images: Alex Chiu
The Elite squad lined up with 7 for the Cat's Hill Classic, where a strong women's field got set to tackle the crit with the infamous 23% climb. It's always nice to look down the line and see so much hi-viz yellow! Strong contenders are scattered across teams this year, making for some exciting racing, and you really couldn't ask for a more fun crit course.
Our field was whittled down after 30 mins or so, and Sam and I were in the final group. Attacks by Folsom went but nothing stuck. Everything was covered pretty closely, as I think everyone realized it would come down to a sprint with those who remained. At that point for me it's about figuring out how to beat a few women who can definitely out sprint me.
I pulled a play from my Cat 3 race last year and sprinted from halfway up the block on the final descent. I hit the last turn first but not on an ideal line and ended up 3rd. Happy to be on the podium with some fast NorCal women and really proud to have Mike's Bikes so well-represented out there!
By Emily McDonald
Practice made perfect this past Saturday in the Women's 3/4 Race at the 43rd Annual Cat's Hill Classic as we were able to bring home the win for Team Mike's Bikes Women! This was my first time racing Cat's Hill so I asked my teammates for advice in navigating a crit with a 23% hill smack dab in in the middle. Surprisingly - the advice wasn't to attack super hard on the hill - but to attack just after on the false flat and bomb the downhill into the final turn. Enter, tactics. Even though it was just Makenzie and myself in the field, I knew we could work well enough together to have some fun and go for a result. At the start line, we were told the first lap would be a prime lap - so I looked at Mak and said "let's do it!"
We pushed the pace from the gun and kept it steady through the hill. At the top of the hill, I put in an effort to create a gap and held it through the descent toward the finish where Mak and I went 1-2 in the prime. Recover and repeat. By bell lap I knew it was "Go Big or Go Home", and repeated the same move (with a little more "ooomph") as we crested the hill for the last time. From there, I put my head down and didn't look back until I crossed the line…. in first! My practice had paid off! I was super excited to finally clinch a win this season and to have had a plan and been able to execute on cue, all culminating in a cat upgrade and on to bigger and more complicated tactics in the W1 /2 field.