Saturday, June 14, 2008
Double Stage Day
Yesterday was our double stage of the TT in the morning and a crit in downtown Minneapolis at night. Thursday's road race went off in beautiful weather and it all ended up coming down to the finishing circuits. The race was fast with attacks from numerous big teams but in the end it was all about making it through the gravel and sketchy descent before the circuit. Debbie, Jackie, Yukie, and I were able to finish with the main group and the rest of our riders a few minutes back. Unfortunately Andrea got caught up in a crash but she fought on and was able to finish within the time limit.
Friday morning brought a 6 mile time trial along the Mississippi River. Very flat until just under 1K to go and the road wound up and gained about 200 feet . . . and finished with a wicked headwind. It was windy out on the course and unfortunately it was mostly crosswind or headwind.
Thanks again to Ryan and Rachael for all of the cheering out on the course and taking the awesome pictures! What a great brother in law! Oh - and happy belated birthday!!
Kristin Armstrong won by 42 seconds over her nearest competition and proved once again why she has a world champions jersey in the TT. I was almost 2.5 minutes back. Jackie, Debbie, Lori and I all finished within 10 seconds of each other.
Unfortunately the officials decided to adhere strictly to the time cut and 25 women were cut as a result including our 4 other riders. Typically in the past they have never eliminated riders in the TT but after Wednesday night's fiasco (and the fact there were still 125 riders in the field) they decided to trim the group down to under 100 riders. It was too bad since many riders rode the TT a bit easier to conserve for later stages. Everyone knew the possibility existed for the time cut but we didn't expect it would be so strict . . . or that Armstrong would be so dominating. I'm pretty bummed many of my teammates can't continue and are flying home. But that's racing and we all understood and accepted the decision.
The four of us started the crit last night and only Jackie, Debbie, and I would make it through and finish with the pack after Lori had a bad start. It was fast but thankfully safe. My parents, aunt, uncle, and cousin all made it out and it was so great to have so many cheering fans on the course! :)
We got burritos at Chipotle after the race - along with nearly everyone else in the women's peloton! - and it was nice to chat with my family.
So today we have the 90 mile Mankato Road Race. It finishes with 4 laps of a 2 mile circuit with a steep, longish climb. The race will definitely shatter when it comes to the circuits and there may be some action before that as teams look to try to isolate Armstrong and take the yellow jersey from her. Should be a fun race!
Thanks again to all of our fabulous support crew - Mike, Brooke, Ed, and Paul - we'd be lost without all of your help!!