Philly for the first time

One thing that I have been able to do with Stevens – The Cyclery team is travel to a lot of new places I have never been to before. This race was no different as I finally can cross Philadelphia off my list.

The Parx Casino Philly Classic took place on June 1st, is a men and women’s road race on the UCI calendar. This means that the professionals come out to play too! Specialized -Lululemon (Evie Stevens was there!), Team Tibco, Optum, as well as UHC (with Alison Powers) were some of the teams present. The course is a circuit of about 12 miles with 5 laps around and up “The Wall”.

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Amélie, Ariane, Emily, Annie, Carrie and I were finally all together. We haven’t raced as a full team until this year and it’s really awesome to have everyone together!

From my point of view, this was a tough race made so by the equal prize money (so the women are receiving the same amount the men do) and also there are UCI points up for grabs.

Going into this race we had discussed what we wanted to do as individual riders. This is a big race for many of us, so the experience will teach us much more if we are in the thick of it. Every race, since I’ve been with Stevens, I have learned something (or many things) and Philly certainly would be a great opportunity to learn. For me, positioning myself in the pack has been important.

If I had written this report the day after the race, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what happened. Some things are still a little unsure because it all happens so fast and if you don’t see it or aren’t a part of it, then it’s gone.

This was a great example with women going off on attacks all the time making the pack work and keep a high speed for the first lap. Alison Powers took off on some lap (didn’t see it happen) and was in a solo break for almost the entire race. Specialized, Optum, Tibco and Vanderkitten were eager to bring Powers back so the pace definitely remained quite high. In the end Evelyn Stevens crossed the line just in front of Lex Albrecht. That’s kind of what happened (in a nut shell) for the overall race.

I found out later that there were about 4 crashes during the whole thing. I was unfortunately caught up in one at the end of lap 4.

Team-wise though Annie, Carrie, Emily and Amélie all had great positioning for the first lap. Stevens was in the mix and that’s something to be happy about. 10355802_473034669510123_6275076340328978460_n

We tried to put ourselves near the front before the Manayunk climb a.k.a The Wall because there are 3 corners and the climb, so it would be more difficult to get near the front in that section and then climb. Carrie climbed really well keeping her position near the top third of the pack and staying sheltered. Annie was also up there, but fell back a bit on the climbs after a few laps. However, she fought and rode her way through the caravan to catch the peloton. Emily and Amélie rode hard, but with time cuts on the circuit course, were pulled after a few laps. Amélie was helpful and pointed out to me how I just let a girl take a spot in the pack that I should have taken!! 🙂

For myself, I tried to be present in the race and sent a few slight attacks (more like rode slowly off the front) or tried to follow other attacks. This was good for me because it meant I was positioned near the front (what my goal had been). I also knew that I couldn’t climb as well as most of the riders so I wanted to be more forward to not lose as much time.

Just due to unfortunate luck, Carrie flatted with 10km to go and was dropped from the main bunch. My luck was being caught up in a crash just before The Wall.

A blog written by me only gives one perspective, but from where I see it, Stevens – The Cyclery had a really great race at Philly. I am proud to be a part of this team and to see my teammates do well. WAY TO GO LADIES!!

Next up, Chrono and GP Gatineau. Until then, eat, sleep and pedal!

 

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