Another Florida Race Report: Jackie Kurth

2/17 & 18

This past weekend my dad and I traveled to San Antonio/Dade City, FL for the Habitat for Humanity road race and criterium. We drove up Saturday morning because our race didn't start till one in the afternoon. Usually I would be upset about the late start time but this time I was elated because the temperatures in the morning were down in the 30's so at least it was a little bit warmer (50) in the afternoon. My women's 1-3 race was scheduled to start with the men's category 3, so my dad would be racing with me for the 68 mile race. They staged us, after I warmed up for about 30 minutes, and we waited for the cat 4 men to finish. Then we had to continue waiting for the pro field to come through. After about 20 minutes they finally lined up our field of about 75 racers, 12 of which were women. Finally we started on this difficult course, a 17 mile loop with numerous climbs. Not only was the temperature cold but the winds were gusting at over 20 mph. The race was very sketchy, people were flatting on the down hills, moving all over the place and some were going off the road. Luckily it was pretty safe for the most part until we were on the back side of the course on the second lap. We were going up a hill and a crash occurred right in front of me. I put on my breaks and moved to the right almost in the grass to avoid the downed riders. I almost crashed into them but luckily I stayed standing and kept going. Even though I quickly got going the group was already too far in the distance to catch with only one other lady with me. As I came through the start/finish area I saw my dad on the side of the road, he had had pulled out of the pelaton because he though I was involved in the crash and hurt. My dad rejoined me and we ended up doing the last two laps together; I ended up finishing fourth place! I was surprised but apparently most of the other women dropped out due to flats, crashes and fatigue.

Sunday's course is a crazy 6 turn criterium with lots of bumps, holes and brick pavers. My legs were still sore from the day before as I lined up with the women 1-3. On the first lap pro rider Rebecca Larson attacked and got away with teammate Kristen Sanders and another rider Trish Cohen. I was with five other riders, two on team Kenda Tire, two on Cycle Science and a Ford rider. The two teams kept sending off attack then blocking so I would have to chase them down. With about five laps to go Larson and Sanders lapped us and pulled at a high pace. It came down to a sprint finish. I was in about 4th position and sprinted coming in seventh place.

After an exciting weekend I can't wait till Gainesville race next weekend with my first time trial and a criterium on Sunday. I am just hoping we get our customary Florida weather back!


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