Monday, August 18, 2008

Downer's Grove

Here is Kat using some SRAM balloons in a unique way. Big thanks to SRAM and KENDA for being so much fun to hang out with this weekend and for your support throughout the season. Having such cool sponsors always makes racing and riding more enjoyable.

Wrapped up the final weekend of road racing for the year with a bang. Downer's Grove is the Nationals Elite Criterium Championships so you get the best of the best coming to Chicago to duke it out for a stars and stripes jersey. Saturday is the shorter international race and Sunday is the actual Nationals race. KENDA had a team of 8 riders each day with several making a trip for the event - Amy, Andrea W., Catherine, and Kat all traveled quite a distance and then Debbie, Jess, and myself represented from the Midwest. It's always so much fun to get together with my teammates and as usual Kat had us doubled over in laughter on numerous occasions.

The racing was fast both days with strong teams from Aarons, Colavita, TIBCO, and Cheerwine controlling the race. I was happy with my positioning on Saturday's race and stayed in the first third of the peloton most of the race. Catherine and Andrea both made the top 25 and I ended up 33rd. Sunday's race felt even faster to me. I hung in midpack most of the race and didn't have the legs to get up and stay near the front. Catherine was 16th, Amy 21st, and Debbie 23rd. I ended up 36th. I was just happy to avoid the couple of crashes and finish off the season safe. The racing was top notch though and I had a lot of fun. Brooke Miller is on fire lately and took her second Nationals jersey in two weeks.

Thanks Ryan for the photo!

I've learned the past few years that by this time in the season I'm not feeling especially peppy in the races and am ready to transition into getting ready for cyclocross. I really enjoy doing the August crits in the area but I can feel myself getting a little tired and in need of a break. I'm up to 41 race days this season and with at least 20 more on the horizon a few weekends off will be much appreciated. I'm going to take a little time off the bike for a few days and then will start running and riding again this weekend. I'm pretty excited about the upcoming cross season and want to focus on ramping back up for a full race schedule starting the end of September.

Speaking of the end of September - Madison (specifically the suburb of Sun Prairie) is hosting an awesome weekend of UCI cyclocross racing - the Jonathan Page Planet Bike Cross Cup. It's put on by my cool new cross team Planet Bike with tons of help from local cross queen Renee Callaway and JPE too. The best thing about this race is that there is EQUAL prize money for men and women. And we're not talking chump change here . . . $2,300/25 deep. Kudos to Renee for working hard to see this happen. I encourage any crossers (especially women!!) to come on out to support this great event. The respect that's being shown to ALL racers is inspiring.

Just one more plug for another great event going on in St. Louis Labor Day weekend. Gateway Cup is a 4 day series of crits put on by my pals at Team Revolution. Carrie Cash and the girls have worked hard to get some big $$ for the women's events and I encourage riders to go support these fun races. I did them two years ago and the racing was awesome - 4 really cool venues and there is an overall prize purse as well.

Thanks for checking in!