Oh the legs are starting to feel slightly fatigued right now. As they should after a 45 minute crit in the drizzling rain. I was nervous this morning even before lining up to the starting line. But all of those nerves disappeared once we started up our first corner. It was time to get down to business. I whiped the typical smerk off my face and gave today's race a solid showing.
They combined our field with the Collegiate A women - and had separate premes for them as well. We stuck together for the first 30 minutes and then the collegiate women had multiple premes in a row. Because us USCF women could care less about their points we suddenly had a time gap from them. It turned into a bigger and bigger time gap - with Rebecca Jensen of Whitman College soloing off the front and maintaining a 35" lead off the bunch sprint. In the meantime in the back of my head I wanted to catch them so I drove the field for several laps - stringing the remaining riders out. Unfortunately it may have cost me a better placement - for when the final 4 laps came I was fighting for position but zapped from my previous efforts. Taylor calculated things just right - she was in third position in the final sprint and ended up winning the sprint. Yeah! Go Gregg's!!! I stood up once I was through the corner and gave it every last ounce I had in the legs - which wasn't much and possibly was pipped at the line by two riders. Never the less I won an early preme so I'm not going home empty handed.
Highlights - taking those corners and feeling completely in control despite the rain. Being able to manuever in the pack with ease. Chasing down the collegiates (caught them all with the exception of Rebecca). Staying in the entire race! (Last year I lasted 12 minutes - 9 laps. Pathetic!) Putting the hurt on the field.
Improvement - Racing smarter. So even though the collegiate women were up the road - they can have it. Sit up more and have Heather pull through. This started working once I started verbalizing it. I should have sat in a little more though - saving it for the final sprint. Position myself in top 3 for the final sprint with 2 laps to go - fight and hold it.
I will say though I am not disappointed in my race today. I did some power moves that put the hurt on the field. I let them know this is a race and it's supposed to fucking hurt. Sitting up is for pussies. I almost puked after my final sprint effort so I know I didn't have any more gas in the tank and gave it my absolute all. Now if I can just work on maintaining the proper position for the final sprint - I'll start winning these damn races. I'm getting there though... every little step counts. And today - I was doing it in strides.