Posted by: marissaridesbikes | February 14, 2011

Bicycles Plus Early Bird Criterium 2011

Bright & sunny Folsom, California (we were glad we had our Zealios sunscreen on); February 12, 2011

Touchstone Climbing  had five Voler-clad riders on the line at the 2011 Bicycles Plus Early Bird Criterium this past Saturday.  Ann Stuart, Carol Irving, Elis Bradshaw, Heather Nielson and Marley Smith formed the largest team in the open women’s race. There were many strong single riders in the group and approximately forty women on the line, just under twenty 1/2/3s and a few more 4s than that (the two fields raced together for separate prize lists).

The attacks started right after corner one on the first lap – nobody wanted to waste a second of the 45-minute race and it was a good thing we all ate some Gu on the line! The team used their numbers to their advantage, with Marley and Elis covering most of the attacks while Ann, Carol and Heather kept the field under control. A few moves looked promising, but the field wasn’t having it and brought everything back. Thinking that it was looking like we would have a field sprint, Elis went for a late-race mystery prime (it can be hard to understand the announcers while you’re racing!) with six laps to go and won a new red blinky taillight – safety first!

With three to go the group was together, and as we turned the final corner of that lap Heather & Ann came to the front. They did a great job of keeping the race fast, but with so many single riders they didn’t have much help from the field. Rounding the first corner with two laps to go, Ruth Winder (Lombardi Sports) and Mary Maroon (Webcor/Sport Velo) attacked simultaneously, forming a dangerous late-race break. Elis followed the attack but unfortunately the field soon followed and with one lap to go we were all together again. Carol came to the front for the final lap, making sure we stayed fast and single-file approaching the sprint.

Beth Newell (Fremont Bank) won the sprint, followed by Mary Maroon in second and Ruth Winder in third, with Elis coming in right on their heels for fourth place. All in all it was a successful team effort; there are most certainly victories on the horizon!

Thanks to our sponsors for the support!

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