Hot conditions were a major factor for the riders as they took to the start for day one of the Charm City cross, promoted by Twenty20 cycles. Local rider Arley Kemmerer set the race alight with a fast first lap in pursuit of Helen, pulling herself clear of the chasing pack. Nicole Thiemann was the main chaser and on lap two bridged to Arley and the two set off in chase of Helen who had built a 20 second lead.
“It was so hot out there, I didn’t want to get too hard and overhead, but then I had to keep pushing enough to keep gap on Arley and Nicole.” Commented Helen after the race “It was a challenging course with a bit of everything; for sure it’s a stand out course on the American scene”
Helen kept the pace high and was able to control things from the front of the field and won by 20 seconds. Arley broke free to take 2nd and Nicole finished off the podium. The major casualty of the race was Joyce Vanderbeken who ended up in hospital with heat stroke. She was later released although she’ll miss day 2 of the event.
“After my crash last week it was good to get back out there. I can’t say I felt great as I’ve trained pretty hard the past two weeks so I took the risk of having bad legs in a hard race. But I’m sure I’ll be feeling good for day two and hopefully I can battle it out for another chance of a win”
Day two will see several changes to the course and also new competition in the shape of Laura van Gilder who’s sure to be in the mix. The temperatures aren’t due to be so high and overnight rain could have some effect on the previously dusty corners.