We decided to do this race last minute mainly because we didn’t know it existed until a few days ago. I knew Sam and Emily would be there and Lauren decided to also go. Lauren and I drove together and got there a little late so didn’t get much of a warm up and also didn’t get to ride the course because they had already started the first race. Next time… There were about 10 riders from another team all in hot pink, and 3 of us. (Emily decided not to race) We were supposed to start with the over 35 men but the race director decided there were too many of us and it wouldn’t be safe. So we started first with a neutral lap which was nice because we got to see the course. I decided to basically sit in but try to close down any breaks. Lauren and Sam did the same and they both had great positioning. The other team tried to get a gap a few different times but they seemed to only drop their own riders and not us, so they slowed back down.
We were all together on the final lap. Lauren unfortunately had a flat and had to stop. Half way through the last lap I knew I had to make a move because there was a long gradual uphill and then a turn into the finish that was a downhill sprint finish. If I wasn’t in the front going up the hill I figured I wouldn’t make it up. I went wide and some of the riders shouted that I was going on the left and I heard the girl in the front say “I’ve got nothing left.” I got in the lead going up the hill and then turned and held it for the finish. Both Lauren and Sam did awesome and I’m glad they both had fun in their first race. I was happy that I did my first crit in the drops and actually sprinted standing up. I know it seems crazy but I couldn’t reach the brakes last year if I was in the drops, so I sprinted sitting down with my hands on the hoods. Yes I know I looked ridiculous. :).
The South Jersey Spring Series is every Sunday of March. Please come race and support this race! It is a great training series for beginner cyclists. More info here. Photo credits above to Action Wheels Cycling.