My experience at the Cal-Aggie crit was motivating, and it went well. I felt very strong throughout the race. I can completely see the benefits of our training intervals where we ramp up heart beat every 3-4 minutes. Totally felt that kind of effort during the race.
In terms of tactics, it was difficult. One team kept sending out breaks and no one would chase. Finally two girls got away and I wanted to reach them but no one would work together and it as too late for me to try and bridge by myself. I did, however use it as an opportunity to try several times. So they had first and second clinched coming into the finish. I was frustrated throughout the race by the lack of effective tactics. I had to fight through wanting to give up mentally when I saw I couldn't get 1st or 2nd. I brought my mind around and decided I could at least get third. I was near the front coming into the finish, on the wheel of two other girls. There was a crash right in front of me and I had a moment of hesitation, thinking I should stop and see if she was okay, but then a girl came around from my left and I jumped on her wheel. I was coming around to try and beat her but the finish was too close. If there were 10 or 20 more yards I think I could have nipped her at the line.
So overall a great race! Very exciting, learned more about tactics and feel motivated for more training and intervals!
According to Julie's training plan, I did a Lake Natoma spin that evening and some hilly Auburn riding the next day. I had never felt so strong coming up Baxter's grade, especially with the crit the day before.
Awesome weekend of riding!
Two weeks later I was racing in Napa and came away the winner of a giant cherry pie, cause I got second!!! Yes!!!
The race went so well, I almost couldn't believe it. I played it smart the entire time. Initially I conserved and stayed light on the pedals when possible, just as Coach Julie had instructed and I had learned from my last crit. The race started very fast and I just stayed near the front and got the hang of the course. Then there was a prime, and I came flying out of the chicane and up to hill to win it! Yes! First prime I ever won, I was super excited. Then I just hung in for the remainder of the race. No one was really attacking so I didn't have to worry about breaks and I just took the corners smooth and stayed on my own line. Then on the last lap I was in great position and coming up the hill hard, in too big of gear. There were two girls next to me, but my legs were blown from poor gearing choice at the bottom to get around them. Turned out one was a junior and they were picked separately, so I got 2nd! Woo Hoo!!! Best crit ever! And I actually felt like I knew what I was doing, amazing!
I have seen so much improvement lately and I can't wait for the rest of the season!