Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Davis Fireworks

The race season: up and down. Just when you start to feel great, come into form, a crash derails you. You clamber back and then it's time to taper down. It seems finding a rhythm this season has been hard. Twice now I've been feeling great and then had bad luck change that. So coming into Davis after a dismal Nez, I was itching a little for some good luck. The only thing was, I had a killer headache!

Okay, so pop some ibesuffering pills and hope for the best right? On the bright side was the fact that Mary and Liz were racing with me. It's always huge motivation to have team mates who can race and will work for you and visa versa. Once I saw Mary my mentality went into Metallica mode. Kick some arse!

Out on the course we had decided to basically watch for breaks in the bunch, namely led by Tibco and CRM. Mary, Liz and myself patrolled the front and chased a few gaps back. At the race's midpoint is seemed clear that nothing was going to stick and the CRM was more interested in setting up Starla for the sprint. Follow their actions I told myself!

So things are always easier said than done. Right.

This is 3 laps into the race -- an awesome shot of me scrapping by the Webcor girl after she was brake-checked in front of me. Her speed dropped so drastically that my only option was around her, barely! Right here, in this very moment I got mentally kicked. Shake it off, re-focus ... took a lap but I got my head screwed back on and resumed racing. You see to be a cyclist you have to forget a lot.

But, with one to go I couldn't forget. As I brought up the gang and kept a watchful eye on CRM Karla wove her way to the front with Starla on her wheel. I followed up the center. The two CRM girls narrowly squeezed and negotiated their way to the front. I watched and when it came to my turn to pinch through I hesitated. Right away I knew this was the move, the win and the wrong thing to do. Adjusting my trajectory and went right and was able to make up some of my lost ground going into the last two corners but it was not at the very front. I launched from the corner hoping 1 of 2 things: Mary would come around me or I would eat up a few riders. Surprisingly my sprint felt powerful, even after putting in an extra effort for being gun shy and for even acting as de facto lead out gal. I was coming right of a Proman rider, using her to block the cross wind and just as I pulled pass her leg she moved right sharply (and likely not intentionally, I think she was just getting on it and swerved). I had to brake and jolt myself away, re-starting my sprint. I'm positive this cost me 5th but that's the way it goes. Overall I ended up 7th, Mary was an impressive 10th on her way to a comeback, and Liz was 13th. We were all in the money and happy nonetheless; albeit my fear of asphalt exfoliation kept me from contesting the win. Sometimes, it really is better to be safe than sorry, and with my luck lately -- that's just fine with me!

Granted, it was nice to have a race go pretty much "right" for a change.