– Aiyana Currie
I went into this race with mixed feelings. I had the flu two weeks prior and still in final recovery mode the morning of. My spin in Saturday mid-day didn’t feel perfect, but I think the heat had a lot to do with it. Morning of I really wanted to go for the win, knowing my chief competition was Sara from Aussie, but I had some doubts. Then I saw the ANZA team who were fresh off the ferry – everyone joking and laughing and cheering me on. Wow, what a lifter-upper.
Then Lizzie was so excited for her first race and pow did she nail it!! So strong, and aggressive near the front, staying right near Sara and one of the ISSI Batam girls for the first few laps. We gave them a bit of a one-two punch!
The hills on the first lap were a breeze and I wondered whether anyone would throw in some attacks (or whether I should). I hung in. Lap two the Integrated Riders pushed the front just before the hills. My goal during the race was to stay near the front, inching closer and closer to the very front as we went, this strategy worked nicely, especially w the hills for me to prove me place. Sara and two of the Batam girls, Lizzie and I were there. During two laps in the middle the girls were 6 out of 8 of the front of the pack. Sweet. Go chicks.
As the laps went on I felt stronger, especially on the hills. I forced myself to step off the gas a bit, else I would be ahead of everyone. Hmm, maybe not a good strategy. Not sure. I tried some mental tactics of going right next to Sara and pushing just ahead of her, then keeping high cadence and pedaling past at the very end. Each lap final hill, repeat.
Lap 5 Spring champ Craig came around and pulled me to his wheel, we were contemplating a break, but with an entire lap to go, we went back in the group.
Lap 6 I did my final hill tactic again, making a bigger break with Alex Kolb and he says “Aiyana, let’s go” and picked up the speed. The pack strung out into a single file and for a while we had a small break away group. We tried to pull up another few riders, with me staying protected (thank you), but no one came.
2k to go and finally a few popped around. A guy I work w (Rich in the crazy orange jersey) who was flying up all the hills came to the front and I jumped on his wheel, sharp turn left and break. About 4-5 guys, me and sara were there. I stayed in the bunch, but not the front. I wanted to attack from behind. First hill bam, hmm, I had a slight gap, need to close, second hill, bam, gap closed, then the fast downhill and around. I had crazy momentum. There was a scooter on the right, just beside Sara. The guys were all in front of me from left to right. I slowed a bit and hesitated. Do I brake harder and wait to jump or use my momentum now w one sharp hill to go, get between this damn scooter and the group and charge ahead, holding them all off? Ok, option 2. Attackkkk!!! I was in the lead…shit, legs, ouch, cannot hold, this, shit, any…ouch, longer. Guy 1 passes. No probs. guy 2 and 3. I look under armpits, no Sara. Ok, pick up my head, c’mon let’s win this thing, then on my left here she comes. She gets ahead. Damn. I start to close the gap, finish too damn near, argh, closing gap slowly, ouch legs, line there, bam, 2nd. Race over. Lost by a second or maybe less.