Riding on a team is harder, not easier.
It's a hard thing to see your teammate ride off in the breakaway you wanted for yourself. You're so happy to have someone "up the road," but you've now drawn the difficult task of preventing successful chase efforts and will likely be stuck with the finishing field sprint. And, if sprinting isn't your strongest suit, well, you're probably looking at a lower placed finish than you woke up aiming for, but you give everything you've got to do the best you can b/c your buddy is counting on you and you on them.
For example, when I got in that break, I knew Katie wanted it as bad as I did, but I also knew that no matter how bummed she was, she would switch her efforts to pack control regardless of the sacrifices. Consequently, even tho a couple of times I thought I was going to fall off the break, I dug a little deeper and stayed with it. There was no way, short of an actual collapse, that I wanted my teammates to have their efforts and sacrifices be in vain.
Another great example ... look at the results and notice Samantha Schneider's high placings. If you just listened to the guy on the mic, you'd think she'd done it on her own, but if you watched the race with some care, you'd know she mostly stayed in the pack conserving her energy until the last. On the final lap she would find her teammate's wheel (Catherine Walberg) and Catherine would start cranking it out, keeping Sam at the front yet still protected. Then at the very last, Catherine would peel off and Sam would just kick it for a beautiful finishing sprint. It was such perfect team effort, yet the glory is given to the one who crosses the line first. When you're on a team, you need to be prepared for this and take your joy in how the team does and the satisfaction you get from doing your job well.
For XPLANE, we're new to each other, so this week was an opportunity to get to know each other, develop trust, learn jobs (esp. me) and practice things like leadouts, keeping track of each other, getting our sprinter where she wanted to be on sprint laps, etc. So, riding with a team brings many benefits, but also brings a whole new level of pressure and opportunities for personal growth. ;)
I'm OK with field sprints
I took the field sprint advice I was given before Superweek and focused on putting it into practice nearly every race. Consequently, I'm feeling much better about 'em and can now focus on adding more speed. The most important part is learning how to stay on the front, and then not get distracted by the swarm of bikes and bodies at the last. This is tricky and the day after day racing at superweek is what I needed to get over my hangups.
Ready to go again
I just can't wait for some more opportunities to put what I learned into practice. Looks like that'll be in August with the Tour of KC and the Gateway Cup.