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Update from the USA
30 May, 2005
Hi Everyone,
Just thought i'd send an update of what's going on
here in the big old USA cycling scene.I have just
completed my first big race with my new team, team
FUJI at the Bike Jam/ Kelly Cup criterium in
Baltimore, Maryland.A pretty standard, average style
Crit coarse, 1 mile loop around a wide park, with a
few tight turns, and a false flat finish.. however
the coarse was the only thing about that race that was
standard! Coming up to the startline i was mega
surprised at the amount of women!! At a guess, i'd say
70!! All the big U.S women's teams were there, all
trying to push everyone out of the way, and get their
best start off the line.The aim for our team was to
get our fast sprinter Christina Dekraay up to the
front of the bunch on the closing laps for the sprint
finish, so i tried to hold position from the line as
best as i could for the kick off.The whisle blew, and
after alot of knocking of bikes, shoulders, and a few
dumb crashes we were away.I was mid bunch and
comfortable for the first few lap, with the whole
bunch strung out like a piece of string, as riders
tried to attack, and teams chasing them down.My team
mate Elizabeth stayed close to the front and chased
down alot.My job was to watch out for Christina and
Sarah, who could get top 10 in their race with their
powerful sprints.Then it happened.. the wind picked
up, the clouds came in, and then the ..um, everything
hit the fan! The barricades blew into the middle of
the road along with the barricade string.Our bunch was
on 50kph when we saw what was in front.Women yelled,
some screamed, breaks slammed.And the pile up was
inevitable.I went over my bars, but ended up on the
side walk on the grass...shaken, but not stirred.I
wish i could say the same for my teammate Missy, who
landed neck first on a wheel in front of her, and is
still in hospital as i write.Around half the field who
crashed got a lap out, and we jumped back in with 18
laps out of 25 to go.From then on, it was scary
riding.The pace never dropped below 45kph, but lines
were lost, riders went down all over as the rain and
wind continued.I avoided all and stayed safe until one
lap to go.I was moving to the front of the bunch with
3 of my team mates in tow..I felt confident i could
get Christina a good position for the Sprint.Then it
happened again. With one lap to go A barricade flew
into the middle of the road on a tight turn,,, and
another pile up went down, with me and 2 more of my
teammates beheath it!! 1 lap to go and no more free
laps! very frustrating.None of us were hurt, and those
of us who could scrambled to get out bikes and get
away to try and recatch the bunch.. wishfull
thinking..We rolled in in hte 2nd bunch.I was so happy
to get that race over with, and i think my bike
handelling skills have gone up a notch from it! But
the best news is that Christina came around the crash,
stayed in the bunch, and sprinted to 5th, and a good
wad of cash!! Laura Van Gilder (team Quark) won the
race, to noone's surprise.Our next race will be
Somerville Crit in New Jersey, and then the Liberty
Classic in Philidelphia next week.Rubber side up, and
i think i can nail some good finishes!!
Rosy Mccall
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