When I rolled up to the start line of this years crit, one of the girls on
another team said, ‘you are the defending champ of this race’!
It was correct that I was the defending champ of this crit but I have
another job this year, keep my GC rider out of trouble and hopefully in the
sprint for the win and time.
Cascade’s 50 minute crit has always been a difficult one because of the long
backstretch and the tight last 2 corners, as well as being towards the end
of a stage race. We were also informed at the start line that Armstrong had
pulled out for the Olympics. I figured that was going to be the case, why
risk it and time was counting down for her big day.
Once we started it was a constant speed of hard but that is the safest
speed. The team put in a couple of attacks to see how the other teams were
going to react but no one was letting anything go. So we knew it was going
to be a field sprint and I was on Meredith’s wheel with 5 to go for comfort,
if anyone knows where to be when it counts it’s her. Within the next 2 laps
we were all together and moving up the right side on the last lap.
It was getting really tight on the backstretch, no one wanted to be in the
wind and we made sure Megan had all the room she needed, which meant me in
the wind. Coming into the last 2 corners our train tried to slot in where
we could which separated is all and out of the corner it was all out.
I ended up sprinting from a ways back and ended up catching a few gals for
7th, I could also see that Megan didn’t get a chance for the bonus time in
5th place. Awbry Butte will be a fun beast to sleigh!