High Desert Omnium 06/11/2016
The High Desert Omnium consisted of 3 races in 2 days. A 9 mile time trial kicked things off with a 40 minute criterium later that evening. Portland Bicycle Studio had great representation with myself, Jen, Nicole, Steph (crit only) and Christine racing in the 3’s.
The time trial was mostly flat with a few rollers on the backside but was actually pretty technical and during the race I was wishing I had pre-rode or driven the course! This was my first TT with my new Focus bike, wheels and helmet so I didn’t exactly feel super comfortable out there but it was a great first test! I started strong with my focus on not going out too hard and holding a good position on the bike through the tailwind parts of the course. I lost my focus and rhythm in the rollers section of the course and it was tough to keep my head down with all the turns and not knowing when the next one was coming! With about 1500 meters to go there was one last downhill left hand turn into a crosswind. I went into the turn way too hot and just as I rounded the corner the wind took my disk wheel and unweighted it, which caused about a 50ft rear wheel power slide through the corner. I somehow managed to stay upright but scrubbed off almost all my speed. After thanking the cycling gods I tried to regain my focus into the last kilometer, which wasn’t easy now that my heart was about to pound out of my chest! Even with my close encounter with the asphalt I pulled out the win by 0.4 of a second! So close and I was extremely happy to be on the winning side of it! Jen took 3rd while Nicole pulled off 5th.
The crit later that evening was at the Bend Airport which was actually a really fun and fast course on some of the taxiways there! It was fun to race at a venue where I have spent so much of my life. It combined two of the things that I love — flying and bike racing!
The team plan going into the race was to have Steph and Nicole cover some of the early moves while Jen and I would try and save our legs for later in the race with Jen possibly leading me out if it came down to a field sprint. Just a couple of laps in Annick from Athletes Lounge attacked and Steph followed her and they got a pretty good gap for about a lap. A cash prime was then called and the pack began to reel them back as we turned onto the finishing straight. I could see Annick start to separate herself from Steph as she went for the prime so I reacted to sprinting up to her while using Steph as a bit of a “bridge” to get across the gap. I rode up to and through Annick and pulled hard for about a lap to make the gap stick. Annick and I began trading pulls with no hesitations and were super smooth breakaway mates. We very quickly gained 30 seconds on the field which had good representations of Athletes Lounge and, of course, PBS so this break was destined to gain lots of time. We continued to work really well together and all of a sudden I began to see the pack ahead of us! We eventually lapped the field with about 5 or 6 laps to go. On the final lap Jen went to the front with me in tow as she used her huge motor to lead me out for the sprint. Annick sat on my wheel as Jen continued to up the speed and I could sense that it was hurting Annick as Jen was laying the power down! As we turned onto the finishing straight I opened up my sprint and quickly gapped Annick and took the win! After Jen’s monster lead out she still managed to get second in the field sprint and third on the day! Super impressive and it capped off a great day of racing for the PBS ladies!
I had to head back to Portland that night to prepare for my flight out to Minnesota for the North Star Grand Prix so I choose not to race the final road race of the omnium. With that said, I still ended up 2nd overall in the omnium, even without entering the road race! This past weekend gave me a huge confidence boost heading into a big 5 days of racing at the North Star Grand Prix that begins this Wednesday and I can’t wait to see what I can do against some of the biggest names in women’s cycling!
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Mikayla is a tall cyclist living in Portland, OR. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Mikayla is tall and uses her long legs as leverage.
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