Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. In bike racing, that is most of the time.
Meet Team Peanut Butter and Co/2012’s Coryn Rivera, holder of some 32 (+/-) national records and widely regarded as a real glimpse into the future of international cycling. She does it all – road, track, ‘cross – and has a particularly fast sprint. As some cycling fans might know Coryn raced in the Women’s Tour of Qatar earlier in the year and had a pretty bad crash. She was forced to stay in Qatar a few extra days with a concussion along with quite a few bangs and bruises. It was a high-speed get-off and as cycling fans also know, it can be a little shaky getting back on the bike after going down hard.
Fast forward to last week’s Sea Otter Classic where PB/2012 had controlled the show during the first three stages. Kristin Armstrong sat comfortably in the lead and with just one stage to go all she really had to do was finish and the GC was theirs. Kristin, being the competitor she is, was not content to give the last day to anybody and wanted to end the event with a stage win. The plan was to keep the pace up and try to split things apart, drive hard at the end and set it up for Coryn. She had already shown great speed by taking 3rd in Stage 1’s sprint finish and was looking to improve on that. Everything played out as planned and as lead group of a dozen or so girls drove though the last few k’s, too many people tried to get into too small of a gap and things went south. Kristin was at the front setting the pace, but Coryn got caught up in the mess behind and hit the deck.
It’s hard crashing and there is always some degree of damage that comes with it–sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, sometimes both. For Coryn it was a little of both and to see her limping back to the tent after this second crash in just a couple of months was to see the face of dejection. Crashing can be a real confidence killer to it’s victim, at least right after it’s happened. In Coryn’s case having it happen so close on the heels of the Qatar debacle was definitely a bummer. It was east to tell it was weighing heavy. Anyway, after some cleaning up and consoling, all the girls, including Coryn, got dressed and changed into street gear to get ready for the podium, complete with SRAM caps.
Then the shit really hit. Literally. One step outside of the tent and Coryn was bombarded, seagull style. Whoosh. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. All the frowns turned to grins and chuckles and somehow crashing-out ceased to matter as much. It was all about the moment and realization that things change, sometimes fast.
Shit happens and not every pitch is right down the middle. That’s bike racing. That’s life.
Next up: The Tour of Gila. Go, Coryn!