Posted by: marissaridesbikes | June 21, 2011

Nevada City Cycling Classic: Touchstone Teamwork

Touchstone racers Emily Thurston, Heather Nielson, and Marissa Axell raced the 51st Annual Nevada City Cycling Classic this past Sunday. One of the longest continuous running criteriums in the country, Nevada City is known for its grueling 5 blocks of uphill and fast swooping downhill, making it a favorite race for spectators and racers in the cycling hotbed of Northern California.

The race saw a small but mighty peloton line up to start, including last year’s winner, Katerina Nash, and local heavy hitters, Emily Kachorek from Primal/Map My Ride and Susannah Breen from Fremont Bank.

The race started with the requisite neutral lap. The lead moto turned the peloton loose at the top of the course.  After a safe first downhill lap, Touchstone rider Heather set tempo up the hill. The next time around saw Touchstone rider Marissa attacking and causing a ripple in the peloton. Immediately a counter attack happened, and caused further damage to the dwindling pack, with Katerina, Emily K, Susannah and Emily T surging ahead. Marissa picked up the pace to latch onto teammate Emily but instead eased up slightly, opening a small gap, forcing others in the peloton to chase, and thus, the break was established.

Emily T raced well with her strong break-mates, but with attacks launching lap after lap, eventually the break splintered into 4 strong solo riders, and all were chasing Katerina Nash. Touchstone’s Emily T rode to 4th place in a tough breakaway field. Touchstone rider Marissa kept the pressure on in the chase group, attacking her chase-mates through the final lap, and won the field sprint for 5th on the day with Touchstone rider Heather finishing in 11th.

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