Sunday, May 4, 2014

Barrio Logan Criterium 2014

Overall a great afternoon in the Barrio for this Wills. (Had this in the draft folder for a while). Here's the race report for both my Barrio Logan 2014 criterium races. 

no warmup is complete without a mxm coke
Women's 1-3:
I have a teammate! Congrats to Deanna for upgrading and killing it in her first real 1-3 race. No surprise, I feel like crap for warmup and the heat is draining all ounces of energy I am trying to muster. Luckily we brought a cooler of Coke and APX. A jolt to the system (along with a little ice in the sports bra) and some fuel in my legs. The race started off at a blistering pace and maybe let up no more than 3x in the race. I was on the back, barely dangling, yet in control, for almost the entire race. I worked on taking efficient lines through the corners and paid attention to the gassed riders in front of me, taking note of riders looking like they were about to pop and moving in front of them. I think I tapped the brakes maybe 3x the entire race. Love this. Fast. Not sketchy. 

With 5 to go, Deanna saw a (slight) lull in the pace and rocket shipped us to the front of the field on the hill. Ouch. I sucked her wheel so hard I could taste that rubber. She pulls for over a lap and in the meantime a break forms, of which she pulls me into. I look back and it's clean. JT and Max were in total shock that we were no longer on the back, but sitting 3-4 wheel! The shocked cheering from the sidelines really helps, guys. 4 to go. Yelling at the group trying to organize. How are you people pros? This is ridiculous. Worst riding I saw all day was in this fake brake that wasted all energy. I worked my ass off to keep it.   1.5 to go and we are caught. Good luck recovering from that effort. Found Deanna and gave it all we had but pulled the plug and coasted in. Ouch.

loving her wheel. thanks to her hubby Max for the photos

Lessons: 1) Breaks are fun! I can see why Vince et all do them. However, winning is much more fun. 2) I don't think sitting on the back of the field had a negative effect. Like I said, no brakes used all day and was super efficient choosing lines in and out of corners. The race was so strung out, there was no where to hide {or draft}. 3) Deanna is a beast. Had we gone with 3 to go it would've stuck. Or really, just the last lap. Her sacrifice was ridiculous and is unmatched. As our first real attempt, I have very high hopes and expectations for the future. Machine. Sadly the paper results don't show any of that effort. And I'm totally okay with it!! 4) Allergies can be seen in photos. I've been suffering with the Santa Anna winds and had extreme congestion all week. Check out the Cycling Illustrated shot by Danny Munson {and the nastiness on my ass} {or don't}. 

3/4: I really had no expectations. It was hot. I was tired. Although without a sprint effort, my legs should still have something, right? And Kyle DNF'd, so someone had to win, right? Deanna and I did half the course, cutting through at the center, as a cool down/warmup and toed the line in the front. We exchanged pleasantries {or the unpleasantries of our legs} and vowed to not go for primes until at least 10 min in as we both knew our legs and lungs needed recovery laps. Whistle. 

Not fast but not slow. {As a side note, I won this race in 2011 at a MUCH slower average pace- it could've been a cat 4 only race at that point, but still, this race wasn't slow by any means}. I was glad for the pace and glad I wasn't having to set it at this point. A couple bike shop primes that we didn't even challenge passed by. And then they announced $50 cash. I was on Deanna's wheel, and announced as such and she did her thing. Pulled me past everyone and I stood to "sprint" at maybe 60%, knowing there may be someone on my wheel. There was, she tried to pass, I cranked it a bit harder and shut her down. Booya. 

clearly having too much fun.

People were getting popped and I kept looking back for Molly. Halfway through I saw her, after we had shed a few kin. Phew. 

Next prime was 2 laps after our last - $50 to Aqua al 2; a prime I won in 2011 as well. Deanna said she didn't want it and I was still a bit tired from the last. Was probably sitting 12th at the start of the lap. Easily moved my way up the field through the corners (see lessons learned) and was in position to sprint again after Deanna again pulled me to the front. Went with no challengers. 

Next prime was $50 San Diego restaurant gift card and Deanna did her magic. 

5 laps to go and I'm getting sick of the cornering. Trying to coach the field through them isn't working so I take some hard pulls. To which I get "coached" by a chic, who tells me to take it easy cause I have a sprint and I could win this. No sh*t Sherlock, but I'm trying to be that mentor that I remember from my early days. I love the backside of this course, so I'm taking pulls, but they aren't serious efforts, just the best cornering that I can manage. Sorry if that came off cocky. The hill comes and I'll let up. I am a sprinter for gosh sakes. 

1.4 to go and I've been on Deanna's wheel for a while. Molly is on mine. D makes a massive move on the hill and I know my legs can't handle that effort at this moment, so I tuck in behind some Skyflash ladies. Sitting maybe 7th wheel. Deanna is 3rd wheel. Final lap and I can feel we have this in the bag. I make a move to get on her wheel on the final climb. She pulls me around the second to last corner in a ballsie move and I'm sitting 4th or 5th wheel into the last corner. Sprint mode on. Win. 

Cannot give enough props to my freaking awesome teammate. She ended up 4th in the 3s after all her work. Molly got 5th in the 4s. This control we felt during the race was a pretty awesome experience. 

Lessons {or rather differences between the races}: 1) 3/4 girls don't quite understand how to corner and maintain speed. Going inside to inside is the most frustrating thing to watch. So I didn't. Every time I was on the front I swept WAY wide and cut through the gutter. I really hope the girl behind me was impressed. And learned the proper cornering technique. 2) The "hill" was at a significantly more manageable pace for the second race. The 1-3 race hammered out of that bottom corner and up the hill. I tried to stay smooth and not surge or stand too often to blow the sprinter legs (which I didn't save anyway going for the break). The only time I felt good on that hill in the 1-3 was following Deanna's wheel in our big move. 3) Prime hunting is fun. I owe Deanna a lot of ice cream. 4) Thanks to Jimmy for giving me 3/4 of his Popsicle after my first race. Lifesaver. 

I LOVE this course. The bumpy roads, endless corners, and close proximity to home make this a Moment domination race forever. 

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