A duel between Laura Van Gilder and Mary McConneloug, ended in the road rider's favour after just over 40 minutes of racing today in Providence. The duo were seemingly stuck together with a sprint, looking to be the likely outcome, but a surge from Van Gilder in the final laps was enough to gap McConneloug and earn the Mellow Mushroom rider the win.
From before the race was even started, it was clear that today was going to be an all-out battle with the top step on the podium wide open. The highlights in the starting blocks included local heroes, Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles), Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing), Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cyclces), Sara Bresnick (Embrocation Cycling Journal) and the triumphant return of Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) as well as some of the top racers from the Mid-Atlantic in the people of Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b C3) and Arley Kemmerer (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes).
At the start, it was Smith, Van Gilder and Annis at the front, setting a torrid pace – stretching the field out in the first set of corners. The group of three drove the pace hard and held a chasing group of Bruno Roy, Bresnick and McConneloug at bay.
Each of the riders at the front was taking their turn, maintaining a high pace, knowing that their best chance would come if the group held together and the group behind was held at arm’s length. It seemed like it would be a formality that the podium would be the lead group until Smith lost control in an off-cambered downhill corner just after the pit. Smith lost a lot of time with a slow recovery and saw her podium hopes slip away. Ahead of her, Mary McConneloug turned up the heat, attacking her chasing group and making contact with the leaders. Shorly after McConneloug took up her place in the front group, Annis dropped off the pace just a little.
With Smith fighting to come back from well behind and Annis slightly off the pace, it became a battle between Van Gilder, a specialist in the sprint and a master tactician and McConneloug, whose forte is handling her bike and finds victory through smooth and conservative racing. Van Gilder, knowing that she had her finishing speed as an ace in the hole, was comfortable following McConneloug through the course. Van Gilder made only one move – she came around McConneloug heading into the final section of grass and put two bike lengths between them almost immediately and that was enough space.
Van Gilder turned those two bike lengths into seven seconds and crossed the line first for her first UCI C1 victory of the season. McConneloug was happy with her second-place while Annis crossed the line third. Smith came back from her crash and mechanical and finished seventh.
|1||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom||0:40:30|
|2||Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda-Seven-NoTubes||0:00:07|
|3||Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:00:55|
|4||Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:13|
|5||Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Embrocationcycling.com||0:01:20|
|6||Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF||0:01:35|
|7||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:52|
|8||Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:02:07|
|9||Catherine Sterling (USA) Bikeman.com||0:02:15|
|10||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||0:02:26|
|11||Anna Barensfeld (USA) Sterling CX p/b Sendmail||0:02:37|
|12||Stacey Barbossa (USA) Elite Endurance Training Systems|
|13||Patricia Buerkle (USA) VA Asset Group p/b Artemis - Trek||0:03:10|
|14||Elle Anderson (USA) LadiesFirst Racing|
|15||Brittlee Bowman (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:03:21|
|16||Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Silverbull Centralwheel||0:03:27|
|17||Rebecca Wellons (USA) Quad Cycles||0:03:32|
|18||Melissa Ross (USA) Team Kenda Tire p/b Geargrinder||0:03:34|
|19||Jena Greaser (USA) NorEast Cycling||0:03:41|
|20||Frances Morrison (USA) J.A.M. Fund-NCC||0:03:54|
|21||Laura Ralston (GBr) MIT Cycling-FXDD|
|22||Christina Tamilio (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:04:15|
|23||Lex Albrecht (Can) Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda||0:04:32|
|24||Molly Hurford (USA) Team Rockstar Games-Signature Cycles||0:04:53|
|25||Sarah Krzysiak (USA) nycross.com||0:05:03|
|26||Allison Snooks (USA) crossresults.com||0:05:10|
|27||Jocelyn Mauldin (USA) NEBC p/b Cycle Loft||0:05:19|
|28||Elizabeth White (USA) Blue Steel Cyclery||0:05:20|
|29||Patricia Dowd (USA) Team REP-I COWBELL CX||0:05:25|
|30||Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom||0:06:00|
|31||Jenny Ives (USA) Verge Sport-Test Pilot||0:06:10|
|32||Vanessa McCaffery (USA) Corning-NoTubes Race Team-Swan Cycles|
|33||Marian Jamison (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:06:19|
|34||Kelly Chang (USA) SyCip||0:06:43|
|35||Giulia Righi (Ita) Silver Bull-Central Wheel of Farmington CT||0:07:30|
|36||Anna Milkowski (USA) Wheelworks Racing|
|37||Nancy Labbe-Giguere (Can) LadiesFirst Racing|