25 women represented a good mix of consistent NorCal riders and teams for this years Snelling Road Race. I was happy to be reunited with teammates Heather VanSickle, Heather Lipana, and Marley Smith for a warm and sunny afternoon bike race. We patiently assessed the field and riders in the first lap, taking turns following moves and assuring the team was represented near the front. A few attacks on the 3rd lap started to string things out and I found myself in a group with seven other riders including UHC’s Katie Hall and Colavita’s Olivia Dillon, both of whom continued to drive the pace until we had a gap on the field.
Shortly after, the main field was neutralized by a passing men’s group which allowed the gap to grow significantly but also prevented any successful bridge attempts from my teammates. On the final lap, we all started looking at each other hoping someone else would make the first move….but instead we all came into the final corner together and Olivia and Katie jumped first. Despite my best efforts to have a good position in the group, I wasn’t able to match that final punch of speed and came in 7th. Marley rounded out the top 10 and Heather and Heather finished safely in the group.
Emily Setzer, Danielle Haulman and I showed up to race what promised to be a strong field at Copper Town circuit race this past Sunday. I was super excited to race with Dani given her disposition to attack, counterattack (herself even) and just generally light most races up. Hard woman, Emily, was doubling up for her second race of the day after an already tough 3’s race!
Another day, another rainy crit. Coming off a strong team performance at Folsom on Saturday, I was excited to race again Sunday with Diane.
The race was short — only 40 minutes — and fast from the gun. Alison Tetrick (Exergy 2016) motored off the starting line, and I sat on her wheel for the first couple laps. After about five minutes, I realized we’d dropped most of the other riders. It was me, Alison, her teammate Mary Maroon, and Metromint rider Joanna Dahl. I was excited about this group, so I sat at the front a bit, which might have been a mistake. Mary attacked; I jumped on it, and then when Alison attacked a few seconds later, I couldn’t respond. Joanna, however, jumped to go with Alison.
I made the decision to conserve energy at this point, and Mary and I were soon joined by a half dozen other ladies, including Diane. A lap or two later, we saw Joanna had been dropped by Alison up front and was in no man’s land. Seizing that opportunity, Diane and I got to the front and worked hard to catch Joanna. No one else in our group wanted to help out with the effort. While I had doubts about the intelligence of pulling around a 6 or 7 girls, we kept making progress on reeling in Joanna, and with 2 to go, we had her. The pace subsided, and with 1 lap to go, Diane got on front and led me out to the finish. Mary out sprinted me, but I came across the line for third.
Overall, I’m proud of the work Diane and I both did. It felt awesome to put in a solid effort to catch a rider up the road, and then beat almost all the girls who sat on our wheels while we were working.
When asked whether two of our Davis teammates, Judy and Diane, would make the trip out for what promised to be a rainy Folsom Criterium, Judy responded with “let’s win a bike race!” I can’t help but love racing with these two – their excitement is contagious and it really set the tone for the day.
I was just as excited to line up next to Heather Van Sickle for the first time as a teammate. Having trained with Heather throughout the winter, I felt a certain confidence with her there. I knew how strong she was and that she would be an incredibly smart racer. Not to mention that she’s practically superhuman having had a little one a mere four months ago!
Twenty plus women lined up, and Judy and Diane went from the gun! On the second or third lap, Diane attacked and got separation from the group. Having ridden with Diane in the wind before, I had no doubt that she could just motor through it. As we made the right turn onto the start/finish straight away, a move led by Beth Newell went up the right side. Judy was quick to respond and jumped her wheel. Beth brought Diane back on the backside of the course and I was in good enough of a position to counter just as the cross wind on the backside turned into a tail wind.
I put my head down and went. I felt good knowing exactly what I was capable of having been VO2 tested by Judd Van Sickle through the UC Davis Sports Medicine program in the previous weeks. I couldn’t have been happier to hear Erin, Marley and Judd braving the rain to cheer me through the headwind section.
Rounding the first corner, I was relieved to hear a voice say, “it’s Beth” as she pulled around me. We had 40 minutes to go, and hovered at a 12 second gap for what seemed like forever. I never looked back – I had every confidence that my teammates were doing everything they could to keep me away. Beth did some big turns of work, and we were able to build our gap out to 20 and then finally 30 seconds. I didn’t take Beth in the sprint – it was a well-deserved victory for her.
I later heard what rockstar teammates I have – Heather patrolling the front always riding second or third wheel, Judy completely sprinting away from the pack to take 3rd, and Diane just doing what she does to take 4th! I couldn’t be more thankful to have such a great team! Can’t wait for next time!
Twenty or so women showed up for Knight Ferry Road Race’s sunny and cold start last weekend. I was happy to be racing with team mate Emily Setzer and to see friends new to bike racing at the start. The fifty-nine mile, two lap, out and back course negotiated several rollers and a bit of wind before ending with an uphill finish. During the first lap accelerations on the hills and after the turnaround separated the field a bit, but most everyone chased back on and we all stayed together. There were several short-lived breakaway attempts during the second half of the race; however none of those moves lasted very long. During the last lap I (and probably the rest of the field) settled into the idea that the finishing climb would determine the race outcome. Sure enough, we cruised into the finishing climb where things got real on the first half – and steepest part – of the climb. I started from a less than ideal spot towards the back of the group and wove my way up to the front group of five or so. I was unable to hold onto the lead group in the last 200 meters, but managed to put in enough of a finishing effort for fourth. Emily finished in eighth not far behind. All in all I had an enjoyable day of racing and am looking forward to more races with my Folsom Bike team in the very near future!