Don't Make Me Go Back to Pennsylvania
We looked forward to another 7 hour drive South when we left Providence at 4 o'clock on Friday. The RISD van was packed with lady racers -- Lizzie Wright, Dani Moorshead, Christina Strachoff, and Maya Cannon -- we hope that converted CX racer, Marcus Peabody, didn't feel outnumbered. Last year, Lizzie and Maya made the drive to Shippensburg alone with Brown University cyclist Jonathan Davies, where they did a circuit race, hill climb, and abbreviated road race in sub-freezing temperatures with 20 mph winds. Fortunately, Shippensburg got its act together. We rode from our cozy hotel to the criterium course in 60 degree weather on Saturday morning. Marcus and Maya finished their races middle-of-the-pack, learning a lot about strategy from the incredibly fast course. Christina's beautiful Campagnolo didn't like shifting on the abrupt hill before the sprint finish, but she was still able to enjoy the weather and ride around after her chain dropped mid-race. Lizzie (and almost the entire Women's B field) was pulled from her race but finished 3rd, while Dani won the Women's A field (to no one's surprise).
After a brief rest and a quick visit with Lizzie's parents who drove up from Northern Virginia, we hopped back on our bikes for the infamous Shippensburg Hill Climb. Marcus finished 11th out of nearly 40 in the Men's C field, Christina 12th in Women's C, and Maya 8th in Women's D! Lizzie and Dani finished 3rd in Women's B and A respectively. Turns out they were just saving their energy for Sunday.
Sunday's road race consisted of an easy lap with rolling hills, and a harder lap featuring "Horse Killer Road" -- named as such because many horses, like cyclists, do not survive the climb. Maya finished 6th in her best road race to date thanks to clever pace lining with several women from other schools (she even earned points for RISD!). Marcus led the entire Men's C field for nearly 30 miles of his 40 mile race, ultimately finishing in the middle of the pack, and Christina pulled through with 12th despite the fact that she has no little ring!
Lizzie and Dani rode more than half of their 60 mile race together before the Women's A/B field was broken up by Horse Killer Road. Although the race was incredibly strung out, both Dani and Lizzie won their respective categories! Maybe it was the double shots they chugged before hand, maybe it was training, or maybe it was just #collegehillcrushsquad doing what it does best. Needless to say, we had an exciting drive home.