Monday, March 15, 2010

Learning how to really race

This was such a great weekend of racing with my teammates. It was my first double road race weekend of 2010 and my first double road race as a Cat 2.

Saturday was the Tour de Dung road race and Sunday was Mason lake #2, 48 and 60 miles respectively.

Saturday I decided to just put myself out there and try attacks and crazy bridges. The pace was fast from the gun (22 mph neutral rollout ftw). At the end of the first of four laps I bridged up to a break with two of the stronger ladies in the race. I took one other girl with me. We stayed away for a few minutes and when the pack caught us, they had shelled a lot of girls. After that, 2 girls went off the front and stayed away for the rest of the race.

I was feeling really good, going into the last few miles when I pulled a totally rookie mistake. I totally missed the 1km sign (despite passing it three other times on previous laps) and when we hit 200m I wasn't expecting it and was totally boxed in. It would have been unsafe for me to try and move anywhere so I just pedaled it in for 15th out of 37 or so. Even though it was one of my worst finishes, I was totally happy with my race since I feel like I raced safe and smart.

Sunday was even better. We raced with the fast old guys and the pace was again really fast from the gun (a dude attacked the second we weren't neutral). Vicki and I were so good. We covered every break and made sure to have at least one of us close to the front, ready to jump.

Between the two of us, we managed to get into probably 6 or 7 breaks that were chased down and then finally on the last lap I got into the perfect break. I saw one strong woman go followed by another. I chased on and then one more strong woman followed me. It was perfect. There was a well-represented break of men up the road so the men weren't going to chase us this time. Immediately we started rotating and were able to pull away from the pack. I was the least experienced rider and probably weakest sprinter in the group but I was still feeling really strong despite all the chasing I had done in the previous 50 miles.

When we got to 1k, the strongest sprinter was sitting in front and none of us would pull through around her. At around 300m one woman went followed by another. I hopped on 3rd wheel and was able to get around the first woman who went but couldn't quite outsprint the other lady and I rolled in 2nd by about a bike length.

Finishing well was great but feeling like I am finally learning to be more aggressive, work with a team, and put myself out there is the best feeling ever.

In other news, our Cat 4 Cucina Fresca women are doing so well. I even got an email from another Cat 4 woman complimenting them on how safe, strong, and friendly they are and how well they work together as a team. I couldn't be happier.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Great job Jess. Wish I could have seen more of you this weekend but had to get home Sat night. Looks like I will be able to take more pictures at the next up coming races. I will get you in action.