Sea Otter Road Race
Cat 3 Women
Sunday, April 11, 2014
4 X 7.8 mile laps, 780ft per lap.
Cat 4, top 20.
Cold morning, warmed up quickly.
Elise, Cat 3.
Stay with lead group. Last year, I got dropped on the main hill, 2nd lap in. Try for a top 10 finish.
Don't burn my matches. I do this often. Ride smart, get speed on the descents, and let it carry me up the hills. Be fine with some girls moving past you on the hills, just pace it out, and keep something for the end.
This was the 3rd of three races for me. The one prior - the circuit - was one of the best races' I've had, largely because I was scared shitless of it, and conserved as much as I could. With the lessons learned from the circuit race fresh in mind, I went into the RR focused on not wasting any energy where I didn't have too - I kept repeating - "don't burn your matches... ".
Early on there was a small break of two girls who on the second lap caught about a 20 second gap. Nobody in the lead group wanted to chase, and sticking to my goal of just staying with the main pack and playing it easy to see if I could hold on, I too restrained from chasing. Those girls got away, and there was never a serious effort to catch them. The rest of us kept a steady pace, dropping down to a solid group of 12 or so. Going into the final lap, I was surprised with how good I felt. I got a little too excited, and started to push the pace, and found myself on the front a bit too much. I knew the pack was large, and was hoping that we could drop some dead weight, but there was never much of a muster from the pack to carry on it on. Elise helped me here, and took a couple strong pulls. But nonetheless, we didn't loose any stragglers, and they had their day come the final hill finish. The Thirsty Bear pack made their move and started the sprint up the last hill. It was a rather slow sprint finish as we were all pretty much smoked, but it was an effort nonetheless. That last lap of being up front came and got me, and my sprint was rather sad. In hindsight I wish I would have held back a bit more, and played those last 10 minutes better. Nonetheless, I achieved my goal of sticking with the main group until the end, and didn't let the hills get me like the year prior.
This race capped a great weekend, and I was stoked to have Elise there with me. She was strong and steady the whole time, finishing well in 8th place, myself in 10th.
For all the other ladies I got to race with this weekend - I had a blast!
Play it smart. You don't always have to be the aggressive one up front. Let other's do some work, and come from behind if it's a sprint finish.
Teammates are great support, both mentally and physically.