Monday, March 17, 2008

President's Crit

I am pleased to report that this year’s race at UMD went quite well despite the fact that the field was about 90% Team Artemis. It was with apprehension that I rolled to the line as last year’s race did not go very well. This time last year Chris (Soda) and I went for a nice long ride in the mountains the previous day because I did not want to sacrifice a day of training for an early season criterium. This turned out to be a big mistake as I proceeded to completely poo the proverbial bed before the race was even halfway over. This was a rather large blow to my racing self-confidence, leaving a bad taste in my mouth for the UMD crit.

This year went a little differently. From the start I immediately shot to the front of the field in order to make it through the first series of turns without getting caught up in any early season crashes (last year one of my teammates broke her hip on this course). After things got spread out a bit, I settled on second and third wheel back. It wasn’t long before Artemis started sending off their attacks…many of which I chased down with the help of Christine of NCVC. Looking back, perhaps I should have tried to get away with one of the Artemis girls, but I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight.

After several attacks we finally just let one Artemis girl slip away. Ilanna, my good friend and teammate from City Bikes (I race with HPC/List on the road), did her best to rally the troops and chase her down…but it didn’t seem like folks were into the idea of organizing a chase group. Once the Artemis girl was out of sight, the pack calmed down and very little happened for about 10 or 11 laps. Christine sat on the front and put a lot of work into just keeping the pack at a steady pace. I threw in a few pulls here and there, but was trying my best to keep something left in my legs. With about a quarter of the race remaining I suggested to Christine that we try to get away with three laps to go…she concurred.

As we came around on the straightaway with three laps to go I put in an attack and successfully created a gap between us and the rest of the field. In the break was Christine, myself and another Artemis girl (hadn’t really planned on that one). With two laps to go the pack was starting to close in on us so I put in a lot of work on the backside of the course in order to keep them at bay. I was first coming out of the last corner on the final lap…which was probably not the best idea. Christine and the Artemis girl sprinted around me and took second and third respectively.

So, I went home with 4th place which I think equates to one upgrade point…every little bit counts! Rome wasn’t built in a day! Oh, and my father was visiting this weekend so it was quite a treat to have him there at the race with me… no matter how old you get, you always want your parents to be proud.

Thanks Christine for all your hard work! It was great to race with you!

10 comments:

gwadzilla said...

so
ilana the iguana took first?

Anna said...

No, I worded that funny. She hung with us for a while and then had to pull out due to a bad cramp.

Icon O. Classt said...

Congrats! Nice work.

Lorena said...

Go Anna! Sounds like you are riding strong and really helped set the pace at UMD. Glad to hear it went well - and it sounds like your fitness was there to place 1st - 3rd, if things had played out a little different. 4th place is great, but I know that feeling of doing so much work and then getting passed right before the finish. Great race!

Anna said...

Thanks Lorena. You always know just what to say.

mikejoos said...

nice job. how many upgrade points do you need to move up?

Anna said...

Thanks. I believe moving from cat3 to cat2 requires a total of 25 points within a calendar year. The longest journey begins with the first step.

mikejoos said...

I’ll start a thermometer chart.

Anna said...

Like the one in front of the courthouse in Hendersonville?

mikejoos said...

yea,that's what i was thinking of