Women’s Pro,1,2 Madera TT and Road Race Report.
The 2012 Madera TT was won by Alison Tetrick (Exergy), coming back from many months out of mass start competition for the Madera SR. The layoff did not stop her from setting a new women’s course record of 22:42, easily dispatching her old record of 23:11 set in the 2010 Men’s race. For perspective, Christine Thorburn held the pre-Tetrick women’s record with a 23:32. Molly Van Houweling (Metromint) finished second to Tetrick, setting a PR for the course of 23:30. Third place was Nina Strika (Los Gatos), another 1:04 back from Van Houweling. As a side note, Strika had the unforunate alpabetical honor of being a :30 rabbit for Tetrick (“was that a tornado?”) and a 1:00 rabbit for Van Houweling, who both passed her despite her impressive ride. Jane Despas, Maura Knisella (Vanderkitten), and last year’s Madera GC winner Cara Gillis (Kenda) were clustered another few seconds back. Flavia Olivera (Kovarus-Wells Fargo) slotted into seventh.
By the time the road race started the next day a strong wind was blowing across the course from the North. This created long crosswind sections on the main highway and then on the bumpy farm road that together make up the bulk of the course. The race started with Amanda Siegle (Metromint) jumping off the front and gaining a 30 second advantage over field on the crosswinded stretch of highway. She was caught by the group just as the bumps began. First Tetrick (for a long time) and then Van Houweling (for a bit) punched it on the bumpy crosswinded road, placing most of the field in the gutter, and then all but eight off the pace. In addition to Tetrick and Van Houweling, the group of survivors included Strika, Despas, Kinsella, Gillis, Olivera, Juliette Olson (Red Racing) and Marissa Axel (Touchstone). Axel and Gillis fell victim to flats soon after the split, and the remaining seven cooperated for a lap and put a substantial distance between themselves and the shattered field.
Van Houweling attacked and was joined by Olivera the third time down the highway. At first, Tetrick looked like she was content to let the move go, and the others eventually took up the chase. With the two up front trading pulls the gap held at 15 seconds. After a few minutes of this Tetrick jumped away from the chasing group and quickly closed the gap. The rest managed to claw onto Tetrick’s wheel, and all but Olson made it across. The group resumed cooperating with only Tetrick and Strika sitting out an occasional pull.
As the race reached the end of the bumpy section for the penultimate time, Tetrick hit the gas and got a good gap on the rest. Van Houweling came across up the first roller on the finish line stretch with Olivera as company. The two of them sped past Tetrick, she joined them, and the others regrouped behind. Both threesomes cooperated, rotating their way through the crosswind and down the highway, about 30 seconds apart. However, the front group was not quite as determined or organized, with Van Houweling occasionally sitting on the front for long pulls, and the chasers almost made the catch at the turn off the highway.
That was when Tetrick hit the gas, attacking her two companions and immediately getting a sizeable gap. Van Houweling and Olivera shared hard pulls, but quickly lost ground to Tetrick, whose gap grew to a little over a minute by the finish. The hard chase, however, served Olivera well, as she and Van Houweling put over 4 minutes into the group of GC contenders that had been on their heels a few momenta ago at the start of the bumpy section. This was easily enough time for Olivera to vault from seventh into third on GC, and she added another few bonus second to her margin by beating Van Houweling at the line.
Despas, Kinsella, and Strika came across the line together in that order. Strika retained the advantage she gained over the other two in the TT and ended up 4th, Kinsella slotted into 5th thanks to a time bonus from her Crit finish, and Despas ended up in 6th. Rounding out the top 10 were Gillis, Lucia Mokres (Los Gatos), Olson, and Siegle.
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