Diane and I had a title to defend and we gave 110% to secure the win yesterday.
On the second lap I attacked on the backside and when I looked back I had two girls with me and we had a significant gap so we immediately started working together. It was Fiona Winder and a Metromint girl named Christina I think. We got into a really steady rhythm like clockwork and switched off at the same place every lap. After several laps my legs were a little fatigued but I was thinking I could win this if we stayed away. But we didn’t stay away and with 7-8 laps to go we got caught.
Diane immediately started trying to get in a break, when I was behind her and a few girls got off the front I would noodle to stall the peloton. Finally on her own volition she got up the road solo and I was absolutely sure she could stay away because she had a huge gap.
Mary Maroon decided with three to go to drill it as hard as she could to catch Diane, sacrificing her own Sprint and stretching it out single file the whole time. It felt like I was in a men’s race it was so fast and steady and very slowly we kept gaining on Diane, which is ridiculously impressive that Mary was having that hard of a time catching up, some girls were complaining they could barely hold Mary’s wheel.
We caught Diane with 3/4 of a lap to go and I wasn’t in a great position to sprint to with 1/2 lap I attacked and was hoping I could stay away but I’m just not able to do that yet, especially after being in a break for awhile. Tina Hughes got on my wheel and I blew up in 20 seconds. Diane and I crossed the line in 24th and 25th place. We didn’t win but we represented In the race WAY MORE than anyone else and we’re both happy with our effort, we were wrecked afterwards and Diane said she hasn’t gone that deep for a LONG time, she was AWESOME! Mary Ellen who sat in the whole time for her 10 second sprint, won.
The race started with 13 NorCal girls, with good representation from ICE with three girls each, and Zoca with two girls. For Folsom, Dani, Susannah, and myself came out to race. The race was exactly 3.7 laps around the course to make a 71mile race.
Racing started when Beth Newell (Jakroo Racing) attacked up the Mama Bear climb and kept the pace high. This was enough to detach some girls. Unfortunately, in the second lab Beth got a flat and couldn’t finish the race. The pace was kept high by Jane Despas and Sara Bird from ICE. Dani watched any attacks, and threw down some counter-attacks. The moves on the field usually caused some separation, but girls were able to work to catch back on.
On the final lap, on a climb with 8 miles to go, a hard attack by Joanna (Metromint) was joined by Alessandra (ICE), Bethany (Zoca) and myself. We kept this move away to the end and even had fun attacking each other on the final climbs to keep the race hard. On the final finishing climb, Alessandra, Beth and me started the climb to the finish. Beth took off and I hesitated for a second hoping Alessandra would respond. When she didn’t I jumped as well but Bethany was climbing away too fast. Bethany finished first, me in second and Alessandra in third. Thanks to Berkeley Cycling club for putting on such a great race!
This was the first year that Judy and I were able to do Cat’s Hill, in previous years we had been away for collegiate races. Even though had only heard about the craziness of the hill, and it did nothing to limit my shock when we took the third corner and faced a wall during the pre-ride. Not only does the 20% climb make an interesting course, so does the rough pavement and fast corners after the descent.
The race started fast, but then stopped after two laps for something very surprising; a police pursuit from a hit and run needed to access the course. After about 5 minutes we were started again. Again the race started fast, and after about a lap and a half, Judy attacked and rode off the front. Leah Thomas (Metromint) attacked on the next climb to bridge up to Judy and I stuck to her wheel. As soon as Leah caught Judy, I pulled on the front and tried to keep our gap. Eventually we were joined by Clarice Sayle and Bethany Allen (Zoca), Beth Newell (Jakroo), and Melanie Wong (ICE).
This group stayed together for nearly the rest of the race, which was made even more fun by the spectators on the hill, and the plentiful primes – Judy walked away with a gift certificate to Beso’s Lingerie store, where she found something very special ;).
In the final laps, attacks came by Beth and Leah, and each time they became harder and harder to respond. In the final lap, there was another attack on the climb which left Beth and Leah off the front, with me and Bethany trying to chase them down. The sprint finished with Leah taking the win, Beth in second, Bethany in third, and me pulling out fourth.
Thanks to an endowment from Budweiser, the Visalia crit this past Sunday was stacked. In addition to some of the top sprinters from NorCal, a number of SoCal riders made the trek up in the hopes of cashing in big. As a result, the race was hard. As we drove down from Davis in the morning, we had heard Diane got third in a tough race at Wente. This motivated me to get on the podium in the afternoon’s crit. However, despite Dani’s best efforts, that was not to be. The two biggest teams in the race were ICE and Monster Media. Girls in these kits continually attacked and went up the road, and Dani marked almost every move. Meanwhile, my legs were hurting just sitting in. So when I got the chance, I started chasing down moves and told Dani to conserve while I did the work. This flip flop continued for a while until we saw 6 laps to go. Then Dani rolled up to me and said, “You’re going to win this race, and it’s going to hurt. Just nut up.” I realized I was being a baby, and immediately got up to 3rd wheel where I sat for the next few laps. The last lap was chaotic. The most challenging part of a race with unknown riders is deciding whose wheel to follow. There are strong teams, for sure. But for any given team, most of the riders are not designated sprinters. So I got swarmed on the last lap and ended up 11th. I’m not proud of that result, but I am thankful for Dani for giving me the mid-race edge.