A Race Report from Crashnomore

It seems as though with every passing weekend I get a little darker. Soon I will walk into Prairie Path Cycles exclaiming happily (as I usually do), "Hi all!" and someone will be like, "Who’s that African American girl?"

But I digress. This past Saturday’s crit in Brown Deer Park proved to be the most aggressive race of the year yet. In fact the women were so aggressive that at first thought I was mistaken and had jumped into the pro men’s race. As I pulled up to the line I noticed that there were about 20 women altogether on the line, three of which were IS Corp ladies, seven (yes that’s not a typo) Kenda tire ladies and…let’s see…one…two ABD ladies (Susan and I).

This lonely dynamic ABD duo had come to this race with the full intention of being as aggressive as a hornet whose queen had just been threatened, and hoping to play our tactic cards right and get one of us in a break. But if any of you know a thing or two about cycling, you’ll also probably know that there isn’t much (tactic-wise) you can do in a race with only one other team mate except ride like a dog with rabies and hope your team mate will either slow down the field if you get in a break or counter attack after the field has caught you. This was precisely our game plan, but unfortunately it also seemed to be everyone else’s game plan as well because in all there was an average of about 2-3 attacks each lap. Susan and I had even come up with a secret code to signal when we were going to attack next: we would scratch our butts (preferably the right cheek). This didn’t seem to work well though when we weren’t directly behind each other due to the many butts in between us and d ue to the split second decisions that needed to be made if we were going to counter a move, so there wasn’t enough time for butt-scratching.

As the race came down to the end, none of the 50,000 breakaways had succeeded, so the eyes of the pack were peeled wide open for the crazy person who might decide to attack on the last lap. At about a half a lap to go the attack came, and it came strong because the field was strung out in an instant, with me about 6 or 7 riders back. We made the last turn (which was a tricky acute turn which forced us to slow down a lot) and the first three riders, which were (surprise, surprise!) Kenda Tire ladies, attacked really hard and shot away from the field, while Jessi "The Dumbo" Prinner was stuck chasing hard in the red zone, panicking with 1000 meters to go and the pack leering behind her. Even though I was far into my lactic threshold, VO2 threshold (and "everything else" threshold), I decided there was no stopping now, so I suffered my way to the finish line completely depleted and ready to pass out, yet miraculously grabbing 6th place. I think God just felt sorry for me . Oh well, I was still really happy with my first USCF race of the year.

I also must congratulate Susan who made up just about half the attacks in the race (and was super close to getting one to succeed) and made a strong pack finish in the end, and to Joel (Susan’s boyfriend) who probably would have won his race if it weren’t for the bone head who made him crash in the last turn.

And next week I look forward to Iowa city RR and crit…and I hope more than two ABDers show up as well so I can congratulate them…


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