Women’s A/B: Criterium Report
The Women race saw the debut of the combined Women’s A and B categories of racing. This undoubtedly changed the dynamics of the race to some degree. Instead of a race contested amongst just the 13 A racers, there were 32 total starters.
The first half of the race was relatively mild, as most of the pack was able to remain intact and bunched up. Following a prime battle between Harvard’s Anna McLoon and MIT’s Martha Buckley the duo went clear of the field. With this gap in hand they began to build an advantage over the main group. Not content to watch the race for first disappear in front of them, several riders made attempts at bridging to the escapees or elevating the pace to bring them back. These efforts were for naught. As the laps ticked down, the gap lengthened between the two groups. Reports from the field suggest some of the MIT and Harvard riders that remained in the field were contentiously blocking the efforts of the chasers to ensure that their teammates stayed away.
With their gap secure, McLoon and Buckley only had to decide who would take top honors. In the two up sprint Buckley was able to put a bike length into her adversary, handily winning the sprint.
About a minute back on the course the 3rd A spot and top B spot were still being contested by the 13 rider strong pack. In the group gallop that ensued Anna Olivier of Yale was able to sail away to ensure her third place A finish. The sprint finish also highlighted some of the tremendous strength and speed of some of the Women’s B racers. The Forth spot overall was snatched up by a hard charging B Racer from Rutgers, Molly Hurford. Her appreciation of the win noticeable and audible as she pumped the air with her fist and shouted. As she was able to beat about three-quarters of the Women’s A field, one would have to assume that she will be a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses.
Most of the ladies seemed happy with the categorization changes and were exstatic with another excellent season opening crit put on by Rutgers.