Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Finding Our Legs at Fitchburg

A couple of weekends ago, a few of the ladies (Meredith, Beth, and Sarah) went up to Massachusetts to race in the always awesome Fitchburg Longsjo Classic.  Years ago, this race was a several day stage race that included a crit, circuit, and road race.  Sarah gives a report of this on her blog (from her much younger years!) here and here.   

This year, it was a series of three criterium races.  Each one had it's own particular peculiarities - lots of corners, crunchy road surfaces, rain.  But, each was fun and fast.

With a stacked field of racers, we went in with the goal of racing hard, aggressive, and safe, and working on our finishes in terms of positioning and sprinting.  It was going to be a tough weekend, but we were excited.  Plus, we got to stay at a Goat Farm, so... there was that!!

 Our amazing home for the weekend...
And the local residents...

 Sarah walking a goat...
 Beth walking a llama!
Recovery was the name of the game between races.  Thanks to NormaTec for making these amazing "Space Legs!"  We LOVE them.

Now, about the racing.  The events were really great and the gals felt fantastic in the fields.  Before the first event we overheard, "It's going to be tough, those CAWES girls are here."  That felt pretty good.  And, we did our best to make it tough.

The first race went well with us launching a few attacks and trying to go with moves off the front.  As expected, though, things generally stayed together.  With a late race attack from Zimmer Capital's Beth Ruiz, Sarah chased it down and still managed to finish 11th on the day with Meredith in 15th and Beth in 18th.

Day 2 was highly technical with some rough roads.  But, the girls kept it strung out and hard through the rough areas and with a lot of attacking, it was another fun race.  Sarah improved on her previous day's race with a strong 9th place finish.  Meredith and Beth raced strong and hard - launching attacks and chasing breaks to finish 14th and 25th.

The last day was the traditional downtown Fitchburg criterium... this awesome photo by Ashley Green appeared on the cover of the local paper the day after our race.  You can see some lime green just to the left of the center of the pack!

Another tough race found the girls positioning themselves well at the end to finish 9th, 10th, and 20th.

All in all, we felt that the weekend was a great chance to race hard for three days straight.  We can't wait to come back next year for the races AND for the amazing hospitality at Goat Ridge Farm!  :)

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