“At moments during the race, we had to reevaluate and discuss tactics. Our plan and strategy was always clear, our communication was solid out there on the course. I covered several attacks and rode in the resulting breakaways during the day, and the last one I covered (which went on the ultimate climb) stayed away. I knew I could out-sprint the two girls that I was ahead of the field with. I was also confident that my teammates would be lining up their lead-out train for Brie or Leah behind me. If my breakaway was to get caught before the finish line, Optum would still win. If I out-sprinted my breakaway companions, we would win too. It turned out to be a combination of both.
“We wanted to work on being aggressive, and timing our moves in a way to maximize our individual and cumulative strengths. With the quality of riders we have, if we can work together and time our efforts, the probability of success is high. It’s difficult to say “go sweep the podium” with no direction at all or, inversely, to overthink and obsess about every inch of the road we’re going to cover. You have to leave it up to the riders to adapt a general plan to the goal, which is, naturally, winning. I think the riders did pretty well with that in the road race and criterium!”
I’m really proud of the team and our efforts this entire weekend with the direction of Patrick and support of our mechanic Ben. It was all hands on deck each stage, and we raced the criterium with the intention of winning the stage and the overall with time bonuses. We knew we had to sweep all of the time bonuses via lead-outs (which we did), and also put more time into Neben at the finish. The goal of winning the overall was in sight and we played our cards the best we could based on the situation. It’s very tough to build time gaps in a criterium, and we did absolutely everything we could. This weekend was great preparation for the Redlands Cycling Classic and hopefully a preview of the success to come this season. here.