As told by our very own Sunshine Townsend:
Cal Aggie Crit Women’s P1,2,3 Race Report
The Women’s race went off at 2:30pm, which gave the temperature a chance to warm up and the wind to pick up. We didn’t have much of pre race talk since that was taken care of at our team lunch and just lined up together at the start with about 20 other girls.
Almost as soon as the gun went off the race got started. Alison (Exergy 2016) put in the first attack, but was quickly brought back. Korina (Metromint) put in the next attack and Dani got on her wheel. They got a bit of a gap on the straight before the chicanes. Ali went after them and Amy jumped with her. They quickly caught and then passed Korina and Dani. At the end of the chicanes a girl from Red Racing tried to bridge the gap up to Korina and Dani. I took her wheel, but it soon became clear she was not going to make it. I looked back and saw we had a bit of a gap so I jumped around her to try and bridge by myself. I passed Dani and tried to make it to Ali and Amy. About 3/4ths the way there I could tell I was about to implode and looked back to see Beth (now and Novartis for MS) coming up behind me. I jumped on her wheel as she passed and we made contact to Ali and Amy. All of this happened within the first 2 laps by the way.
I had spent all of my energy trying to make the move so by the time we made contact I was dangling off the back, barley able to hold on. Luckily for me, I had Amy, a rockstar of a teammate, with me. Not only was she motivating me with words, but she even filled in pulls for me a couple times. After about 10 min of feeling like death, I was recovered enough to take all my pulls and the four of us worked together smoothly. Primes came and went with no attacks or even a change in the pace.
At about 8 laps to go we realized if we kept our pace we would lap the field. We sat up a bit and I notice that Dani and Korina where still ahead of the pack, trying to chance on. Unfortunately, Ali and Beth were not going to sit up so they could catch on and we just kept rolling. At about 5 laps to go the attacks started. Ali would kick, Amy would get her wheel and Beth would bridge up. Then we would sit up so as not to catch the field. Next Amy would go, Beth would catch and Ali would bridge, we would sit up. This same pattern continued for a while. Heading into the chicanes on the final lap, Ali attacked, I chased caught her and then led through the chicanes (now that I think about it, that probably was not the smartest idea as I then didn’t have much left for the sprint). On the final straight Ali went for the long sprint and came around me. Beth jumped to get her wheel and I tried to go with her but my legs said no. Amy and I did what we could, but the two of them were already gone. Amy came in 3rd, I took 4th and Dani stayed away with Korina to take 6th. Claire won the field sprint to take 7th. 4 riders in the top 7, not to bad!
Things may not have gone perfectly, but I was really proud of our team. We where aggressive from the start and no one was able to get away with out a Cervelo rider on there wheel. Claire showed some mad sprinting skills to hold of the peloton and I could not have asked for a better teammate to have with me in the break then Amy. I am very excited to see what we can do with a full squad!
Amy Chandos 3rd W/1/2/3
Sunny Townsend 4th W/1/2/3
Danielle Haulmann 6th W/1/2/3
Claire Morgan 7th W1/2/3