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.
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!!