Thanks to Peloton Pix for the photoTuesday was the 5th stage of the America's Dairyland Series with a 65 mile road race in Fond du Lac. The heat was going to be overwhelming with temps in the mid 90s - thankfully our race started at 9AM so that we would be finished relatively early in the day. Road races are worth double points in the series and with me tied for second and two points away from the two riders tied for first in the overall we knew we'd have to race smartly. But with conditions what they were we were all a bit nervous with how things would play out.
Just 4 Kenda riders today - Ashley, Jackie, Krystal, and myself. It was a long race and we weren't too interested in racing aggressively too early. There is a great group of women racing these events but it's too bad just a few more teams/riders haven't come out to support the series. The promoters have done a fabulous job with the race organization and their commitment to giving women such a large prize purse is admirable and appreciated. There is over $17,000 up for grabs throughout the series and there is not much difference between the payout for men vs. women. A big thank you to everyone involved in putting these races on.
Anyway . . . back to the race report! The first lap was pretty chill - everyone just riding and checking out the 10.5 mile loop. By the second lap fewer riders seemed willing to ride at the front and a few attacks were thrown down. Jackie helped bring back the first one and then a counter move went. I saw both Devon and Jessi in it, as well as Jessica from ABD and Toni from Lipsmackers and knew I needed to be there too. I bridged up and pulled through. Turning back I saw Theresa from Verducci and a Mack rider were also there. With all the major teams represented and the top 5 overall riders I knew this break would stick if we worked together.
Thanks to Peloton Pix for the photoAnd that was that - we worked together the next 4 laps. The heat was so oppressive and I felt horrible for some portions and then decent for others. Thankfully Ashley's boyfriend Clayton was in the feed zone to give us bottles - I went through 6 during the race. Thanks so much Clayton!!
The last two laps I felt like my head was in the clouds and seriously thought I was going to pop off the group at times. As we came into the closing miles I tried to consider my options for the finish. The line was about 600 meters from the last corner - a slight uphill for the first 300 followed by a gradual decent to the finish. I thought about an attack but I was feeling pretty terrible and decided to just watch the wheels of my breakmates.
We made the corner and the sprint started about halfway up the gradual climb - I was in the mix with both Verducci riders and Devon but as we got out of the saddle I knew I didn't have much left. It was a long sprint and as Devon and Jessi pulled away I was with Theresa but couldn't stay with her and then Jessica from ABD came around as well. I finished 5th which now leaves me in 4th place in the overall - 10 points behind leader Devon who won the race. Congrats to her!
Immediately after the race I found a hose and sprayed down to try to cool off - I also downed two bottles of water and then just sat in the shade hoping I'd feel better. Back in the pack Jackie and Krystal got a bit boxed in for the sprint and finished 13th and 14th, respectively. Ashley was a bit further back at 22nd. Great job by them to help ensure the break stuck! Luckily everyone was feeling okay post race and after some fluids and cooling off we were all doing well. On the drive back to Madison Krystal and I stopped at Chipotle and then I felt even better ;)
Today is another scorcher and we're back in Fond du Lac for a criterium this afternoon at 3pm - pretty much the hottest part of the day. Hopefully 60 minutes feels better than 60+ miles! We'll be staying in Cedarburg with Jackie's grandparents the next two nights and I won't have internet so likely no updates until Friday after our last road race of the series!
Thanks for reading :)