Pro-Women Champions Duke It Out in Exciting Finale At Historic Roswell Criterium It was a day when champion sprinters, on an “even” playing field, executed a successful breakaway after the half-way point.
Roswell, GA: It was a day when champion sprinters, on an “even” playing field, executed a successful breakaway after the half-way point. It was a chance for powerful ladies to show blistering speed without the help of their team lead-out drills, and it was the time to clinch the title of best sprinter and win the entire race.
There was a long straightaway to the finish line at the Historic Roswell Criterium, Sunday, and it was Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light) who emerged victorious after her explosive sprint created a gap between herself and the rest of her breakaway companions. She was able to maintain that gap until the finish, winning by a wheel in front of Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) and the ever-consistent Jen McRae (Team Type 1).
How it unfolded:
As expected, the three strongest teams battled each other throughout the race (Team Type 1, Colavita/Sutter Home and Team Tibco) and, in the early stages of the contest, the lead changed frequently. After 15 minutes of racing, Liz Hatch and Jacqueline Crowell broke away together but were quickly reeled in by the chasing peloton.
It was Jen McRae who instigated the winning breakthrough, nabbing a mid-race prime as she kept speeding away with several others. The break quickly became eight strong, with all the prominent sprinters present. With most of the major teams represented, the peloton eased up on the gas and allowed the break to well and truly establish itself.
Tina Pic was ecstatic with her sixth win at Roswell, prompting the Mayor of Roswell to inform the crowd that the City Council would like to rename the race after Pic, since she has won it so many times over the years. Pic, understandably excited after her win, was asked to compare Sunday’s race with her team’s performance the day before at the Athens Twilight. “Yesterday was really tough,” she said. We missed attacks at the Twilight because we just couldn’t get things right. We decided to change our tactics for Roswell, and made up our minds to be more aggressive.” This obviously paid off because, according to teammate Erica Allar, once Pic was in the winning breakaway, the rest of the Colavita/Sutter Home team controlled the peloton’s chase to ensure no-one else would jump across to potentially spoil their party. The sprint finish suited Pic’s explosive power, and she showed that, as usual, she will be a force to be reckoned with in the 2009 USA CRITS Series.
After placing first and second in Athens and Roswell, Brooke Miller retains the overall lead for the USA CRITS Speed Week series so far. But the action is far from over, as other contenders such as Pic and Jen McRae will be trying to upset Miller’s standing in the next five races. Due to a team sponsorship commitment, it’s unlikely that Team Tibco will be racing in Beaufort, S.C. on Tuesday, so Miller’s series lead may already be in jeopardy. Despite this, the competition promises to be a grand fight between the three top teams in the USA CRITS series. Stay tuned for further action as it unfolds.