Just a short update on today’s results before we head to the awards ceremony. Kayla got 3rd. The race had 30+ entries including last years 13-14 RR winner, 15-16 RR winner and 15-16 Crit winner. Several State Champions in attendance. Lots of strong competition.
Race broke apart on lap 2 (10 laps on the circuit) with a seven girl break, with Kayla in it, going up the road. Kayla said it took multiple attacks by several different girls before anything would stick. Two girls were isolated in no-mans land about 1 minute back and then the pack sat anywhere from 3-5 minutes back.
The two girls in no-man’s land made it back on within the last half lap as the break was getting real lazy and slowed down. So the finish was 9 girls.
Although 3rd place at her first Nationals race is a very good result, what hurts so bad about it is, she was probably the most capable of decimating the break by attacking on the hills. I kept watch of her temperament as she went by each lap – Kayla looked like she was at a slumber party. When Kayla races Women’s Open back in Texas she sometimes will look like she’s been in the ring with Mike Tyson for a few rounds. She never even looked winded – not once. Making faces at me on the uphills, I knew the race was too easy. Unfortunately she had two bad pieces of intel that she rode by which probably cost her the race.
One, I told her NOT to show too much strength. Several of the other girls have articles written about them, have their faces plastered on the internet in CyclingNews etc… Kayla is a total unknown in the field. No one would know who she was or be watching her (very important). I didn’t want to give them a reason in the race to start watching her.
Two, we surveyed the finish and decided she needed to go into the final turn in number two or three position. Well, it turns out that race is won by the entry into the last turn. We watched the 13-14 boys field sprint and the 1-2-3 position going into the turn is exactly how they finished. We got this info too late to get it to Kayla who was already on course. She did exactly as told, lined up in third position and that’s exactly where she finished. She was swiftly closing down 1st and 2nd position but there was not enough road left to the finish. Clearly the strongest sprinter in the field – as usual.
As they say, the race is not always won by the fastest but the smartest. Today we did not have the correct tactics.
If we had it to do over again – instead of making faces on the climbs, I would have had her ripping legs off. And own that last turn, own that turn….
Third place is excellent though, we’ll take it! Off to the awards ceremony. Tomorrow is crit day and we’re taking no prisoners.