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2014-02-08 Bicycles Plus Winter Criterium Women’s 1/2/3 Race Report by Claire Morgan

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!

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