The first Criterium of the year for the team lined up in Maple Ridge, BC on April 30th as part of the annual Race the Ridge stage race. The women’s team went into the crit with a solid plan, but also with many cards against us for the coming race. We didn’t really have a sprinter in our midst. Our goal was to defend Michele's GC position and to race our very best to, hopefully, get someone in a break so it wasn’t dependent on a bunch sprint.
From the start we were very aggressive and riding super cohesively, launching attack after attack, and nearly constantly having a rider off the front. The team did a great job of shutting down any chase attempts in the pack, and then countering moves when a teammate was absorbed. This pattern went on for over half the race, which was all high paced and a really cool experience for me.
Finally, at the prompting of my teammates, I went for my second attack of the day, just before the two quick corners on the course. Somehow, the gap opened up pretty quickly, and because of the incredible work from Anna, Michele, and Anika in the pack, and then the cheering and instruction of the team and management on the sidelines, it held. I honestly never would have thought that this was going to be the result for the day.
When the lap board finally got put up with three to go was the first moment I thought to myself “Wow, we can actually take this thing!” And so I dug really, really deep, and we ended up doing just that! This was my first race win, but more importantly this was my first time experiencing the incredible teamwork that Trek Red Truck constantly throws down, and then being able to pull off a result for my team.
Thank you to all our amazing sponsors who made this day possible. My Trek Emonda with my new Easton race wheels rode like a beauty through the tight corners. It still feels a little surreal for me, but I am definitely left craving more of this madness!