The weekend of racing in Enumclaw was filled with rain and freezing temperatures, a stark juxtaposition to the warm Californian roads I had grown so fond of. After the first two stages of racing, Sara had battled her way to 1st in the General Classification (GC) with a 1st in the TT, and after some great team work, a 2nd in the crit. With Sara, Leah, and Gillian all strong top five contenders in GC we were confident that with teamwork, we could protect Sara’s GC and move both Gillian and Leah up in the overall after the last stage - the road race.
The road race consisted of five laps of a big circuit. Each of the laps contained one long snaking climb followed by a wicked fast highway descent and then 10 kilometers of farm fields and cross winds. As I was not sitting so high in the GC, it was my job to work my hardest for the team and to make the race fast and hard. My role was also to help set the girls up for the win long before the race was actually over. My job in brief was to sit on the front and drive it hard on the flats, keeping the race fast and aggressive.
The women’s team always races a fast and aggressive race and this was no exception. I dug deep on the flat and windy sections driving the pace up and guttering the field. My efforts were so great on the flats that I then found myself getting dropped on the climbs, however, I was able to chase back on the long descents. Once back on I then went back to the front and went right back to driving the pace again. For three out of the five laps of the Enumclaw circuit I dug deep and contributed all I had to the team effort.
At the base of the climb on the third lap Sara, Leah and Gillian initialize a break. I’m happy that I was able to bring my teammates this far in the race and my efforts weren’t in vain. Both Sara and Leah had fresh legs and were able to get away in a break. This break stayed away for the remainder of the race and Trek Red Truck ended up taking 1st and 2nd in the stage and Leah was able to move up into 2nd overall in GC.
Even though I finished second to last at the end of the day, in my mind we won. The team won 1st GC and 2nd GC! What stands out the most to me is the huge team effort that landed our "Trek-Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes" kit on the top steps of the podium.
The fact is, when we pin our numbers on our jerseys the morning of a race, it isn't really the number that matters, what matters is that you get to ride as a team and with the red jersey on your back. A win for the team is a win for everyone!
Being a strong teammate for these girls is my goal for the season; every race you get feedback, tired legs, and little bit stronger. I am humbled to learn from them every day we spend together.