01 Jul Collegiate Nationals & Euro Summer
My main goal for the year was the US Collegiate Nationals. Especially after being off the bike for 8 months, this goal was challenging yet attainable – perfect for my “comeback”, or whatever you would like to call it. Marian’s trip to Ogden, Utah for US Collegiate Nationals was very successful. My goal was almost reached, but I was happy with my performance. Together with Jackie Kurth, Allie Dragoo, and Kaitie Antonneau we successfully defended our TTT national title by over a minute. The next day was the criterium – as a team we stacked the podium as I took the victory, Kaitie behind me in 2nd, and Ivy rounding out the podium in 5th. The final day of the weekend was the road race which included the infamous North Ogden Divide climb. The entire goal of the day was to conserve for the climb. A couple mandatory nature breaks were in order since we were well hydrated for the high altitude race. No serious breaks stuck and the race headed up the final climb together. Attacks were thrown in from Kaitie and I and we whittled the group down to 4 girls. Another attack from me and I got a gap with a rider from Boulder. I was first over the top of the climb and drilled it on the descent. I looked back and the group of 4 was back together. With about 3km to go I put in another attack and no one chased. I kept driving towards the finish. I looked back with 1.5km to go and Kaitie had joined me. We worked together to the finish. I led out the sprint and didn’t have the most polished sprint like I did the day before, Kaitie pipped me at the line and I finished second. Marian University took home the team omnium and I finished 2nd in the individual omnium. A fabulous day for Marian University and overall one of the best National Championships for Marian University, winning in all but one event in which we finished 2nd in. We closed out the week with karaoke and a victory in the overall collegiate omnium for the year – the first time we had ever won it.
I am so proud and honored to be part of such a legendary team – and we have fun doing it as well. As a team we proved once again that we are the best in the country!
My second goal for the year was to spend the summer in Europe. I am super lucky and grateful that I have found a team to ride with in Europe. Special thanks to Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team and Rene Groot for giving me the opportunity to race in Europe which is where the standard of the sport is. I am lucky that the girls speak English(with a bit of an accent) and the team created a good environment for development. My first race during my European summer was the IG London Nocturne in which I just missed the podium, finishing in 4th. The next day was a UK National Series race that was held at a sports park with a circuit dedicated to cycling. Attacks were unsuccessful and it came down to a bunch sprint where I finished 7th. Two days later was the 4th round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series in Woking, England which is women’s series to the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series. The series races are televised the day after the race which is pretty neat to see yourself racing, let alone cycling in general, on television. I finally captured a podium spot in a sprint finish where I finished 3rd. Another two days later was the 5th and final round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series in Aylsham, England. The race seemed to be a fast a beautiful day, but then the rain began to pour and we were doomed to have a drenched race. I spent most of the day in the front to stay safe and not get as much rain kick up from the riders in front of me. A crash allowed for a break to get away and I finished 2nd in the pack sprint to take 4th.
Of course I would have loved to leave the UK with a win, but considering the circumstances I am happy with my first 4 races in summer. Now I spend two and a half weeks in Girona, Spain training in prep for my first stage race for the summer, Krasna Lipa in Czech Republic. I am looking forward to the Tour de Feminin Krasna Lipa which is a 4 day, 5-stage stage race. I’ll keep you posted on my Euro racing updates!