I put this race report off for too long, and in the time since I started a doctoral program. My recollections are a little fuzzy.
The SunPower women had great representation at this race, but JL Velo and SheSpoke brought out even more women. The course is mostly flat, with one very short bump on the backside of the course. It's technical, with some fun, wide-open corners, although one of the corners is very bumpy and consequently kind of scary.
I got clipped in really fast and got off the front without trying at the start. I didn't push the pace, though; just set tempo until the rest of the field caught up with me. That took a lap or two, at which point I saw one of my teammates on the front setting a tough pace on the uphill! I tucked into the pack and tried my best to stay near the front and cover moves. Another teammate was also covering moves at the front, but she was recovering from a cold and not feeling her best. I got gassed from the work, but I didn’t want to leave her alone up front. I asked a third teammate to help her cover the front and I went to the back to sit in for a bit. That’s most of what I remember about the race.
With 3 to go, I found myself off the front with one or two other women, but it was clear they didn’t have the legs to make it last. I was sitting second or third wheel going into 2 laps to go, when everything exploded with moves and counter-moves. I was bleeding positions, but I saw two of my teamies up ahead of me so I didn’t worry too much. They looked pretty tired on the last back-side straight going into the last two corners, though, so I followed the wheels that were moving up around them and tried to make up ground. I left it too late; I wasn’t going from top 15 to top 5 in those two corners, not at that speed! I sprinted for one more position and ended up twelfth.
Main take-away is to be smarter and hold position better in the last few laps. That would be helped by not doing so much earlier in the race.
That's my last road race for this year! Now it's time for #cxishere!