College Hill meets Colorado
David, Lizzie, and Dani spent a week away from Providence to represent Brown and RISD against the country's strongest collegiate cyclists.
After their airport adventures early Monday morning, Dani, David, and Lizzie finally made it to Denver, CO. We spent a few days in David's hometown, meeting his friends and family and seeing where he first fell in love with bikes.
On Wednesday we hit the road to Grand Junction, passing through snowy mountain tops and desert gorges on the way (and Kurt Vile's "pretty pimpin" blasting in the background). We arrived at our airbnb exhausted, dizzy from the high altitude, and eager to ride our bikes. Following the address to the Individual Time Trial course, we found ourselves on top of a mesa in possibly the most scenic place in all of Colorado.
After a fast and windy ride, we raced home to chug another gallon of coconut water (gotta stay hydrated). If you know anyone in the coconut business, tell them we're looking for sponsors.
We spent Thursday picking up our race numbers, riding the ITT course again, and driving the road race course before the athlete banquet on Colorado Mesa University's campus. It was nice to see so many familiar faces from the ECCC, including MIT, Northeastern, and USMA West Point (our new best buds!).
That evening we met up with the #CHCS team mechanic, Nick Zeggert (aka The Man). He spent the rest of the week sleeping on the couch in our airbnb (did you know they went to RISD?) and fixing our bikes. Dani and Lizzie's bikes tied for most neglected.
Friday was the ITT. We woke up early, made breakfast, drank some coconut water, and drove to the mesa-top course. After meeting with friends and family who had come to watch, we set off one through the national championship arch. Dani finished 3rd, Lizzie 18th, and David 5th. Needless to say, we were ecstatic to come home with two medals on just the first day!
Saturday meant an early wake up call for Dani and Lizzie before their 11 am road race. They arrived to a cold and windy course, ready to #crush. Just 3 miles in, a downhill crash broke up the pack, followed by an intense uphill attack that split it up even further. Dani made it into the second or third chase group, with Lizzie a few groups behind. Despite strong winds, unexpected snowfall mid-race, and a minor crash (Lizzie got take out by the wind), both finished strong, with Dani in 16th place and Lizzie in 38th out of about 60 riders.
Dani was excited for Sunday's crit, which Lizzie and David faced with great trepidation. Lizzie hung out in the back of the pack to avoid crashes and got pulled about halfway through the women's race. Dani stayed up at the front, switching pulls and ultimately sprinting for 3rd place (which made her 5th overall in the individual omnium).
Worried that we'd have a repeat of our airport adventure, we left Grand Junction before the men's race. David was happy to avoid the possibility of being crashed out in a field of more than 100 riders. We made it to the Denver airport, onto the plane, and back to Providence without incident (the week's final victory).
It was hard to face reality on Monday morning, but together the #collegehillcrushsquad can do anything.