The first round of the Southeast Regional Series kicked off in Albany GA this past weekend, with a crit and a flat 62 mile road race. After recovering from the SpeedWeek hangover, both Cheryl & Amy were ready to pin numbers on again, and this race would mark Nancy’s first race for the season. Though the field was small, it was packed with the local PCP team, as well as some other strong locals & a few of the Pain Pathways girls, so was set to be a good hard weekend.
The crit started off fast and furious, with the tempo set high and a few early attacks going. 5 minutes in, the first prime was called and Amy launched early to take the cash, spurring a flurry of counters from all sides. The girls were active in all moves, and at 8 minutes in, a gap formed with Amy, Caroline Moakley (Pain Pathways) & Stef Cucaz of PCP. Shortly after the trio were joined by Amy Floyd, and the group worked well together to form a gap of 30 seconds quite fast. The break continued to work well together, with the main changes in pace coming with the Points jersey intermediate sprints being called of which Amy B secured top points in both. Coming in to the finish 40 minutes later, the usual cat and mouse games started, with Amy unfortunately getting stuck on the front in the final and having to make the choice to lead out the sprint. Stef C managed to kick around and take out the win, however Amy held on for 2nd and it was enough to secure the Sprinter Jersey for the weekend! Cheryl and Nancy patrolled the bunch with Cheryl finishing 7th overall, so a good solid day out for the team and they were looking forward to the road race to try and go 1 better!
An early start to the Road Race had the girls up at the crack of dawn, and South Georgia had turned on a beaut of a day. Clear blue sky and very little wind, which was lovely, however due to the flat straight roads ahead in the race, it meant it would be hard to shake things up. This didn’t deter the team, and one by one they set about trying to split the field and force a breakaway. There were many moves that could have made the ‘break of the day’, many featuring Cheryl & Abigail of PCP, however with many individuals in the race, they seemed content to chase the leaders down every time and it looked like it would be a bunch sprint. Trying again not long after the QOM point, on the only other part of the road with any kind of elevation, Amy launched from the bunch, only to hear moments later the sound all cyclists fear, carbon hitting tarmac. A small group came across to Amy, however again there was no help and bit by bit the group rejoined together. It was found that Cheryl had come down, and was soon after seen to be taken back to the start finish unable to complete the race. She assured she was ok, and to push on with the race!
By that point there was about 20 miles still to race, and it became obvious that things would stay together, so the group worked consistently to get to the finish. Coming in to the final few miles, the leadout began with Pain Pathways trying to get the jump on the rest of the bunch. They weren’t able to however, and the unknown French rider in the bunch Lauren Arnouts took out the sprint ahead of yesterdays winner Stef. Amy managed to get 4th, which secured her 2nd place in the overall standings for the series.
Thankfully Cheryl was cleared of any serious damage, and given a couple of days rest will be back on the bike and straight back in to training for the teams next objective – Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic on the 1st June.
The next round of the SRS heads to Huntsville, however unfortunately for the team, this clashes with the North Star GP, and so they won’t be able to defend their overall standings.