The field at Sea Otter this year was noticeably reduced from the past year – US National crit and TTT championships probably had something to do with this. Even though the field was smaller (about 35 girls), didn’t mean it wasn’t a strong field. The void left by American ladies was taken by British Columbia racers who had made the trip south.
The two teams with strong representation were Trek Red Truck and Twenty Sixteen, they kept the pace high in the first couple of laps which dropped some riders early on. There were also some attacks and separation which never got very far up the road.
At the start of three laps to go, there was an attack that I went with. It ended up with Sara Bergen (Trek Red Truck) and Kaitie Antonneau (Twenty Sixteen) up the road, and me and Denise Ramsden (Trek Red Truck) bridging up. After a bit, Denise helped us get up to her teammate’s move. At this point I was pretty spent, which was pretty evident as I yoyoed up the feed zone climb.
At the top of the climb at two laps to go, we were caught by Alison Jackson (Twenty Sixteen) and Jill McLaughlin. At this point, there were attacks from our break. I couldn’t match the attacks and got dropped, while Denise got away on her own for the win.
Although I tried to chase back on, I was swept up by the remainder of the pack after the feed zone. The pace in the group stayed pretty calm for the last lap, and the five girls off the front stayed away. Dani and I finished with a reduced uphill sprint with the group.
After the race we took part in the other part of Sea Otter, checking out the exhibition and catching up with old friends.
Judy Wexler’s Report:
Last year, the circuit race at Sea Otter was a breakout race for me. This year…well let’s just say I got dropped Friday in the road race so I was just hoping to finish with the group on Sunday. The race length was shortened to 60 minutes after organizers decided to start us at 3 pm. So it seemed we were only racing for ten minutes before we saw a sign that said 6 laps to go. At this point, a few riders went off the front. Thinking that this was a little premature, we let the move go. We had enough pro women in our group that we believed the break would come back. Unfortunately, this calculation was incorrect. The move stuck, and when we realized this, Diane admirably did her best to bridge up, but was marked in the cross winds. With one lap to go, there was nothing to do but sit in and let the train come into the station for places 6 – 25.