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Tour of America's Dairyland 2024 - Racing crits for 11 Days! Cat. 2 winner!

Eleven days in a row of pure and fast crit racing. Pro women's 1/2 field. Very experienced riders and awesome race organizers provided a great experience.

Yes I would say I was thrown into ice water. The first day was a complete schock for me. I've never been in such a big field and could count on my fingers how many crit races I've done in my life. And now I am facing the pro field. Better learn fast!

Day 1 I had mechanical problems. My chain was bent so it made my shifting skip every pedal stroke. "Luckily" I got away into the break of 10 other riders and could "limp" my way into the finish line. As the only cat. 2 in the group that was full points scored.

Arielle Verharren won that day and her teammate Kristina Grossmann got the Lowlands Sprint competition points. Both riding for Automatic Abus team in cat. 1. That put all three of us into the first leader's jerseys. What else we have in common is that we've been racing each other virtually on Zwift for a while, so it was exciting to have the real life experience! #zwiftersinthewild !

It's all about positioning and timing.

Those are the main things but easier said than done. At first I had to figure out how to move in a pack, hold lines, how to move up when needed.

Then I had to learn when to chase, when to work, when to sit, when to go.

Many pro teams had multiple riders working together, which puts single riders in a tricky spot. Throughout the days I learned a lot, did many mistakes but got more and more confident.

From the first day on I was points leader for the category 2. Categories one and two race all together but there is a seperate omnium (of the 11 days) and leaders jersey for each. I held on to the leader's jersey throughout the entire tour, so I was always wearing green and had the privilege to be called up to the start line as an

'amateur racing with the pros'.

My results were satisfying regarding everything, but left me hungry for more.

I didn't imagine I would look forward to each and next racing day and enjoy it so much, even though I still think that crit isn't necessary my most fitted racing format.

It's great to see the communities engaging in our sport and the race organizers and sponsors working with passion to make this happen.

I am thankful for each of my supporters, Broken Spoke Bike Studio, Borah Teamwear, TheFeed, and as Vision, especially my husband and coach Nathan Guerra, that guided me through this. I learned a lot and look forward to be racing more in the future and hope we can give to the cycling community, support the development of athletes, just as I am developing and growing into the best athlete I can be.

And now we celebrate: Cat 2. omnium winner!

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