yeah! it didn't rain Friday night! That meant heading out to Marymoor for the first Friday night series. Regardless of how many women showed up I decided I would race with the Cat 3 men this year to improve my fitness and racing agility. This means giving up some of the immediate and easy cash to be had - in sacrafice for a potential National Championship medal in October. It wasn't a hard decision. :)
And Friday night reaffirmed my decision. There were only three women tonight so we all raced with the men regardless. Laura Moen, Amara and I battled it out with a field size of about 20. I decided to use a bigger gear - 50x15, which proved invaluable with racing against men. Racing with the men is different because their average speed is higher. So you need to pick a gear that you can jump with going at those higher speeds. A smaller gear would make you spin like a sewing machine - and unless you have insane leg speed - might be hard to keep up let alone over take the men. I swapped out my road to a track hub earlier on my disc wheelset - and oh was that nice. I haven't riden on my wheelset since last racing... and it made a world of difference. They are so responsive and aero... I get giddy just thinking about it.
Our first race was a 10 lap win n' out. I figured I wouldn't spend myself for the first couple of sprints - but would give it a go at any gaps and breaks off the front. I managed to place 4th - the last of the point earning spots. Yeah! My winter training/ stage racing is already paying off. My increased fitness is licking the snot out of the boys. I often heard comments of - "this is way faster than last year," to which my thought is, glad I can contribute!
Second was a 10 lap tempo race. I managed to reel in a point. But instead of continuing at pursuit style, I sat up, and when the chase group caught me they just continued on for the next sprint and off the pack I went. Luckily I grabbed Tim's wheel again and he pulled me in. What a guy. I learned a lot from that race and look forward to the next one!
Last was a 20 lap scratch race - one of my favorites. The announcer kept saying what a LONG race that was - to which I snickered to myself. No it's not! 100 laps is long. Not 20. Byrne rolled off the front and his teammate contributed to slowing the group down. Broadmark attempted to reel him back in - but to no avail. I don't think they communicated enough to effectively put a plan in action. Then there 2 groups of 2 men or so that tried crossing the gap. At one point I jumped to join the rear group and nearly caught on.... stupidly pulling up when I caught them. So when they jumped, I had nothing left in my legs to chase and I dangled in no man's land between the second chase group and the main group. Luckily I held the main pack off to the finish and placed 7th. All in all a great race - and I really laid myself out on the table. It definitely took determination to do what I did.
Oh I love track racing.
Molly overheard some guys saying, "obviously she's faster than us. We should duct tape her legs together." That made me laugh!
Ryan was cheering me on in corner 2 - I love the support!