Thanks to the Flatlandia team who did a great job organizing this extremely rural race. Many support vehicles around. Plenty of people directing us in the corners.
I got third in the Women’s Cat 4 race!!!
Here is MY summery of the Leland course:
1. Head/Cross wind (BRUTAL) 2. Headwind (surprisingly not as brutal) 3. Headwind + gravel (hard and long) 4. Short stretch of tailwind 5. Tailwind + gravel (my favorite) 6. Short stretch of tailwind 7. Tailwind + gravel (my favorite) Repeat 3 times
All women started together. The 1/2/3’s took 4 laps and the 4’s took 3 laps. We were all together until the last couple miles of the first lap. That’s when the field blew up. I gave it a huge effort to stay with the 1/2/3’s who were attacking like crazy. However, just as I clung to a few girls’ wheels, we hit the beginning of the second lap, a smooth road but with BRUTAL head/cross winds. This was by far my worst and weakest part of the race. I got dropped/ passed by all the women I was around. And all of a sudden it was just me and the cornfields. Not another woman in sight for the rest of the race. I kept up a good effort and even jockeyed back and forth with a group of cat 4 men. They would blow by me in the smooth windy sections, but I would pass them in the gravelly sections. This kept up my morale, as I could at least see other riders around me and could work to pass them, or not have them drop from my eyesight. I really liked the gravelly sections- I got used to the shimmying and fishtailing and tried to take those sections as aggressively as if I were on smooth road. The factors slowing me down were wind and rolling resistance.
The two girls who got 1st and 2nd worked together, but there were no other cat 4 racers between them and me, so I took third. This was a great race! I’ve never made the podium before. I’ve never won cash before. I don’t think I’ve ever earned points before either. I have come away from this race with a list of things I’d like to improve upon (as always). But I also feel incredibly satisfied with my result! (And Tamara really thinks I need to do cross, since I liked the gravelly sections so much.)
Thanks to MAXXIS Detonators which kept all the air inside my tires!!! Thanks to HED KERMESE wheels which were appropriate for this Flatlandia KERMESE race. They were smooth, strong and comfortable!