Monday, July 21, 2008

Fitchburg, Superweek

Been on the road for three weeks and my internet access was not the greatest so I'll try to make the recap brief.

Fitchburg went really well. A solid field of over 60 riders racing and with our squad of 7 we hoped to be a factor in the race. Team Kenda Tire had three (Crowell, Guzman, and myself) in the top 20 after the TT and planned for guest rider Carla Swart to give the intermediate sprints a go in the first road race. She took that job totally seriously and was winning sprints and picking up major points. Hard race with a painful climb every lap and a brutal 2 mile finishing climb. I was our top finisher on the day in 9th and Anne was 21st. Carla did so well she was wearing the green jersey by the end of the day. For the circuit race the next day we worked to try to help out Carla get sprint points and keep myself and Anne in the top 20 GC. Carla is a monster and she nabbed a few points but Kelly Benjamin demonstrated her amazing sprint and took over the jersey. Props to Kat and Jackie C. for working hard in the race to move Carla up and keep her safe. Two riders off the front in that race but most of us finished in the main pack. The final day's crit we would try to keep Carla in the sprint competition as the $$ went three deep. She gave her absolute all, picked up a few more points and secured third place. A few of us were involved in some break attempts but it was a bunch finish. Our top finishes were myself in 12th GC, Anne in 17th, and then Carla hanging on for 3rd in the sprints. An excellent showing for Team Kenda Tire!

There are dairy bars everywhere in the Northeast!

Carla in green

Post race fajitas

Big thanks to Marci, Bert, and Ethan for letting us crash at the dorms - we had a blast hanging out with all of you and Mani the wonderdog! Anne's husband Malcolm and our teammate Becca were also a huge help to all of us racing. They were in the feed zone, helped us load, and Becca made some amazing fruit bars (I need that recipe!). Also a shout out to the guys in SRAM neutral support for helping us out with TT adjustments and other issues throughout the race! Thanks everyone!

After Fitchburg I headed to Syracuse with Ashley from ISCorp to spend a few days with our friend Becky before heading back to Wisconsin for Superweek. We had a blast riding the beautiful roads, checking out the crystal blue waters of Green Lake, and discovering the food wonderland of Wegmans grocery store. Thanks for letting us crash Becky!!

Ashley and I left Syracuse and picked up Anne in Buffalo. Thirteen hours later we finally made it back to Madison. We were going a little nutty in the car and at our final truck stop in Illinois Anne decided she had to purchase a team mascot for the week - meet Phelicia our junior development rider!

We decided she would provide endless entertainment for our adventures of racing 7 crits at Superweek.

The racing started in Chicago on Monday and we were all impressed with the strong riders and teams that showed up for the series. The crits started fast and furious . . . and hot. Temps were in the mid 90s the first three days and we were all feeling the effects. I'm not going to go into all the details of the races but we were trying to race smart and be active in the races. We had some top 15 finishes and were involved in some break attempts. It was fun to be in Chicago and we enjoyed a few morning spins in the city as well as a very cool tour of SRAM Headquarters - thanks Chris. They're doing some really neat things there and their World Bicycle Relief program is inspiring.
spinning in Chicago

SRAM World Bicycle Relief

We met up with Michael and Paul from SRAM at Shorewood and the guys did an interview with us and even Phelicia got a little airtime - check it out! Thanks guys! The videos should be posted below but if not click on these links.

Team interview

Phelicia's minute of stardom

I personally tend to feel better as the week wears on and by the time the racing moved to Wisconsin on Thursday I was eager to get in a break and race more aggressively. Anne and Krystal both were attacking and working hard and I managed a 4th at Shorewood in addition to snagging a $100 prime. Friday's course suited me with two power climbs plus I had extra motivation with my parents coming out for the race. I attacked on the 5th lap and was off solo for maybe 7 laps before Sydney from Revolution and Lorena from HPC bridged up. We were soon sitting off the back of the field. We had tentatively agreed not to lap in due to safety concerns with the course, but with 6 to go Syd closed the gap and we found ourselves in the dangerous mix of the pack. I was near the front with 2 to go when the crash happened and I had nowhere to go. I don't know how you can crash at 30mph and not get hurt but I somehow managed it - soooo lucky. Thankfully my bike worked and I finished the final lap at the back but just by finishing I kept my second place intact. Lorena was not so lucky and ended up in the ER with stitches on her face and a totalled bike. Syd got the win and my points moved me into the top 10 overall for the series.

Thanks mom and dad for coming out to cheer me on - you both are my superfans this year! Thanks also for the tasty food post race!

Catherine showed up for Saturday and she, Anne, and I were active at the front. We all got caught in traffic for the bunch finish but luckily all stayed upright. There were a few nasty crashes this week with Elicia from ISCorp breaking a jaw on Thursday and Bri from Team Rev breaking a hip on Saturday. Rest up and recover girls - we know you'll be back at it soon!

Sunday's race in Evanston was awesome with a great venue and a huge crowd. We were 6 riders strong and we rode a great race with lots of attacks and presence in breaks. Catherine and Debbie were really active and it was a fun race. Anne and Krystal were also attacking and being active at the front. Debbie snagged a $50 prime as well as took 5th place. I was 13th which was enough to get me some more points and secure me a 10th overall in the series.

Overall it was a great series of racing and a learning experience for us all. We really began to race more as a team as the week went on and definitely had a lot of fun. Thanks to all of our hosts throughout the series - Debbie and Jonathon in Chicago and the Franckens in Waukesha. We appreciate all of the support! Also thanks to Paul for helping us out during the week at the races and taking some nice photos in Bensenville.

I'll leave you with some parting shots of Phelicia. Anne and I would get numerous gut busting laughs from our little mascot and posing her in different places. She also served quite useful as a pillow for all of the car rides! She's now been adopted by our teammate Karen's daughter but I'm sure she'll make a resurgence at future races!

Cider with Phelicia

watching Anne warm up

with host cat Jasmine

trying out the bike

sitting in the shade

I've also got to congratulate Dave on his awesome finish in yesterday's Spirit of Racine Half Ironman. He had a smoking time of 4:46 which was 13 minutes faster than last year and gave him 21st in his age group of 120 guys. Way to go!

Thanks for reading!


Chris said...

Hey, it was good to see you and thanks for the wbr shout-out!

Kate said...

Phelicia looks like she can get pretty aero-- but I think ya'll need to find her a smaller bike. That frame is just too big!

It was fun seeing you this week-- talk soon!

Velogoddess said...

OMG the Phelicia video is killer....