Elizabeth Emery Sport
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Altoona Downtown Criterium
August 6, 2000

The final day of the Tour de Toona is always the crit. This course is one of the hardest we do all year - fast, technical, with time bonus sprints every 5 laps of the 30 lap race. Our goal was to retain our 2nd place in the team competition and to move up those of us in the top 20 by taking some of the time bonuses.

About an hour before our race, rain dumped on us. The cat 4 men's race was postponed because of lightening and we all got off the trainers to wait it out. Once the race was scheduled all the women were amped up and nervous about the start - notoriously fast. Not in the top twenty, I didn't get called to the line and ended up with a really bad start spot, behind most of the 95 women left in the field. I just didn't have it in me to fight for position. Catherine, Katrina, Leigh and Laura were called to the line and Marie pushed and showed.

Attacks went right from the gun. Lyne and Sarah ended up with a break. Sarah looked to be doing all the work while Lyne sat on her. The rest of the field shattered. Leigh, Catherine and Marie were in the front large group. Laura and Katrina in the next. I was behind everyone, again letting gaps open up ahead of me until it was too late to make it to any of the larger groups. I worked for a while to do so, catching small groups, but making little time on the big group I could see a couple of turns ahead of me. I ended up pulling out.

Laura and Katrina doing lots of work ended up catching the group ahead of them. Marie, who has been doing a great job all week despite feeling less than zippy, was no longer our third rider for team GC placement, and could relax a bit. The fight for bonus seconds went on despite Sarah and Lyne grabbing the first two spots from their break. The two of them looked very strong, barely breathing and pedaling smooth while the field looked like death warmed over.

Sarah won the final sprint by many bike lengths. Lyne retained the overall lead. We finished as the 2nd place team. Laura led out the finish sprint for third place from the corner and ended up 6th. Mostly she wanted to stay out of trouble in the final corner and thought taking her own line the safest bet.

 © 2000
 Elizabeth Emery
 John Tomlinson
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