I was a bit disappointed by the turnout in today’s race. Compared to last weekend, at the Bariani RR, where there were 57 Cat 4 women in the race, today’s 5 racers was nothing. For the circuit race, we started off all together for the first lap and then it quickly spread out a bit. This crazy lady I was warned about almost made one of the top 2 finishers crash during the first lap as she abruptly swerved just to get the lead for a bit. I made sure to keep an eye out for her but she didn’t last more than two laps with the top 3.
Again, I didn’t realize these two girls were on the same team since they were wearing different jerseys but after one of them broke away and I asked the other to work with me to catch up to her, she retorted with a simple “no, that’s my teammate”. Great! I fell for it AGAIN. I obviously haven’t learned my lesson yet. So, I attempted to bridge the gap and dragged the other girl around the course for 3 laps. My legs felt tired…but oh well, I couldn’t change that but what I could do was to focus on catching the girl up ahead. She really wasn’t too far off, but then the girl who had been coasting behind me broke away and I just didn’t react in time. I should have gotten out of the saddle right as she made her move and trailed her. Instead I waited about 3 seconds, and that was enough to give her the opportunity to chase up to her buddy. They worked together for the remainder of the race, and I never saw them again. Nor did I see anyone else from my original field. What a race, I ended up racing by myself for the rest of the race (although I did see Chris White and Andrew Moss along the way), and finished 3rd.
The time trial was much shorter than I had anticipated. Before I knew it, there was the finish. Again I placed 3rd. I’m mad at my performance during this race a) because I think it would have helped to have someone to try and chase down (but the two girls in front of me didn’t show up) and so I felt like I didn’t have the fire in my I might have had if I knew someone was racing against me, b) I didn’t look at the course during the short warm-up and so I wasn’t aware of the fact that the final climb wasn’t as long, and c) I shouldn’t jump gears too quickly. I dropped my chain right after the first couple of pedal strokes and had to slow down to get the chain back on. This cost me some nerves, energy, and lots of speed.
Overall, I should be happy that I finished 3rd for both the circuit race and the time trial, but I am bummed nevertheless. Maybe it was the overload of sun that just drained all the energy out of me, maybe it was the early morning wake-up at 4:30am to drive out to Friant, or maybe it was the fact that I simply don’t like getting anything but 1st. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I really do enjoy winning, especially when it’s a hard win against a lot of people (but which competitive athlete doesn’t like to win!?!?). I would have probably accepted the third place finish as a good race if it had been a bigger field and if I had been overly tired after the race because I knew I worked for it. But finishing a race uncontested by the next lowest finisher, just doesn’t do it for me. But hey, tomorrow is another opportunity to race and to complete this weekend and the last day of my spring break on a high note.