Davis 4th of July Criterium - Stella Sisneros

The Annual Davis Fourth of July Criterium is one of the hardest flat crit' races in Northern California. Davis is known for its six turn, pot hole infested course that could make it or break it for some racers. I wasn't too worried about the tight turns and bumpy roads thanks to my light Addict 20 that has trusty disc breaks for the sketchy corners and fatty 28 mm wide tires that helped keep my race smooth. I planned on racing two races both in the morning, starting with the Juniors 17/18 race which I never fail to be the only racer in. Followed by the Women's 4/5s. Because i'm the only Junior girl in my category, I started with all the Junior boys. I was nervous to ride all the boys and knew I had some hard work ahead of me if I wanted to stay in the pack. Once everyone rolled out the Official was ready to start us. The big group of Juniors took off immediately after the whistle was blown. I started in the very back and stalled a bit when clipping in. That made it very difficult to even make my way up to the front group in the first lap because the boys took off so fast. I for sure wasn't ready for that beginning pace so I tried my best to work with other riders in the back to catch up. I was with one other kid for about 4 or 5 laps until the front group lapped us. I was mad that I couldn't catch up to the main group because I knew if I had been close to them at the start I could have stayed with them the whole race, or at least had a better chance of sticking close and avoiding getting lapped by the field. Once I got lapped I stayed mostly with the second group of guys that were chasing the main peloton up front. Much like the women's races i've been in we were alternating pulls and trying to bridge the gap. As time went by and the final lap was upon us I sprinted in out of the last corner to finish a very hectic but fun race. It was fun racing with the guys because it's always a slightly different dynamic within the group. I can't wait to race with the junior boys again because now I know what to expect! After my Juniors race I had the Masters 35+ 4/5s to rest for until I had to get back out there for the Women's 4/5s! I was feeling great about this race and really honed in my race strategies for what I believe could help me win before I got out there. The field was a decent size which makes for a good race. I was very anxious as well as nervous on the start line. The Official blew his whistle and the race was on. The first half of the race was pretty dead and we were all jockeying for a good position out of every corner. There was some sprint outs for Prims during the race which made the field get antsy and break apart but we would all re-group pretty quick after. Two girls would sprint off the front of the group to form a break and I would always be in a good position to jump on their wheel, when I did they would lessen the pace and the field would regroup. This happened two or three times already. As I saw the two girls break from the group a third time I tried my hardest to sprint up and bridge or join but they had me gassed this time. I was stuck in the group that didn't work together well at all. At times I would get frustrated and do a hard interval to bridge but either I had no help to do so or the teamsters of the girl in the break would get in front and block anybody who was trying to go. At that point there was about two laps to go and everyone was scattered all over the place. I took off the last lap to get away but the field stayed behind me and waited to sprint right towards the finish. It was a big sprint in the end resulting me to finish about mid pack. I was bummed I couldn't match the break and have a little exciting switch up in my races this year but there is always something to learn from each race. If it was easy then everyone could be in the break. I'm still happy it was a clean race and everyone stayed save. Davis puts on an amazing race every year! Until the next Fourth of July Davis!