I raced the Ravensdale race yesterday. I don't know why, but I'd totally psyched myself up for this race. I'm really familiar with the course since the Black Diamond Triathlon is run on a large portion of it so I knew what to expect around almost every corner. Also, I'm only 7 points away from my Cat 2 upgrade and man ... I just really want to join Travis and Chris and all the other Cat 2's living the luxurious life of a 1/2 tomato.
The 3's were supposed to be raced alone but there wasn't enough of a turnout so they ended up combining us with the 1/2 women. At first I was kind of bummed but then I got excited since racing with the 1/2 women tends to be more fun and can give me faster wheels to sit on if there's a break.
The pace started out easy but that didn't really last. little by little attacks and counter attacks started happening. I chased maybe half of them and sat in for the ones that I knew wouldn't stick. Around 10 or 15 miles in Cheryl from Blue Rooster went off the front alone and just kind of hung out there. For me it was kind of NBD since she's a Cat 2 so I didn't really have anything motivating me to chase her. I guess no one else was feeling motivated to chase her either because amazingly, she stayed away the whole race. I later found out that it had something to do with the Washington Cup and the Wines women not wanting Michele Conrad to win and make up points on Tricia ... I don't know ... it doesn't really matter to me as a 3.
Once it was clear that we weren't catching Cheryl (by the beginning of lap 2 she had 1:30 on us and at 40 miles it was over 2 minutes) people started attacking again. When it was a faster woman attacking I chased since I didn't want anyone else to get away, when it was someone who I knew couldn't stay away, I just sat in and let everyone else chase.
We really started pushing the pace up that hill after the hard left (corner 2?) and I was definitely working to stay in. Gina from Wines was just hammering up the hills and I just tried to stay close to the front so I wouldn't have to waste any extra energy chasing back on.
When we made the left to the finish Gina attacked and took me and one other Cat 3 with her. I stayed in the saddle and on a wheel to save myself for the final sprint. 200m came faster than I was expecting and I put my head down and started hammering. I realized as I was sprinting that I was spinning out ... still in my small ring ... crap. I was leading but there was another 3 right on my wheel ... crap. I took a risk and shifted into my big ring at full tilt. Luckily no jammed chain or shifting issues. I pushed it across the line, winning the field sprint by what I was told was a decent margin and getting the overall win for the 3's.
Sadly, there were less than 11 women in the 3's so I only got 3 upgrade points. If there had been a few more women I would have gotten the 7 points I need for my Cat 2 upgrade. Oh well ... c'est la vie. I may put my request in anyway and see what Martha says :)
Mind The Gap
7 months ago