It was a beautiful day for a race on the campus of UC Santa Cruz; the sun was out and it was the perfect temperature. The earliest races, men’s Cs and Ds, had some good finishes. Willie was top ten in men’s C and Aaron was 2nd in Ds. Unfortunately, Matthew had crashed in men’s Cs and had to turn in early.
In my race, women’s B/Cs, things had turned out better for me than I expected! This race is one that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to; it was set to be 10 laps around a 2 or 3 mile course with a decent amount of climbing. That didn’t sound so fun and a lot of the other women’s riders expressed the same feeling at the start. We began the race and for the first couple laps the group remained together for the most part at a good pace. I worked together with Angela and would make sure to stay on other racers’ wheels. Over the course of the race, I made moves to pass other women, usually on the steepest climb in the lap. With about three laps to go, Angela had gotten a flat and wasn’t able to finish. I ended up getting 4th and felt good about how I raced.
It was a much colder morning for the crit. Men’s Cs had a early start as usual. It was a good course and exciting to watch as Willie and Matthew made their way to the front in the last few laps. Willie came in 2nd and Matthew in 7th. For the women’s B/C race, I started out feeling comfortable. I stayed in the back for conserving energy and being comfortable for cornering. It was Angela’s first criterium and she was nervous but doing well. With 3 laps to go, a Mills College racer attacked and I immediately jumped on her wheel and chased. This was an exciting change in the race. For the last two laps I was at the front of the few girls that chased burning a lot of energy. When it came to the final sprint I knew it would be tough to remain in front. I ended up in 3rd. There was a crash just before the sprint and Angela went down in it, first crash in her first race weekend!
By Liz Boystak