Here are the race reports and a few pictures...
Start of Allentown
And Andrew was done with his work early so I got to hang out and catch up with him!
I was the loudest fan for Andrew and Scott!...can you imagine...
Allentown – Allentown, PA, USA June 3, 2008 – Race Report #3
This race is the first of the Triple Crown Classic, a series of three races that culminates with the Liberty Classic in Philadelphia! The women’s race will be a fairly short crit on a circuit none of us have ever raced before. In previous years the race has been held in Lancaster but the location was moved this year and everyone will be on the course for the first time. Lots of strong teams are in from around the country and from other countries. It will be a large women’s field full of very strong riders.
I got a really great start position right behind the call up line and I was all set and ready to go. Well, I was as set as I was going to be, but I had not warmed up properly, which would come back to hurt me and the team. I tried to ignore my knowledge of poor warm up and just get my head in the race. Given my start at the front of the field I was able to place myself in the top 10 straight away! Things were going pretty well although my legs didn’t feel great, I was hoping they would come around, I just needed to give them time. I tried to mark the front and any attacks the best I could and was still waiting for the go ahead from my legs. Eventually I realized I was doing more than I was going to be able to handle and I dropped back a bit to try and recover. Unfortunately, when you are racing such a strong mass of women there isn’t always an opportunity to “recover” and I hit a tough point at the wrong time and slipped off the back. I was then in a small chase group, or actually kind of a few. In any case at some point Theresa dropped back with a few others and I worked a bit harder to try and reach her sooner rather than later and see what I might be able to do. Soon after I reached Theresa, Kele came back to us and we attempted to get things rolling a bit faster with the idea of catching the field, but they were pretty far ahead of us and it was a large bunch of very strong girls. Eventually the officials finished our chase group early and we had only Jess left in the lead pack, fighting a tough fight. Jess did well and held on just about to the end of the race and finished just behind the pack! It was a rough day for us as a team and there was much improvement to be made for Thursday.
Through this race I was reminded of the importance of a good warm up and also that I needed to monitor my effort output more closely and more realistically. I felt good about how I raced the first part of the race but I also realized I was not strong enough to pull it off and I needed to reevaluate what I was doing. I could still race well I just needed to pick and choose more about what I was going to put effort into. I promised myself that Thursday I would get a better warm up and ride smarter…so watch for the result!
Just a few days later and it was time for the Reading Classic...
Reading Classic – Reading, PA, USA June 5, 2008 – Race Report #4
Well, as I promised myself I did get a better warm up and prepare more properly for the race! I fought for a decent start position but wasn’t so anxious to be sitting in the top10, I was pleased with more like top 15-20 and playing my cards a bit more conservative. The course was a fun one but quite bumpy pretty much everywhere and tons of man whole covers and drain grates of varied sizes everywhere. All of the road obstacles and corners made it a challenging course and somewhat difficult to move up on if you let yourself slip back too far. Due to my more conservative start and the fact that I actually warmed up I was feeling better than Tuesday, but they day was not without its struggles. There were a few moments when I thought I was done and it was over, but luckily I pulled through mentally and made my body fight. At some point during the race, more than half way through Kele flatted and had to go to the pit for a wheel. Around about that same time I was having a gu and downing some liquids when the two girls in front of me split directions at the last minute and I found myself tangled with a rider who had pretty near stopped directly in front of me. Had I been a bit more attentive at the time or had two hands on the bars it may have been avoidable, but leave it to me to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I put my front wheel into the riders derailleur and broke a spoke, threw my wheel off, and did a little butt surfing. Literally, pretty much the only things that hit the pavement was a bit of my shoe and my bum, or at least that was the only clothing or bodily damage that was visible as a result. It is situations like these that favor those of us blessed with a larger than normal rear! In other words I was able to land on my bum and due to its fullness, if you will, I can’t feel any structural damage at all…just a little scrape that will heal very soon. In addition to the little scrape on my left check I had a decent sized whole in my shorts for the remainder of the race, which means a lot of people got to see my glowing rear…that must have been traumatizing. In any case I ended up in the pit at the same time as Kele and just before we reentered the race we heard that Theresa had crashed. Unfortunately Theresa was unlucky and had landed in a bad way on her left hand, which resulted in a spiral fracture of her metacarpal. Please keep her in your thoughts for a quick and strong recovery! So now Kele and I are the only two on our team left in the lead pack and there is a break of 5 very strong riders up the road, who will stay away the remainder of the race. I got myself in good position as we came down to the final laps, as I knew this would be important for a good finish. With one lap to go Cheerwine had some girls on the front and let one rider gain a bit of a gap. I jumped around the girls and filled the whole but the other rider and I had a small gap, a very small gap. I wasn’t sure it was the right decision but it was the decision I made and I was sticking with it. I did jump around the rider at one point and take a very short pull, until I realized I was just wasting energy, I was too far from the finish and the pack was too close for this move to make sense, so I tucked back in behind the other rider. We still had a gap coming around the last corner and I drafted a bit farther after the corner before I decided to jump and try to hang on to the line. The finish was slightly uphill and it was still quite a ways up the road when I jumped so I knew it was risky. Sure enough in the last 10yards or so I got passed by 3 riders who had come off the momentum of the pack behind me and I ended up taking 4th in the field spring, which placed me 9th overall. I don’t regret what I did and I can’t say I would do it any different if it happened again…well of course I would be a little faster and win anyways next time! It is just one of those race situations that happens and sometimes it plays out to your favor and sometimes it doesn’t. I would have liked the 6th place, but I’ll take the 9th and all the lessons that go along with it! Kele finished not far behind me in the pack and we called it a day.
Found this good shot of Jess from Reading
And this was the pack with one lap to go. There was a break of 5 in front of us. You can see Kele on the right and you can kinda see me tucked in on the far left
Time to recover and get ready for the BIG ONE! Liberty Classic in Philly!