Renae's Race - 22/2/09
A stacked field had come out to play, it looked like almost 20 female riders had entered. We had Olympic Silver medallist, Emma Pooley. Recently crowned Australian Champs Josie Tomic, Sarah Kent, Melissa Hoskins and Clare McLean. Fleet Elite girls Bec Halliday, Anna Kauffmann and myself. SPR riders Lisa Wood, Lorraine Hartland. Jess Griffiths from NSW. WAIS rider Bella King. Sally Robbins, Kelly Gray, Sue Johnstone, Sarah-Jeanne Fraser, Rebecca Wheadon, Jillian Scanlan. It seemed like an endless list.
I knew it was going to be a tough day. Riding down to the crit my legs didn't seem as sore as expected after Saturdays power efforts, but apparently Bec's were! I would like to say that Fleet's plan was for me to cover early attacks to save Bec for a late race winning attack with Anna to help cover things in between and chase when needed. Coz that's kinda what happened and would have looked cool if it came off. Unfortunately, like most plans, something is bound to go wrong.
Plan B really wanted to dominate today. Sally Robbins was keeping the pace up from the gun and Josie and Sarah Kent were taking turns to attack the field. I was struggling early on but kept covering the attacks. Recovering and making my way up the field to try again. I wanted to get in a break and away from the fluctuating pace which was really hurting me today. Unfortunately it didn't happen and in the middle of one of my sad sack sessions at the back of the bunch Josie got away. Luckily (as planned :) Bec made it into the break, which also contained Sarah F and Jess G.
It was then wait and see time as Emma Pooley hadn't made it into the break. I forget the exact happenings after this as I was still doing my best to cover attacks. Bella got away but for some reason didn't finish the race. Then again whilst I was moping at the back Sarah Kent and Emma Pooley got away. I tried to help the bunch chase her but I just didn't have it. With 3 laps to go Mel put it in a big surge and I went with it but was suffering. She was brought back and then I saw Bec on the side of the road with a flat. I can help I thought! We swapped wheels and she raced back to the Commissaire only to be told she was too late - being bell lap couldn't rejoin. We should have known but when the blood is in your legs your brain doesn't work. So neither Bec, nor I finished the race which was won in fine form by Josie who had a large gap on Sarah F. Jess G outsprinted Sarah K and Emma Pooley for third place.
A hard race! I hope those new to racing aren't too discouraged. Today they got to see where the bar is at. It's not easy to bridge across but if you want it you'll go for it and keep training.