I decided the Kenosha Spring training race would be the first time for me to rock my new team Spidermonkey kit! I knew I was feeling good, but the first race of the year is always nervous. How was everyone else's winter? Where would I stack up compared to them?
My husband Jason decided to race it with me. It's been a while since Jason had done a crit (2008 maybe?) so I was surprised. But he's been training a bit this winter and I was really happy! On the way up we joked about being in a break together.
It was a gorgeous day, a bit windy, but absolutely beautiful weather. While I was waiting for the race to start I rolled up to the final corner to chat with PWP'er Erica Gaddy who had raced the women's race earlier and was watching (another PWP participant) John Cline race the men's cat 4 race. John was in great position coming around the final corner, and then bam! Not sure what happened but he and his bike were somersaulting through the field and someone else crashed into him and ran him over. John is fine, though he suffered a broken rib, a broken collar bone and a possible broken finger. Not exactly how you want to start your season.
This did nothing to settle my pre race jitters. They delayed our race to take care of John so when we finally went to the line they decided to combine the 3s race with the men 1/2's. I just wanted to get the first race of the year over without incident!
There were around 20 guys at the start and at the gun it was a fairly moderate pace. I stayed near the front staying out of the wind when all of a sudden a red blur attacked and it was Jason! I jumped to the front of the field and enjoyed saying a couple times, "sorry that's my husband--I can't chase". We caught him after about 6 laps or so and as we did I tried to encourage him and tell him to just sit in and recover. Imagine my surprise when a couple laps later the same red blur went again! Not sure how long he was gone but after several individuals put in some hard chase efforts, it took two IS Corp teammates to actually chase him down. After that 2 other guys and I were able to just roll off the front. I was feeling good, trading pulls, until I took a nice pull into the headwind section. My breakmates accelerated and dropped me. Luckily another rider was bridging up and we rode together for a while until 3 more guys followed, including my former ABD teammate Konrad Witt. Konrad and another guy were motivated to catch the break so we rode hard and were closing the gap. Right before we got there, one of the guys in the break exploded leaving the leader dangling in front of us. Konrad waited to close it until the final corner and then he and another guy sprinted ahead, and Konrad took the win! I sprinted too, but wasn't exactly going at the same speed. They passed the leader just before the finish and I held on for fourth in our group but one of the riders who finished ahead of me was a lapped rider, so I ended up third overall. Jason reported that he had tried several bridge attempts after he made sure our break was secure, and ended up in another chase group out of which he won the field sprint for 5th or 6th place! We were both thrilled after the race, and I was relieved to have a positive race experience!