After an exciting evening spent dancing and shaking our booty’s with Judy (Daffer’s Mom) and the extended Karagianis family. I’m surprised we were in good enough shape to even show up to the Urbana crit. But it must have been just the right amount of fun/race nerves relief/team building, as we certainly did well.
Daphne seriously killed it. We three really worked the field in the 3/4. Myself, Marie and Daphne alternating attacks one after the other after the other. I got away for a few laps with Psimet’s Katie Isermann, but we never really got far, Katie showing me how it’s done with a strong preme win. The field came back together and shortly after Daphne and Sue Wellinghoff (xXx) went on a break, but the pace was hot in the main group and with Psimet leading the charge we managed to catch up to Sue, but Daphne held on and we didn’t see her for the final 3 laps.
Delighted that Daphne was still out there with only 1 lap to go, Marie and myself tried to position ourselves well for the field sprint. Sue led us through the final corner and stayed out front. I only just missed out on 3rd place. Erica Gaddy (Half Acre Cycling) held me off with an excellent sprint, a half wheel between us at the line with Marie right behind.
It felt like massive team effort and success. We were elated with Daphne’s win and our finishes.
The Women’s Open race was a lot smaller than it could have been, only 11 women stayed for the 6 hour gap between the two races. But there was a strong showing from Psimet, Briana Clarke (Racing for Riley), a Cat 1 cyclist from Indiana, and a handful of 3/4s. Oh and of course beast mode Daff. Daphne and Briana got on a break about 5 minutes in. They stayed out there for around 30 minutes and caught the field with about 8 to go. A mammoth effort on their part. Actually that part of the race was preeetty boring for myself and Marie as we were just sitting in not chasing and the Psimet ladies weren’t going to chase their team mate Kelli Richter who was also off the front of the main group. When Daphne and Briana caught us we tried to keep the pace hot in the hope of catching Kelli. But we never did catch her, and Daphne killed it in the sprint for an excellent second place. Marie was oh so close to 4th and I rounded out in 7th.
The course itself was really great, short sharp turns through the streets of Urbana. It was a pity that there were so few of the regulars who could stick around for the 3.30 race. But with a smaller purse for the Women’s Open and the long drive back to Chicago I’m not surprised that the field was a half the size of previous races.
For me, it felt wonderful to race with such powerful and tactical team mates, and I really felt like we were beginning to work better as a team. Knowing when to attack, knowing when to sit in and knowing when to take over from each other.
I woke up on race day and had breakfast. I laid around my buddy’s house playing mike Tyson’s punch out. I had anger driven deep inside me by the piston Honda 2nd fight. I threw the controller and angrily kitted up. I realized I was running late and started hurrying. I pulled my bike out of the garage, lubed my chain and rubbed the rust off from the day before. I put air in the tyres. It wasn’t raining on my ride over.
I got to registration at about 10:20. It went super smooth (thanks to the organizer and volunteers). Pinned my number on and heard that daphne won the w 3/4 race. Which was really no surprise because she’s hella good and dropped me like a bag of hammers a couple of weeks ago at training camp. I was then charged up for my race (additional charge from the boxing gloves of piston Honda the second time). I had a nice warm up on the roads to the east of the course. I got to the course and did one lap on the course. I got lined up, got a nice chainring mark on my leg from Paul Halupka and since it was raining I let some air out of my tyres.
Race starts. I’m in the front row and move up to 5th wheel. The guy from Johnny sprockets drills it for like 3 laps. I move to the back because I’m dying. I get towards the back and as the race progresses I find that it’s better if I’m there. There were so many attacks. Paul and the guy from Indiana just keep attacking I was just barely able to hang on for the entire middle of the race. On the last lap I had moved up to 7th or 8th wheel and I noticed that a gap was appearing with 4 riders going away. I attacked and bridged after turn 2. Then when I got to the group of 4 they slowed up and I was still coming fast. So instead of coasting up I did the “what the hell kind of crazy suicidal attack is that guy doing” maneuver. Rather than coasting I downshifted and jumped. I jumped on the left of them which put me in a poor line for the turn. As I was leaning the bike way farther than I normally like to do I thought to myself’ “well, those guys behind me won’t be dumb enough to take this crap line.” Followed by, “I’m glad I let that air out of my tyres.” Then, “if I crash at least I’m going for the win.” I tilted my bike back up. Then took the next right, right, left, quick right, then right again and sprinted with the little bit left in the tank I knew I had it when I saw Maria, Daphne and Marie’s faces at 50 meters!
Later that night I beat piston Honda the 2nd time. All in all a great day of racing and video gaming.