Yesterday was absolutely miserably hot. Most know that I am from Alaska and just dont do anything well in the heat. I once vomited 9 times in a row in the plane because it was 122 degrees in the cockpit with no AC. That makes for a challenging environment. The VA State Crit Champs would truly be a test. My boy wick nasty and annie were there to give me tons of support. This being the 11th race at the sportsplex, it was fair to say that the technicality of the course wouldnt be a factor. This race has admittedly been on my radar since the beginning of the year. If you win this race, nobody can say anything about your effort, you know the other racers and know yourself, and simply put in more work to come out on top. Knowing this would be near the end of my racing season due to a career change, I really wanted to do well here.
The race started in typical fashion with a couple early moves that just wouldnt stick. A DC guy from Evolution went off by himself for 9 or so laps and really caused me some worry. After learning he is a time trialist, I begged some of my teamates to go to the front. Terry, Ryan, and D-bo controlled the race chasing down anything up the road, not letting anything get away and keeping the pace high. Most of the year I've been racing by myself. It was a relief to have teamates specifically working. Ryan and Terry are NC residents so they couldnt medal. Dbo was just a machine and crushed himself.
With about 8 laps to go, I started from about 30th place and just ramped it up. Andy followed and we bridged up to the Evo guy. A fella from NC and VBV worked their way into the break. I was super motivated to make this work considering the double ambulance ride of the cat5 race. Some gentlemanly blocking from Dan Craft and Ryan made all the difference as we were able to put about 30 seconds into the field. Andy and the Evo guy put in some monster pulls to make sure we stayed away. After my 8th water bottle field, I was feeling great for the finish. It was clear that we would stay away with 2 to go. I was second wheel and just sat on the Evo guy's wheel while he was happy to pull 3 of us around the course. I was worried about this exact scenario as the previous weekend netted a 2nd place for me. He went way early and I happily sat on for a bit longer. I knew Andy was behind me and went hard after the last turn. Finally a win.
I owe Dbo, Ryan, and Terry a big thanks. They really made a difference!
All photos credit to BJ Samuels!
It was 101 on the tarmac. Ice bottles allowed me to live! I took a feed every 3 laps. thanks wick and annie!
Still hot in the 123 race. I chased down a break only to have my seatpost slip. Official didnt give me a free lap.