Women’s A/B Points Race
By Ian Sullivan
The course was new to the ECCC and the format had been unused for several years. All of the racers were in for a new experience racing. Although the races at the front of the race were familiar from the day before there was some really interesting racing going on for the points aspect of the race.
For those unfamiliar with how a points race works here is a quick rundown. Sprints are scored 4 deep. Every sprint has equal worth to every other sprint. At the end of the race riders are ranked on how many points they earn in the sprints throughout the race. Racers that scored no points in the sprints are placed using their order of finish durring the final sprint.
Kate Quinn of MIT through in an acceleration two laps before the first sprint. Anna McLoon of Harvard quickly responded and the duo formed a powerful tandem riding away from the rest of the pack. There was little incentive for either of the girls to attempt any funny business and drop the other, as Kate Quinn is still a B racer (a situation that will probably be remedied quickly).
In the ensuing laps the remainder of the field quickly fractured as riders broke off in twos and threes. Two women of Bucknell, Kelly Desharnais and Sinead O’Dwyer, were the next group off the front. While these two were teammates they are also both in the hunt to get their A upgrades, so there were several quick sprints between the two of them. The third group on the road quickly whittled down to the second and third A racers, Eun Young Choi (Harvard) and Veronica Wheeler (McGill). With each sprint these two battled it out for the points on the road, but quickly reformed and worked together to hold off what was left of the main field.
In what was left of the main field there were still a solid number of B racers, but only two A racers. This made for an interesting dynamic as only one of them would be scoring sprint point on any given lap. The chaos of the highly fragmented race may have factored into some of the earlier sprints between the two. Kim Zubris of BU seemed to have a closer read on the race situation as she banked points in the early sprints of the day. Once Jess Kutz (Penn State) was appraised of the situation she started fighting for the sprints as well. It was a case of too little too late. While Jess was able to drop Kim by the finish, the damage had already been done and Kim had twice the sprint points.
The top three B racers (Kate Quinn, Kelly Desharnais and Sinead O’Dwyer) were exceptionally strong in this race. I won’t be surprised if many of these girls quickly jump up to the A’s. For a few of them that need more results before they can get their upgrade this is unfortunate. All three of them could certainly have been looking forward to a top 5 overall placing in the season if they had started in the A’s. Each weekend that goes by while they hold onto their purple numbers is a weekend their competitors distance themselves in the season long overall.
Complete results Available at Velocity Results