La Primavera Lago Vista: Saturday

After spending a long, cold, dark winter working on rekindling my love for the bike, arriving in Austin was a refreshing wave of excitement which I had been without for so long. Lago Vista was a welcomed weekend of no pressure racing and a wonderful introduction to finally being part of the Pack. Somewhat naïve to how hot and hilly Texas can be in early March, I still relished in kitting up and toeing the line with my WolfPack teammates. No matter what fitness I am in, when I line up, I am all in. Confident in my teammates abilities we attacked from the gun and set the tone for the race. An early break established with myself, teammate Haley Smith, a mystery United rider and one from Roxo racing. We pushed hard to gain an established gap, the cohesiveness and determination of the group quickly made me remember why I love the sport as we whizzed around the rollercoaster course at 24+MPH. Haley was made for terrain like this, and I was sold on setting her up as best as I could. 40 miles in, 20 to go the heat took its toll, and Roxo fell off; down to three.

I never discount the competition and the mystery United rider looked unwaveringly strong. Even with numbers up I knew we would have to hit her hard to shake her. On the climb, Haley launched the first attack. United immediately responded and I desperately clung to the wheel as she clawed the gap back. Regaining composure and once the grade had eased, I left a gap, gave myself a run, and attacked with speed. Looking back, this girl was closing quickly; impressive. We must have attacked another four times in total, all with authority and speed, but to no avail. To that moment we had done everything right, but we couldn’t shake her. Admittedly the last 200m is where mistakes were made. A down hill into a kicker the pace started to slow, it ended up being a side by side drag up the sharp pitch to the finish and we were beat by the stronger rider on the day. No matter what the stature of the race. I want us all to give it everything and represent the team in the best possible way. Looking back at the effort we put in for 3 hours in the break, it was comparable to some of the European races I did last year! Come to find out that the mystery United rider is Meaghan Easler, who competed in Zwift World Championships the week prior – she will certainly be one to watch as she races more road this season.

I replayed that finish in my head the rest of the evening, haunting myself with the coulda, woulda, shouldas that is bike racing. Not to discount the strength of the United rider, but so many things I could have, would have, should have done differently, especially in those closing moments. To have a WolfPack jersey top step at a hometown race would have meant a lot to everyone. I believe it is always necessary to take responsibility for our mistakes, but also take comfort in the first race of the season we raced as one cohesive unit, communicated and executed a plan as if we had been racing together for years.

Photo by Don Hutchinson

Thank you to management and sponsors for making this season happen. One thing for sure, it is going to be a fun season!


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