I am sitting in SFO now, waiting to board to head to London then France. Wow. I can’t believe it is already here.
It was great to begin this trip on a monumental note. On Sunday, I was able to race with with my awesome team at the Santa Cruz Classic Criterium. We had a great squad there. Emma, Rush, Brooke, Ali and Kat and I were on the line against a pretty stellar peleton. As usual, we wanted to make the race—hard, fast, and aggressive. What more could you ask for? From lap 2 to lap 30 we had a TIBCO rider off the front. We were attacking and riding off the front to continue to make it a bike race.
The course was a great .9 mile loop in downtown Santa Cruz. It was 75 degrees, warm, gorgeous at the beach. I was considering laying out the beach instead of racing…but was talked into into racing my bike. Emma started the attacks, Rush countered, Kat countered and rode solo for 10 laps! When the group caught Kat, Brooke told me to counter. I had been working on my “attacking” all week, courtesy of Mr. Charlie Livermore. I had worked with Brooke on Sunday on using some hamstrings while attacking. Who would of thought to use your hamstrings during a sprint? My form sprints were a little rough, but was feeling better on the accelerations. As I jumped with everything I had, Brooke was yelling, “hamstrings! Up UP UP!”. It was awesome. I looked back, there was a gap and I thought I might as well give it what I had. 7 laps to go. I kept trucking, going as hard as I could. People were screaming, dig, dig dig. I had nowhere else to dig. 5 to go. I blanked out for the next couple laps. Going as hard as I could. Looking for a rhythm, there was none. I was fearless. I knew that if they caught me, I would get dropped, but we had strong riders that could win the race instead. I have full confidence in their ability to win, and I just wanted to play my role. I had as much as a 24s gap down to a 4s…WIth 2 laps to go, I considered that I could actually win. I tried to ride harder, but was failing in finding anything else to give. One to go. I top the hill head to the line, and I hear someone yelling behind me. Brooke, yelling, go go go Ali! I sprinted, and was able to win my first professional bike race! And a crit no less! Brooke won the field sprint, and Kat came in 3rd. TIBCO fills the podium 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Wow. What an incredible experience!
With my first pro win under my belt, I am so happy to be a part of such a strong team that is so supportive. I love these girls. I am glad to be bring that pain from the race to give me confidence in Europe. Life is sweet.
Our sponsors even rode down down from Woodside to come watch! Here is a video they made!