8 QCW Women raced. QCW swept the top 7 out of 12 spots! The team worked very well together and we learned a lot about the different roles/responsibilities. The QCW Women’s results are as follows:
- Myself – Carren Stika
- Monica Volk
- Melissa Hiller
- Maureen Gribb
- Phoebe Wang
- Lindsay Toman
- Sam Fox
- a non QCW rider
- Modesta Paris
The showing at the Mt. Joy Road Race Cat 3/4 field was fairly small – 14 pre-reg’d, though only 12 showed up. Probably they were scared. When 8 of us rolled up to the line, we looked like an army of friendly black and blue. 5 of us are Cat -3’s and 3 are Cat – 4’s.There were only a couple other riders, one Kelly Benefit rider, one Sunnybrook, one Sturdy Girl and one other unaffiliated rider. I loved everyone’s reaction: “Who are you guys?” “How many of you are there?” “Do you all train together?”
The course was nice – wide open roads with rolling hills – spiced in the middle with a 13% puncher. The race was 3 laps long, only 21 miles.
Right from the start, the pace was painfully slow ~ 14-15 mph. Maureen Gribb took to the front and tried to set a faster tempo, but instead, easily rolled off the front and created a gap. Maureen spent the first 4 miles of the race OTF while QCW riders including myself, Monica Volk, and Sam Fox controlled the field. Maureen steadily increased her gap till we could no longer see her. At the steep hill on the first lap, Monica and I punched up it in effort to join Maureen. Monica and I put in hard even pulls, averaging around 25 mph to establish our break. 3 minutes later, we caught Maureen who joined us for only a mile or so till she couldn’t hold on anymore. Monica and I spent the remaining 17 miles of the race in the break, averaging 20 – 21 mph, developing a gap of 5+ minutes towards the end. On the final stretch, it came down to a sprint finish with myself taking the win and Monica a half wheel behind! It was thrilling to be off the front, never knowing a time split, so we constantly were pounding it, never looking back.
Meanwhile, after Monica and I broke off on lap 1, Melissa Hiller was left in the pack, expecting to be in that breakaway. Unfortunately for her, the break was established a lap earlier than planned and she ended up breaking away solo and riding in no-man’s land while the remaining ladies in the pack blocked for her too. Melissa came in a hard earned, solid 3rd place. After Maureen dropped off our breakaway, she got lost somewhere on the course due to poor marshalling directions. She eventually got back on course, adding an additional 2 miles to the route, and finished 4th nonetheless. Final lap, Modesta led a hard effort up the punchy climb (still 5 miles from the finish), scattering the field. Phoebe and Lindsay used the distraction to form a break of their own and finished 5 – 6. Sam, who continued to block for the field against the remaining competitors finished successfully in 7th. Modesta, in her first race ever, learned a lot and came in 9th.
So happy to have teammates (though I hope not every race is a wash out like this)! We are really growing and this race is proof of that hard work the leaders put in with recruiting. Last year, I never once had a teammate of my category and this past weekend I had 4 and we’re all looking to upgrade. Thanks to all the ladies who raced well and worked as a team! Couldn’t have done it without you!