VERONA, WISCONSIN — Redline’s Tim Rutledge couldn’t help but wait a few yards from the finish line for his rider, Kari Studley, to come through with her arms in the air after winning the 30-34 women’s race. After all, he had a good reason to be excited: Studley had already snatched up a stars and stripes jersey earlier in the week in the singlespeed category.
Studley started the race strong, knowing that the race would be a tactical, slippery one. She said that while conditions were a bit warmer for today’s race, she thought the course had gotten harder and more slippery – but that she was happy to be able to shift during this race! Rebecca Blatt (Van Dessel Factory Team) took the lead early on in the race, but Studley moved up within the first part of the lap, passing her on the hill. Also with them was Rebecca Gross (Tough Girl Cycling).
The three leaders had a large gap on Brianne Marshall (NoTubes Endurance Racing), Ellen Sherrill (Bicycle Bluebook), Jessica Hill (The Pony Shop), Anna Dingman, and Sunny Gilbert (Michelob Ultra), who had rolled to the start line 30 seconds before the whistle blew.
In the three lap, 40 minute race, as the racers came around for a second time, Studley was still in the lead, but Marshall had moved up to second spot with Blatt chasing hard. In the group behind them, Marian Jamison joined the chase, along with Gross.
As the racers got the bell for one to go, Studley had a lead with no one in sight. Behind her, Marshall had broken free of Blatt and was safely ensconced in second place, barring a major mishap. Studley took the win, and admitted that while she misses racing the elite race, she’ll be happy to fly back to Seattle tomorrow to prepare for Masters Worlds in Kentucky.