Teter has arguably been the dominant team of the past 7 years but with just one win in that time (2005) their potential had not been realized. They were pole-sitters in three consecutive years (2007-2009) and should/could have won the race in both 2004 and 2008. All that was forgotten as they rose from being under the radar prior to quals to sweeping the series events and dominating the Women’s race. Caitlin van Kooten individually won ITTs, MnO, TP and throughout Fridays race her burnouts were more effective than anyone else’s. This gave her rookie teammates the opportunity to easier integrate into the pack each time they rode. Eventually something had to give and as Teter came around to lap the gallant Pi Phi at about 80laps, CvK attacked the field with a fake exchange. She quickly gained a good gap that was maintained by teammate Lauren Gowdy and finally punched home through the final 8 laps by the women of the moment herself! Yes there were a few laps of yellow that helped their cause but there is little doubt CvK would have held off the chasing teams AGD, DG, Theta and Kappa. All that was required was a proper victory salute and it would have been a perfect day!
Photo from IDSnews.com
The chasing teams in the finale took positions 2-5 but all had largely anonymous days and played second fiddle to CvK. Defending champ Pi Phi made a solid attempt at repeating with Caroline Brown riding over 70 laps before being sadly taken out of the race with a separated shoulder after colliding with a horrible Delta Gamma exchange (that strangely wasn’t penalized). Pi Phi’s day was pretty wild with a lot of exchange uncertainty that eventually caused them a 5 second penalty that put the final nail in their attempts to be competitive for the win. Brown had done a great job keeping Pi Phi on the lead lap for 70 laps but her team-mates also deserve some credit for holding onto the teams fifth position for the last 20 laps. The other issue of the day was the amazing amount of creeping that was allowed by the judges: when a 25 rider pack forms after 85 laps you know something is up!
There were only a few crashes throughout the race but those that occurred were nasty! An Air force rider was taken off with a broken clavicle in the first 5 laps but the worst of the day was when Lauren Sewell (I think) of Army wrecked between turns3+4 out of sight of her team. She sickeningly hit the ground face first that apparently resulted in a broken nose and clavicle. To her enormous credit she actually got back on her bike and make it round to the pit in tears before being eventually being taken to the medical tent. Caroline Brown hit the ground close to the gutter in a crash that also involved a Zeta rider performing a nasty face-plant. It always seems much worse when a girl lands on her face then it does when the same happens to some ugly dude.
With all of Teter’s riders coming back next year I think it’ll be easy to select next years favorites as they try to make it 3 wins in 7 years!
Pi Phi (yellow) and Zeta crash. Photo idsnews.com
3 days ago