Saturday, February 21, 2015
A 11.7 mile loop northwest of Snelling, CA. Several small hills, several sharp turns, excellent to fair pavement.
Work together: There are bigger teams in the race, so working together to cover attacks is essential.
After 3 hours in the car, we had finally made it—the first challenge became finding parking. With plenty of time to spare, we TMB ladies organized and went to warm-up together.
The race began with a slight delay, but that’s pretty typical. Once we left the neutral start zone, the tempo picked-up quite a bit and stayed steady. There were plenty of attack-happy teams in the mix, especially the ICE girls.
A few times one or two girls would attack and get a small gaps on the group, but none of the breaks stuck throughout the race. If it wasn’t within a minute or two, the attacker was simply engulfed by the patient field after the next small bump or short descent along the course. That being said, the field was a strong one.
The course includes a short dip over a bridge that is riddled with potholes. I lost one of my bottles through this section and was left empty handed going through the feedzone. Luckily, Elise found a generous person along the side and came to my aide. We made sure to check on each other throughout the race to see if everyone had enough fluids and food.
During the second lap, Elise reminded me not to work too much at the front. I had been up among the top 5 riders consistently and probably ended up in the front a few times unintentionally, taking long pulls. Thankfully Elise reminded me that I wasn’t going to be much help during the final sprint if I covered attacks along the way. Ivy and Elise did a great job making sure no-one got away for long off the front. Elise counter attacked one of Melanie Wong’s attacks. Too bad she didn’t get away, but it got us going fast along one of the flat stretches closer to the end.
Coming up on the final stretch, the feeling of anticipating for the final sprint was noticeable throughout the entire field. I was pinned to the left side behind two Folsom girls. Not ideal, but close enough since I was right there in the 2nd/3rd line of riders. After the corner I was right on the wheel of the girl in front of me. Someone on the right side started the sprint, and I did my very best to get up to the front. Maybe if I had burned up a few less matches I could have podiumed, but not this time. I finished in 5th, Ivy 15th and Elise 17th.
- There’s no need to worry about doing too much work on the front in bigger fields. Teams with numbers will be pressured into doing work if they want to get a girl to the podium
- Don’t trust the feedzone. Not everyone is willing to hand out bottles to strangers!
- Gas is expensive up near Snelling!