In Memory of Suzanne Rivera (Team B4T9 Post)
12 May 2012
Mariposa Women’s Stage Race
Day 2 – Groveland Hillclimb and the Greeley Hill Road Race
Updated Report – added top-five results for the hill-climb.
Stage 2 – Groveland Hillclimb
Starting from a graffiti-covered bridge, this 6.9-mile course climbs 640m (2,100 feet) along Wards Ferry toward Groveland. There is a short dip just after the first mile that turns through a narrow bridge. At mile 3, there is another downhill section that is one-half mile in length. The remainder of the course has but a few short downhill sections and most of the reports from racers suggest these few were used for recovery.
Kelly Crowley (Primal/Map my Ride) won the Women Pro-1-2 race. “[The race] went hard right from the beginning. I kept on going as hard as I could,” said Crowley, “I didn’t really do much attacking. That climb is so long, I just tried to ride hard but not too hard.”
At the two-mile mark, Crowley was leading in a group of five along with Nicole Justice (Steven’s Bike p/b Pactimo), Ellen Sherrill (Metromint Cycling), Johanna Trueblood (RED Racing), and Amanda Seigle (Metromint Cycling). Sherrill and Siegle were first to drop off. “We were down to three,” continued Crowley, “I knew there was someone on my wheel. I didn’t even bother to turn around and see who it was. I just wanted to stay in my zone [and] keep on going. At a kilometer to go, she disappeared. I didn’t think I hit the gas too hard but maybe I did.”
Crowley said she just kept going and crossed the line in first, some 15 seconds ahead of Trueblood in second. Justice finished in third place another 12 seconds back. Despite a late flat, Sherrill took fourth place followed by Rikke Preisler (Metromint Cycling) in fifth.
Stage 3 – Greeley Hill Road Race
This circuit race was on a five-mile triangular loop following a short promenade. It was a tough race with the warm, sunny afternoon and a significant fraction of the elevation gain occurring within the final kilometer of each lap. One rough section of road is reminiscent of the course for Copperopolis.
“We [had] a big team here,” commented Molly Van Houweling of Metromint Cycling, “We, coming in to this stage, had been out-climbed by a couple of really great climbers. We had some catching up to do on GC. So we figured we would use our numbers to make the race as hard as we possibly could. We didn’t want to settle for where we were on GC.”
As the race developed, Van Houweling got away later in the 10-lap race while many of her teammates were at the head of the trailing field. At two-to-go, Van Houweling had stretched her lead beyond 2 minutes and she was able to stay ahead for the win by a margin of 2 minutes and 58 seconds. Rikke Preisler (Metromint Cycling) won the field sprint for second whilst Ellen Sherrill made it a Metromint one-two-three after just reaching the line ahead of Nicole Justice.
A grateful Van Houweling was full of praise for her teammates. “Everyone took part in that. That made it possible finally for me after we all put in lots of attacks. We just kept at it until I finally got off.” Van Houweling went on to say she was tired and feared strong racers would get together in the pack, “But I also knew that my teammates would be back there looking out for me.”
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