We drove to the races on Saturday morning and made great time. It was 88 and humid at race time, and our field was small—only four women, Steph, Jamie, Trish, a cat 1 from CA and me. We had two 20 mile laps. The course was mostly rollers, chip & seal, with two bigger hills coming at mile 10.5 and 15 in the lap. We rolled out through the neutral zone and got to the "start" of the race. Jamie asked if we wanted to start a paceline. That went fine for a mile or so, but Trish started ramping up the pace. The pulls at the front were so short that there was really no recovery time. Several times she (Trish) just jumped in front of Steph to take her pull. About mile four Steph fell off our group. I held with Jamie and Trish until about 8.8 miles. My heart rate was in the low 180s and wasn't coming down. I hated making the decision, but I knew I couldn't stay at that pace for 40 miles and wanted to make sure I still had energy for the tt and crit. The rest of the race was uneventful for me. I enjoyed the ride, worked on form on the hills and make sure I finished in under 2.5 hours. It ended up that Jamie was able to drop Trish at mile 30 and take the win. I took 3rd.
|Lap 1, Climb 1 Photo credit: Matt Golson|
|Another shot of the climb. You've got to carry your own hydration when you don't have support in the feed zone. *Photo credit: Matt Golson.|
Steph & I got some lunch and showered and went back for the time trial. My start time was 5:22PM and it was about 95 degrees. I went immediately behind the cat 5 men. There were only three of us for the tt in our category, but payout was for the top three women overall regardless of category. The tt course was 7.5 miles, rolling terrain, with a bigger hill at mile 2.5. The start was a slight uphill. I started in my large chain ring and 23 in the back. I immediately adjusted my gearing into the small ring so I could climb the first small hill. I love my time trial bike, but she’s definitely a flat land set up. I went back to my big ring for the screaming downhill. About four minutes in I passed my minute man. I don’t think he was in “race mode” because he started cheering for me. I dropped back into the small ring for the climb at mile 2.5. With the gearing on the tt bike, it was an out of the saddle climb. I settled back in and stayed in the small ring until I turned on the highway for the last three miles. (The tt finished on the same stretch as the road race). I could see two riders in front of me on that stretch and set out to catch them. I dropped back in my small ring for the climb at mile six and passed both boys on the way to the top. I finished in 21:40ish, first for the 1/2/3 women, second overall--Master's women finished in 20 something. I can honestly say I gave the time trial everything I had left.
On Sunday, the weather really took its toll on me. I don't know if it was the afternoon start time or higher humidity, but it was miserable. The course was beautiful--five sweeping corners, slight downhills, with one small uphill to the finish, smooth concrete. The four of from the road race were the four in the crit. We got lined up and took off. The first two laps were calm and uneventful with Jamie, Trish and I taking pulls at the front. As we started the third lap we got the prime bell. It was for a Specialized saddle, what I ride, and I wanted it. I positioned myself well through the last corner, moving past Jamie and kept pace as Trish ramped up the pace. She got up to sprint and so did I. We were going up the small hill and she started coming over on me squeezing me out. In the moment I decided it wasn't worth it and I hesitated. I lost momentum and she and Jamie got off. With turning into the wind on the backside of the course, I couldn't get back to them. I sat up and let Steph get on my wheel. We took turns pulling through the rest of the course. At two to go, Jamie and Trish lapped us. I jumped with them and let them pull me around the last two laps. I stayed with them until the closing sprint, and let them have at it since it wouldn't affect me. Trish pulled away from Jamie without a problem. I have to say I've been kicking myself for the decision to sit up in the prime sprint. I don't know if she would have kept coming over or not. I do know I was strong enough to have stayed with them had I not let up. I looked at my data post race and my numbers were not near my limits. I'm trying to chalk it up to a learning experience.
Results overall put me 2nd in the Omnium. The high note of the weekend for me was I found out my tt time was 15th overall for all racers