Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hilltowns: Finally Done with Dumb?

"Race the race," I am constantly told. And what this means is "read the race, Anna, do what it takes to get the best result, assess, adapt, don't just bull-headedly attack yourself into a pulp..." And for once I did this: saved all my energy for the climb, followed wheels up that climb, made the selection, did not work too hard in the split, did not attack early when I thought I could win the sprint, won the sprint. Now to keep it up and bring some savvy to the NRC! A few thoughts about the race, because I know some people read this blog who are among those who are the superstrong up-and-comers of New England racing: Rebecca Wellons made the early attack. It was a great move, but she needed company in this wind. Imagine if one rider from each of the represented teams - NEBC, Radical Media, Independent Fabrications, Anthem, and Wachovia-IBC - had gone up the road. The lone riders like Kristen Lasasso, Hiroko, and I would have been in serious trouble. We would have had to decide whether or not to spend energy chasing, while all the riders from those teams could have sat pretty and then killed it/us on the climb. Even one minute is a big head start on that climb and the front group could have looked very different. When Kristen brought Rebecca back, bang, that's when the group should have attacked. We had a lot of confusion due to the downed powerline, wrong turns, and restart that led to our not knowing how much further to go. But in the run into the finish, those who were stronger on the hills/not so confident in the sprint might have been advised to a) drive it in the rotation up the final hills, see if a few people could be popped from the group or b) launch an attack on the hills and try to split the group. The former strategy would be less likely to split the group, but would tire out the weaker riders while still maintaining the cooperative endeavor of everyone pulling through. The latter strategy, if it worked, might drop more people, but the cost of it failing could be high, if half the group then stopped working. That's my two cents. In other news, Laura Bowles of Advil got 4th in the Downer's Grove warm-up, which is super cool. Next up for me, after a good long hilly ride today, will be Mengoni and Thater. And then Green Mountain. We are really lucky to live and race here in New England.

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