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Cycle-Smart International 2 - C2
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, November 2, 2008
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Race 2 - November 2: Elite Women
Van Gilder victorious in New England
By Kirsten Robbins in Northampton, Massachusetts
Laura van Gilder (C3/Sollay.com) ended a very aggressive final lap with a flawless victory on day two of the Cycle-Smart International. She finished ahead of the previous days winner, Natasha Elliott (Stevens), and Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella-Kona), while Maureen Bruno Roy took fourth place.
"Certainly there are some things that I struggle with technically but I really wanted to dictate a portion of the race today," said Van Gilder after her win. "For me that was at the end. I think everyone was vying for the front spot after the hill."
The battle for top step honours took place on a decisive section of the course - the steep ride up to the last half of the circuit. Bruno Roy looked to have the upper hand, but Van Gilder quickly took the lead back as the riders reached the top. She firmly held her place at the front but gained several bike lengths when she very gracefully exited the last set of barriers before the finish.
"Maureen wanted retribution after yesterday, Natasha wanted to show that her strong win wasnt a fluke and of course Deidre and I just battle it out," continued Van Gilder. "It really could have been anyones win. But I thought, if I could at least make it over the barriers well today than I could at least be with them at the end."
Another sunny day fell on the three-kilometre circuit in Look Park, Northampton. Some clever course changes had been implemented overnight, with the most decisive change being the alternate direction for the previous days run up and descent. The two passageways linked the upper and lower decks.
A field of 30 women lined up under slightly colder temperatures than the previous day, with Sally Annis (NECB/Cycle Loft) taking the holeshot into the steep descent before the revamped lower deck. She was swiftly followed by Winfield, Van Gilder and Bruno-Roy. After a slower start, Elliott trailed the tail end of the lead group for one lap before making contact with the leaders.
"Personally I like todays course much better than yesterday," said Winfield. "It was great to be able to stay on the bike more and there were more twists and turns. Everyone rode great today. I prefer to be toward the front instead of at the back just in case something happens in front of me."
Elliott, an Ottawa native, took charge with several attacks reducing her competition to three riders: Van Gilder, Bruno Roy and Winfield. "I think the four of us were just playing the game and no one really wanted to attack," said Elliott. "It felt like everyone wanted to leave it until towards the end, which really made it Lauras race. It was a much harder race today."
Bruno Roy, Elliott and Winfield took turns on the front while Van Gilder sat behind patiently, perfecting her technical skills. "Yesterday I had some mechanical problems that really complicated the whole race for me," said van Gilder. "I went into today wanting to have a good clean ride all the way through. I knew the climb was going to be the most important place to have a good position at the end."
An advantage of several bike lengths as Van Gilder exited the last set of barriers was enough to force her competition into a battle for second place. "Laura got the lead at the critical spot after the barriers and she was gone," said Elliott afterwards. "Deidre passed me before the last corner but I was able to pass her back on the pavement."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Paul Weiss
1 Laura Van Gilder (C3 Sollay) 37.48.00 2 Natasha Elliott (EMD Serono/Stevens) 1.00 3 Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella - Kona) 2.00 4 Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles) 5 Josie Jacques-Maynes (Specialized/KMC pb Cal Giant) 33.00 6 Rebecca Wellons (Ridley Factory Team) 35.00 7 Sally Annis (NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental) 1.06.00 8 Anna Milkowski (Velo Bella-Kona) 1.45.00 9 Amy Wallace (RGM WATCHES - RICHARD SACHS - BOATHOUSE INC) 2.03.00 10 Cris Rothfuss (NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental) 2.14.00 11 Linnea Koons (International Bicycle/Global) 12 Vicki Thomas (Ottawa Cross) 2.27.00 13 Crystal Anthony 2.36.00 14 Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club) 2.37.00 15 Perri Mertens (Embrocation Racing/Cambridge Bicycle) 2.46.00 16 Kate Northcott (Beam Team/Bensonwood) 3.19.00 17 Mackenzie Dickey (Colavita/Sutter Home/ PB Cooking Light) 4.06.00 18 Lauri Webber (Secret Henry's Team) 4.11.00 19 Rebecca Blatt (Team Kenda Tire) 4.20.00 20 Marci Titus Hall (DeSalvo Custom Cycles) 4.22.00 21 Michelle Kersbergen (Joe's Garage) 4.37.00 22 Kathryne Carr (Joe's Garage) 23 Meg Bilodeau (HUP UNITED) 4.59.00 24 Callie Mcdowell (Boston University / Scantily Plaid) 25 Kathleen Billington (CONNECTICUT COAST CYCLING) 5.21.00 26 Susan Maclean (Gear Works/Spin Arts Cycling Team) 5.32.00 27 Melissa Doherty (Unattached) 5.37.00 28 Beth Mason (C3-Sollay.com) 5.50.00