Monday, April 26, 2010

Fort Lewis Conference Finals

This past Saturday and Sunday was my last official weekend racing with the University of Northern Colorado in the RMCCC. It's been a fun season filled with some awesome courses, good and bad races for everyone. 
Saturday morning consisted of a Team Time Trial therefore UNC did not participate meaning I actually was able to sleep in to 9AM. This is just unheard of for me recently on the weekends. 
The Specialized Neighborhood Criterium started about noon on a fun course.  The start/finish line was on a right-a-way then 2 left 90 degree turns, right 90, steep uphill that turns left long downhill section then turns left into the beginning straight-a-way for 1 lap.

The race started out relatively calm and slow, typical of most Women's races.  I decided that I was going to try something different for this race.  About ten minutes in, I was getting bored and everyone was riding cautiously hoping to end the season well. Well, I took the inside on the two left 90's and sprinted. Only CSU and Air Force followed about 8-10 seconds back as we left the rest of the field lost not knowing what happened. However I did not know the other 2 riders were near otherwise I wouldnt have killed myself on a solo break. After 2 laps, we came up and we worked together but I was spent and needed to back off a little. One lap later Mines was sitting on my back wheel, around a turn she sprinted around and I just couldnt keep up. The race ended well though. Three laps left I saw 2 DU Pioneer riders about 7 seconds back.  I pulled for a lap. Then took a pull. Last lap was fun. I was sitting second wheel with DU in front and a DU on my wheel. As soon as we hit the hill on the back stretch of the course I sprinted up, kept the momentum on the downhill and pulled 15 ft ahead, last left 90 degree turn, I took the inside pushing hard.  Finish is 500 ft away.  It turned out into an all-out sprint. After letting the riders pass earlier I wasn't going to give in easily. 
To really understand that moment, you gotta check out this picture below:
Here are some more pictures from the race.
Above: Pretty flowers? & a cowbell    Above:  UNC Cycling Riders
Above: The "Logo" Shot                                   Above: Heading into the final lap
Above: Hill climb in Crit course                            Above: Alex's bike post-crash
The team rode well overall. Travis clinched fourth  in his race as well. There were a few mishaps that hendered a few other teammates performances including Alex's crash after clipping a pedal on his 6.5 Trek.
After sometime chillin, shower, nap, etc there was a awards banquet dinner at Fort Lewis College Saturday night.

A early morning alarm killed me after listening to Air Force (I think Air Force) being extremely loud after a night out on the town coming back at 2 AM. Anyway loaded up the cars and back to Fort Lewis College.  The races set out in waves for the road race.  The Coca-Cola Road Race consisted of a six mile loop around Fort Lewis College Campus.  We began basically on the top of the hill, then road at 1-2% grade incline on some a campus road that really needed to be repaved. The course then has a technical descent with a right 90 turn slight incline then decline and before you know it, you end up at a steep, "wish I granny gear", "I didn't know I how breathe this loud", "omg how many switchbacks are there?!" climb with false flats the whole way till you reach the top of the campus. Again. Now Repeat.
I truly loved this course and the criterium.

The rest basically went down like this. We rode as a pack with 1 or 2 riders stringing off the back until the hill climb. I usually suck at them so I figured my best bet was to hit it hard and fast to gain some ground. Mines had the right idea and went off first, me in second then the field. I was caught at the start/finish line where we formed a case pack of four riders to catch Mines 20 seconds ahead. Now, I appreciate volunteers who come out and help the races even take place but the reason we didnt catch Mines, solely the fault of the volunteers and our motorcycle lead who were of absolutely no help.  No one pointed out the way or directions, we almost collided with 2 SUVs (seperate events) DURING the race. We almost had to come to a complete stop on these occasions.  I heard later that in another race two motorcycle leads almost collided in between fields as one pack was passing another and one lead hit a cone knocking it into a riding field.  Luckily, no one was seriously hurt but there is no excuse or room for error in a situation like this. 

The continued. A missed turn kept me in second but I held up so I didnt ride the last 2 laps completely solo. A bad move on my part as I ended up pulling both full laps minus the decline. At the base of the final climb, it was me, DU, and Air Force with CSU and Mines ahead. I was spent and used everything I had pulling.  Just a really stupid move on my part and well I shifted up and started to laugh because I just could not power up like I had on the 3 laps prior. I gladly gave up mentally and let them both pass and I sat with comfort at 5th place.

This week I am actually going to RUN!
I havent run in well its been awhile.  On May 16, I will be running the Cleveland Rite-Aid half marathon on behalf of a good cause, Girls With Sole.
I'm not quite done with cycling out here in Colorado however, I will probably race both this upcoming Saturday and Sunday through ACA, American Cycling Association.
Saturday-repeat of Hawks Lookout in Golden, Colorado
Sunday-Crit race in Longmont