Ronde Von Manda
Sunday April 28
After getting their beauty sleep a few more women showed up for Sunday’s race — 18 in the Women’s Open field. It was sunny and super windy, a relatively flat course with lots of turns, 38 miles in total– short circuit race.
I showed up with the game plan of going out as aggressively as possible but AT&T/Brain & Spine decided to come out with some fresh legs and hungry for some revenge from Fayetteville (their words, not mine). Hmm! Pain train in store.
With numbers in the pack they were able to keep attacking at will until a break formed with four of them and, I think, 3-4 of us motley crew. They continued to attack all through the 1st and 2nd laps, with Sheri throwing some in for good measure. All I could do is match the accelerations and chase as necessary, nothing more. Nobody was able to get away from our little breakaway, though we dropped two of them at one point. No one was really working together and the brutal head/crosswinds allowed those two to catch back on in the last lap though. I spent most of the day working on my slipstream/echelon skills…seriously. You could really hang yourself out to dry in the wind if you weren’t careful.
We pulled into 1km and I kept waiting for the AT&T sprint train to come so I could get on 3rd wheel…but it never did. In the meantime another rider started sprinting off the front so I had to go. In the meantime Kim Ciolli, the strongest from AT&T, got on my wheel. We cleared the other rider and Kim tried to come around me for the line but I hung on for the win by a millimeter.