Monday, May 17, 2010
Had a great time at Monsters of the Midway on Saturday. SO many more women are racing and so many of them are STRONG.
I got there a bit late and had to rush to register and pin my number for the 3/4 at 8:45 am. The pace was high with lots of attacks until Stacy Appelwick - who placed third at Tour of Gila this year - rolled off the front with 5 to go. I saw her and thought, 'let her dangle and waste her energy - we can catch her.' But then she had 15 seconds on the field. I could see she was struggling and knew if we got organized and worked, we could pull her in. I went to the front and put in a dig, as did my teammates Maggie and Courtney, and a couple other racers worked hard too, but most of the pack wouldn't pull through. The will just wasn't there. So I though 'fine, sprint for second place. I'm not going to win a sprint anyway, what do I care?!'
Stacy stayed off and won. Coming around corner 2 for our last lap, I knew I had to improve my position. I got around a woman who was slow in the corners and took a good line through corners 3 & 4, managing to pass half the field. I actually participated in the sprint - not at the FRONT of the sprint, but still. Ginger from Project 5 pipped me at the line and I finished 12th of 38.
The women's Open was at 1:20 pm. There were fewer of us in this field - 20, I think - but LOTS of talent. Stacy was joined by her Bulldog teammate Val Bostrom, Leah and Kristen were there from Flatlandia, Project 5, Mack and Kenda and teammates Courtney and Natalie all stayed for this second race. Oh my god, this race was hard. I tend not to have good legs for the first lap or two, and it was all I could do to cling to the pack. For the prime sprints, the elastic streeeetched but somehow did not break. I really focused on my cornering, not letting any gap open up so I wouldn't have to work as hard on the other side.
After 35 minutes or so, the pace slowed. A couple dropped riders managed to catch back on. I considered attacking, but I knew I didn't have a chance in hell of succeeding, and stood a good chance of ending up dropped. So I went to the front and took a long pull. Not a very fast pull, but everyone was content to sit behind me and wait for the last lap.
Leah took the front and set a blistering pace on that last lap, leading out her teammate Kristen Meshberg. My cornering was solid, but this pack wasn't letting anyone by - I finished just behind the sprint, beating only the soft-pedaling Leah to the line. But I'm not ashamed of a pack finish in that race - it was the hardest flat race I've ever done.
Thanks to everyone who helped put on this race - it was a FUN day.