University Road Race Report
I was happy to return to the University Road Race course for an NCNCA race. I had raced it twice for collegiate cycling and had good luck on both occasions, so I was happy to test my legs on the course again.
At the start of the race we were told we would be racing 14 laps, but since the race started a little late the officials would let us know if they decided to shorten the course. During the first 5 laps different girls took turns setting pace at the front and the group whittled down little by little. At this point we were told that the race was shortened by 2 laps. I started to worry that they would shorten it further so I decided that the next time up the climb I would wait for an attack and then counter and try to get away.
At the base of the climb, Zoca p/b Halo Sports put in an attack that was brought back but caused a bit of separation. I put in a counter attack and looked back to only see Bethany Allen from Zoca on my wheel. Given how strong Bethany is, and how motivated she is to make a break work, I was thrilled to get to ride off the front with her. As we made our way around the course again and again we continued to make time on Katie Giles of US Military Endurance Sports who had struck out on her own for third. Even though it was clear how strong Bethany she was and that I could be out-climbed on the final lap, we joked about how we wanted to flip a coin for the win. In the end conceded that we would have to race each other.
As I hoped, Bethany attacked on the steep final part of the climb. This let me counter it as the course flattened out and started to descend. I knew I could create a gap on the descent, but hoped that I could hold it on the climb to the finish. Pedaling down the descent I kept my head down and never saw another wheel behind me. Finally as I turned to start the final climb I looked back and saw that I had maybe 5 seconds, which motivated me to press on to the finish line for first!
A final note of thanks to VeloPromo for putting on the race and keeping the course safe for us to race around, and around, and around the beautiful UC Santa Cruz campus.