Six Stevens-The Cyclery women were on the start line for their home race, the international Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau. This is Emily Flynn’s take on the 2014 edition:
This past weekend marked the fifth year of the UCI Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau women’s race. It started Friday with the Chrono Gatineau ITT and Saturday was the 120 km (12-lap) road race, both of which took place on roads that we train on all the time.
Living in Hull this race is right in my backyard which makes the event even better. Being able to ride there instead of having to drive hours makes all the difference!
After a solid ride by all three of our Chrono Gatineau riders, the Stevens-The Cyclery team went into the road race with confidence. At the start time of 10 a.m. the temperature was already high and forecast only to get hotter. On the start line we were ready to go and all had similar goals to focus on good positioning, especially off the start when the first turn took us onto a narrow bike path that if you are caught in the back would force you to have to sprint back on to the group.
During the early part of the race, the peloton was taking it easy figuring everyone out, but going into the third lap our own Carrie Cartmill took a flyer and was gone for just over a lap claiming the first of three $50 sprint prizes and getting the race going.
Following that the pace really picked up with numerous attacks and counterattacks, one of which included Ellen Watters and Annie Foreman-Mackey. This was a strong break that some thought may stick, but was chased down by the Tibco-To the Top team in order to set up their sprinter. In the end, the race was won by Canadian Denise Ramsden in an exciting attack from a five-rider breakaway with one kilometre to go.
Although we didn’t end the race with a top placing, the Stevens-The Cyclery team had a great day animating the race and getting in some serious moves. Each rider achieved their individual goals and as a unit riding we are riding well and continuing to grow as a team and a force in the women’s peloton.