So after witnessing the sprinting abilities of my competition yesterday, I decided that I should avoid a sprint finish today at all costs. The race (in downtown Nashville) was uphill for the first few turns, so I knew that there would be attacks and chances to get away from the pack.
I was a little worried about the race from the start- I had a horrible first couple of laps, but felt better once the pace settled down. After that, I felt strong. Early in the race, I was in a small break and realized that I had a rider behind me that would probably not follow an attack, so I took a flier on the uphill section of the course. The result was a solo breakaway that lasted about 6 or 7 laps.
It landed me a couple of primes and wore me out a bit, so when the time checks were down to 7 or 8 seconds (I was hearing 18 and 20 the first few laps), I decided to sit up & wait for the pack.
Luckily, when the pack caught me, they all sat up (surprising, given the talent that was in there!) I was able to sit in and recover for at least 4 laps before another prime stimulated a surge in pace. Another stroke of luck- the couple of times that Debbie Milne and Leigh Valletti managed to get away from the pack, it appeared as if they couldn’t agree on how to work together, so they never stuck what could have been some seriously dangerous getaways.
Getting back to my strategy, though…
Fast forward to the last lap. I am trying my damnedest to stay on Debbie’s wheel (which meant I was shoulder to shoulder with a couple of others who wanted to do the same). Then I thought back to my last race of last season (Kim and Gina from Vantaggio can tell you about it :) ) where I used a surprise attack early in the last lap to take the win. In the long straightaway before the last two turns to the finishing stretch, I saw my chance and made the same move- an all-out hammer to the finish, taking the final turns at speeds that could make or (literally) break my chances of winning.
It worked. I yelled and raised one fist in the air (see photo- it’s a little goofy, but hey, it works…)
Somehow I doubt it will work again tomorrow :D