Liza Rachetto summer racing in Australia!
Liza Rachetto of the BH sponsored Primal/ MapMyRide women's pro cycling team is down under in Australia, where it is their summer, racing the Bay Crits in the Melbourne area with the top women cyclists in the world... on her BH Cristal!
Liza was kind enough to give us this update about the racing so far, with one race remaining.
2012 Jayco Bay Crits- 4 Days of Criterium racing in Victoria, Australia.
Starting off the new year, I was contacted by a friend/race director Kim Howard just 5 weeks prior to the race asking if I was coming down under and interested in racing. Kim is an instrumental coach and director in Australian women’s cycling, developing many riders who eventually find pro contracts. In addition her son, Leigh Howard, 2009 Omnium World Champion is just one example. Any chance to return to Australia to race bikes in the summer is hard to pass up!
Since the bay crits are all made of composite teams, I contacted my US director of Primal/MapMyRide team and gained permission to start the season January 1 in Australia. I was very excited, but also nervous as my last criterium was in September and coming straight into Australia’s peak race season of an Olympic year would be challenging. However, I’ve been fortunate to race the bay crits twice so I have an idea of what I am getting into. The challenges: suffering enough to hang out for the sprints, not making any positioning mistakes. The rewards: sun, heat, great courses, high quality field and some fitness after the races.
Day 1- “HotDog course” just near Eastern Beach in Geelong, 60 women started out fast and furious with 0:55 laps, the same speed as the pro men! All was going well, when one crash neutralised the field and the rider had to be taken off course with a broken collarbone. We had a restart with 5 laps to go, this was very painful for me and everyone, but I lost a lot of positioning. Sure enough last lap, there were 3 down in different places of the top corner, I was successful in swerving and dodging riders, however finding a good position for the sprint did not happen. Our sprinter did a flip over her bike to avoid a few of these riders and I luckily came out unscathed.
Day 2 Eastern Park Gardens- The race was “on” now that the Dream Team only managed a 3rd and GreenEdge was bested by Chloe Hosking on stage 1- there was more aggressive racing with another significant break established up the road, we missed out but looked to the Dream Team to chase. Just as we neared the final laps we started to catch the breakaway riders, however 3 still remained off at the finish. I finished up 8th and Kate Finegan 9th, for a hot day we were relatively pleased to just survive as only 16 managed to complete the stage with 90-100deg temps.
Day 3 Portarlington- I seemed to have forgotten this stage as today it shattered my legs. Sometimes the ability to dig deep and suffer can play mental games on you. I managed to be dropped three times, but catching up on the descent or positioning around the corner before the hill, but it was very clear the grade of the hill took its toll on me. The high end fitness the Aussies used to “float” up the hill was where I clawed on to survive and a few times I looked over to see Nicole Cooke suffering and I felt a bit better. The finish was disappointing as I was dropped in the final laps and eventually pulled with one lap to go. Again, there were probably 18 riders left to finish, which is really amazing.
Tomorrow just one more day of a flat fast course in Williamstown, near Melbourne and I’m hoping for some magic to happen!
So grateful for this opportunity!
Thanks for the update Liza and keep up the great work! Looking forward to the domestic 2012 season.