I was super excited for this race! With such craziness at Bonelli, I wanted to see where I was at and how I could do in a real race.
We stood at the start and I was ready to race! The riders launched off the line as the whistle rang in our ears. As we flew through the black gravel I was holding the lead, but right before we hit the left corner a girl squeezed past. I followed right on her wheel until we reached the paved road. I knew that I wanted to get onto the technical uphill and downhill in front, so I sped past her and held a fast pace.
Heading into the single track I was still in the lead, but a few cat 1 women and a racer in my age group were right with me. We went into the rocky switchbacks and I had to run from a small stumble, but I hopped right back on and I reached the descent with a small gap.
I soon headed into the second lap and saw the cat 1 woman close behind and the 2nd cat 1 15-18 girl riding through the feed zone. I put my head down and headed into the hills. There were two of us now and we were ahead of the rest. It was race on! Throughout the lap we began going back and forth, but I finished up the lap in the lead. As we went into the road climb for the third time, I let her take the lead. After following her through the technical section, I took the lead as we entered back onto the pavement. I took a replenishing sip of Osmo and worked to get a gap. The gap was gaining on the next small decent.
I slowly felt myself tilting and my hands stretched out as I fell to the ground. Right away I launched into the air and grabbed my bike, but my competition spun past. I ran up the small climb and leaped onto my saddle. I raced forward and worked to try and catch her. Keeping my speed and rode towards the finish.
With a cat 1 15-18 win and awesome pro races, it had been a super fun day. Thanks to everyone out there cheering and supporting me. I appreciate it so much!