June 4, 2012 on 4:00 am | In Sponsorship, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | No Comments
By Chloe Black
In Kempville, Ontario, Canada, near Ottawa, our nation’s capitol, the inaugural eQuinelle Grand Prix drew a strong field of elite men and women races due to a sizable prize purse! I had to pull a few strings in order the get my Canadian racing license in order, but all worked out and I made the 3+ hr drive to a far eastern part of our province.
They had a $1200 prize purse for the winner of the women’s race, with 2nd: $500, 3rd: $300, 4th: $200 and 5th: $100. Winning had a lopsided advantage and 20 + women, including Team Exergy Twenty 12 rider, Heather Sprenger plus a number of Canadian National team riders, lined up to take a run at the big payout.
Lap 3 included a very bad crash. I managed to avoid hitting the deck, but not before skidding, going up on one wheel and dropping my chain. I ran to the pit, but the race was stopped for 30min while they took one rider away to the hospital.
They restarted and shortened our race from 60 min + 5 laps, to 45 min + 5 laps. The race started with gusto and this was good as it kept women from bunching up in the narrow, technical corners. With a few $100 primes on the line, I sat back, watched and assessed a field that was virtually unknown to me. The pace never seemed too difficult, but there were a few teams with 4+ riders so I knew I would have to be smart. The last prime was presented with 15 min to go, again, I sat and watched.
The classic lull after the prime was perfect for an outside attack from the back and away I went. A sizable gap opened right away, but I never made it more that 25 seconds away. With no allies in the field, I knew the only chance I had now was to just 100% commit to this move. With 3 laps to go, the field was now motivated to fight for the biggest single day payout in Ontario. They were coming on strong, but I managed to fight them off, as they closed all but 5 seconds! That is not my typical style of crit racing, but it was an amazing feeling to win solo, off the front, for 25 min! Now my pocket book can breathe a little easier!