Saturday, July 4, 2009
Fitchburg Update 1
So we all made it to soggy Massachussets on Wednesday. I flew out and had sort of a crazy day - 3 hour delay in Madison and then another 1.5 hour delay in Detroit. At least I got upgraded to first class for the flight to Detroit! So five hours later than expected I finally landed in foggy Boston and met up with Jackie. We had an awesome cab driver who sounded just like Borat (and who nearly killed us several times!) drop us off at the train station. Here's Jackie waiting for the train.
We then hopped on the train with all our gear and rode to where our host house was in Leominster. Jackie had her bike (Paul had taken mine in the car!) and we stuffed it into one of the train seats - we had so many people eye it up wondering what it was - it was pretty funny!
We're staying at an awesome host house in Leominster - thanks so much for opening your home up Thom and Janice!! We've got 8 girls for this race - Ashley, Becca, Denise, Jackie, Joelle, Krystal, Silke and myself. A really fun bunch of strong riders!
We woke up Thursday morning to a downpour - there was tons of local flooding and we hoped somehow the rain would move out before our TT. The drive there was foggy and very wet!
It was just a mist as we were warming up though but the fog was moving in as our start times neared.
It was a 9 mile winding course with a few rollers but nothing too big. The fog was so thick it was hard to see anything beyond 50 feet in front of you. Several of us had TT bikes and that was a definite advantage for the course. 118 women started the race so the competition was pretty fierce. Alison Powers, as expected, won the TT. Our top finisher was Denise in 39th (1:30 back) and Silke in 40th, I was 1:45 back for 45th. Solid finishes by everyone and we headed back home and had a feast of burritos for dinner!
Friday was a 35 mile circuit race in Fitchburg - 11 laps of a 3.5 mile course. A two step 500 meter climb to the finish every lap that would tire riders out as the race wore on. A beautiful day though with sun and warm temps - we were all excited for some good, fast racing. But first . . . Team Kenda had to continue the scooter tradition and Jackie and Ashley kitted up for some antics!
And after that we got to the course and got ready for the race :)
The race started fast and as everyone had some first race jitters a crash occured on the first lap on one of the fast downhill sections. Luckily only a few riders went down and Kenda stayed safe. Lip Smackers and Colavita both raced really aggressively and the racing was fast. We were staying near the front and trying to be involved in some break attempts. At one point Joelle was on the front and the group was strung out - gaps were starting to form and the main group whittled down to about 60 riders. With 3 laps to go the final points sprint was called and as we rounded the last corner I was in a good position and I attacked. The announcer was calling out my name and then I heard him say that Theresa Cliff-Ryan was moving up on the right. I pushed towards the line - feeling a bit of deja vu from last week! - but she came around me at the line and I finished 2nd for the sprint. We had a gap and while Theresa sat up Rebecca Wellons was also with us and the two of us began to work together. We had a decent gap and worked it for maybe a mile but we were brought back just before we heard one lap to go. The pace was high and we were all trying to move up and not let gaps open. The GC is tight and you have to stay in contact with the group to get the same time. Joelle is a rock star and despite being quite far back after the last corner she was out of the saddle and sprinted to finish 6th behind winner Tina Pic! Nice work! Jackie, Denise, and I also finished in the main group with Silke unfortunately getting gapped off just at the end and finishing 37 seconds back. Becca, Ashley, and Krystal all finished in another group behind us. The GC was shuffled a bit and Denise moved up to 30th and I moved into 35th. It was an exciting race since Evelyn Stevens from Lipsmackers got a time bonus for her 3rd place finish and moved into the yellow jersey - one second up on Alison Powers.
My 15 sprint points are good enough to put me 4th in the competition so today we'll see if I can add some to the tally! Kelly Benjamin and Theresa Cliff-Ryan both have a huge amount of points (70 and 60, respectively) but 3rd place only has 25 so perhaps I can try to move up!? Should be an intersting race - 64 mile race, 6 laps, and yellow line rule with 108 women. Position and moving up will be difficult!
Thanks for reading :)