Amber Pierce’s streak of success continued with her win this past Sunday at the Tour de Fort Lee Criterium in Fort Lee, NJ. following a fierce field sprint to the line in the final 500 meters. Pierce has enjoyed a flurry of success since her return to racing following a season long knee injury kept her from competition.
Read Amber’s thoughts on the day of racing and the Fort Lee Education Foundation
The Tour de Fort Lee benefits the Fort Lee Education Foundation flefnj.org – a great cause to support through racing. The four-corner course at Tour de Fort Lee featured a false-flat uphill through the start finish and corner one, followed by a gradual downhill from corner 2 to corner 3, and a sharp steep incline from corner three to corner four. The field seemed well-suited to a break, as the two races before our race both featured successful breakaways.
Two laps into the race, a couple of attacks by me and Raquel Miller (Zimmer Capital p/b Foundation) forced a separation. Cheryl Wolf (Rockstar Games/Signature Cycles Womens Racing) bridged to us, and the three of us quickly put time into the field. With 5 laps to go, we lapped the field and prepared for the field sprint. A small hiccup on the steep climb leading into the final corner on the last lap meant I had to unclip momentarily and lost significant momentum and contact with the field. I had to charge for the finish from the moment I clipped back in, starting my sprint from a virtual stop at about 500m from the finish. The close-call must have given me a nice adrenaline boost, because in spite of the hiccup, I managed to win the field sprint by a few bike lengths to take the win!
Racing with my teammates last week at Green Mountain Stage Race has really boosted my motivation for the last races of the season. Coming back from injury requires significant patience, and I’ve been very fortunate to have unbelievably positive support from our whole team, even when oceans separate us. Their belief in me has helped enormously through the entire healing process, and it feels great to be able to contribute some results to the tally as I come back into form.