Double US Circuit Victory For Jazz Apple Cycling
For immediate release
10 July 2008
Double Victory For Jazz Apple Cycling Team In US Racing Circuit
Latest report from Jazz Apple Cycling Team
The Jazz Apple Team blazed to victory again over the weekend in both the seriously tough, Leesville Gap Road Race and the Northern Californian Criterium Championships in Vacaville.
In the 18th annual 108 kilometre Leesville Gap epic, every rider had a tale to tell by the day's end. Ruth Corset ended the day with a crushing victor's account of events but everyone involved suffered a crusade worthy of mention.
Susy Pryde joined the first solo attack of the day by ValueAct's Courtney Brown after only four kilometres. With a two minute buffer, the pair hit the 50 kilometre stretch of the 'Gap', a vague footprint of an access road, now a crater-riddled trail scattered with long gravel road sections. At the first eight kilometre incline, the duo began dodging the strewn remains of the earlier men's groups either repairing punctures or stretching weary limbs.
In the group behind, Corset launched as the ascent steepened quickly, joining the breakaway pair mid-way up. Brown could not quite handle the quickened pace as Pryde and Corset pulled away hitting the gravel road sections at speed. That was until Corset punctured 20 kilometres later. With mechanical support caught behind the group, Pryde swapped out her rear wheel with Corset and sent her on her way.
Sidelined in the torching heat pending mechanical support, Pryde then watched the chase group of four fly by with Lauren Ellis conveniently lodged on the back of the group. Malinda Maclean had suffered two punctures at the bottom of the climb and also suffered the wait for support. Meanwhile Ruth continued a colossal effort on her own, her diminutive frame deceptively continuing to gain time on the chase.
Into the last eight kilometres, Corset had assured her win with an impressive five minute lead while Ellis was setting up for a three up gallop. Surprisingly there was one final five kilometre gravel road and with the three jockeying in the graduated gravel, the day almost culminated in disaster. Emerging safely, Ellis began launching only to be shut down approaching the final dash.
One final jump, and she crossed the line a dominating second. Ellis had however inadvertently snuck a few inches over the centre-line in the sprint and was unluckily disqualified on a technicality. Nevertheless it was an outstanding voyage and aside from being completely destroyed, the team quietly admired the pulverising strength of Corset’s ride.
Vying for the North Californian Criterium Championships title were vast sets of fresh, Leesville Gap Road Race-free legs, calling for a careful plot on the 1.6km technical and rolling course.
Staying close to the moves but out of the wind, the Jazz Apple crew launched their first attack with seven laps to go. Pryde was caught after one lap to be countered by Corset into the course's 200 metre climb. Maclean patrolled the front and noting the field's muscle clearly faltering, Pryde countered again to fly solo.
Lap by lap, Pryde’s lead yo-yoed until a concerted chase sucked back the Jazz Apple rider on the final lap. Executing faultless timing, Ellis rocketed past on the opposite side of the road heading up the final climb with Cheerwine's Sarah Bamberger chasing hard midway between Ellis and the group.
Driving over the climb, Ellis extended a gap and crossed the line in a very thrilling victory. In front of a cheering crowd, she had her first chance to celebrate victory, all the more rewarding after yesterday's unfortunate finish.
Corset, feeling recovered from her exceptional day yesterday, jumped early in the sprint and powerfully held off the remaining field to claim a gutsy third place.
This week spells the last in the Monterey area as the team now prepares to leave for BC Superweek in Vancouver.