My goals for KSR were to get back in the game, finish safely, stay with the main group as long as possible, ease doubts about belonging in the 1/2 field and just ride hard and pick up as much race fitness as possible. All in all, I think I can say that those were all accomplished!
Stage 1, Circuit Race – I hung in the back for most all of the race, except going to the very front when no one else wanted to work. Finished safely at the tail end of the group, securing “same time”. Of note was that I got a flat just after the first loop. Unfortunately, another women had also just flatted 1k earlier, so the wheel van was a little delayed in helping me out. I chased hard and managed to catch the group about 8 miles later, just about 5k to the QOM. Fortunately the only accelerations from the group were pretty modest and I managed to hang on while trying to recover. Amy took 3rd and was tied for sprint points.
Stage 2, Time Trial – Felt pretty solid, minus the last 3k, but still very pleased to have a time right in the mix, even without all the aero bells and whistles.
Stage 3, Road Race – Did not expect there to actually be an attack ~2k into the race and have that first hill up to 107 be an all-out affair. (Silly me, there was a sign that said “start racing”, just didn’t realize someone actually would…) Hung in there and then things cooled off a bit. We rolled along and then I went to the front and opted to lead the entire field for ~10 miles on Route 107, leading up to Amy’s sprint. Okay, I was also really nervous about the bad pavement and wanting to see the road in front of me. Still, I definitely made a point to ramp up my pace 1k before the sprint and was going hard enough that at 500m people were just starting to come around me. Maybe they didn’t know where the sprint actually was? Anyway, Amy took it, securing the green jersey for her. I had very little time to recover and then got dropped pretty quickly on the first big climb up North Road. I did manage to catch back on to the group about 10 miles later. I knew I’d done most of the chase work when one of the other two women with me said, as we were just making contact again, “Thank you so much.” Um, you’re welcome? Dropped again on the small dirt road climb, chased back again in a mile or so, and then just made it a point to stay with the group to the base of the last climb, at which point I was DONE. A total death march to the finish, but still happy knowing that I had ridden hard…