Well, at least I’m consistent- took another 4th place finish today. That makes 3 in a row! Today felt different though.
First, I should mention that I don’t even consider Kari or Courtney (or Jessica) to be my competition. They are national-level racers and have demonstrated their potential to do much more than our local events (you know, like a 13th place finish at CrossVegas). They’re always minutes ahead of the rest of the pack and often place high up in the men’s 3 races. So yeah, 1st and 2nd place are always taken. That’s OK though!
I have to say I wasn’t enthused about this race. I guess the thought of another dry, flat “dirt crit” didn’t sound that great. When we pulled into the venue it looked really blah- just a big field with a few trees at one end. I was kinda grumpy after my warmup lap- I drove all the way up there for a wonky course? The flow was weird with oddly-placed barriers and most of the corners were dusty or loose. Blahhhhh.
This was not a clincher course. I had to chose the lesser of 2 evils- the possibility of a pinch flat or having a crummy wide on firm tires. As always I chose high pressure and 30 sec into the race I realized that it was too high. Cornering is my strong suit and I had to ride very cautiously today, I think so much that I could’ve maybe gotten 3rd if I had lower pressure. Noted, and hoping my tubulars are ready for Starcrossed.
My start was Ok- I think I turned onto the course in 5th or 6th. From there Courtney and Kari took off, so it was really a battle between us common folk now. Kristen went down on a turn and I never saw her again. Eventually Mel, Lea and myself were vying for podium. I crashed twice- once on the main field (where everyone else was going down), got up, and reeled the two back after the barriers. Then, I was spacing out and kinda veered into the tape near the pits. Honestly I thought I was done after that. Insert swear word here. I heard “shake it off” from someone in the pit and once again worked had to reel Mel and Lea back in.
With 2 laps to go, I look back and who’s on my wheel but Marsa. Darn it! I was hoping the three of us could’ve keep her in check. I feel like we relaxed the pace (remember my comment about being complacent?) and just let Marsa get us. With one lap to go I struggled to keep up with Mel and Lea, hanging behind them through the barriers. I saw an open shot on the very last turn and went for it, sprinting ahead of the two to nab 4th. It was so exciting- everyone was yelling and cheering for me. So fun. I felt bad because Lea went down tough right after the finish. She got up, but man, that looked like it hurt. Crashing sucks.
The Blue Rooster team was an unstoppable force out there today- so many impressive finishes.
‘Till next week…