Posted by: marissaridesbikes | March 4, 2011

Snelling Road Race

February 26, 2011 in Snelling, California

The Snelling Road Race in the central valley is the first big road race of the region, and is traditionally host to large fields and large puddles in the road. This year we had lovely, clear skies and cold temperatures for our midday race.

In the last few years, the Women’s 1/2 field has become a testing ground for nationally and internationally-ranked teams like HTC Columbia, Tibco, and Peanut Butter/2012. This year Elis Bradshaw & Heather Nielson from Touchstone had the privilege of racing against an 8-woman Tibco squad, as well as local competitors from Metromint Cycling, Primal/Map My Ride, Fremont Bank, RED Racing, and Webcor/Alto Velo.

Thanks to for the photo!

With the largest number of riders in the field, Tibco led the field through the neutral section of the race. Everyone seemed to be waiting for them to begin the attacks, but for the most part they seemed happy to let other riders set the tone of the race.  A few riders, including Susannah Breen and Ruth Winder, did make powerful attacks; however, nothing managed to get out of sight in the early laps. For Elis, the most dangerous move during the first three laps occurred when she dropped her a Gu flask full of Roctane. Fortunately she had stashed some extra in her pockets.

Nearing the end of the penultimate lap, a break with two Tibco riders and a Fremont Bank rider was reeled back when Tibco rider Erinne Willock attacked during a lull and escaped alone. She managed to stay away for the entire final lap and take the victory with a clear road behind her.

Heading into the finish, Tibco began their leadout with 1.5k to go. Up to that point the final miles had been fairly chaotic, with no one team in control. Touchstone made sure to have good position going into the final corner and came through about eighth wheel behind five Tibco and three non-Tibco riders. In hindsight, that was a little too far back.

The P/1/2 men’s field had passed the women’s peloton in the second-to-last corner, about three miles before the finish. As the women rounded the final corner for the sprint, we discovered a handful of riders who had come off the men’s group during the finish and were now fanned out across the road, partially impeding the sprint. Yikes! This made the sprint a little bit trickier for the women’s field, but everyone made it through and crossed the line upright.

Elis took 5th place in the field sprint, for 6th place overall in a tough race. Good enough for a VeloPromo t-shirt!


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