This weekend marks a big day for me…my second road race but more importantly, my first crit race! I’m cautiously excited. 🙂
I chose Crossroads Crit on Sunday for several reasons, but primarily because they have an individual cat 4 women’s race separate from the cat 1, 2 and 3’s. This makes both me, and the cat 1, 2 and 3 racers very happy. I’m gathering that the general thoughts on cat 4 races by races of the better categories, is that the cat 4’s are more “dangerous” to ride around. Though I truly don’t feel that I fall into this generalization and that I am a pretty safe, heads-up rider, I don’t want to make anyone racing around me feel uncomfortable either. In addition to feeling somewhat relieved to not be racing the stronger women, I’m also relived that the pace of the cat 4 individual crit vs. an all cat race will be just a tad slower.
I’ve done a lot of work in the last couple weeks with my amazing mentor Marianne Holt, and we spent one whole night riding and working on cornering. It was exactly what I needed. My first practice crit was at Orr Road 2 weeks ago and I found myself in my drops for the whole ride, only breaking when I absolutely had to in order to avoid hitting someone’s wheel in front of me (to which, of course, I got called out by some jerk – “no breaking”! I won’t comment.) However, I felt completely comfortable around all the fast corners, particularly the longer the race went on. Marianne will be there racing strong with me Saturday and I’m sure there spectating after or before her race on Sunday, which is very comforting. She’s like my bike racing mommy.
Given the pace will be a bit slower (or so everyone says) than Orr Road, I’m hoping I will be okay out there on the course for my first ever crit experience! I’m also really looking forward to the road ride and using what I have learned from my first race, and what Marianne and I have discussed, to finish better in the final sprint. The strongest rider doesn’t always win these races so no showing your cards and leaving some in the tank for that final sprint is critical- all the while, not missing the wheel of a break that may happen during the ride. Very tactical, which is why I loved it!
I have no expectations for any sort of results this weekend. I plan to ride my hardest and make the other girls work but also do a fair amount of sitting in and “observing”. Of course my sister will be there Sunday at the crit cheering me on, upholding her title once again of “most supportive sister ever”. I’m sure I will hear her claps and cheers over my labored breathing.
I will update with results after the race. After three workouts, yes, three workouts today, I’m spent! Time for some good R&R! The website for this weekends events is: http://www.crossroadscyclingclassic.com/