The OVCX opener went a little better than the previous weekend's beatdowns. I got a good start, but quickly faded towards the back of the 30-deep elite women's field. That's not totally surprising in a field that boasted the entire Bob's Red Mill elite women's team and the United States' two most recent Under-23 women's national champions. Quite impressive for a non-UCI regional series race.
Anyway, I faded, but I stayed closer to the next people up, didn't get lapped by Ashley James and Katie Antonneau, and didn't finish last. Early reports were that I finished, "Like, fifth from last!", but upon further inspection, one was a DNS, so it was only fourth from last. More importantly, I got the confirmation that last weekend was unable to give me: I'm okay. I don't magically suck; I just haven't moved up to where I want to be yet.
Out of the 30 riders number 26-28 were as such: the 2011 OVCX Cat 4 35+ Women's champion, the 2011 OVCX Cat 4 Open Women's champion, and the 2011 OVCX Junior Women 15-18 champion. Last year's points show Karin Reed, Emily Falk, and I as the most consistently good riders in our respective age groups among the Cat 4 women's wave. Notice I said "most consistently good" as opposed to dominant, because none of us were. There were a few dominant riders early in the season, but they quickly upgraded, and left a pool of us swapping around battling for the overall top 5 or so in the wave. There were plenty of other good riders who were either a race or two short to make the series podium or had bad races, but in the end, it was just the category winners who moved up.
Now we are the little fish in the big pond, but we're still battling it out like always. Karin successfully attacked during my third lap slump, tipping the balance back to "Nemesis" from "Victim" on my crossresults.com page, while I stayed ahead of Emily the whole time bringing my record up to 3:7 against her (damn that Gun Club sprint).
So I'm okay. I'm not off the back in no man's land. I still have my place, although I'll admit I'm crossing my fingers for some auto upgrades to come out what is shaping up to be a super tough Cat 4 women's group so far this year to fill in things a bit for us newbie 3's (and give some of my old Cat 4 buddies a chance at some podium glory). Hopefully, as the season progresses, so I will I, and I will become an established 3 instead of a newbie. For now, though, it's enough to know that I'm not alone.