Endless Summer Criterium; W123 San Diego, CA, Lori Whynot, 9-29
I did a crit, yes a CRIT this weekend, NOT ‘cross.
1) I still haven’t replaced my front cross wheel that I accidentally left behind at last weekâs cross race in LA. and…...
2) The Sunday ‘cross race was 2 hours away in San Dimas, but the crit was a 40 minute bike ride from my house.
3) I was having such a nice relaxing weekend and Sunday after a fun 2-hour ride on Saturday, I decided to stay local and race with former NEBC teammate, Bonnie Bourque at southern california’s last criterium of the season.
In fact, Kitty Farago (former NEBC board member and teammate) had been considering a trip from Phoenix to do the race, too, but ended up bagging the idea. She is cooked from a long racing season.
The venue was held at an industrial park ( like Wells Ave, but closed off completely to traffic) – on a .7 mile loop with a slight downhill/uphill each lap.
I raced the 2:50PM W 1/2/3 race, which was staged with the Cat 4s.
9 women- 6 cat1/2/3s ; 3 cat 4s.
Lori- 5th place
Bonnie was planning on winning the race – all of us were 3s and she was the only cat 1 in the group. She wasn’t feeling so great, but I figured I’d help as best I could since I am still training and basically just trying to get some leg speed work practice. I’ve been riding increasing amounts and working alot during the week= long days. This was my first crit since a couple of Wells Ave races in June/July. Therefore, no expectations, except ride hard and see if I remembered how to sprint.
Race time was 40 minutes and we rode around at a solid 20 mph- 25 mph pace until 5 to go. We hit speeds of 32mph a few times. Normally (like at Wells ave) I am ok at these speeds, but the field was so small, with no wind protection, and I didn’t feel so peppy, even with the warm-up ride to the race from my home.
After 10 minutes of initial ‘round and ‘round, they started ringing prime bells… every other lap! This wore me down, and I just hung on as everyone pushed the pace, particularly up the hill to the final corner leading into a long sprint to the line. ‘Round and ‘round…. ringy, ringy… watch Lori almost barf up her Luna bar! I wasn’t in contention for any primes and when I stood to sprint, my legs just screamed ‘hell no… we won’t go!’ so I would sit down and accelerate in the saddle, but wasn’t able to grab any primes.
During the second to last prime I was in good position going into the final corner at the top of the hill (in the wind, no less), I jumped with 3 other women, but couldn’t catch the one person just ahead of me as we approached the line. That about did me in and I had not much left in the tank for the rest of the race.
Final 5 laps: After the last prime, Bonnie and two other gals pulled slightly ahead and got a gap. I knew the race was going to get very difficult these last 5 laps, and I had nothing to give. Bonnieâs teammate Beatrice ( who is known for chasing down breaks that Bonnie is in and bringing along part of the pack -duh! party FOUL!) was next to me as the break happened. We looked up the road as we tried to catch our breathe, post-prime, and they had 15 seconds on us. I told Beatrice that if she sat up with me and we blocked for Bonnie to get away (a sure win for her in that threesome), I would give Beatrice a leadout for the field sprint. I also didnât want her dragging the rest of the field away from me because I was definitely on the rivet by this time and needed a half lap to recover.
So we slowed up slightly and let the break get away. The other women with us didnât attempt to chase, and wouldn’t come around me or Beatrice. In fact, Beatrice pushed and then just sat on my wheel, and even when I slowed it down to a crawl nobody would come around. SO I pulled reluctantly around the course for 2 more laps. Not a smart thing, but I really didn’t feel confident in my abililty to do much except finish off the race without In the uphill corner to the final lap, two other women launched their attack, and Beatrice and I tried to chase it. I was cooked but Beatrice managed to get up in there and it was balls-to-the-wall for over one lap to the finish. I dug deep to stay in the field… Painful, is all I can say. I was peddling and breathing as hard as I could, but I felt like I was going backwards. Going into the finish sprint, I managed to ome around some of the other girls. Beatrice was ahead of me and easily won the field sprint for 4th place; I finished 5th.
I didnât realize until today that I won cash, but I had left the race quickly, spinning out slow-ish on the 50-minute ride back to my apartment, forgetting to claim my prize money.
I was pretty wrecked last night, but the hard workout was good for me.
Next week- Boston!! and well, Vermont hiking. yay.
Then back to the California cylcocross fields on the weekend of October 14/15th.
Congrats on the great âcross racing by NEBC women and men so far this season.
Ride hard, have fun, and see you all around sometime.