Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thater: Did I Race Enough?

Thater leaves me with the rare question of wondering if I raced hard enough and wishing I had that last lap back. Riding alone in a race with a few teams (well, mainly Cheerwine), my plan, designed by a veteran Thater expert, was to ride in the top 5 the whole time, follow moves and work in any breaks but make no attacks, be in any break with Laura van Guilder, and not attack early coming into the sprint. I was pretty good with field positioning, followed a few things (and missed many others, but they came back), watched as Cheerwine snatched up the $100 primes uncontested (and generally dominated the race), and caught Cheerwine off-guard to win one prime. The break just didn't seem like it was going to happen this year, and I decided I was going to sprint. But the last lap, ay. First, I tried to pass Erica Allar on the outside into the downhill corners - bad move because she at least will give the impression that she has no qualms about running you into a curb and/or telephone pole. She does get in a lot of crashes, but she also gets some great results. Some sprinters definitely capitalize on reputations as crash-prone even dangerous to make people back off. Next, when Kathleen Billington jumped on the hill on 1-to-go, I needed to surge harder and be further up than I was, which was maybe 7th wheel. Just as Cheerwine caught Kathleen, Erica Allar went, early, before that final left corner. Maybe it was LVG who jumped on her wheel, anyway it wasn't me, and I ended up with a stupid gap to close into the final corner (messing up Heather too). I finished where I started basically: 7th. Teresa Cliff-Ryan won, then Kelly Benjamin, then Erica. Before the race Jamie Carney had said something interesting to Erica "This race is way too long for how hard it is." I think this might have inspired some conservatism on my part, and I can't single-handedly try to make a race hard, cook myself in an effort to drop the sprinters, but a harder race or a break certainly would have been nice. Rebecca Much rode really well which was exciting. During Thater I stayed with my friend Shelley Reynolds, who started and runs the Mission in Motion team, which donates prize winnings to a mobile health screening unit. She shared her experiences in the enormous endeavor of running a team, fodder for my secret scheme to start one a few years down the road, crazy person that I am.

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