We had a successful week racing in the Joe Martin NRC in Arkansas if I may say so myself; claiming all the jerseys! Stage 1 was an uphill 4km prologue, short but gruelling! The insignificant time gaps following the opening stage meant we had all to play for in the coming 3 stages instigating some aggressive racing. I was awarded the white jersey as the top U23 finisher in the prologue.
Stage 2 was hard; I quote my team mate Lex… ‘The race was hard because we wanted it to be hard!’ The course saw us race up over a 9 mile climb which was mentally tough you’d sense you were nearing the top glimpsing the brow but instead it just dragged on up! Carmen, Jade and Courtney broke away with Kathryn Donovan from FCS- Rouse which was an ideal scenario. Carmen won the stage taking the leaders jersey, Jade donned the green jersey and Courteney piked the white jersey from me! I took 5th in the stage.
The following day we defended all 3 jerseys by jumping on anyone that tried to get away! The final stage we contested was a crit around a cool undulating course in downtown Fayetteville. A decisive break involving Carmen, Jade and myself saw Jade solo to her first NRC win and a minor redistribution of the jerseys. Jade took the leaders jersey and I took the white back from Courteney- they all stayed in the Optum family so there were no hard feelings! We were so fortunate to have wonderful host families for the week; putting on an amazing bbq for us all and cheering for us (despite the fact they thought we were called ‘team opium’!)
|We were 1st team overall!|