If someone asked, “What do you think is more significant in a race, legs or brains?” What would your answer be? Although legs are very important in a race, you definitely need those brains. Last season my Mom and Step-Dad would remind me several times that you can have the legs, but you will have troubles getting ANYWHERE without the brains, and they did not hesitate to drill it in my head during winter training also.
In a race, you need to think a lot. What is the peloton doing? Which way is the wind blowing? Is there a head wind? Tail wind? Side wind? How do I feel? What can I push today? And the list goes on. During different races there are different things to think about, but what I just named are the basics. So, as you all may know, today was my first W3 race of the season. My race, took a lot of thought and currently, I feel brain dead. But I guess it was well worth it.
The first lap, I pulled for a bit, when I felt like I should recover, I went to the back. Since this was my first race of the season and also my first W3 race on top of that, I did not expect much from myself. I was just feeling it all out, and going with the flow. The Copper town Circuit has one 180 degree turn, and a long, wide turn that sweeps around Copper town square. In between each turn are some small rollers.
Practice makes perfect, and today I realized that I REALLY need to practice cornering skills. The whole race I felt strong, my only weakness was when I cornered. When we went through Copper Town Square on the end of the first lap, I was dropped. When we were back on the rollers I saw the group way out ahead, at first I thought, “Well, that’s that.” Then I was like, “No, that’s not that!” I picked my pace up and caught the lead group within that second lap. Thankfully, no one attacked during the period I was off the back.
The rest of the race I just tried to stay on a wheel. I had good positioning, I made sure I was hidden from the wind, but a few gusts still blew me around. My largest problem was those darn Jr. gears! I would get spun out on the descent, that was no big deal, but it became a big deal when women with their full gears ATTACKED on the descents! I was barely hanging on, plus the side wind was blowing me around!
I still felt great. What helped me recover from my hard effort to catch the group was that I knew which way the wind blew and where the draft would be. That knowledge helped me when women attacked on the descents. It also helped me get 5th place in the final sprint.
So, let’s say the wind is blowing from your left, If you are on the right side of the peloton, you would get the better draft. It is so cool, it is much easier and gives you a better advantage to place well in the final sprint and that is just what I did.
Well, that’s the scoop on today’s race! I’m racing Dinuba tomorrow! My legs feel great, let’s just hope my brain recovers!