The team for Fresno was Jen, myself and Kiwi (Liz Williams). We had Mary and Mel in Sacto racing a crit there. So with resources spread up and down highway 99, we had to play it smart. Vapor brought a full team and wasted no time launching attacks. Jen worked hard at the front to keep it together and countering. I was trying to stay rested but since VK was mostly carrying the load of taming Vapor, I too, pulled in girls off the front -- which was typically Felica Gomez.
Meanwhile a crash disorganized the field separating much of it from a lead pack. Confusion caused this; we had to "slow" down for 2 laps but we were never neutralized? Of course girls tried to sneak away and this strung the pack out and spilt it up. Liz fell victim to the confusion but while she was in the pack she dispensed some pain.
The racing was hot! Poor Jen rolled up next to me and was a tomato so we exchanged bottles for sipping and head soaking. We could sense that Vapor was going to use its numbers to play us for the finish -- send Felica off and keep their two sprints in the wings. Well that was exactly how it played out. Felica took off with 3 to go. It was a move that I almost went with but I felt like I was being baited. I guessed wrongly -- it was the move. Jen slaved at the front to bring her back but got no help from anyone, especially those wearing Vapor colors who swarmed the front blocking. I had to come up with a plan B quickly. I moved towards their sprinter, Rebecca and watched her with an eagle's eye. On the last lap she went midway to the second to last corner. I jumped too, opening a reasonable gap, powering away from all chasers ... until ... I nearly t-boned a lapped rider coming out of turn two. I swung incredible wide, almost to the next gutter to avoid her, sluffing off speed as I went! I was mad. The change in direction forced me to kick the turbos one last time. It was a long time to sprint and to fend off the chasers but I did. I nearly caught Rebecca at the line, coming in 1 bike length back from her. Too bad for my mishap, I think I could have gotten 2nd. BUT, considering VK was outgunned we raced hard and matched everything Vapor threw at us! We have to be proud with 3rd and plenty of swag to-boot!
Overall the venue was pretty cool. The women's race by far was the most active and energized. A great field showed up and we wasted no time putting on a show. Good job ladies.