Virginia Solomon – 4th WA Road Race

Sunday started off damp and cold, and didn’t get much better
throughout the day. I notoriously overdress, so tried to balance that
tendency with the fact that it really was pretty cold. Thankfully
DeFeet wool is perfect for both this kind of weather, and my kind of
indecision! Sisquoc isn’t a particularly climby course. The main climb
is neither long, nor steep, nor close enough to the finish to be
decisive. Though I’ve been dropped there before. I decided my strategy
was to stay with the group on the climb and then see what I could do
to push it through the rollers to the finish, if the group was still
together. The two Davis women rode off on the first climb (to finish
minutes ahead of us – the ref stopped giving us updates as they got on
towards 5 minutes ahead) and the other 6 of us decided to make it our
race and let them be. The field was 2 Stanfords, and then 1 each
CPSLO, HSU, and USU, and me. The next two and a half laps we spent
rotating at a decent tempo, keeping an eye on each other on the climb.
With 2 racers in our group, we knew that Stanford was going to try
something the last time up, and sure enough, they sent their climber
off from the base. I stuck with her about halfway up the steepest bit
and then decided the better plan would be to let her go and work with
everyone else to pick her back up through the rollers (where she was
having some trouble the previous laps), rather than maybe blow
sticking with someone more gifted than I when the road tilts up! USU,
SLO, and I worked to bring her back, with Eileen from Stanford sitting
on and making us chase the extra bike length to get past her but
thankfully being cool and not actively blocking our way to come
through and take our turns. Kat from SLO did a MONSTER pull to finally
bring Marissa all the way back on the descent into the finish, and I
heard her yelling as Eileen countered and bombed by me into the rise
to the finish. I jumped and was closing but my legs just ran out of
gas and I couldn’t seal the deal and rolled in for 4th. I was happy
with how I was able to handle the climbs on the course, but it seems
to be a pattern that I don’t do a very good job of staying on wheels
once sprints start, which then loses me the advantage of my jump, so
that is my homework for next week – finding and staying on the wheel
til it works for my sprint.

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