February 20, 2016
Snelling was a mini-prep for the looming Chico Stage Race. The women’s 1/ 2 field got off the line just fine and rolled through the blooming almond trees catching up with friends and bikes on the neutral roll out. As the moto pulled off to the side, the pace ratcheted up and the chatter died down. Attacks started flying pretty quickly. Sam was due to cover early breaks and true to plan, she shut down anything that looked overly strong. Elise countered as needed when Sam came back to the field. Dana rolled steady and strong, quietly centering the new team of MB women and providing a solid wheel for those needing recovery or a breath of air from an attack.
Amy was on the prowl for the real break to go and as it always seems to deliver, that situation developed in the last lap, as the field surged up the rolling section of hills. Unfortunately, the ending of the race got abruptly edited when news travelled back to the moto that there was a severe crash at the finish line. Our finish was moved 1 km from the finish, and 1km from our current (stopped in the road) position. With time trial experts like Molly Van Houweling in our midst, the field was going to have a 1km sprint finish on our hands. It went as well as the first race could, with wheels spinning, curses flying, and general dissatisfaction with the results. The 5 women up the road had an interesting finish as well, due to the crash, and after protests and discussion, everyone except the uncontested winner settled for a 4 way tie in 2nd.
Erin Sorani took 4th in her field of 3’s and immediately turned around to attend to the crashed riders, one of which was our own Mackenzie. Sending multiple ladies off to the hospital, the season opener was a shaky start for some.