City Park Criterium
SW 1/2, 3- 3rd place
I love this crit. It’s not because I have ever done remarkably well at this race, but I just love all the twists and turns and I know that if I’m feeling good, I do have a potential for doing well.
Lately, my legs have been feeling very heavy and they hurt even when I’m trying to just spin them out. I think it’s the fact that at the end of the Cherry Creek Time Trial series I was racing twice a week, plus with the weather improving and the track opening, I have been putting in a lot of hours on my bike and maybe my body just isn’t overly happy with me!
For perfect race preparation, I drank too much on Friday night. It was nice out and my friend wanted to meet for drinks and the drinks were good and then the wine was good, too (along with the fried poached egg and frisee salad and the leg of lamb!) I then went to the track on Saturday afternoon where my coach had me do very fast laps on very little gears. This means, I was spinning my legs very fast and on sore legs and a little dehydration, that’s not what I felt I needed (although I think coach knew best.) I did sleep pretty well after my dinner at Stueban’s and the Pink Martini concert Saturday night and got up to have a nice egg and spinach breakfast. I guess I was trying to right some of the pre-race wrongs.
I was very excited to know that both Rachel and Joan were going to be in the race and I had my best friend from law school in town to cheer as well! The field wasn’t overly small, but not as big as I had hoped. We had about 20. The race started out pretty fast with Cat Johnson (Big Ring) driving the pace. Cari Higgins (gold medalist from Pan Americans, world cup track racer, general bad ass) was also in the race, but she had helped with the 4’s race, raced the 35+, helped in the kid’s race and was now racing with us. I know that all of this doesn’t slow Cari down, but I figured she probably didn’t feel like taking a flyer, either.
After about 4-5 laps of a few trying to get off the front and driving the pace between 24 and 29 mph, Gwen from the Primal Map My Ride team went off the front and no one really went with her. Also Whitney Schultz was taking flyers and mixing it all up. With enough primes we caught back to Gwen and someone else who had caught her at about 20 minutes to go. So now we were back to one group or so (although we had dropped about 5-6 off the back.)
With about four laps to go and taking in a vanilla power gel in there, I realized that I was feeling pretty good and had a quick meeting with Joan and Rachel (one at a time). I told them that if I could be on Cari’s wheel in the last turn, I could get 2nd or 3rd place. At this time, being on a team became very important and awesome. Rachel took a flyer to push the pace and string things out with 3 laps to go. She went so hard; I thought I might get dropped! Back together, Rachel and Joan moved to the front and allowed me to position better. With a lap to go, Joan got on the front and pushed the pace. I grabbed Cari’s wheel. In the last 270 degree turn, I was right on Cari and Joan had pulled off. Out of the turn, I tried to jump a split second before Cari so I could stay on her wheel. I jumped with her, stayed as best I could and then Whitney came around me. I got 3rd as we were lapping the riders into the finish, but I was so very happy as that was one of the best results I have received in a crit in a long while. I guess my legs were feeling quite good!
Rachel ended up winning the 3’s and getting a few primes along the way. Joan was in the final sprint mix as well. I love this course and I just adore my team!
In addition, to the team racing with me, Cristienne and Erika were also cheering from the side along with Joan’s husband and Cristienne’s husband. It was an awesome Sunday in the park! Pictures and video provided by Cristienne’s smart phone!