Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche: Stage 4

11 Sep

Statistics

Distance: km

Time: 3hours 40minutes

Speed: 35kph

Phew, that was a long, hard day on the bike.  As you can see, the race started off with a significant amount of climbing.  In total, we climbed 3000meters (9000feet).  This stage was noted the “queen stage”.  Our goal was to win the race.  We were very aggressive from the beginning.  Ally, Amber, Emilia, and Evie all took turns attacking.  Since  I was up in the G.C., my job was to cover moves by the others around me and be conservative for later in the race.   Eventually, Evie got off the front with two other riders, one being Carla Ryan from Garmin-Cervelo.  The field sat up and the break went up the road.  Two riders got free of the peloton and managed to bridge up to the break.  Later on, we caught one of them, leaving only four up the road.  The peloton was pretty content with the situation.  However, the Russian National team set tempo up every climb.  Around 90km into the race, there was a fast downhill leading into a climb.  Emma Pooley used the momentum to attack on this climb.  I followed, but soon fell off the pace.  Teammate Amber Neben kept up with her, along with the two riders in front of me in G.C. I climbed solo, but saw a group of 3 others coming up behind me.  I let up and waited for them.  We chased hard on the descent, and eventually caught the group ahead of us.  By that time, Evie was up the road about 6minutes by herself.  We caught her break-a-way companions.  From there, the group worked hard to manage the time gap to Evie.  She had become a threat to the G.C.  The last 5km were in to a solid head wind.  It was brutal!  Coming into the last 1km, Amber and I discussed the finish.  Amber gave me an awesome lead out with 500meters to go.  I came around her with 150 meters to go.  It came down to a bike throw between myself and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau of France.  Afterwards, I found out that I had thrown my bike well enough to win the group sprint for 2nd place!  Very cool to go 1-2 on a stage like today.  It was an AWESOME display of team work all day.  So happy to be a part of it!  Also, I moved up to 4th in G.C. and into the young rider’s jersey after today’s stage.

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One Response to “Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche: Stage 4”

  1. Landon September 13, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Lost track of your blog and just found it again. Sounds like you are doing great. Congrats!

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