Last Sunday I went up to race the Spring Prairie RR with my teammates Elena and Stacy. The course is a 6.5 mile loop in gorgeous rolling Wisconsin country, with one short but major climb at the end of the lap right before the start/finish. The race is the WI state Road Race Championships so we knew it would be hotly contested by IS Corp and Kenda, the strong WI teams.
Sure enough on the first lap IS Corp attacked. We wanted to get Stacy in a break but not quite yet, and I didn't want her to waste any energy chasing that down. So I and Kenda and a couple other individual riders chased it down.
I knew it was likely that I would have a tough time when I hit the hill. I didn't think I would be dropped on the first lap, but that's exactly what happened! Super bummed. But I put my head down and chased. A couple laps later, I could see the field! Super excited. I was able to catch back on and ride with the group for the last 2 laps.
I quickly was told that there were 4 riders off the front, 2 IS Corp, 1 Kenda, and our Stacy. This was good. Elena looked completely comfortable going up the hill and while I still struggled, I was able to catch back on every time.
Even though the podium was up the road, I still wanted to maximize ABD's placing in the race. I knew I'd get crushed on the final hill to the finish, so I figured I'd better do what I could for Elena. IS Corp still had several seasoned and competitive riders in the field; I knew they were going to try something too. There were several attacks from other riders on the final lap and I was able to chase them down so Elena could conserve. I told her to grab my wheel and I would deliver her to the base of the final climb. Trying to get the jump on IS Corp, I went early, but it turned out to be a bit too early, and I think I went a little too hard defeating the plan of delivering her fresh to the bottom of the hill. She still managed to get 3rd in the field sprint for 7th overall.
We heard later about Stacy's ride in the break, dealing with 2 IS corp teammates and a Kenda; all WI riders. She rode an excellent race and ended up third. Kenda won and IS Corp were second and fourth.