March 11, 2006

Mason Lake Road Race #2
Happy Birthday to Me!!!

"There' us.... us- us SPRINTERS. I found a great 12 mile race course for the hill challenged and it's not pancake flat. There are a few rollers, but it's all big ring stuff. The last kilo is a blast, with a monster descent and hairy lef turn.

We began with 13. 5 wore the turquoise of the Group Health gang and another 5 wore Ti-Cycles kits. So there were 3 of us without teammates- me, an Excel rider, and one from Whitman. The three of us communicated a bit throughout the race, to work together when we had to.

I regretted my little warm up within the first few miles. There were constant attacks, as the 2 teams took turns sneding off riders. I had to do a bit of work to help keep everyone together and there were too many blockers to sit in behind anyone. I tried to only follow the other two odd riders. Eventually, around the beginning of lap 2, a couple of riders got away. Guess what teams they were on? For quite awhile they were a constant 200- 400 meters away. I thought we'd eventually get them back, but with so much security in the field, they were able to stay and create a bigger gap. Any effort the odd three tried to attack was shut down quickly.

From there, we settled into a mellow race- a very sprinter race. We'd roll around 18 mph- la, la, la. Check out the scenery, la, la, la- then BAM- an attack. Reel it in and la, la, la again. Think "points race with a field of sprinters." I jumped a few times just to keep it going, as did a couple of other anxious riders. In the last 5 miles there were many attacks and counters. I rode it smart, riding on the center line and looking over right shoulder. Whenever someone went, I was up to get their wheel. It was pretty fun, as I felt that I was in control, flubbing up some team plans in the process.

We flew down the hill at the kilo mark. I think I was about 3rd or 4th at this point. I continued to be a part of every attempt to breakaway. Around the last left corner, I was in the wrong spot- second behind a blocker on the right side. Luckily, the girl to my left jumped. I was able to get 4th behind her. Girl #3 couldn't stay on, so I came around her. I was perfectly sitting in 3rd just before the 200m. mark. The lead out Ti-Cycle woman did good work, getting me (us) up to speed. She pulled off to let her teammate (us) go and huffed "sh*t", then yelled "Go Tia!!!" as I flew by on Tia's wheel. I still had gas in the tank and with a little less then 200m. to go, I came around her. It may have been a little soon, but I held her off to win the field sprint by a bike length.

I'm happy overall, however, I wish those two hadn't gotten away. I can't complain about my best road race result- 3rd place. So what if it was flat with a few rollers. And when this sprinter girl says "rollers," you know its true. Shoot, my driveway is a climb!


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to you! Turning 30 sucks but your 30's are a blast...I promise. See you after May 4th, when I can be a good friend again. Miss you all.