U.S. Road Race Nationals

29 Jun

Here it goes!

We pre-rode the course the day before.  The course was pretty grueling.  It was either up or down, and not much time to recover.  Add in some heat and wind, and 120km was going to be a tough task!

Our start time was 8:15am. Nice and early.  I tried to remind myself it was worth the 5am wake up call as I ate my amazing homemade blueberry pancakes (thanks Beth!).  It was cooler in the morning, but definitely warmed up as the day went on.

The race started off with an attack from PB & Co’s Alison Starnes within the first 2km of the race.  Two riders went with her (Jennifer Wheelers from TIBCO and Kasey Clark MapMyRidePrimal).  Everyone  was content to let it go.  After all, we did have five laps and 120kms.  The gap opened up quickly.  The next thing we knew, it was over three minutes.  I was starting to get nervous, as were others.  Teammate Ally went to the front and helped bring the gap down with a Colavita rider.  Once we entered two laps to go, our game was on.  Evie, Amber and I started attacking.  Eventually the peloton caught Alison Starnes who had dropped her break-away companions.  Mad props to her for spending 100km off the front in the heat.  In the meantime, Evie got caught up in a crash.  Ally dropped back and brought her back to the peloton.  Once she was back, it was game on again.  All of us gave everything we had in trying to get away from the peloton.  Since we didn’t have a true sprinter on our squad, we definitely didn’t want a field sprint.  With 15km to go, I attacked and took six riders wit me.  Two of the riders eventually dropped off the pace.  The remaining five of us rolled turns and held off the charging field.  We never got more than 40 seconds on the field.  The four women with me were Robin Farina, Andrea Dvorak, Kathleen Billington, and Meredith Miller.  There was a climb with 1km to go.  The top of the climb was 500 meters to the finish.  Andrea attacked here.  I followed.  Once I caught her, I attacked and opened up my sprint.  Andrea came around me with about 100meters to go.  Shortly before the line, Robin came around Andrea.  I was 3rd.

I’m a bit disappointed in my race for sure.  I had been patient the entire race, until the last 500 meters.  Oh well, live and learn.  Next time in that situation during a race, I will know what to do 🙂  I’m still happy with my finish.  I never thought I would be on the podium at the National Championships, let alone twice in one year.  It was a successful nationals for us as a team.

Now I’m hanging out in Rome, Italy.  Tomorrow is the start of the Giro.  Going to be a hard 10 days of racing.  Look for updates to come as internet allows.

Ciao!

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One Response to “U.S. Road Race Nationals”

  1. kim west June 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    In short, that’s great. Good luck in the giro.

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