Monday, September 25, 2006

Vermont Grand Prix

by the Scout Stephanie White

This weekend was most eventful indeed! I went up to Vermont with my family to do the two "Vermont Grand Prix" races. The race on Sunday was UCI, but the one on Saturday was not. Thus, Saturday was a test run of sorts before the real race the next day. All of this ended up working out for the best.

Saturday's course was technical and wet. It rained in the morning, but was just cloudy for my race. There were lots of tight, slick corners and a few muddy sections. Most of it was on grass, but with switchbacks and a few steep climbs for half of the course. The other half was fast and great for drafting. I started well and got right on Amy Wallace's wheel. After half a lap I was sitting comfortably with Mandy Lozano and Marie-Pier Bedard a little behind Amy. Everything was going well, I was faster through the technical and drafted on the flat stuff, when suddenly my rear derailleur made this horrible noise and my wheels stopped! I hopped off and looked at my bike to see my derailleur ripped off the hanger and stuck through the frame into my spokes. I ran back to the pit but didn't have a spare bike and decided to save it for the UCI race.

That night I dropped my bike off at a shop in Burlington. They said they would probably be able to bend the hanger back, but they thought it was a temporary fix... I just wanted to get through the race and win some UCI points. Last year I only got a few points near the end of the year. Every race I went to I'd get 11th or 12th, just out of points. This year I'm trying to change that. I want to get a better start position for nationals.

I got my bike the next morning and, thankfully, made it through the race without any mechanicals. I didn't get a great start, but after a lap I was with Rebecca Wellons with Mo Bruno and Amy up ahead. Mandy caught us in the next half lap and dropped us both. The last two laps I started to feel extremely dehydrated and Rebecca pulled ahead of me. I was able to hang on to 5th, which is much better than I usually do against these women (not to mention within UCI points!) All in all the weekend went well, my goal was top 10 and I made it.

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