Ok, now I'm tired! :) 65K on a 6-corner course with a superfast downhill turn and a rise after the first corner that was enough to hurt after an hour and a half. The first corner came relatively soon after the finish line, allowing potential for crashes, but our race stayed pretty safe.
It was HOT. Like the usual Fitchburg weather HOT. In the 90s and sunny and humid. We of course started right in the middle of the baking afternoon heat, at 2:15. I think today's race was very hard. Although I didn't have my heart rate monitor on even as a stopwatch, today definitely was closer to and hour and 45-minutes. Maybe my legs are finally feeling the week's racing, maybe the heat got to me today, tonight I am WIPED.
I came out here hoping to find my mojo, and I think I may just have done that. Getting a call-up was exciting, and allowed me to easily be at the front of the race right from the start.
I hoped to help Brooke today to repay her team for yesterday's favor and to be involed in the tactics at the front. I wanted to learn how to work with a team in a field where team tactics are constantly playing out. I chased anyone who went off the front for the first 10 laps and also won the first prime. I came out strong. After awhile of that, I realized that with 45 laps to go in the heat, I probably wouldn't make it at that intensity! So I sat in the middle for awhile. I knew I needed to be at the front for the first points sprint, because that's when Magen and Brooke were planning to break, and I needed to block with the HUB team. Leeanne from HUB and I got to the front, but Brooke and Magen weren't together, and there was a moment of confusion. I just hung out near the front for awhile.
The field strung out with the many attacks at the front, and a group did finally get away. Such a high pace meant no rest, and the pack was strung out, often single file. With 10 to go, I got on front and lead the chase. I hoped to bring things together since Brooke missed the break. I wish I had been on front when the attack originally happened, as I think I could have caught them, or at least instigated the chase. I chased for probably 5 laps, but Magen Long and a Travel Girl rider had teammates up the road, and kept pulling around me to slow my rhythm and disrupt the chase. Unfortunately, neither myself nor the pack never caught them, but at least I learned how to block properly from being in this situation! And I was active in the race.
Well, after that chasing, I didn't have much left. I had goosebumps in the heat, and felt a little lightheaded. I realized I had probably blown my finish, but felt good about being active in the race and winning the first prime. I wish I could have done more for Brooke, as did her team.
I got bumped a couple of times. Once someone tried to come around me while I chased on front through the superfast downhill turn. The turn was to the right, hard and fast, and I was all the way to the left just starting to lean into the turn, when she threw herself between me and the curb on the left, bumping my body. I have no idea what she was trying to accomplish from that move! She yelled "Woah!" for some reason. She must have scared herself with her own stupidity. But today I felt no fear in the pack or in the corners, a totally new experience for me.
I attempted to move up in the last 2 laps, but my legs had no juice. As soon as I moved up a little, I could hardly hold position as the pace quickened. I tried to go with an attack up the right side with one to go, and managed to accelerate up the side, but couldn't hold it throught the lap and finished in the pack, 34th. That's okay with me, though. I could go home after yesterday! :)
I will try to get a good finish tomorrow if I can squeeze enough juice out of my legs. I can't wait to come home and race a 20 or 25 mile crit!! With Altoona upcoming, I may not get that chance until Concord. I won't be able to post a report on tomorrow until I get home because I'm starting the long drive home straight from the race, which is at 4 pm in Bensenville, Illinois. So check back Tuesday!
I feel like I experienced more and learned more about racing in just one week than in an entire season. I hope I can put it to use tomorrow and in upcoming races, and share everything with my awesome teammates! I miss you guys, and I'm looking forward to racing with you again! I'm looking forward to talking to Kami and hearing about her experience at the development camp in Colorado!
Okay, so i'm not Tyler, but, "Thanks for reading."