Junior rider Ava Hachmann recaps her first time racing with her Naked women’s cycling team mates. Read about her best career finish ever.
A couple weekends ago I drove the 370 miles from my hometown of Durango up to Denver for Saturdays criterium, and for the USAFA road race on Sunday. Being a junior racer means my “mommy”/soigner/chauffeur came with me. Racing so far from home tends to be more stressful than when the race comes to you. Making sure to remember every piece of gear, equipment, charging cords, food and bikes is an art. And it was a good thing that I had all my cold-weather gear for my 8:30 am start time on Saturday. It was cold on the start line, but I had two teammates in the race to help get me going. The pace wasn’t too bad the first couple laps and the uphill part of the course broke up the field. Taking the opportunity to set the pace I moved up to the front and lead for lap after lap, never getting a gap but staying strong and confident and having fun hearing my team and name announced when I went across the line. In the final lap straightaway there was an attack and my small group became very spread out, due to poor timing we happened to be finishing at the same time as the chasing riders, so the finish line was very chaotic. I lost track of who I was trying to out sprint, so I just passed as many people as I could before the line. I ended up in fifth place, my best career finish. I am thankful for my teammates who stayed after their race and cheered me on!
The next day we drove out to the Air Force Academy for the Pro-open category road race. The course was rolling and hilly, with quite a bit of descending. There were five of us Naked women in the race all ranging from cat 4 to pro1/2’s, giving the race some depth. The race started slow, with Naked taking turns pulling the pack and keeping the pace down on the climbs. The finish line was on of a sustained climb and there was an attack before lap one was over, the field was blown apart and three groups formed. I worked hard to solo-bridge the gap between the third and second group, I worked hard to stay on the wheel of Katie Harrer, but I couldn’t hang on any longer after we began the final climb for the second time. I worked together with one of the Masters women to finish the race. After grabbing some lunch (and ice cream!) we drove all the way back home, thankfully I didn’t have school Monday. Overall I had a really good weekend of racing, and met more of my teammates! Looking forward to the Clasica De Rio Grande after an upcoming weekend of mountain biking in the desert!