Race Report by Christina Tamilio
I arrived at the Attleboro crit course at 6:15 AM for the women’s 3/4 early 8 AM start. Ouch! Still, it was a blistering and humid 80-something degrees, which made the trainer warm up rather oppressive. With a couple of crits under my belt, I recognized some familiar faces and made note of those who I anticipated would ride strong (hmmm…should I name them here…). The loop seemed short and included a small hill with 4 or so corners. Most of the corners were wide and safe, with the exception of one 90-degree corner about half way around. I immediately noticed how much more confident I felt moving around in the field and cornering compared to my first two crits. I was able to focus more on getting into a favorable position and watching for attacks than previous races. Around and around we went for 25 laps. Around lap 18, the primes began. Unlike my previous races, I decided to go for the primes (or at least pretend to) in order to get more practice positioning for the finish. For each one, I was able to sit in the top 3-5. I never made a wholehearted attempt at winning, though, as I was worried about burning too many matches before the finish. I figured I had the strategy down and was ready for the finish! 2 laps to go and once again, Team Sunapee attacked early (they did this before the primes as well). I managed to stay near the front and was in the right place to stay with them when they attacked again at the beginning of the last lap. As we came around the 3rd to last corner (the sharper 90 degree corner) the woman in front of me bobbled a little when her inside pedal hit the pavement. I was forced to slow a little as the few women in front surged ahead toward the last two corners. Bummer. I sprinted from there and took 7th. Lessons learned today: 1) Might as well go for the primes and go home with something rather than nothing because anything can happen at the finish. Plus, I probably have more matches than I think; and 2) Crits are part fitness, part skill and part luck. Too bad you can’t train for the latter.