by Ivy Audrain
Saturday the 29th of March marked the 9th annual Team Group Health Independence Valley road race in Rochester, WA. Spring Classics weather was in full effect and Team Group Health did an incredible job promoting with a prize purse of $1000 between the category 1,2,3 women, our biggest local prize purse for the year!
The course is a 20 mile circuit with two several-minute long climbs and a very exposed windy section between that created little space for rest. I had no KR teammates, but after the first attach from team starbucks went on the flat section between climbs, we were all fairly motivated to bring back the break….until a full-stop neutralization in the middle of the backside climb really killed momentum. By the time we passed through the finish the first time, the gap was up to around a minute, and the larger climb of the course was just a few kilometers afterwards. I pressed on the climb and a selection of four of us formed, one of which was a starbucks racer, so naturally skipped out on our chasing efforts and was getting plenty of rest, making us all quite nervous. We continued on chasing and after another time pressing hard up one of the climbs, our selection was down to three, still with one starbucks rider. The local pro who was also in our group worked well with me to ensure we would at least get second and third after our chase was unsuccessful, so we agreed to attack and counterattack the group to isolate the rested starbucks rider. After my second attack, my surrogate teammate was able to stay away with around one kilometer to go, and soloed in for second while I out-sprinted our final selection member for third.
Overall, incredibly hard day in the saddle with a broad spectrum of weather, but much satisfaction. Thanks for reading!