This weekend five of us, Colleen Gullick, Gwen Inglis, Amity Elliot, Irena Ossola, and myself met up in Tucson, AZ for the Old Pueblo Crit. Flat, four corners, and 1k in length was the course…a sure recipe for a fast from the gun kind of race. This was my first race of the season and second ride outside since fall, so I was jumping in head first, my favorite way to do things.
The race had a good tempo, however it could have been far faster and we all could have handled it. To be honest there wasn’t a lot of action after Leah Kirchmann took off the front. This was the result of disorganization among the rest of the peloton (including myself) and the great team protection put forth by the Optum team. Optum continued to have a minimum of 4 racers in the front fifth of the peloton that covered anything that tried to bridge or close the gap. Well played on their part. About twenty minutes in Primal did their best to rally us to get our shit together and rightly so. I tried my best to help by pulling half a lap only to find no one to continue the chase. I think this was the situation across the board for all teams, which makes it hard to put forth the effort.
All was not lost however. During the last third of the race the announcers wanted to rally us one more time by offering a field prime. My placement was okay on the backside and coming out of turn four I saw my opportunity. The pack had moved to the right so I went left. It was a long way out, but it was my chance. Either I’d get it or be a great lead out for whoever was behind me. I never gave up. Even looking through my rear wheel I saw a shadow but it didn’t phase my acceleration as I’d bring everything I had to the line. I won the prime.
As for the finish, I personally could have done better. We always feel that way after there has been time to think about it, but even as we finished I knew I had more in the tank. I apologize to my team for not putting it all out there like I had during the prime lap. However do know I am not disappointed with my performance. Not knowing exactly how I would stack up, I’m pleased to know I rightly belong in the pack.
So what is the best part of the race? The learning. What could we have done better? What did we do well? These are items that as a team we should discuss and I plan to do just that. In general we played a good game for the first race. Majority of us were very close in proximity. It would be great for us to continue in this manner to give us the ability to organize and move forward to help. If for no other reason than to get some street cred. We would then have the potential to lead out and protect our own.
Oh I almost forgot my favorite part of the race. My grandfather O’Brien and Uncle John were able to watch me race for the first time ever and the icing on the cake was my number one fan was also present, my mom.
Attached is a movie I put together on the flight home. My uncle is the photographer and I’m the videographer. Enjoy!