The cat3/4 race Lodi Cyclefest 2021 was a great experience! Besides a few TNTs it was my first crit and I will be honest and say I didn’t think that I’d like it…But, I had a ton of fun! I sat in in the back; there were about 10 of us, combined cat3, cat4 (me), and novice. My cornering has been an area needing some improvement, so I focused on watching the more experienced women up front. And eventually fell into a groove. Over the course of half an hour, women started dropping. About 3 to 4 laps to go, a cat3 soloed ahead of the group, managing to stay ahead the rest of the race. Third to last turn, I got pushed on the outside into the sidewalk and had to hit the brakes and then work to get back on the group for the sprint. One too many matches burnt, I caught the group but could only maintain my place behind two cat3s and one cat4. So, second place for cat4s. Overall, learned a lot and I’ve been bitten by the crit bug! Can’t wait for more!
Cat 1/2/3 45+
Mike and I lined up for the 45+ 123 criterium at Lodi Cyclefest. It was hot, so we did a minimal warmup. At the whistle I couldn’t find my pedal, fortunately Mike gave me a little push while I figured out how to make my feet work. Unfortunately, we both found ourselves at the back of a large field on a tight, technical course. Things were pretty lined out for the first 1/3 of the race and a break of 4 went off the front, with all the big teams represented. Their teammates slowed the field down and it was about this time I started to feel good, so I attacked from the back of the field and got a gap while trying to bridge to the break of 4. I went all out for a few minutes and got within about 5-10 seconds of the break. With a few riders on my wheel I swung off hoping they would pull through and help, but they were teammates of the guys in the break and they sat up. Boom the break had 30 seconds and we never saw them again. Given places 1-4 were up the road and not coming back I drifted back into the main pack. Soon after Mike made a bridge attempt but got chased down. I took a few more flyers but teammates of the guys in the break kept shutting everything down. Mike got himself into position for the sprint and took 2nd in the field sprint and I rolled in for 14th.
Cat 5 race started out slow and stayed slow with riders being frustrated nobody was pulling through. Two corners after 5 laps to go, somebody decided to do a flip over my back wheel. I stayed up, but with “free laps” gone, I had to catch back on. I caught back on with 3 to go when somebody attacked from the front. They maintained a gap for 2 laps before I closed it down. I bumped elbows for position on bell lap, got locked in to 4th. With two corners to go, they lit it up and I was only able to swing around for second