A few of our new and improved Women’s Cat 4 squad showed up at the Joliet Autobahn for thirty-five minutes of racing on a cold, wet, and blustery morning. They were each sporting new orange wool Team TATI jerseys and matching wrist cuffs knitted by Kristina Young.

There were a couple of spills in the race, both on the same corner, but it didn’t slow down the pace one iota. The first crash took out Liz and Kristina early. The pair lost forty seconds and mounted a chase. Meanwhile, Lindsay, in her very first road race, followed instructions to a tee, and attacked into the wind on the back section. And as luck would have it, the only rider to counter was Leah, a Cat 3 and the strongest in the field. Pretty soon the two of them had a dozen seconds on the pack.

Liz bridged to the pack and sat in, but instead of the pace quickening, it slowed… enough for Kristina to rejoin. This solidified the break. It was going to be a race for third. But with two to go, Leah lost her front wheel on the first corner, and the two slid out across the very wet tarmac. Quickly regaining composure, out heroines realized that they still had a comfortable lead, dusted themselves off, and resumed racing. Leah went on to take the win, with a tired and happy Lindsay rolling in for second.

Despite chasing for twenty minutes, Kristina went to the front of the pack and began guttering the field. With one to go, Liz attacked, bringing along the two remaining strong riders. The trio came to a virtual standstill rounding the final corner into the very short final sprint. Liz took it.

Things didn’t really go as planned, but they really never do in racing. Most importantly, each rider adapted their race plan to the circumstances, which is more than you can ask from novices. We did accomplish the goal of initiating a break and winning a sprint, and if we can do both I think the competition has something to worry about. We’ve got a long campaign ahead of us, but this early success is pretty inspiring to the rest of the Tatito clan.