The Carlsbad Grand Prix is a new race on the SoCal calendar, and I hope it’s here to stay. The promoters, Swami’s Cycling, did a great job on the course; gathering vendors and a live band; and prize money, especially for the women. The course itself isn’t very technical with it’s eyeball shape, but the cross wind through the start-finish area added an element of planning for position going into the last corner.
The fifteen women that lined up on a picture-perfect day were looking forward to a good race…but dreading what “that pro” might do to us. That Pro is Amber Gaffney (Optum); she climbed the ranks quickly in SoCal, leaving ripped-off legs in her wake. My teammate, Pam Schuster, and I only had a plan to be in every move because we knew that Gaffney, Revolution/Zoca’s Jo Celso, and Catalyst Racing’s Erin Gunn would want to create a break to increase their odds of a win. I know Celso and Gunn’s MO firsthand from training races on the velodrome, and they know approximately how many matches I have. Sure enough, the attacks from Revoultion/Zoca and Gaffney started coming. Pam and I followed or jumped with each one. Surprisingly, I was able to go with more than a few, and a few back to back. No one got away, but the field was split from the repeated surges, especially Gaffney’s, because when she jumps, she is on the throttle longer than the local women. I definitely went into the pain cave a couple of times! In the final two laps, I saw Revolution/Zoca line up with 2 leading Celso out, but I remained patient. Pam checked in with me, I told her what I needed, which was an odd feeling to be telling a veteran with championship stripes like Pam what we’d do. Leading into the last lap, the speed picked up a little and everyone was watching Amber Gaffney. When she finally jumped, Angelica Frayre of Calimax p/b Pista Palace was right there and Pam slotted in with me right behind her. Rounding the last corner, things shuffled again and then a hole opened up for me to shoot through – Gaffney on my left and Celso on my right. I went straight for the right side of the road so no one could take advantage of my draft in the cross wind and for the shortest line. I took it all the way to the line–you never know!–all the while putting on the gears. I was able to hold off the field for the win! The remainder of the podium:
2 – Jo Celso (Revolution/Zoca)
3 – Erin Gunn (Catalyst Racing)
4 – Pam Schuster (SC Velo/InCycle)
5 – Hannah Swan (Strive Racing)
This was our last race of the season, so it made delivering a win all the more sweet. I personally haven’t enjoyed a win in over a year, but I was OK with that going into this race because I’ve done a lot of work this season on learning other roles on a team: I was able to deliver bottles and shelter my teammates from the wind in a road race; I helped teammates get into breaks and watched them win; I was a pseudo-mom on a road trip; and I’ve experienced high level racing with women who share my passion.
My only goal this season was to no longer be a one-trick pony and I wasn’t quite sure if I’d attained that goal until Gaffney said during the race, “Wow, Trina, you’ve become quite the worker!” right before someone put in another massive attack. A lap later, I thanked her while my ego did a happy dance from receiving such a compliment from “that pro.”
A big thank you goes out to our sponsors!
Southern California Velo
JL Velo Clothing
Gu Energy Nutrition