A page from the book of racing: Dead Dog- the Criterium
Sometimes racing does go according to plan! Roberta shares her experience during the Dead Dog Classic Criterium.
I was going to blog about my own race experience at Dead Dog since Dead Dog is a race that has a lot of personal meaning to me and my cycling goals. Unfortunately, the road race was not one of most stellar cycling performances and it ended getting to know the volunteer EMTs in the emergency tent. I do think those EMTs worked just a little bit of magic for me since the story I am about to tell involves the race that happened in the heat of the next day. As criteriums go, the Laramie course is super fun. Fast turns, chicanes, trains roaring through town, and great volunteers. After watching the 4s race, Joan and I decided to spin our legs in the heat of the later morning sun. After the heat exhaustion that plagued me the day before I was really tired of sunshine and heat. I did partake in an icebath and the team standing in the pond on Saturday after the road race. Joan also had us eat two dinners after the road race and that didn’t necessarily hurt my recovery either. Anyway, there we 7 of us in the 1-2 category and I was 7th in the GC. I was thinking before the crit that when you are in last place, 20 minutes back, there is really nothing to lose if you lay it all on the line to secure a win for your teammates.
Joan and I discussed strategy for the race and we both decided we would do most of the work until we could go no longer and hopefully one of us would hang on for the entire race. It is rare when a strategy that is verbalized before a race actually happens and what happens is even better! The Cliffs Notes version of the 40 minute race was this, Joan was in front, then I would get in front, someone else not on our team would get in front, PRIME LAP- Sprint hard and lead out a teammate for the prime- Joan was in front, I was in front, TIME BONUS SPRINT- lead out teammate for the sprint win. I had the biggest smile the entire race because magically everything fell into place. Naked Women’s racing was dominating and in control! We were blocking others from going for the sprint and Rachel and Kimberly were getting enough rest in between sprints. We had lead outs that looked like they could have been choreographed in a ballet. The energy was so exciting. When it came down to the final sprint, Joan and I both lead out Rachel and Kimberly for the 1-2 win and an overall GC win. Did I mention this was a fun race?
There are times in bike racing when things don’t go as planned. Teammates can feel let down because a plan didn’t execute or someone was having a bad day. Not this day in Laramie. We were a well oiled machine and we worked as a team and we pulled in the win. We were all ear to ear with grins. This is the reason I race my bike- not to win- but to be part of a team of strong, dedicated women. Thank you!