Despite the close proximity of Athens to the races in greater Atlanta, the proximity of Spring Break made it difficult for many racers to attend this weekend. Yet still, our small but mighty group pushed forth!
Saturday started chilly near the lovely Serenbe community, with the surprise of Emily Cox moving up to A's. Although Anna was sad, Emily and GT's Stephanie's upgrades moved her closer to the top of the B's division. The TT course came through with the consensus of 'hard' and 'felt awful,' yet everyone still placed well - and more importantly earned points. It was then a waiting game until the afternoon road races. After some tarp-napping and foam-rolling, the team took a ride to the town of Serenbe for a scrumptiously delicious lunch. Newly energized, everyone rode back to prepare for the road races.
It would seem that everyone had an interesting road race experience. Liam and Patrick were surprised by the start even, "We were standing in the grass next to the road when he told us to go," says Patrick. A surprise start and then 12mi in both UGAers were caught behind a crash - neither hurt. "I was forced off the road," says Patrick, "By the time I got going again, I was too far back to catch up to the pack by myself. Eventually, a few other riders caught up with me and we were able to work together until the end [way to work together! -editor's comment]. I felt kind of like a [Dick's Sporting Goods] because twice when it was my turn to pull, my calves cramped up. [Patrick assures that he wasn't just faking it.] Because Anna's dad told me to go look at the finish, I knew when to attack and was at least able to beat the 4 people I was riding with."
The ladies, after a group warmup with their competitors, lined up in time to hear that the A's race had been cut in half... "The women's As got shafted" was the consensus from the field. To say the least, Kira, Emily, and everyone else was upset with the officiating and probably could write a really strongly-worded letter to those officiating (but ranting on the internet never got anyone anywhere). "That being said, a 41mi road race is hard." says Kira with a laugh. A couple of quick hills got the legs burning from the beginning, but Jillian in her first race ever hung strong until the last few miles when the pace really started to pick up.
Says Jillian, "It was my first race and I didn't really know what to expect. I kept near Anna for thefirst 10 miles and she gave me some great tips throughout the race that really helped me. I had a good time but was disappointed with an uphill finish. I'm excited to race again." Anna would like to add that Jillian 'KICKED BUTT.'
The 5 remaining B's, including Anna, kept trucking with the A's to stick it out for one final MESS of a one lane tight sprint. Although the field sprint included the entire A's field plus 5 B's, the yellow line rule was still enforced on the slightly downhill sprint. Many near catastrophes, but Kira and Emily finished strong, and Anna thrust her bike to scrape the 3rd place position. "I was lined up perfectly and gaining a good amount of distance into first place when the girl in front swung way right to almost crash me out. I was wobbling from the sudden change in line, and barely scraped third place." -Anna. Jillian came in not too far after the field sprint to take a top 8 position in her first race.
Some final 'discussions' about the finish, and some bonding with GA Tech and UF, and the team parted for some food and rest before the Sunday crits.
Liam Ainslie in the Men's C field.
Sunday, the day of crits was generally more enjoyable for everyone, reflected in some awesome results! Although Emily and Kira were
nervous since this would be the first race this season that they had not slept in the same bed, "for good luck!" spirits were high and ready for some turbo efforts.
Liam repped the C's and hung on strong through the race - he finished strong in the field sprint, even after being stopped for 10min by a crash being cleaned up.
Anna Zuver getting the win.
After seeing the remnants of the crash and a couple sketchy looking laps, Anna was not excited about doing a field sprint. "The downhill sprint to the line looked like it could get sketchy, especially remembering the lines taken yesterday. I decided that I didn't want to be mixed up in it and that it would be best to break away." And break away she did. After some eager beavers took the lead for a few laps, Anna threw an early attack about 10mins in to the crit. "I got away pretty easily, but didn't want to be off the front by myself." After sitting in for a few laps, "I looked back and thought that it was way too early to go. But the field didn't look eager, and I was ready. After turn 1, I just went for it. Coming up the long hill, the motorcycle official told me that there was 2 laps to go after I crossed the line and I knew I had to finish it. I came through with about a 20second gap on the field. Coming up on to one lap to go, Kira and Emily yelled 'TURBOOO' which sent a shot of turbo-power through my legs to finish the crit with the field out of sight. I'd say it was a pretty good day for me."
Emily Cox and Kira Maicke, sitting in the field.
Hyped up on free Monster, Emily and Kira also had a fun race - both with finishes in the field sprint. "The crit course was awesome! It had a great combination of up hill and down hill and some good straights so there was a lot of speed an intensity in the race!"
Overall, a great race weekend from GT Cycling.
And a good time was had by all.
ITTsMom-Daughter shot of Emily Cox and Martha Johnson :)
Women's A: 3rd - Kira Maicke, 6th - Emily Cox
Women's B: 2nd - Anna Zuver
Men's C: 26th? - Liam Ainslie, 27th? - Patrick Lavin (caught behind crash)Women's A: 9th - Kira Maicke, 13th - Emily Cox
Women's B: 3rd - Anna Zuver, 7th? - Jillian Woodliff
Men's C: 8th - Liam Ainslie
Women's A: 8th - Kira Maicke, 11th - Emily Cox
Women's B: 1st - Anna Zuver *
UGA is now 5th in the conference overall. Other top 10 conference placements:
Liam Ainslie - 6th, Men's C
Kira Maicke - 2nd, Women's A
Anna Zuver - 2nd, Women's B
Emily Cox - still 3rd, Women's B (she's ranked 14th for As)
Check out seccc.net for full results. GO DAWGS.
(Thanks to everyone who posted pictures in different places on Facebook!)