Sunday saw regular Team Blotto rider Anna line up for Team TFM in Division 2 of the second round of the Femme Vitesse women’s criterium held in perfect weather at Richmond Boulevard. Femme Vitesse is a dedicated women’s only criterium series which this year was held across two events in Melbourne and Bendigo, and has the goals of providing women with the peer support network to improve their cycling, provide women with full length races and provide women’s racing as the headline event, putting competitors into the spotlight and show spectators the quality of women’s racing. With the organization and professionalism on show at the event yesterday they definitely delivered on all these goals!
With three riders on the start line, the TFM women Anna, Liz & Esther may have been outnumbered by entrants from other sponsored & coached women’s teams in a large field, but were active from the outset with Anna and the always aggressive racer Liz setting the pace at the front for the first half dozen laps. With a tough hotdog-style circuit with two tight 180 degree turns, it was survival of the fittest and being early into the corners was critical, with riders caught at the back dropping off the pack throughout the 50 minute race.
After the first half dozen laps Anna was leading the lap points, until a couple of small attacks saw the TFM women working hard to hold position and close the gaps out of the corners. Part way through the race Esther attacked the field and opened a good gap, bringing one other rider across with her, and was the stronger rider doing most of the work to hold off the bunch for most of the race until they were caught with around 15 minutes to go.
One of the race sponsors was The Sufferfest, which was especially appropriate during the final laps which saw several attacks and mini-breaks with all riders fighting to hold the wheel in front. On the final pass up the back straight there were six riders left in the front bunch and after the last turnaround a long run to the finish line meant a fast sprint to the line, with Anna winding up the sprint for a hard earned 2nd place in a tough race! Average race speed was a little under 34kph, an impressive speed given the almost complete stop at the turnarounds twice every lap.
Congratulations to the riders and organizers on a great race, looking forward to watching again next year, and thanks to The Freedom Machine & Femme Vitesse for supporting the event and women’s cycling.
Team Blotto welcome any new women to join us for the BBRB Blotto Beach Road Blast held every Thursday morning or the ‘How to get Blotto’ easy ride every second Friday for group riding skills and introduction to rolling turns. Follow us at facebook.com/TeamBlotto or @TeamBlotto for all the ride details. And to always be looking your best, visit Dames Cycling Clothing – apparel for the discerning female cyclist! http://www.damescc.com.au