There are races, and there are RACES. Races that are in an incredible place, where the energy is buzzing, and the vibe is high; that is the San Rafael Twilight Criterium, presented by Project Sport. It is in the cycling mecca of Marin County, and completed at dusk alongside beer gardens and dance parties. It is a true professional race, with a ton of fun attached to it. I have lived in Marin County since 2007, and have always wanted to win the SRT. My team has had tremendous success at Project Sport races, and since we love the race promoters, we also love to win their races.
Exergy TWENTY12 had 4 riders entering the women’s field, and with each rider was a specific purpose to assist in a team win. With these cards to play, we were able to control the race, setting a fast tempo, and covering moves. I had a slower start to the season, due to a concussion at the Pan Am Games, and as a result, I have been coming into form later in the year.
The energy at San Rafael was intoxicating. I found myself in a solo move for a good duration in the middle of the race, yet I knew it was very early hope. As the seconds opened up, I thought a solo move could possibly stick. I felt invincible, yet, it ended up not being the right time for that move. Once I got caught, it was easy to recover in the pack, and as the pace picked up with under 10 laps to go, it was time to give it one last effort. You always hope that the elastic will break when it is your turn to perform your pivotal attack.
Within 4 laps to go, I was solely trying to gain time on the field. Coming into the final downhill corner, I knew I had the win; I was just soaking in my hometown crowd and their support. It was a feeling of true heroism, and gratitude. It was quite an emotional finish for me around my team and their support, as well as my hometown. Cycling can truly be a humbling sport with its turbulent successes and failures. It was incredible to be able to share a success with my team as well as with those who have supported me throughout my entire career. My teammate, Kaitie, finished 3rd, even after hitting the pavement earlier in the race; she is one tough girl. Bike racing is all about just going with your instinct and never looking back. Sometimes you get the win, and sometimes you just get a good story. This time, we got the win.