Sometimes You’ve Gotta Sprint For 4th….
Our Cat 4 riders crushed the Salida weekend. Sadly, we’ll see Sharon evicted to Cat 3′s but the other Cat 4′s will pull together to try to win the Rocky Mountain Road Cup by the end of the season! Here’s Megan’s recap-who also will be joining the Cat 3 ranks soon too!!
This weekend was the State Road Race Championships in Salida, CO. We had a good contingent of 7 Naked TriBella girls between the TT, Crit, and RR, which was spectacular. My goals for this weekend were Top 10 in Crit, and Top 5 in Road Race. A team goal for Cat 4s was to catapult to 2nd position in the RMRC Cup standings
Saturday morning was the Salida Crit. My boyfriend and I got up wearily at 6am in Denver and hopped in the car for a long ride to Salida. I was tired, I was anxious, I was very nervous, as the last time I did the Salida Crit I got dropped in the first lap, let me tell you I was Terrible at crit racing when I started bike racing. This year I was inspired to do the crit because my teammates would all be there with me, and I needed to face my fears of a figure 8. I started the race by getting off the front and leading the first lap. This helped me not get stuck in the back of the pack early on! However I did spend half the race in 10th-15th position while watching Amanda Cyr and Amanda Bye and Sharon always seeming to hold smart positions in the top 10, I can still learn a lot from them! I will admit I am nervous cornering close to others. I have worked on my cornering but I am anxious around unfamiliar riders. Luckily I know most of the girls in the race and felt comfortable following their wheels, like Michelle Maxwell from Primal, who usually finishes one spot ahead of me in every crit With two laps to go I thought I would give it a go pushing at the front. By that time, we were pretty certain Sharon would win. She makes racing crits in Cat 4 look effortless. I led for a lap and then got stuck in 8th position. With 200m to go, Justine attacked and I caught on the tail end of a group of 5. We sprinted and I ended up 5th place. I was very happy, and very proud of my teammates. It was awesome having the Cat 2 and 3 girls cheering us on too, as they are an inspiration to us all.
Sunday was the Road Race. I was hoping my legs were fresh, but about 2 miles in, I could tell you they were anything but. I had to keep reminding myself on this unrelenting 5.7 mile circuit course that this was hard for everyone. Though my goal was top 5, I found myself in 11th position 2 laps in. I wanted to give up. I looked at my boyfriend cheering and was embarrassed and downtrodden. Then I saw Lanier Allen from Team Evergreen pull by me. I got on her wheel and we started working together. She is dynamite, absolute dynamite on the downhills and flats. I pulled her up the steep sections, and she showed me how to descend FAST. We slowly but surely ticked people off. On the final descent we were catching up to the group holding 4th-7th positions. Never in a million years did I think we could catch them, but with 200m to go we caught them after the final turn. I thought we must be sneaky, and I started my sprint early and went between them, sprinting hard for fourth. It was a much harder sprint than the crit, let me tell you. I was very lucky and pleased to solidify 4th place in the road race, after almost giving up halfway through. Moral of the story, never give up, and always find someone to work with! Congrats to my teammates on their spectacular finishes, including Sharon on the podium again, this time in 2nd.
My inspiration for next year – train more with my teammates! They are smart and fit and fun. And nice work ladies moving us back up to 2nd in the CAT4 RMRC Cup!