Topsport Stage Race
April 11 – April 12th, 2015
Stage 1: Woodward Reservoir Road Race—9.5 mile loop around the Woodward Reservoir. Finish is after a small hill. Course is primarily flat with rollers.
Stage 2: Rock Creek TT—10 mile out and back course on rolling terrain.
Stage 3: Copper Town Circuit Race—5.5 mile loop that starts in Copper Town Square and heads onto Little John Road then returns back to Copper Town Square. Excellent pavement.
Toasty and windy.
Beat the Metromint—6 to 1 disadvantage, but why not. I have nothing to lose, they have everything to lose to 1 TMBW.
After numerous attack/counter attack shenanigans from the Minties, I gave in and let Nicole Olson go off on her own. In retrospect, I wonder what would have happened had I resisted for the entirety of the race. But, at the time it was the smart thing to do. So, with Nicole off the front, the pace slowed down dramatically. At times we were going around 18mph. Going into lap three, I decided it was time for some change. I kicked the speed up to around 26mph for a minute or so on the stretch before the rollers. That initial effort shattered our field and immediately only three people remained with me. After the rollers, a few more sprints followed, and since it was just so much fun, I just kept up my own shenanigans. Whenever a straggler was about to bridge back up to the mini group, I attacked again, making that person work even harder or just give up. For the final two laps, it was only Marissa Axel and me. Christina Bonnington was maybe 15 seconds behind us, but it increased to a minute or so after a while.
With one lap to go, it was apparent that 2nd and 3rd belonged to Marissa and myself. It was just a matter of who would cross the finish line first. I knew she wasn’t going to do anything, so really, the last lap was me pulling her around the course. Going into the final descent, I was ahead of her, but unable to break her off on the climb. It came down to the sprint, and I was elated to win the sprint! It felt great to get second in a field full of Minties, and even after attacking, counterattacking, and covering all of their moves (besides of course Nicole’s), I still was able to finish strong. It made me hungry for more.
Huffing and puffing, my goal was to make up as much time as I could between the leader, Nicole, and myself. She had a 45second head start going into the TT and there wouldn’t be a time bonus for the TT. I had to be fast! I tried my best and won the TT and came in 30 seconds ahead of the next person.
I liked the circuit race. This was a tough one since I really expended a lot of energy the day prior and during the TT earlier in the day. Nevertheless, my mission was simple. Cover everything because the course was such that if given the opportunity, the Minties could increase the leader’s time over me. So, I had to really cover EVERYTHING.
Listening became key. I was always in 2nd or 3rd wheel and whenever I heard or saw someone getting ready to sprint to do an attack, I was also already revving up to sprint. Siobhan McNamara, an at-the-time unattached racer, came to my rescue at the perfect moment. I had just covered an attack and another person was about to go on a counter-attack. Siobhan was there to cover that time. Thank goodness! Her timing could not have been any better. It helped me recover and together we planned out what to do next. With one lap to go, we both knew our one chance was approaching. WE had to attack the Minties. We attacked out of the 180 and spread out the field. Sadly, Nicole and Marissa, and eventually Christina and another MM also got back on the fast rolling train. We tried one last time to attack and get away. But to no avail.
With the finishline in sight, it was Marissa Axel to start sprinting down the left side. I hooked onto her wheel and loved the feeling of the “lead-out-train”. With 50m to go, I just gave it everything, passing Marissa and finishing with about a bike length ahead of second place. YES! No other finish has felt this rewarding.
Sometimes this motto holds true: An army of one is mightier than an army of many