Classic Superweek Pro Tour. This year, women's racing was covered on 16 days. That's a lot! But I wasn't just racing, I'm also part of the set up crew at Superweek.

Superweek is one of my favorite events. And I'm not saying that because I work it, but after racing the series, it was incredible. Coming out of Dairyland, I was feeling good. I made the drive back to Colorado Springs, stayed for a week, picked up some people, and drove back to Wisconsin.

I am very thankful to the IS Corp Women's Elite team for allowing me to guest ride for them. It was an incredible opportunity, and it was a lot of fun!

So, in a shoe box, this is how it went for me:

3rd Geneva-Mill Cycling Classic Criterium
7th Homewood International Cycling Classic Criterium
9th Richton Park Criterium
2nd Willow Springs Road Race
5th Keefe Real Estate Lake Geneva Criterium
10th South Shore Cyclery Classic Criterium
12th Brookfield/Maximized Living Criterium
16th EDGE Condominiums-Schlitz Park Challenge
9th The NorthShore University HealthSystem Grand Prix of Cycling
5th Wheel and Sprocket Whitnall Park Road Race

8th Overall Women's Pro 1/2/3
2nd Overall Women's Top Amateur

I stopped racing with 4 days to go. I was tired, I was dehydrated, and I was ready for some time off the bike. It was hard to stop. For a few of the last days, I struggled to get on my bike, and racing was not enjoyable, but I just needed points. But I decided it wasn't worth it. With a lot more racing left in my season, I decided to stop.

I was in the jersey, the top amateur jersey; I was in the first jersey I have ever won. I was so excited. I said on the very first day, I told the crew while holding the pink thing, "I'm going to be wearing that," and that's what I did. I raced hard everyday. I even got 2nd in a hill top finish of a road race.

Being 1st in the top amateur, and 2nd overall GC, I stopped racing and I was happy. It was ok with me that I was letting it go, but sometimes, taking care of yourself is a better idea than chasing one result.

I was in one crash at Superweek, at the Evanston Grand Prix, my favorite race. I kept racing that day, but afterward, stopping in the SRAM neutral support pit with Chris Kreidl, Jose Alcala, and Bernard Kocis, my bike was reported as: broken derailleur hanger, broken saddle, and cracked frame. Awesome. But don't worry. I can still ride it, but you won't find me racing it.

So, after 17 days of getting up early, setting up the fence/banners/booth/whatever else, grabbing some food, kitting up, racing, and tearing everything back down again, it was time to head back home. Superweek is something I will be doing again. Racing day after day in 60k criteriums is right up my alley, and I love it! The venues are incredible, the fans are great, and with Superweek getting more on board with women's cycling, I'm glad to be part of the event.

The following weekend after Superweek, I was back in Colorado Springs racing the Track State Championships, which were also the elite national qualifiers. This was the first time I have ever attempted to qualify for elites, and I did it! In both endurance, and sprint events.

1st Women's Keirin
1st Women's Team Pursuit (w/Vera Divenyi and Greta Neimanas)
1st Women's Team Sprint (w/Vera Divenyi)
3rd Women's Points Race
4th Women's Match Sprint

I'm very excited to be going to elites, granted, my professors at Fort Lewis may not be too enthused that I will be missing two weeks of classes, (Sept 21-Oct 3), but in the end, the great cycling community of Durango pulls through for any cycling dream.

So after being on the road for 2+ months, it is nice to stay put and ride my bike in this lovely city of Colorado Springs. I head back to Fort Lewis on the Sept 29th, start school on the 30th, and then it's back at it. After collegiate track, it's elites, and then the cross season starts! TwinSix has been a great supporter of me, and ill be rocking their metal team kit.

So, it's back to school for my junior year, time to crack open the books and get myself an education. An education in cycling, is more like it.
 

Author
US Women's Development Program

Follow the program's young female cyclists as they embark on their journey to the top of the pro ranks The US Women's Cycling Development program was founded by former pro rider, Michael Engleman, as a way to help promising young women cyclists reach their full potential as athletes. The dedicated and well spoken women of this program provide thoughtful, compelling and sometimes hilarious anecdotes of their experiences in this diary. For further reading about the program, visit the USWCDP website.

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