First road trip of the year for me with some PB teammates - Mark, Linda, Kaitie A. and myself hit the road on Friday to head to Ohio for 3 days of UCI racing. We would meet up with Katie Compton who has been unstoppable so far this year and won the World Cup last Sunday.
We pulled into the race on Friday to soggy conditions. Rain for pretty much 48 hours preceding the race meant it was going to be a muddy race. A hilly venue that was actually on a golf course - it was a little surreal to see this beautifully manicured course and this muddy lane that had become the race course. Lots of off cambers and some short little climbs.
It was a frustrating race - the off camber sections were so difficult to ride (at least with my poor technique!) that I ended up doing a lot of running. And a lot of crashing! I got a nasty scrape on my forearm from my first slip slide in the mud into a course stake. I sort of settled into a rhythm to the lap but my bike was getting super mucked up and I decided to not go with a bike change.
With two laps to go I was disappointed to see Kaitie A. on the side of the course with a shouldered bike - turns out she snapped a derailleur hanger and she had to drop out. It was too bad as she was riding so well and was sitting in 6th place before the mechanical. KFC took control of the race in typical fashion after the first lap. She was riding alone and easily took the win.
Linda rode an incredible race and finished a solid 4th. Way to conquer the mud!
I ended up finishing 11th after a last lap crash and an unclipped foot allowed two women to pass me. I was just happy that the race was over - it was one of those races I just wanted to get through. I know I need to embrace the mud but I'm still figuring out how to ride it in all it's permutations. After spraying down the bike and myself and trying to contain the resulting sopping mess I headed over to watch the men and see how Mark was doing.
Mark was having an awesome race and was sitting in 3rd when I first saw him. Parbo ended up passing him with about 2 laps to go but Mark was able to finish a really strong 4th place. He was a little muddy after the race.
After cleaning ourselves and the bikes up and loading everything back into the van it was dark and we were hungry. We headed to one of my favorite post race dining establishments. Mmm - burritos.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to relax. You know what they say about chamois time.
Saturday brought the race in Middletown. Beautiful sunny day with a mostly dry course. Just one slightly muddy section. I had a bad start - seriously . . . clipping in to your pedal shouldn't be so difficult - and then got caught behind a crash in the sand volleyball court. Took me a lap to get my bearings and then I needed to work on hunting people down. Katie C. of course was riding incredibly and was alone off the front. Linda and Kaitie both had a great race and were sitting in with a good group.
In the end Katie C. won, Kaitie was 6th, Linda 7th, and I was 8th. Fun race and solid results for all the PB girls.
After our race we watched the exciting mens race. J Pow was impressing the crowd with his barrier bunny hopping skills. It was pretty cool.
Mark had an awesome race. He and Wicks were sitting about 30 seconds behind Powers. On the last lap Wicks attacked him and he couldn't quite respond but finished 3rd - on the podium!
Final day was the big one at Harbin Park. The great promoters of the event worked hard to secure huge prize money for the race and even had equal payout for the top 5 men and women. A good course for me with lots of power sections and not too many technical twists. There were 3 large mud puddles, 2 long sand pits, and 2 bunny hoppable wood playground borders. I had a much better start today and was feeling decent. I was actually hopping the borders (I was told only myself and KFC were doing it cleanly - sweet!) and was soon sitting in 6th place.
Dede was just up ahead and behind me were my teammates Kaitie A. and Linda. I tried to reel Winfield in but all of us remained in the same spots the rest of the race. I was 6th, Kaitie 7th, and Linda 8th. Our superstar teammate repeated once again - she is fierce. I only wish I could watch her race rather than struggle minutes behind her!A little muddy after the race due to the big mud puddles. Finally after a few laps I found the good lines but I still got plenty dirty.
Hung out after the race and chatted with Katie, Mark, and her cheerleader mom Debra. Check out Mark's awesome T shirt!
We also watched Mark's race - he put on a good show once again and finished 7th.
We loaded up the van after the races and hit the road right away. We had 7 hours back to Madison and finally made it home around midnight. Thanks to everyone involved with the races - it was a super fun weekend. Thanks also to our helpers before, during, and after the races - Daniel and Mike did a great job helping make sure the bikes were ready to go. Thanks also to all of the sponsors for helping make the weekend happen. Planet Bike, Edge, Lazer. All of the race photos are thanks to Lyne Lamoureux - she does such an incredible job of covering events and her photography is beautiful.
Travel continues as I leave for two UCI races in Toronto tomorrow morning!