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phoebe sam

P-Dubs: 3/4 race, 20 miles, 5 laps on a “gently rolling” circuit. Field of 11 (official results say 10, but there was a DNF that wasn’t noted). This was probably one of the first races I’ve been in, in which a team executed a strategy, and did it well.

Sam-Oh: I was nervous going in to this race, as it was my first road race and knowing the field was small and very experienced. I had no idea what to expect but i was excited nonetheless!

P-Dubs: There were 4 Bicycle Therapy (henceforth BT) girls, and I knew they were going to be trouble- Michelle Lee (cat 3), Angelia Fick (frequent competitor), Erica Yozell (races elite cross), and one new girl who was repping Lamprey Systems, but was friends with BT.

Sam-Oh: We started rolling with a neutral couple blocks up to the course and started out together. I sat in front with a local girl who was in her first race. We were soon passed by Candace Kennedy-Hess of Sturdy Girl Cycling and few other ladies. The pace was slow for the first lap and a half and then, the fun began.

P-Dubs: First lap was slow. Like 13 mph slow. Beginning of the third lap, Michelle Lee (sprinter) busted out a sprint. Erica and Sam followed. I didn’t catch the break and had to chase. Sam and Erica worked together, and once they caught Michelle, Erica flew off the front.

Sam-Oh: Surprised by Michelle’s break off the front, I got out of the saddle and finally put my legs to work to catch up. What a relief, halfway to the leader, I hear Erica say she’d work with me to catch up. We take turns pulling until we reach Michelle. Erica tells her teammate to “hop on” and they pick up the pace. Once they catch their breath, Erica sprints away and Michelle slows down to create a huge gap, while I struggle to catch my breath (asthma, be damned!).

P-Dubs: I eventually rejoined Sam and Michelle and at that point, wasn’t sure what to do since the remaining BT girls basically sat up, and tried to slow the pack. I decided to try and catch Erica on my own, since I could still see off the front. Angie from BT followed, and obviously refused to help, since her teammate was ahead.

Sam-Oh: I try and sit in to catch my breath. I see Phoebe roll up and hear her yell, “They’re slowing us down to get further ahead!” She went to catch Erica with Angelia from BT  right behind her. I sit behind Michelle and her Lamprey Systems friend and watch Phoebe get denied help from Angelia. I had enough time sitting in and took off the try and give Phoebe some relief. “Stay off the front! Hop on!”

P-Dubs: By beginning of 4th lap, Angie and I got caught by the pack. By middle of 5th lap, I moved to the front because I got paranoid about positioning. I know…should have stayed off the front!! As we approached the last corner, Michelle pulled alongside me and I knew she was gearing to sprint. I tried to stay with her, but she turned the corner and hit the gas.

Sam-Oh: I knew it was time to get going. I tried my best to stay close to the front. I feel gassed out but I keep pedalling as hard as I can. I have phoebe, michelle, angelia and their friend sitting in front of me, a local girl by my side and two sturdy girls behind me. We take the final turn and everyone takes off!

P-Dubs: I tried following her wheel, but Angie was right on it. Lamprey Systems/BT ally passed me too. Was painful in the moment, but of course in retrospect I’m mad I couldn’t hold on. Finished 5th. Sam finished 7th. Afterwards, heard BT girls saying that they either wanted Erica to win it in a breakaway or Michelle to win in the sprint.

Sam-Oh: I began my sprint and blew up so I kept going as best I could, yelling “UP UP UP PHOEBE!” as i watched her try and take down the BT crew. I got a mildly disappointing 7th place (even our winner, Erica, was surprised I didnt finish better!) but am so pumped to have finished my first ever RR!

P-Dubs: Fun times with Sam-Oh and super strong iced coffee.

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