I would like to congratulate everyone who faced the weather and competed with us in the first race of the season at North Carolina State.
After being slightly disappointed that Saturday’s race was cancelled, we made up for it by enjoying the great weather and going out for a training ride in the afternoon. The sun was out and the roads were dry. We took advantage of the opportunity to practice some jumps as well as some short hard intervals and a race finish simulation. It was a blast!
By Saturday night, with the race confirmed for the next day and the juices flowing from our spirited (as Sean would say) afternoon ride, everyone seemed even more excited than the previous night. We went out for the usual carbo-load at a local italian restaurant. Pizza and Pasta were the top choices… Getting ready.
We went back to the hotel and our chief mechanic took over. My bike was missing a spacer on the freehub and had a bad tube, David’s bike needed some gearing adjustments, Will’s stylish Bianchi was next in line. Great works guys (and gals, Rachel’s hairband was crucial to fix my bike… )
And off we went to the race. First riders off were Women’s B, followed by MD.
The women’s race was quite interesting with a huge field composed of WA, WB, and W1-4. Rachel and Pemberton greatly represented UVA in the WB field. Rachel looked determined on the bike and rode quite well for her first race! Pemberton looked strong throughout the race and was with the main pack the entire time. Unfortunately, a rider went down in front of her and she couldn’t help it. With that said, she had such a great gap from the other WB girls that she managed to finish 6th out of a field of 24th. Impressive.
Evan and Nate represented UVA in the MD field. Both of them looked strong throughout the race and even tried to attack the field a couple times. Bridging gaps and making sure the peloton was riding strong, our riders took 8th and 9th places in a field of 30!
The final race of the day for UVA was MB. We had a good team in the B’s, with Callum, David, Me, and Will. As we rode off the line along with M35+ 1-4, the less prepared of the field couldn’t stay on. With frequent accelerations up the hills, the race was somewhat selective, especially for those who couldn’t ride much through the winter. I tried to attack a couple times without much success, finally Callum made a well thought move as I was in the front of the pack. I sat in and allowed him to open a gap. He ended up getting away with two other Master’s riders. They stayed away all the way until the finish and he got 4th place. Impressive result for the first race of the season. I tried to stay towards the front of the pack and get people to cooperate, but we couldn’t get organized enough to catch 2 navy riders who were just ahead of us. It came down to a sprint finish in which I got 2nd place – 8th overall. Will and David held on to finish 14 and 15th out of 31. Impressive results overall.
All of this led us to a third position in D1 – Lets keep it up guys!