Monday, August 1, 2011

CCCX Road Race


Race: CCCX Circuit
6 laps, 75 minutes
Teammates: Mary
Field: 15
Place: 3

Keith DeFibre loves racing so much and it really shows at his circuit
races. He marked off 5 miles of road between Sea Otter and some
Military housing with some climbs. It's a really good course that
doesn't necessarily favor a pure climber. Our field was a little on
the little side because they raced the Masters Women and the Cat 4s a
minute behind us and there was another race in Danville.

Last year I battled the race out with Laurie Fenech (MadCat). She was
here this year too. Neither one of us had official teammates but we
both had a back up plan. Laurie was talking with Jane (Yahoo) before
the race but I drove down with the Mexican National Road Champion
soooo...

The tactic that Laurie and Jane devised was pretty good considering
the field. Laurie would attack. I would jump and bridge. Jane would
try to chase me down. The rest of the field would follow. This
happened twice. On one occasion I countered Laurie and the same thing
sequence of events unfolded. It was pretty clear what was going to
happen all day. There was not going to be a break with me in it.

If you can't instigate a break and you can bridge to a break, you can
always thwart a break. Keeping a close eye on the girls who want to
attack and just going with them will keep the field together. This
plan is great and almost completely executable. The only variable is
there are other women.

I'm not going to try and control the race. It's not realistic and
philosophically speaking a little unethical to think you can make
other people do your bidding. I'm not going to just sit back and be
reactive. Letting other people determine how you race is just plain
stupid. Racing is like boiling a pot of water. All the molecules are
moving around together.

So anyway, I loose track of Laurie for 3 seconds and she pops off the
front again. For about a mile she was only a few feet in front of us.
No one chases. Then Jane, instead of putting herself at the front of
the race and sitting up, separated herself and rode on the opposite
side of the road. Most of the field followed her out of habit. Then
all of the field followed the rest of the feild. The next thing you
know, Yahoo has very passively managed to get the entire field behind
her and at sub 15mph. And Laurie rolls up the road.

Dulce, our heroine of the story and our Maxican National Champ,
doesn't know the racers and their shenanigans, doesn't know the course
but for the 2.5 laps we've been on it, and quite frankly doesn't know
she can trust me. In English, I tell her she might want to go after
the girl up the road. I'm not sure she understands what I said so I
give some hand gestures and indicate that I will block. She jumps and
starts a little TT after Laurie.

Right at that moment I overcome with contentment because I know Dulce
will make contact and win the race. I know that she has a little ways
to go before she gets there and that she'll have to work for it but I
know it will happen. It felt really good to "tell" Yahoo and MadCat
that it was fine that they wanted to play tactics with me but I was
going to counter them with something they couldn't expect. Right at
that moment Yahoo was physically trying to chase and mentally
realizing that Webcor and Touchstone were not going to let it happen.

It took Dulce 1.5 laps to catch MadCat. Dulce won the sprint by at
least 3 bike lenghts. The rest of the women's field was so proud of
her and the promoter was super stoked to have her at his race. As for
my race, I rode at the front with Yahoo on my wheel. I sat up for 2
seconds and let her lead out the sprint for 3rd.

On a day like Saturday you realize that racing is not always going to
be getting taken to the curb by Vanderkitten. Sometimes it's you and
10 of your best friends trying like hell to crush each other and being
really proud of whoever makes it to the top that day. I can't write a
race report for Dulce, my Spanish isn't that good. I know she worked
super hard to bridge and she earned a well deserved first US win. I
can tell you that I will be racing with these same world class, world
champion, tough as nails women for a long long time to come and we
will love every minute of it.

-Mary

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