Elizabeth Emery Sport
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Dayton Ohio Pro/Am
July 7-9, 2000

This race looked great on paper - a TT, RR and crit with good courses, interested press, sponsors, and locals. The organization needed work. The women's TT started just under one hour late - revealed to us in small increments. "We are ten minutes behind." "We are 15 minutes behind." Blah, blah, blah. During this time all the riders milled around not wanting to miss start times as many of the men did.

No one was well warmed up after all the hanging around. The six-mile course was on the bike path along the river - out and not back. This format, while fun, causes timing difficulties. Shortly (20 minutes) before the next stage the results were still not finalized. Anna Wilson won, our Catherine took second, just a few seconds back, and Mary Giorgetti was third. I was fifth.

In the crit I struggled dangling off the back for ten of the 50 laps. I moved to the front to help Laura who was riding so incredibly well up there. I helped out a bit and found myself again at the back. Then back to the front again covering Anna towing the whole field up with me. Then all of a sudden it was just me, Anna, and Annie Garriepy. Anna and Annie were doing most of the work. Because of the result confusion, I didn't know where Annie had placed the day before and by how much. Myke Berna, our manager had trouble finding out the information. He did find out and told me in the radio she was fourth by just a few seconds.

Back in the field Catherine tried to bridge but was covered too closely by the others. The break stayed away by over 20 seconds. In the sprint, I came out of my pedals - twice!! (if it's not one thing it's another) and came in last, moving up to third overall.

The following stage was a mostly flat road race with one killer steep climb of less than a mile. I dropped off (big surprise) and spent much longer than I thought we would have to chasing back on with Marie Holjer and a bunch of others. With 20 kilometers or so to go, Julie Hanson and an Elita rider got off and dangled between 10 to 20 seconds ahead of the group for a while. I tried to bridge up with NO success.

The break gained time quickly. At 40 seconds Myke told Laura and Marie to get to the front and chase. They did an amazing job. Marie's been feeling much like I have, yet was taking wicked hard pulls. Catherine then went to the front to help and finally I took a very few pulls. Luck was on our side when the two leading riders missed a turn causing them to split apart and lose valuable time. The Elita rider was the one closest (and very close) to us. Her teammates took to the front to catch Julie. With less than 10K to the finish the pace remained high with riders trying to escape and others trying to keep the field together for a field sprint. Laura and were up front when we got right close to the finish and heading onto the crit course with two corners to go for the same sprint as the crit.

All of a sudden what's in front of us are barricades -- not open clear road. Somehow, it turns out, we had been misdirected and ended up coming into the crit course on the incorrect street. The fast thinking cops jumped out of the vehicles and just threw the barricades out of the way. Lucky Laura and I got through fairly easily while those behind us had trouble. Nicole Reinhart won, Laura second and Anna Wilson third. I was 8th or so, keeping my third GC spot.

With the bad months I've been having it was nice to be on the podium. It seems I am learning how to ride with nothing physical to back up what my brain really would like to do. That's the silver lining of course. The big black cloud is the Olympic Team was announced without my name appearing on it. While I believe my poor riding is a limited time thing, it's hard to make that argument with no good TT results since March. It is very, very sad. I am certainly feeling sad and angry and frustrated. I hold out for a good end of the season and hope that with some good results I will be selected to the World's team.

 © 2000
 Elizabeth Emery
 John Tomlinson
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