Good thing about a local race weekend: I get to sleep in my own bed.
Bad thing about a local race weekend: I set my clock for an inhumanely EARLY hour.
And by inhumane, I am talking 4:45 and 5:15.
The Death Star(what Marian calls our bus) rolled up to the Depauw road race course around 7am after surprising the small staff at Einstein Bagel at 6am. The women A didn’t race until noon, so I had the chance to get some homework done on the bus and get a little nap in to catch up on the lack of sleep. Luckily Emliy Ebers, new German recruit, Stephan Hirsch, and I made Allen’s Rice Cakes from the Feedzone Cookbook by Biju the Chef and my Philippino buddy Allen Lim. So we had good noms as we waited to race. I was excited to race in the conference leaders jersey and defend it, except for the fact it was 30 degrees out and snowing…… I had to buck up and layer up. I ended up wearing a heavy wool long sleeve base layer, then my Marian long sleeve jersey, then my Marian vest, and lastly my conference leaders jersey on top. For my bottom half I applied embro, leg warmers, heavy wool socks, toe warmers, then wind proof booties over. I then had latex gloves under winter gloves, Vaseline on my face and ears, a wool scarf, and a beanie. I essentially covered every part of my body multiple times to face the wrath of the bitter cold Indiana weather. When the race started a couple small flurries of snow and attacks began. Then at about mile 2 Ashley James of Lindenwood attack and I covered it. Next thing I knew we had a gap. For the rest of the race it was just Ashley and I off the front – just like last weekend. A small excerpt between Ashley and I while off the front for 46 of 48 miles of our road race:
AJ: This is going to be a long day!
CR: Well this is your fault! You’re the one who attacked, I just followed!
AJ: I know, I know. I just can’t help myself sometimes.
CR: If we both keep up this whole going off the front together thing, I have a feeling I am going to get to know you real well.
We worked together until a kilometer to go and I laid down a strong attack and held it to the line, furthering my lead in the leaders jersey! And mind you, it was snowing about 80% of the race! Luckily the snow wasn’t sticking, so it was relatively safe, but still as cold as a witches t**. The girls back in the peleton, Kaitie Antonneau, Ivy Audrain, Emily Elbers, Stephanie Torres, and Beth Engwis did an awesome job and finished 1-2 in the pack sprint too.
Post race was a little chaotic as senior teammate Sam Stone crashed in his field sprint and he had to go to the hospital. The rest of the team rushed to the TTT site and was in and out of a skin suit within an hour! Ivy, Kaitie, Emily, and I #SMASHED the TTT by 1min37sec over 5miles thanks to our Zipp 808 Firecrest wheel sets diligently adjusted to our trusty steeds by our race weekend mechanic, Matt McKinney. We then packed up the bus and headed back for Indy.
As usual, Sunday is criterium day. Another early morning in the books with the women’s A race taking off at 1:10. I had time to sleep, jump into the NormaTech Recovery moon Boots, get some homework done, and support my teammates in their races. Typically support means cheering, but I had a special situation where freshman Women B teammate, Riley Missel, had a mechanical. And my bike was one of the few that would fit her. I happily let her use my trusty steed and she finished 5th!!! I was so stoked for her! I had time to get my bike back in my measurements and warm up, then it was time to line it up. The race started aggressively with attacks left and right. Finally Beth go into a move, then Ivy was able to bridge up with a couple others. Then on a prime lap I attacked and bridged up to the group. Beth rode awesome, but since she initiated the move she was tapped by the time I bridged up. It was a group of 5 and we all worked well together. With a couple laps to go Ivy and I communicated and I said I would lead her out for the sprint. I jumped with about 700 meters to go forcing the other girls to chase while Ivy used their chase as a fast lead out and got past me right at the line for a 1-2 bam wham punch photo finish.
Weekend #2 at Depauw was most definitely a success, full of teamwork that led to victories. And I was able to improve on my road race result, which I am very happy with. Race weekend #3 will be hosted by Lindenwood but won’t be for another 3 weeks. Until then I have midterms to keep me busy, going home to California to see the family for a few days, then back to the Mid-West for the Marian cycling team’s annual spring break camp in Tennessee!
Thanks for reading!