The team rolled into Lago Vista Day 2 with confidence in our tactics from the day before, and most importantly in each other. I was personally determined to nail the sprint finish after starting my sprint too early the day before after a perfectly executed three hour race in the break. Saturday's race saw the break go very early for how hard the course was, with myself, a teammate Rachel Langdon, and two other riders working hard to open the gap to the pelaton for 55 miles. We were ready for a break to go again early, and within the first few miles on the steepest hill of the course, attacks were launched and a solid group of six got up the road with all teams represented, but only one Wolfpack rider, Melanie Wong. Knowing I needed to get across to the break, I sat in the pelaton and recovered while our other two teammates drove the pace down the hill so I could springboard across the gap at the next hill without bringing any other riders across.
Once in the break, Melanie and I were in communication confirming tactics, checking on each other, and marking riders we saw as threats to another Wolfpack podium. I started to feel the fatigue in my legs from working the break the day before, so we decided I would do as much work as needed in the break to save Melanie's legs for the ineviateable attack that would come on the last lap as we ascended the steep climb with less than five miles to the finish. Sure enough, Melanie followed the attack and the break split into two groups - the lead group with Melanie and two riders, and a chase group with three other riders and myself. I tried one attack to see if I could shake the other riders, but they followed my move. Knowing that Melanie was well suited for the final sprint in the lead group and not wanting to pull any other riders to my teammate, I sat in for the final four miles and prepared to redeem myself in the sprint. The chase group was passed by the men's field coming into the finish, but I wasn't going to let that screw up my finish and won the chase group sprint! It was a solid second day of racing with Wolfpack landing second, fourth, and then Kaitlyn winning the group sprint from the pelaton.
I was so impressed with how cohesively the team rode together - new and old faces - in the first race weekend of the year. To top it off, management was prepared with stress-free logistics, bottle hand-ups on point, and everything else it took behind the scenes set the riders up for a successful weekend of racing! I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish this season in all of our upcoming races.