This weekend of racing has been very successful in more than one way. When we decided to go down to the Tour of Somerville, Emily, Sara, Kinley and I knew we wanted to bring our A-game, partly because it was at this race that Ellen had her awesome win last year and partly because this is just who we are. We love racing aggressively, dominating the race and putting the other teams under pressure. Sometimes it works and it’s brilliant (just like Ellen’s win last year) and sometimes, well, it just doesn’t work, but at least it always put on a great show and spectators love it. This weekend, our aggressive style of racing helped us getting almost all the primes available during the series (we only missed two).
Now, let me take you through our weekend of racing.
The first race, the Bound Brook Criterium, was a 1.2 mile, 6 corners course. Our plan was to try to create a breakaway situation for one of us, while the rest of the team would control the field. This didn’t really go as plan since all the teams looked more interested in a bunch sprint finish. Sara was able to pull a 5th place on the line while I finished 8th. As these results aren’t that bad at all, but we were all disappointed and just wanted more out of it. After debriefing with Jenny and revaluating our tactics, we were ready for crit #2, the Raritan Criterium.
The second race, the Raritan Criterium, was a 0.6 mile, 6 corners course, which made it for a more technical circuit than the previous day. Our plan was still similar but had a small change to it. Since we knew that most of the teams were happy with a bunch sprint, we kept our aggressive style of racing, but decided to conserve a bit more energy in case it would end up in a field sprint. With fewer yet better timed attacks, we were able to get primes and put the other teams under pressure. When they announced the first prime, the announcer says that it was a gift card. Kinley comes up to me and says “Should we go? It’s only a gift card…”. I replied that we should go for it, that it would be a good leadout practice. Turns out that we hit two birds with one stone as the gift card was for a pub and we got to practice the leadout that ultimately got us the field sprint victory! We used the gift card for a victory beer and it was well deserved for the whole team. With Canadian individual pursuit champion Kinley leading out Emily and I, we were set up for success. I took the victory while Emily came to a close 4th place.
The third and last race, the Tour of Somerville, was a 1.2 mile, 4 corners course, which made it very speedy. We were very touched to see that the race organizers decided to have a memorial for Ellen on the start line. It was short, on point and beautiful. Our plan was similar to the previous day. It worked out almost perfectly, but at the end, we weren’t able to pull out the win we wanted. Nonetheless, we put on an amazing show for the crowd, had other teams tell us how well we raced and even met new people, which was what Ellen was all about.