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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chris Lillig Memorial Cup

Well, I survived my first big road race as a Cat. 3.

I was worried I would be completely off the back, out there racing by myself and that everyone would question why I'm on the team, and that it would be just awful, and I would help the team out at all....ugh I always imagine the worst possible scenario!

Photo By Brittany McConnell
All 25 of us in the Women's Pro/Cat1/2/3 field started off at a decent pace for the 39 mile (3 lap) race. I was really surprised that the pace was friendlier than a normal group ride...at least most of the time!

Riding in such a large group, it was almost hard to keep a position towards the front. Riders were constantly jockeying for position towards the front and I kept finding myself moving towards the back.

As we got to the halfway point on the first lap, toward a climb where the course turned to give us a tailwind I knew I should have been further towards the front of the group but just didn't get there. As anticipated there was an attached and I was poorly positioned to respond.

While slightly disappointed to not have gotten into the lead group, I was happy to still be in the chase group and not off the back by myself (like my worst case scenario worries). And we got four teammates in the lead group-yes!

Things were pretty calm for the next to laps. There were of course attacks, but nothing major and nothing that stuck. With just over a half lap to go, one of my teammates launched an attack and solo'd off the front of the group. Surprisingly no one tried to chase her down. Shortly afterward another teammate solo'd off the front and again no one followed. We now had six teammates ahead (and two others in the chase group with me).

Iowa City Road Race
My teammates off the front of the chase group. Strong ladies! Photo by Brittany McConnell

After my teammates were a safe distance ahead, I decided to try an attack of my own at the top of a climb. One girl caught me and shortly after one of my teammates and two others also caught on. Not ideal, but at least it made the chase group slightly smaller.

We kept a high pace all the way to finish were we sprinted just for the fun of it. I took 3rd in the field sprint...not great, but not bad either.

 Not sure if this is my "Oh my god I'm done" face or "not impressed (that I didn't do better) better" face. Photo by Brittany McConnell

Needless to say, the race went fine- not great, but fine and far from the worst case scenario plaguing my thoughts!! Overall, I was really happy to have a chance to work with my teammates and learn more about team tactics. While I didn't get into the lead group, I was at least able to do some work for the team before the big break - goal accomplished.

And, after I was done with the race, I go to hang out with this cute little guy :)

Race baby! Photo by Brittany McConnell

More on the Old Cap Crit to follow!

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