Monday, April 28, 2008

Iowa City weekend

Had a good weekend of racing down in Iowa City. Driving down there Saturday morning I knew it was going to be a rough day on the bike as I was blown all over the road in my car! I even put the bike inside but the 25-30mph sustained winds were too much. It was ridiculous but at least the sun was out and the temps were in the 50s. I had two teammates in the race - Mo and Jess both traveled for the race so it was great to represent for Team Kenda Tire.

We had a field of about 15 and the race would be 4 laps of a 12 mile circuit. After riding together as a group the first lap (thanks Jess for all of your hard work in the head wind!!) Sydney from Revolution jumped in the cross wind section and I went with her. It took me a bit to get to her but the two of us now faced three brutally windy laps together if we wanted to stay away from the field. A little earlier than I hoped but it's always more fun when you're racing hard. The cross and head winds were absolutely crazy - I guess it was a good thing the wind was so sustained rather than just gusty or we seriously might have gotten blown over. Minute by minute and lap by lap we made it through. I was pretty cooked and Sydney was taking longer pulls at the front ensuring our break would stick. She's such a powerful (and nice!) rider and I had no problem taking the first loser position to her. Mo put her head down and battled the elements to finish 12th. Jess was pretty blown (literally) after keeping the pace hard the first lap and decided to save her energy for Sunday.

Sunday was a crit in downtown Iowa City that had a technical .8 mile circuit that included a fast descent and a short steep climb every lap. My kind of course. From the gun it was pretty strung out with Sydney and I at the front pushing the pace. A group of seven emerged after a few laps and then Sydney attacked with only myself and one other girl able to go with her. The third girl refused to work with us and wanted only to hang onto our wheels for training. Slightly frustrating and Sydney jumped on the hill, I let a gap form hoping the third rider would help close the gap but no dice. In retrospect it was stupid on my part to let that gap form. It was unlikely that our third break partner would step it up and I was left to chase super powerful Sydney for the next 12 or so laps. We (rather, I) couldn't catch her but luckily we stayed in front of the chase group. Another second place finish. I was happy with the result but it would have been great to try and go for the win. You live, you learn ;)

Jess was patrolling back in the chase group and when the time came she won the field sprint for 4th! Way to go! Monique also raced well and hung in for 10th. Always fun to be racing with teammates.

All in all it was a great weekend. The promoter (Mark) of these races is super supportive of womens cycling and offered us up a great prize purse as well as a nice introduction before Sunday's race. In order to increase our field sizes we need promoters that offer a beginner womens race in addition to an open race. And throwing out some cash to try to get more women out is always looked kindly upon :) And we will try to be supportive of events like these in the future by coming back and encouraging our fellow racers to do these races as well.

One more week of teaching - a local road race on Saturday and then it's off to Arkansas!!

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