They don’t call it power hour for nothing, Kappa Alpha Theta rider Evelyn Malcomb said, and it only seemed natural to have some of the worst conditions for the night.
Despite the pouring down rain, the “power” heat of the night on the women’s side wasn’t affected by the weather. Malcomb was in turn two, along with Phoenix’s Tabitha Sherwood in turn one, Delta Gamma’s Kristen Bignal and Ski’s Megan Huibregtse in turns three and four.
Last year, Malcomb finished fourth, but started with one of the top times. She was eventually topped by teammate Liz Lieberman. This year, Malcomb placed third in her heat behind Sherwood and Bignal. She would finish seventh overall in the Individual Time Trials.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Malcomb said. “But it’s definitely motivation to be riding with the fastest girls out there right now and to have earned my spot.”
If anything, Malcomb said the 30-minute lightning delay helped her refocus and get her nerves under control.
“I needed to make sure I had my head on straight before we took the track,” Malcomb said. “I needed that extra second to gather myself and warm-up and take my time. We weren’t really sure what it was going to be like in terms of track conditions. It was pouring down rain, it could’ve started hailing at any point and it can get pretty slick pretty fast.”
ITTs are the only event in which the teams focus strictly on individual performance, the rest of the Spring Cycling Series is based on the group’s finish as a whole.
“I was just racing against the clock,” Malcomb said. “I wasn’t really sure where anyone else was on the track, I was just focusing on my racing strategy. I was playing smart and didn’t go out there to go crazy. ITTs are just a huge battle of you against yourself. That’s what makes it such a cool event.”
The next event for Series is Miss N Outs. Theta has goals to place in the top of every race, but ultimately there’s only one that matters. Right now, they are well on their way and taking a lot of steps in the right direction, Malcomb said.
Sherwood won the heat, coming in about four seconds ahead of Malcomb. Racing against her is never easy, Malcomb said.
“For the conditions that we had, we definitely all had great times. Tabitha is an incredible rider,” Malcomb said. “It’s an honor having her on my back to race against. It’s really motivating because she’s probably the fastest in the field right now.”
A previous headline attached to this story misstated who won the heat. Tabitha Sherwood of Phoenix placed first in the heat. Evelyn Malcomb of Kappa Alpha Theta placed third. The IDS regrets this error.
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