Monday, March 29, 2010

Race Reports from Mesa State

This past weekend I traveled with the UNC Cycling Team acouple hours SW of Greeley, Colorado for the Mesa State ITT (hc), CRIT, and RR Mad Cow Classic.
ITT (hc):
Saturday morning the hill climb 3.7mi long course starting at the West entrance of the CO Nat'l Monument.  It consisted of a series of switchbacks that gradually get steeper until finishing on a straights.  Add in over 1,000 ft in elevation gain and 2 rock tunnels and hella fun.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I still wasn't feel well, worn down, tired, a lil of my game. 1/2 hr later and a breathing treatment, acouple pills popped later and the hill climb actually seemed possible.  I started at 9:31am.  I showed up at the start line at 9:29:30. Plenty of time...While warming up, I got alot of dirt stuck in my cleats and I did the hill with only my left foot clipped in. I tried to not let it get to me because I was using the hill climb as a long opener to flush out the legs and lungs after having a sinus inffection.  I finished with a quite pathetic time of 24:30, 11th place but still mid-pack.  The best part was the descent back down. Words just don't do the view justice.
Saturday Afternoon: Criterium Race
Our course was actually the Grand Junction Motor Speedway, an professional go-kart track of sorts.  .9 mile of a very techical course consisting of several 180 degree turns made things interesting. By the afternoon I feeling a little better.  I got something food and had enough time in between the races with the crit starting at 1:55pm.
The race began pretty calm, typical of women's races. After a few minutes in, most riders were dropped leaving break with 11 riders total. I sat on the end of the break right behind a Metro State girl who I worked with in most of these races.  Both of us were sick and slowly started to fall off. Then out of nowhere when I come to pull, she decides to DNF right then. I didn't even notice for another 15 seconds or so.
So there I was, about 10 seconds off the main break all by my lonesome : (
I rode strong the rest of the crit and managed to pass two more women who got dropped after me and almost clinched a higher place after a sprint. I ended up taking 8th place.  It's frustrating. I was more than capable of finishing in the front pack. Hell I held my position in relation to the break for the rest of the pack.  I messed up mentally sitting at the end because I was sick.  Overall, it was a so-so race.  I still managed to finish in the front 1/3 of riders so I can't complain. 

Sunday Morning: Road Race
I woke up and I was ready to KILL. And I mean KILL. I was ready to murder myself and make sure I didn't hold anything back and regret it later on like I did during the Crit the day before. 
The course today consisted of Reeder Mesa Rd and Purdy Mesa for a total of 30 miles. Oh ya, and some nasty hills that would put Oak Hill in CNVP at SHAME. We started out with a descent size field and it dead off after our first 1 mile long, switchback, false-flat bitch of a climb. (24 hours later and I am still tasting some blood). As we hit the downgrade, the break was 3 girls, followed by 2 others, then a string of 4 girls with a 10 second gap.  My legs hurt but I was hammering down trying to catch the fourth girl to bridge up together and then work together and form a chase pack. 
Problem: I was the only one who did ANY work. Sandbagging is an understatement. I pulled 3 riders within 15 seconds of the break roughly 10 miles into race then I got my ass dropped.
Another lession learned. I spent the rest of the race trying to bridge the gap of the 3 rider chase pack I brought together.  I got a Womens A rider and after another brutal hill climb, we chatted it up, recovered and rode hard the last 6 miles keeping 2 DU riders off my tail for a 11th place finish.  Again I finish mid-pack.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend of racing.  I mean what could be better? Road trip with some of your friends with a place to crash only having to pay for gas...

Next weekend: Colorado School of Mines.
1-ITT (hc) saturday 8am
2-Crit sunday 9am
*I get to race on Easter!!