Camera maker GoPro has gifted Team WORS two of their GoPro HERO Wide-angle lens cameras. Footage from the cameras is online at the Team WORS vimeo.
Emily Shull, racing for CLIF Bar, is riding this year near the top of the women's Cat 3 Hayes Citizen Series. Emily's race at WORS #9, the Ramble, was no different. Emily (13) finished second out of 48 women, ranging in age from 12 to 55.
Because WORS is America's Largest Mountain Bike Race Series, the men in almost every field (except for the Pro / Cat 1 Belgioioso Elite Series) begin in age-group specific waves, staggered a few minutes apart. The smaller women's field then take to the course as a single group. Thus, the women have an outright race, competing against the entire field rather than only those within their age group.
At the top of every women's field, racers must learn to pass slower male riders who started in waves ahead of them. If this race had been a time trial, the winner of Emily's race would have finished around 40th out of 140 Cat 3 men on the course. This means that, during the course of her race, she probably passed around 40-60 riders from various start waves.
The amount of passing is great practice, and makes the women's race a technical and tactical challenge. The video shows 13-year old Emily and 14-year old Rachael (who won the Ramble) demonstrating excellent passing technique. Almost all of the men, too, show excellent skills and etiquette while being passed - especially those riders who were able to accommodate two passing riders at a time! You'll also see how quickly gaps close between the women in the front as they catch slower riders without the opportunity to pass, and how hard they sprint in open passing sections. That's great racing!
Thanks to Emily for riding with the camera mounted to her bike!