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DC Ranch Crit Report by Heidi Melendez

Editor’s Note: We are trying to feature women’s cycling in all forms here on the WoCAA website, so we are glad to be able to post this recent race report by Heidi Melendez of the Landis/ Trek team.  If you have stories, race reports, ride reports, photos, or other fun stuff you’d like to share, please contact us!  

Sunday, May 19th marked the 3rd annual DC Ranch Criterium Race in Scottsdale Arizona. Hosted by the DC Ranch Communities and sponsored by the White Mountain Road Club, this venue offers a quick, yet fun, technical course that allows for riders with all different abilities to shine. Though we did not have a huge female turn out this past Sunday, I am grateful for the women that came and braved the heat to make the races possible.

The morning began with the juniors categories which, unfortunately, did not have any females registered for this race. Despite that, watching the juniors races brings a smile to my face each time I see them. I find it quite exciting to knowing that these kids are getting an opportunity to get into this sport at such an early age!

The Women’s 4s and Master’s 40+ followed shortly after the juniors in the morning. With only 4 registered riders, there wasn’t much competition, and Stefanie Sichler took the field without challenge.

In the afternoon, the Women’s 123 race was shaping out to be an interesting experience. Though only 4 riders pre registered, there were a total of 6 to the start line: Megan French from Jobing.com, Melissa Ross from Faster, Reiley Pankratz from Body by Vi, and Judy Jenkins, Kapri Gonzales and Heidi Melendez from Landis/Trek. This field was strong, with a lot of talent, and many years of cycling experience despite its size.

With an official call to shorten the race from 50 min to 30, the race got off to a fast start. With Kapri pushing the pace for the first half of the race and Megan going for and securing the primes everyone was working hard to just stay in the race. After the second prime, Kapri dropped out, and Megan and Melissa had a small hop on Reiley and Judy with Heidi trailing just behind. Judy and Reiley continued to push the pace but were unable to close the gap before Reiley seemed to be losing steam. Heidi over took Reiley with 3 laps to go and was able to keep that jump and more closely close the gap for the finish. With a sprint to the finish, Megan took it at the line with Melissa right behind, then Judy, Heidi and Reiley.

For a 3:30pm race and a temperature of close to 100 degrees, I applaud all of us for having the courage to get out there and get it done.

To all the women that have come out and raced the crits this year, I personally sincerely thank you. It’s been a blast and I am greatly looking forward to next season!

Ride on =]

Here are some photos of the race by Helen Wanamaker, AZ Athletes in Motion.  Thanks, Helen!

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