Welcome to my first blog since the commencement of my stay in Merica’. Before I dive into the racing scene, let me give you some background of whats been going on.
So, very briefly; I went from Australia to Japan on the 1st
of July, raced a the Japan Cup there, then headed to the US on the 8th, where I am racing with Fearless Femme, an American team that runs out of Pure Energy Cycling, a cycling shop located in Lambertville. I’ve been staying in Lambertville, New Jersey. My first race was the Intelligensia Cup Series, which is 10 days worth of criterium racing around Chicago, we drove from Lambers to Chicago, a very long drive, I am still alive thanks to those who asked.
The US racing scene was nothing shy of exciting with fast, technical courses, aggressive tactics and crowds for miles. Most importantly though, they say its the people who make the place, and every-time we crossed the line hearing, ‘ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR CAAAASH PRIME, ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR CAAAAAASH’ I couldn’t help but sing ‘This is America’ by Childish Gambino.
Fast. Over exaggerated. And loud…. ‘This is America’.
Each day was an opportunity to experience and learn. I am grateful, despite the result to be able to immerse myself in this type of racing and take something away from each experience. In saying that, being able to learn something and win is always nice.
The highlight day for me was day 8; a very technical, amorphous course around Glen Ellyn.
An early break went up the road with four, non-GC contestant riders, a 30 second gap was gained quickly and the nature of the course was out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Panic settled in the peloton with 5 or so laps to go, however; a minute and 10 second gap lead many spectators to expect a four-way jostle between the leaders on the road… However, they don’t understand the capabilities of Ash Ankudinoff. Ash turned herself inside-out to close a 45 second gap in the bell lap of the course, the break became insight along Lake Road. Before the tight u-ie, I was sitting in 4th wheel behind team-mate, Catherine Oullette, who lead me to the corner of Lenox Road, at this point there was all four break away riders in front of us, sprawled across the road in a desperate attempt to salvage any place they could with the fast approaching pelo. I started sprinting for 5th, then 4th, then 3rd, then 2nd… a horrifically desperate, and ugly attempt at a lunge to the line saw Rox Solt’s Charlotte Culver, the only survivor of the break, pip me by a mere 4-inches.
Theres nothing like a fast, dangerous, unexpected, grip-clenched finish to take a few years off my life…. ‘This is America’.
The girls gave me their everything that day, and I am so humbled to stand on the podium as a representation of all of our efforts. We came 2nd, but it felt like a win.
A special thanks goes out to Marisa Ehinger and Tony Martinez, Kristina and Troy Mills, Hollie and Tom Calfield, the sponsors (see below) and Arounkone.