Saturday January 28th was the first race of the two day omnium. The 45/55+ women's master's criterium on the Historic University of Arizona campus. The criterium was 30 minutes long. the course had 2 90 degree turns and a very technical tight 160 degree turn, 200 meters before the finish line.
AZWomen were lucky to have three teammates on the start line. for me personally it's always a confidence boost to line up with teammates. Anna Lisa, Nathalie Potvin and I lined up together.
As a nervous crit rider, I always try to get off the line fast and ride hard for a few laps, hoping to wear out riders in the corners. Early on, I made a hard acceleration and was able to cull down the group to 4 riders. I was thrilled that our sprinter, Anna had made the break. With only 4 of us in the break, it was important to keep the pace brisk, but also try to shake the other two riders. I made a few more attacks (hoping to tire them out) In the end, the break stuck. The course really suited Anna's sprint style. Anna was able to come thru turn 3 in 1st place and hold her position to the finish line winning the race.
Anna finished 1st in the race, but wasn't competing in the two day omnium event. Going into the Oracle Road Race, I was in 3rd place for the omnium even. It was essential that I finish ahead of the other Omnium races to be able to get more point.
Sunday in Oracle, the 2nd race of the Omnium format, I found the race to be hard, frustrating and long. The new course is 54 miles with a lot of climbing. The race started off fast and windy with a long descent. Helen was able to get away on the Webb Road climb, solo. The Colavita Racer didn't want to work to chase her down, our break was riding quite slow. I was thrilled when my teammate Beata Elan Vitt was able to catch back on and we were able to create team tactics to shake-up the race. Beata, who was sick with a cold, took a long pull on San Manuel Rd, I asked her to ride as fast as she could thru the right turn onto Webb Rd. as she peeled off, I was able to jump and get some space between me and the other riders. Riding as hard as possible I finally caught sight of the solo rider and eventually passed her. I kept looking back thinking she would catch me. lucky the finish line was close enough and I was able to finish 1st in the road race and move up in the overall omnium points.
Sometimes team tactics are simply the confidence boost of lining up together on the start line, other times, teammates can execute strategies to get into breaks! I was so proud to line up with my teammates. This race pushed us all into a new fitness level.