Prinner Report: Superweek

After obtaining 4 state championship jerseys in just two weeks (two USCF at Proctor and two ABR at Wooddale) I looked on to Junior Nationals as being my last opportunity at donning a championship jersey for this year.  But before I knew it, I had my eye fixed unwaveringly on another jersey, one that would take a weeks worth of strategical brains and a heck of a lot of pain to achieve.  Superweek, by no doubt, is the mother of all criterium races, where cyclists race until theyre permanently attached to their bicycles.  The womens 3/4 series this year was the longest its ever been before, with seven stages in eight days.  Seeing as though this would probably be my last year as a cat. 3, I decided to go out with a bang and prove that I deser ved an upgrade by claiming the overall jersey. 
I began my series by entering a few womens Pro 1,2,3 races, and quickly decided that these women really meant business when it came to racing.  I was nothing but a piece of lint that clung to the Great Granddaddy Shirt of the womens Pro peloton.  I was still a proud piece of lint, though, because out of the four times the Great Grandaddy Shirt went through the washing machine (for thats what the races felt like) Little Jessi Lint was only swept away once; I actually managed to cling on and finish respectably in each of the other three races.  One time I even attacked and gained a considerable margin on the field, out by myself on a solo breakaway for two laps, and I probably could have held it to the finish line if there hadnt been 48 laps left in the race.
Finally, my first day of racing as a cat. 3/4 came, and I felt empowered as I rolled up to the line at Evenston, surrounded by over 40 ladies.  I, Jessi Prinner, was a survivor, someone who had seen and experienced a higher and greater power than the womens 3/4. Comparing the Pro women to the women 3/4 is like comparing an ostrich and a hummingbird; the only similarity they have is that theyre birds.  I had become accustomed to super long races lasting 50 laps, and now with only 15 laps in the race I felt like the Duracell bunny as I attacked just about every other lap for the first 8 laps (after the race a French rider compared my racing style to that of a rifle; reload, cock the gun, fire!  Reload, cock the gun, fire!).  At long last one o f my attacks stuck, and better yet a team Revolution lady had come along on my wheel.  Lets work together!, I screamed as elated as can be.  With a strong partner, I knew this break could stick to the finish.  All was well and great as we worked well for about 20 seconds, and then I pulled through and that was the end of team Revolution lady. 
Okay, I thought to myself, I didnt need her anyway!  I can solo it to the finish!  Then I looked up and saw I had 7 laps to go.
Lets look on the positive side, says Jessi, At least its not 48 laps to go!
Somehow I managed to power through 5 laps with just a 30 second gap before the officials neutralized the race for a crash and declared me the automatic winner in the end.
Yeah, so the next 6 races really arent as interesting as the first one, so Im just going to recount some of the more memorable moments of each race.

On this hilly course I made a four-woman breakaway and lapped the field twice.  Im convinced it was all a conspiracy, though.  The field planned it that way so that they wouldnt have to ride the two extra laps.  Little did they know that I was the last one laughing, though, because all those suckers were the ones racing for fifth. I ended up taking 3rd with a crummy sprint in the end.

Whitnall Park RR:
Not much really happened on this curvy circuit course.  I attacked and attacked and attacked but nothing got away.  The race ended in a field sprint where I took 5th.

Racine.org crit:
Today I made secret alliences with two ladies named Jeannie and Andrea.  Jeannie is from New Zealand and Andrea is from Canada.  Watch out field, I have foreigners on my side.  One speaks British and the other speaks French.  Unfortunately it came down to a field sprint and with bad positioning I got 13th.  So much for foreign aid.
            Today was a very invigorating day.  First, as I was riding back from registration, I cut my finger on the metal ladder leading to the officials stand.  Normally, Im not a baby when it comes to cuts and bruises, but I definitely started to freak out when I looked down and saw it squirting blood.  By the time I got back to the van, it looked like an extreme massacre had occurred.  My finger was completely red and blood dripped down my leg and bike.  I was convinced my finger was going to fall off.  Luckily we managed to save it by applying a butterfly stitch (my mother was so excited her eyes were practically popping out of her head.  Now remember, this is the same mother that ran over my head with her bike two years ago.  These things excite her). 
            And not only did I almost get my finger cut off, but I also saw spider-man!  I am pretty suspicious, though, that it might have been an imposter because last time I saw him, spider-man didnt have a beer belly.  My lycra was definitely tighter than his, too.
            Oh, and my race came down to a field sprint and I took 3rd.
The Great Downer Avenue Bike Race:
            My warm up consisted of watching a puppet show and then shopping at some of the many great stores along Downer Avenue.  The race itself was divided quickly as a break of about six formed up the road.  Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, I bridged the gap and we ended up staying away the entire race.  The sprint was a drag race to the line between me and a Dairyland Girl named Anna, but I took the win by just a margin of inches.

Whitefish Bay:
            Since Lake Michegan wasnt far from the racecourse, my mom, a French racer (the same one that compared me to a rifle), and I decided to ride down to the beach and dip our legs in the water.  Sure, our spandex outfits seemed like an unconventional bathing suits, but by now I was used to all the weird stares I got from all the conventional-bathing-suit people.  Even though my tired legs pleaded with me not to leave, in the end Jessis rational brain won out and we left our spot of luxery on the beach to greet the hot, unwelcoming slab of pavement also known as our race course.  The field was smaller than usual due to the enticing purse of the Chicago crit, and I could tell all the ladies were feeling tire d and lazy from all the racing, but I pulled myself together for a final day in Superweek and sprinted for a final place of 3rd
            After a long and vigorous week of racing, I was glad when I could finally get on stage and claim my yellow leaders jersey that I worked so hard for.  Despite what anyone might say, riding in circles for 11 days straight is more exhausting than it seems, and Im proud to be able to say that my yellow jersey is living proof that I rode in circles the fastest.
            I bet not many people can say that.
Till next race…

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