Commerce Bank Liberty Classic is my favorite one-day race. Not because it's my day for glory but because the fans are out of this world, solid throughout the 16-mile course AND because this was my first-ever big race. The field is big, the course is challenging and the spectators are loud and I LOVE IT! I'm so happy to arrive in Philly from Montreal, for many reasons, but the big one is because it's familiar, more like home then Montreal will ever be! My Mom and Dad flew in from Florida to watch the Aaron's team tear it up!
Our plan was one I like: race hard! And that's and easy task considering the four times we'll be ascending the world-famous Manayunk "Wall." As usual, positioning was tough and the pace was even tougher. Our team raced hard and, unfortunately, I raced harder...flatting at the entrance to Manayunk and thus, chasing for nearly the entire second lap...of four! Thankfully my legs were good and I was able to give it a-go a few times with some well-timed attacks. My plan was to either escape or wear out the other teams and, along with a couple of teammates, we made plenty of chasing happen! Coming into the finish, Kat was positioned well and on Carmen's wheel yet the roar of the crowd kept Carmen from hearing Kat's "GO GO GO" instructions. With 300 meters to go, a crash changed the fate of the Aaron's team, putting Kat back but Erica forward...me, well, I took my own safe route on the far right all by myself! Erica rock with a 10th place among many of the world's best. All of us were in the front group of about 35-40 women.
In pro-bike-racer fashion, I crossed the finish line, rode straight to the team tent, jumped off my bike and into a car to the nearest hotel shower and straight to the airport to catch a flight to the next race...in Minneapolis! I felt like a rock star for about 2 hours...until the fatigue set in from the race while crammed into my non-exit row seat on the plane!