This year the course was different from 2 years ago, but it was still known to be a flat course and it generally would come down to a bunch sprint. So I wasn't too enthusiastic, since I prefer the hills, but I thought it would be a great race to test my bunch sprinting again.
(Photo Credit: Bohermeen CC. I look too happy with 2nd place!)
The race was four laps of a 16.5km course and there were around 30 ladies signed up to race. The less experienced riders got a minute head start over the larger, more experienced group. There were attacks from the start in our group and even I tested my legs once or twice (yesterdays racing with the A3 men wasn't hard enough to tire me out to be content with just sitting in!), but nothing got away. This stoppy-starty way of racing meant we hadn't made up any time on the front group after 1 lap. In the 2nd lap (I think, it always becomes a blur afterwards) our bunch worked a bit better together and we caught the front group, but it turned out that two people had gotten away from them! After the 2nd lap, we were still down by a minute or so on the leaders. Then, Sara Ortiz had the great idea of trying to bridge across to the 2 leaders and attacked. She opened a gap quickly and I decided it was best to go with her. I attacked as well and chased Sara until I caught her about 8min or so later - she's definitely strong! Looking back I could see we had gotten a decent gap. Then the two of us worked together until we caught the two lead girls. It turned out they were both strong triathletes who had not done any road racing before! We worked together until about a km to go, where Sara and I dropped the other two, and then with 200m to go Sara attacked and I was too late to react, so she won and I came 2nd.
I really enjoyed the race, plenty of action, even though I messed up in the final few hundred meters, but I'm already looking forward to the next one, hopefully with more hills!
Official reports on StickyBottle and Women's cycling.