This year, there were 6 women competing, so we started with two initial heats of 3 riders each. I cannot begin to tell you how awful my first race was! I was feeling pretty comfortable in practice and warm up, but racing is such a different pace! Those corners seem so much worse at race speed, and I was all over the brakes. Frankly, pretty embarrassing, especially for the defending champion!
The finale was great, the kind of close racing that is so exciting - to watch and to take part in. It stayed together for the first half, and then Linda and I pulled away, with Linda leading. With a few laps to go, I was working pretty hard to get into the lead, and Linda was doing a great job of holding onto her position. With one to go, I was giving it my all, and took a corner faster than my tires could hang on for. I slid out, and Linda rode clear for the win. It took me a minute to get going again, and limped in for 4th. While I really wanted to win, at least I know I was pushing my limits. I got some pretty good bruises up my left side to show for it, too.
|Toronto Grand Prix Tourist caught me mid-slide|