A week of crashes and podiums
By Courtney O'Neill | Jul 19, 2015
Race name: Intelligenstia Cup
Race date: Sunday, Jul 19, 2015
It happened early on in the Willow Springs Road Race, lap 2? I was sitting pretty 4th wheel back when right before my eyes I witnessed the two girls in front of me knock handlebars and go down. They took out about 1/3 of the field including myself and Sue. Cat (because she is and AWESOME teammate) stopped to make sure we were okay. After about a minute of gathering ourselves together I asked if Sue and Cat we okay and yelled "Let's go!" The three of us spent the next two laps team time trialing back to the field. And we made it! I sat back in with about 7 laps to go, feeling pretty good save for my banged up elbow and fingers. Luckily no one attacked on the hill until the end of the race and I was able to contest the final sprint. As I stood up to sprint up the final hill my legs decided that they were done and I crossed the line 12th. BUT because it was a 2/3 field and some racers were from out of state, I ended up being the 2nd IL Cat 3 to finish and got a sweet medal and a podium pic.
Fast forward a week to the Chicago Crit. I had been racing in some sketchy 3/4's fields earlier in the week and was excited to race with 2/3's this time around. Most of the race was great. Smooth, predictable, fast. Until we came around turn three with 2 to go. Crash. Luckily it was behind me, and I sprinted out of the corner to find a nice spot on Maria Larkin's wheel as we heard the bell ring one to go. On the very next corner, a girl in front of me squeezed Maria in the corner and took herself out. As well as myself and a few others. I think Fernanda even endo-ed over me. I got some awesome road rash on my butt and hobbled to the finish line for 22nd (out of 23). Womp womp.
Mostly I was just worried about being able to race the Fixed Gear Crit later that afternoon. I had the guy at medical bandage me up and Alberto helped make sure that I didn't tighten up too much before the race. Snowy Mountain Photography took some rad photos of all the ladies before the race, and soon I was lining up for what I hope will be a yearly tradition: the Women's Fixed Gear Crit. Early on in the race Annie from BFF went off the front and sustained it for way longer than I had thought or hoped. Maria Larkin and I did most of the work to try to catch her (which was exhausting), and finally with about 5 to go we made the catch. At this point I decided that sitting in and waiting for the final sprint was probably the way to go. On the last lap Maria attacked into corner 3 and I was right on her wheel. I used her as my lead out and came around her for a LONG sprint to the finish line. I barely held off Annie for the win! It was really awesome to have so many cheering spectators for this race and I'm really appreciative of everyone's efforts to not only get a dedicated women's field but also to match the purse and prizes. I also can't express how fun it is to race a crit on your track bike. Definitely think about signing up for this race next year.