A remembrance-tinged visit for Anna and the Saturn team to the site of the death of their much-loved team-mate Nicole Reinhart.
Boston, AA, July 8, 2001
Last weekend, 17 of the Saturn cyclists, men and women, travelled to Arlington, Boston. We were there to race a circuit race on the Sunday, but more importantly to commemorate our teammate, Nicole Reinhart, who died after crashing late in the same race last year.
On Saturday we all took part in a memorial ride in Nicole's honour and it was great to see over 100 cyclists turn out to remember Nicole on the ride. Following the ride there was a memorial service for Nicole and then a new playground which had been built in Nicole's honour was dedicated to her. After all the activities we congregated again for a BBQ lunch. It brought up memories for all of us but we were all impressed by the strength of her parents. They attended all the functions with smiles and kind words for all of us and they are still huge supporters of bike racing.
On Sunday it was time to race. There were still a lot of nerves I think the organisers were desperately nervous and hoping that there would be no major accidents this year. For our team, it was important to us to win the race for Nicole, but we felt that the most important thing was for us to be there and participate and make a positive day of it.
The course was very tough it was about a 6 km circuit which we completed 12 times and there was a nasty hill of nearly 2 kms each lap. That left very little recovery time between the climb every lap and the field was quickly decimated. The Autotrader team was the main aggressor early in the race and it was a move by Kim Smith as we approached the climb for the 7th time that started creating gaps in the field. Pia Sunstedt (Intersports) seized the opportunity and set a tough pace up the hill that lap. Lyne Bessette (Saturn) is still in great form and she had no trouble following Pia's move up the climb. I wasn't finding things so easy and had to dig pretty deep to make the cut. Also with us at the top were Rosalind Reekie (New Zealand) and Amber Neeban (Autotrader).
The field was in splinters behind us and we soon heard that there were two more Autotrader riders about 30 seconds behind us Kim Smith and Katrina Berger. I didn't want to let those riders catch us since that would mean Autotrader would have three riders in the break and destroy the advantage we had with two Saturn riders out of 5. So Lyne and I contributed to the work in the breakaway. Every time we hit the climb, I was suffering badly and I knew Pia would attack again late in the race. So I told Lyne to save something for the last couple of climbs, since she was most likely going to be the only one capable of going with Pia.
We gradually pulled clear of the chasing riders and they were swallowed up by the bunch. The last time up the climb, Pia attacked as expected and it was a good one! Lyne was able to follow her but Rosalind Reekie, Amber Neeban and I all struggled desperately to stay in contact. Pia and Lyne had about a 15 second gap at the top. Pia continued to work hard on the front into the finish and Lyne was able to outsprint her for the win. I won the sprint for third and I think it was Rosalind 4th and Amber 5th. Julie Young (Autotrader) attacked the bunch the last time up the climb and she rode in solo for 6th place. Ina Teutenberg won the bunch sprint for 7th place in front of Sarah Ulmer.
Next race for me will be the Thuringen tour in East Germany, starting 24th July. So back into the training until then!