Roger Millikin: Women 1-3
by Shelby Reynolds
Despite the frigid temperatures and early start, the women’s 1-3 field was packed with Southern California’s best 35 women for the 27th annual Roger Millikan Memorial Crit. Helen’s came prepared for battle with a full squad consisting of Suzanne Sonye, Michelle Ignash, Priscilla Calderon, Hayley Edwards, Emily Georgeson, Sarah Mattes, Dara Rogers, and yours truly.
For Helen’s, we covered moves early and followed a few short-lived breakaways, but the fun really started when a handful of primes got thrown our way. Priscilla won the first two cash primes, followed by Hayley winning a 3rd and a bouquet of beautiful roses. All the girls were on defense at the front of the peloton, following any threatening moves. With five laps to go I said to Sarah, “lets move up,” and after that I asked her to help me stay at the front of the pack.
With three laps to go, Michelle rallied the troops to the front. She started our leadout train with a little over a lap to go. I found Suzanne’s wheel and fought like my life depended on it to stay there. Going into the second-to-last turn, a cluster of riders bunched around me and caused me to lose the wheel. Only panicking a little, I shot right through a few openings to find Suzanne’s wheel again as we hit the final turn. I got a brief, three-second draft and then it was time to battle for the line with Exergy’s Jennifer Valente on my left and SC Velo’s Holly Breck on my right. I was leading all the way down the straightaway until the powerful Jennifer nipped me at the line for a gruesome and exciting sprint finish!