Well the Gp Liberazione was quite an adventure for us Lipton Ladies. The race allowed up to ten riders per team, but there was a minimum of six -- we had four and Nurnburger had five, so we mixed into one team. We didn't exactly race as a "team" --but it sure was nice to be able to start!
About the race: WAY sketchy...and not at all as fast as it needed to be. Sure we averaged 40kph, but it just never really got going and there really weren't any teams interested in creating a break for the day. What all of this really means is that it was just one big jumbled mess of over a hundred women for 75 miles! Not fast enough to make any of the numbers dwindle, and not tactical enough to make it challenging in another way. I ended up riding at the back until two laps to go just so that I wouldn't have to fight to hold a position for nothing (we raced 12 laps on a flat 10k ciircuit). By the time it was one lap to go... holy crap!...things got really dicey! --even dicey for me. I ended up continually jumping over the last 3k, so that i ended up sittting on the very front --just to be safe and hold my position.
By the time we dove into the last turn, I ended up sitting third wheel and I let Lara (my teammate) take the plunge into the final corner in front of me. Immediately, I blocked by easing off --and then directed her from behind to "go!" when I saw/felt the swarm start (it was a long 500 meter drag to the finish so there was definitely some momentum coming from behind). Ayway...Lara jumped when I said go. She made it with surge... and I got swarmed.
She managed to hold on in the sprint for a respectable 6th place finish, and I rolled in safely with the bunch somewhere around 20th.
BUT---let me tell you that I am just happy to have come out of that one in one peice.
Never have I felt so much like I might actually take my hand off the handlebar and clock somebody....that`s how dangerous it was. Really unnecessary and really ridiculous. There was some stupid crash that took out like a third of the field in the last couple of "k" --and I have no doubt as to how it happened based on the crazy (and I'm not overexaggerating!) way that some of these girls/women were racing....
Ahhh then... another notch in the belt.