Julia taking the inside line during the final lap

Julia taking the inside line during the final lap

EVENT

Sea Otter Criterium

CATEGORY

Master 1/2/3 Women, Cat 3 women and Cat 4 women

DATE

Thursday, April 10, 2014

AUTHOR

Julia Violich

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Approximately 35 mins of criterium racing on the Laguna Seca Raceway with one 360 degree turns and one 330 degree turn with slight elevation gains per lap

PREVIOUS RESULTS

N/A

WEATHER

 60s and sunny

TEAMMATES

Cheryl, Angel, & Andrea (Kim Ford was injured)

GOALS

* Personal - Podium for at least one of the TMBW

PLAN

Be aggressive, get out front 

RACE SUMMARY

There were approximately 50+ in the race because they combined three categories. In addition, there was no junior category for the criterium so they raced with us. The pace started out fast from the get go. With the slight hill after the first turn, we watched a few attempted breaks but nothing seemed to stick. I did my best to stay out front since being in the pack was way too nerve-racking. In addition, the turns were wreaking havoc on many of the riders with less experience. By mid-race, the front group was half the size. Cheryl and Angel both took a couple flyers to keep the race competitive. I chased down almost every break--but was smart not to work too hard. There was one younger girl (junior) from Chico that tried to break away a few times. She was strong but there was no way to stay away from the peleton.

The last two laps of the race, two girls from Twenty16 (juniors) and a junior from the BYRDS, decided to break away.  I chased them but stayed protected from the wind to conserve energy.  Around each of the corners, I would come out ahead and would have to wait for them to come around to avoid working.  On the second to last turn, I found myself in front again.  I thought about going for a solo lap, but the Twenty16 girls still seemed very strong and I wanted to have something at the line.  I followed them to the last turn, once again was in front.  In retrospect, I should have just gunned it since the straight away to the finish was about 200 yards, but for some reason, I decided to wait for them to come around and grab a wheel.  I thought that the best strategy would be to sit 3rd wheel and sprint around them.  Unfortunately, I overestimated by ability to sprint, and was beaten to the line.

TAKEAWAYS

 If you don't have sprinters legs, use the advantages you do

It is fun to race with teammates!