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2008 Capital Cross Classic - C2
Reston, Virginia, USA, December 7, 2008
Race 1 - December 7: Elite Women, 40 minutes
Winfield leads from start to finish
With the women's series championship already locked-up, C3-Sollay.com sent Laura Van Gilder to Rhode Island to further expand the black-and-blue empire. And with Melanie Swartz (Velo Bella / Kona) a scratch due to illness and Hub Racing's Arley Kemmerer nursing a surgically-repaired broken finger, Velo-Bella / Kona's Dee Dee Winfield figured to be the favorite for the day.
She didn't disappoint, as she led the race from wire-to-wire. "I just tried to get out ahead early because I knew the wind would be a factor and I didn't want anybody drafting. So I tried to save it where I could and push it where I thought I was strongest," said Winfield.
Though nearly a minute behind, second place Kristin Gavin (Human Zoom / Pabst Blue Ribbon) was elated as she came across the line. It was the best UCI finish ever for a first-year elite rider. In third place, Arley Kemmerer battled not only her competitors and the elements, but also injury.
"Three" seems to be Kemmerer's number of late, as it not only represents her finishing position, but also the number of screws holding together her surgically-repaired left pinky finger that was injured by one of the same wooden posts that snared Tim Johnson's knee at the USGP race in New Jersey. With a hand brace protecting her finger, Kemmerer lost the ability to fully grasp the handlebars, which made remounts more difficult. Compounding the full-time law student's handicap was that she wasn't able to ride outside since the injury three weeks ago and all of her training has been done inside.
In the end, the biggest battle may have been man and woman against the elements. "At the start, I didn't even feel like I was moving," laughed Winfield, referring to the headwind at the start.
Kristin Gavin said the cross wind played havoc with her barrier dismounts. "The wind blew the bike into you and carried you. I was like 'Ohhhh' because it caught me by surprise."
What about Arley Kemmerer, surely years of alpine ski racing gave her an advantage? "It doesn't help. The cold air feels like it paralyzes your lungs. It's totally different (from ski racing). We're spending so much time outside compared to ski racing. In skiing, you go out and take a few runs, but you can always go back in the lodge to warm up. And when you're racing, your run takes a minute-and-a-half and you go right back into the lodge. So to be out there 40-45 minutes, it wears on you."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Diego Radzinschi
Elite women 1 Deidre Winfield (USA) Velo Bella - Kona 32.24 2 Kristin Gavin (USA) Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon 0.57 3 Arley Kemmerer (USA) Hub Racing 1.06 4 Heidi Von Teitenberg (USA) C3-Sollay.Com 1.18 5 Nikki Thiemann (USA) Human Zoom Pabst Blue Ribbon 6 Libbey Sheldon (USA) Tokyo Joe's 1.26 7 Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Team Kenda Tire 1.33 8 Patty Buerkle (USA) Vanderkitten 2.30 9 Julie Kuliecza (USA) Alan North America Cycling 2.48 10 Lauri Webber (USA) Secret Henry's Team 2.52 11 Elizabeth Harlow (USA) C3-Sollay.Com 3.29 12 Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon 3.30 13 Jill Waggett (USA) Guy's Racing 3.31 14 Betsy Shogren (USA) Sobe Cannondale 5.56 15 Diane Grim (USA) C3-Sollay.Com 6.59 DNS Melanie Swartz (USA) Velo Bella - Kona DNS Catherine Walberg (USA) Trek/Sram