At Land Park today Folsom Bike showed up with Marley Smith, Claire Morgan, Heather VanSickle and Heather Lipana. 27 women lined up with perfect weather for this spectator favorite.
The race started after the first lap when attacks began and the pace stayed steady with the attacks one after another. Amanda Siegle and Claire Morgan animated the race like usual along with the rest of the metromint girls. Mary Maroon, Marley Smith and Christina Hughes drove the pace on the front while also covering attacks. Heather VanSickle put in a couple big digs and one huge dig with one lap to go after we were unexpectedly told we only had two laps left. When Heather was caught, Marley Smith went to the front to make sure the last lap was fast and with Mary Maroon on her wheel, everyone else was jockeying for position. Claire Morgan went up the outside with Heather Lipana on her wheel and had a mechanical with about 400m to go, Heather managed to make up some ground and come in 4th. Mary Maroon won by attacking from the last corner. Christina Hughes came in 2nd and Daniel Spires from Pacific Crush rounded out the podium with 3rd.
Today Claire Morgan, Heather Lipana and Heather Van Sickle lined up with approximately 40 category 1/2/3 woman at one of the local favorites, Bariani road race. It was an almost perfect day. Mid 80’s, clear sky’s and just a little wind.
Right from the gun a break with Amanda Seigle and two others went up the road. The break dangled for almost the whole lap. Lipana made a big dig to bridge to the break of three up the road. She almost made it but was caught by the main field. It didn’t take her long to re-group and attack many times over. Claire countered a break and was off the front for some time. Both Claire and Lipana were in a couple promising breaks but nothing stuck. Heather Van Sickle bridged to a break of about seven with her team mate, Lipana, already in it. The break seemed very promising but was soon caught once again by the main field. Claire and Lipana were very aggressive and attentive during the race. It was unfortunate that the main field didn’t want any breaks to stick.
On the last lap Laura Jorgensen from Pinnacle soloed in for the win. Mary Maroon took the field sprint. Heather Van Sickle came in eight. Claire and Lipana came in mid pack.
Diane and I took a hiatus from our roles on the Folsom Bike / Cervelo team to represent UC Davis this weekend in a collegiate race at Stanford. The fields for both the road race and criterium were disappointingly small – a dozen both days — and disproportionately made up of Stanford riders.
The road race is a rolling 54 mile out and back course. Normally the hills on the way out force big separations, but a fierce head wind kept everything together until about 15 miles in. Diane attacked and we started dropping girls, but as some riders started to regroup, Diane sat up, reluctant to pull people in the headwind. I took the opportunity to attack at that point, thinking that I would just put the hurt on those who had clawed their way back. Instead, I found myself off the front with a girl from Stanford who had NO intention at all of being reabsorbed by the peloton. After I told her that I didn’t want to be away for 40 miles, she still pulled me, in the headwind, all the way to the turnaround. At this point, I realized that we could at least make it solo over the big climb on the return stretch. This possibility was very tempting, since one of the girls left in the peloton is a fierce climber. I started pulling hard with this girl, and once we made it over the climb by ourselves, I thought, “Well heck, what’s another 20 miles off the front…” We worked together until the end, at which point this Stanford girl apparently had no problem towing me for the last kilometer and waiting for me to outsprint her at the line.
After that long day in the wind, I had no intention of seeing the front of the race in the crit the next day. My plan was sit in, surf wheels, and sprint at the end. But when you’re in a race of 12 people and only have one other teammate, you have to at least cover moves. And I when I got into a move with Cervelo/FB girl Dani Haulman and two Stanford riders, we started to motor. The course was so short that we soon lapped the rest of the group. At this point, we rejoined the peloton and Diane went up the road with a Stanford gal. The two of them duked it out for 5th place while I just kept check on my breakaway companions as we rolled around in the group. I jumped on Stanford’s leadout train with 1 lap to go and outsprinted everyone for the win. It was a fun but exhausting weekend!