Watermelon Crit- June 6, 2009
About 16 of us line up for the women's open race, including a few ambitious cat 4s who had finished racing just an hour before. CRCA is well represented, with a couple riders from CC, a couple from Radical, a few from Teany, and much to our surprise given the prereg list, Ann-Marie Miller from Metro. A few NJ women show up as well, it is after all in their backyard.
I've warmed up forever because the races were running late. Good thing because the race is spicy from the whistle. One of the NJ riders attacks off the line and I chase her down. That set the tone for the first part of the race, with attacks coming into every corner and up every backstretch hill.
We finally chill out a tiny bit in the fifth lap, since we've successfully shelled over half the field by then. I'm keeping a close eye on AMM. She has instigated her share of attacks, but they haven't been as hard to cover as I'd imagined. I think I was getting a little complacent, because in the middle of our respite, she attacks really hard. I'm actually on her wheel when she goes and I still miss it. No one is able to bridge so we organize but not very well, several riders don't want to pull, and within a few laps she is out of sight. We still make some pretense of working together for a few more laps, but in reality Dara and I are taking a good part of the wind.
A couple of primes are called; I roll over the line for the first one in case it is two deep or for the field, but forget to check on it afterward. I think it would have had gluten in it anyway because Dara does the same for the second one and wins herself a cherry pie. The next couple of laps are uneventful; I'm trying to figure out when to throw in a really good final attack, when, 35 minutes into our 45-minute race they tell us we have three laps to go. Riders throw in a couple of final attacks, nothing gets away, I feel like I've missed my last chance and decide to save it for the sprint. Dara does a great job of protecting me with two laps to go, including keeping the pace nice and high on the backstretch to prevent any early jumps. A couple of riders start to go before the final turn, I jump onto their wheels as they come around, and pass them on the final stretch, only to be clipped by Anne Rappiocci, as always, at the line.
Still, second in the field sprint, third overall, and in addition to a little cash I get to take home a pineapple for my efforts, which was delicious.