High Altitude Pain Fest: Our Race in Aspen
Submitted by Kasey Clark aka the Sunshine Band
Cresting the hill in the Snowmass circuit race. Photo credit Podiumcafe.com
We had a small showing of 5 Primal/MapMyRIDE racers at this year’s inaugural Aspen Pro Women’s Race: Liza Rachetto, Tiffany Pezzulo, Gwen Inglis, super quest rider Anna Barensfeld and me. Jessica Phillips worked tirelessly to get this event under way, to run in conjunction with the men’s Pro Race. What a great effort for women’s cycling! Local legend Connie Carpenter was in attendance as our announcer and foreign legend Jeannie Longo was in our race! It was the who’s-who of female cyclists for sure.
The first day was an uphill time trial from Aspen to the Maroon Bells-it hurt, a lot. The suffering I endured landed me in 11th place, not too shabby considering that all of the nation’s top females were in attendance. Durango’s Kristin McGrath (Peanut Butter & Co 2012) took the win followed by her teammate and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong.
Team Meeting; Photo courtesy of Podiumcafe.com
The second day was the circuit race around Snowmass. We were hoping for a podium here, but missed the break and rolled in with our guest rider, Anna Barensfeld finishing 10th. Kristin Armstrong got off the front with Colavita’s Janel Holcomb and they finished 1-2 respectively.
Photo courtesy of the Aspen Times
The third day was the crit in Aspen, and this event was so well attended that it made me want to go race in Europe! Fans were lining the course, getting ready to watch the men’s race finish right after ours. With 11 turns, a short uphill punch, and 9,000 feet in altitude, this race was tough. This was personally my best, and hardest, crit of the year. Tiff managed to secure 10th, with Liza and I finishing in the pack. Ann Samplonius (NOW MS) got a gap on the field with Armstrong taking the win. Lauren Hall (Colavita) won the field sprint.
Liza and Tiff in the crit. Photo credit podiumcafe.com
Everyone had a great time promoting and being a part of what we hope will become a classic race! Thanks to our wonderful hosts in Woody Creek who put us up in the most gorgeous guest house and to awesome director extraordinnaire, Susannah, for making it all come together!
I finish out my season with the Steamboat Springs Stage Race next weekend, while the rest of the team is at Gateway Cup in St. Louis!