Execution of a Lead Out: Killington Stage Race Day 1
One of our newest and, as we've learned, most watty teammates, Jen Wilson, recalls her first race with B2C2 at Killing Stage Race in Vermont. The four B2C2 women in the Women's 3/4 race planned and executed a leadout at the finish of Stage 1 that even GLV had to admit was pretty cool.
I went into KSR excited, but a little nervous. The new field was going to be a little intimidating because it was so large compared to collegiate and most of the riders were all new variables to me. Lydia, Anne, Emma and I had talked about the pack, the riders, the other teams, and it was really great to have their insights to visualize the race. The circuit race had a flat downhill finish - meaning this was going to be a bunch sprint (scary! especially for a non-sprinter), but we had two riders (Anne and Lydia) ready and excited to be at the front. A leadout made sense, but often you have to practice those. But why not try?
When it came down to the final 2K, the pack was still a bit fragmented after the course's only descent, but it was slowly regrouping and refilling to the space of the road (yellow line rule in effect). I was moving about on the right side of the pack and managed to find Lydia and Anne. "You wanna do this?" We started floating up the right side - me at the front - and I looked back and was shocked and elated to see both Anne and Lydia safely tucked into the pack, sitting 2nd and 3rd to my wheel. Whoah.
So we sat at the front, blocking the other teams, but also holding back any riders from disrupting our perfect position. It was unclear if this was going to last or if the other teams were going to catch on or create a counter move, but nothing happened. The pack was picking up pace, and at 500m to go, I pulled off, Lydia attacked fast, and Anne took her wheel. From the back, all that I could see was the pack swarming around me, but we managed to take 2nd and 5th!!! Two great finishes for some of our first efforts together, and also not at all bad for the first event.
Emma and I both finished with the pack for respectable overall times in the GC and were both happy to be upright near the end. Though for me, KSR was the first race where we made a plan and executed the plan. 99% of the time in cycling the plan never works, or you get really close and someone else's plan trumps your plan. It was just really awesome to get to work for a team.
After the time trial stage, my newly found teammates humored my birthday wish of having a biker gang. Little did I know that they were so badass - but they jumped at the chance to apply the ferocious dinosaur tattoos and bandanas. You'd never know they were all straight-laced roadies only hours before.