Race report by Christina Tamilio
I pedaled along the Charles, along my usual commute to work, enjoying the feel of my carbon fiber road bike as opposed to my burly Langster commuter bike. It felt like such a hearty Boston day. Riding through the beautiful city on an adventure to race through the empty downtown streets. A “hometown” race always has a good feeling to it. Having already vested myself into the world of cyclocross for the season, I had to dig deep to reflect on road racing. I mentally revisited some of highlights of my first road racing season and reminded myself of what I had learned of crit. strategy.
Wheelworks kindly offerred trainers to racers to warm up on, so I climbed aboard and settled into my usual routine. I skipped my usual techno rock-out session since the event included live music. What makes this crit. unique is that it is the grand finale to a celebration of cycling in the city. Hub on Wheels is a charity ride that attracts cyclists of all kinds. All kinds. The ride ends at City Hall Plaza, where the pro crits begin. I was quickly reminded that my “usual” routine is totally wacky to the rest of the population. I noticed people staring, pointing, looking me up and down. Some even stood within 2 feet of me and just stared, as if I were an object. It was quite amusing!
So, with just a few crits under my belt, I lined up with the best at the Boston Mayor’s Cup Crit. The course included four sweeping corners, a slight uphill and a slight downhill. It was windy, which made smart racing imperative. I quickly learned that it was going to be all about where to sit in the pack. The field was super aggressive (I suppose “rubbing is racing” as they say) and the attacks were constant! With two spots on the course for prime’s, there was not any time for just sitting in. A crash in the back of the field caused the officials to neutralize us for several laps in the middle of the race and I appreciated the relief at that point. I also appreciated that it was not me in the crash! Once at race pace again, we continued our pattern of attack, chase, recover until the finish.
I missed the payout by 5 spots, landing 25th, but went home proud to have raced with the best!