Race report from Kathryn C.:
I ended up racing in the 3/4 field today because of the course. The cat 4s race on a modified course which essentially has no turns...boring! I just couldn't bring myself to sign up for it.
I'm not sure if I was just trying to find an excuse to animate, but after a quick assessment of the field, I thought I would be in trouble in a field sprint and decided I was going into attack mode. I pretty much spent the whole race trying to escape off the front and covering all moves. I actually think if I could've gotten one or two girls to go with me, we may have had a shot at staying away, but nothing seemed to stick. With it being the first race of the season, I don't think anyone really had the confidence to fully commit to an attack.
With about two to go I tried to play it a bit more conservatively, but wheels were getting sketchy in the wet conditions and teams were lining up. I was probably a little too cautious going into the final turn (a long sweeping 180) and didn't have a great spot to start the long sprint. While my legs felt great, I just didn't seem to have it together for the sprint. It's a pretty long finishing chute and I should've trusted my instincts to hold off a little longer to really push it, especially because I don't have a lot of top end at this time of year. I finished 10th beating a whopping two girls in the final sprint - we must have had some fall off the back beforehand.
All in all, I'm really happy with how I felt for this time of year. I felt strong on the climbs and recovered quickly when covering attacks, I just didn't have the positioning or pop for a good sprint. I must admit, I had way more fun than I did when I won last year and I got a great workout. It seems that the more foolish my tactics, the more fun I have! I actually feel like I have an ok grasp on tactics, I just tend to say screw it and take to the front. It's probably a good thing cross is my focus...
Thanks for all of the help you've been giving - I think we are definitely on the right track!
I hope your weekend if off to a great start!
PS - you know you're doing too much work when the winner thanks you after the race for covering everything.
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.