Monday, June 23, 2008

Tour de Wash Co.

Road Race: Smithsburg, MD
Not racing last weekend left me feeling as though it had been months since I last pulled up to a starting line. Funny how just one weekend can make you feel so out of touch. This might explain a few of my follies such as pinning my number on upside down and forgetting to take off my saddle bag. Was I #899 or #668? Honest mistake really. Follow that up with a saddle bag and you’ve got yourself one classy racer.

It was a 36 mile road race (6 laps on a 6 mile course) on a rolling course on the outskirts of Smithsburg, Maryland. It was on the second lap that I started feeling pretty good about my climbing. I was actually feeling pretty strong. The hills were short and punchy which suites me fairly well. It was on the third lap that I flatted. Funny thing, just that morning I commented on how I never put wheels in the wheel truck. Fortunately there was an unmarked wheel swimming around in the back that I was able to use. (photo: Erin & Amanda of Artemis)

Back on the bike I started to chase. The rest of the field was now way up the road. Did I want to roll around for the next 3 laps and just finish the race? Or did I want to peel off and go explore the local yard sale scene? I’m currently in the market for some garden balls.

Eventually I came upon my teammate Michelle along with some other ladies who had gotten caught up in a crash earlier in the race. Together we put in a half hearted attempt to catch the field… you can imagine our surprise when we came upon the entire field at a dead stop. Turns out they put a momentary halt on the women’s race in order to let the master’s through. Yeah …I'll leave that one alone ….it was a fortunate chain of events for me anyway.

Somewhere around 2 laps to go Arley (Hub Racing) and Erin (Artemis) went off the front and managed to make the break stick all the way to the finish. Towards the end of the final lap, Kate encouraged me to make my way to the front of the field. I came across the last big hill in great position. Having not ridden the climb to the finish I didn' have a good idea of what kind of effort I could sustain to the top. Lesley, Kate, and I tried to form a train for the final 700 meters. I think it was Lesley (Cyclelife) who squeezed in between Kate and I. With 200 meters to go ….hell, I don’t know what happened ….I lost Lesley’s wheel ….it was an uphill sprint finish. I think I let it get too big in my head. Next time I think I’ll pre-ride the finish regardless of my expectations for the day. Yup, I think that was the day’s lesson for me. Thanks again Kate for trying to lead me out! (photo: Hamburger hunting in Boonsboro)

Oh, and many many thanks to Amanda of Artemis for the banana case! What a fantastic surprise! Can’t wait to get that much needed potassium back in my diet!

Time Trial: Boonsboro, MD
With a 7:57am start time, I was pushing it when I left DC just a little after 6am. In all honesty, I was not altogether excited about this time trial. My head wasn’t in it. I wasn’t aero in any way. The end. (photo: Melanie and Judd)

Crit: Downtown Williamsport, MD:
Joe’s race commentary is really starting to come into good form. He had a slow start to the season, but now I really think he’s starting to peak. I especially enjoyed his similes during the men’s pro1/2/3 race:

“…and he was shot out the back like a raisin bran muffin”

Truly great material. Nice job Joe.

By the time our 1pm crit rolled around both my mind and my legs were ready to race. It was one of the more technical crit courses of the season which I enjoy. Things got off to a pretty fast start. Michelle (HPC) fired things up right from the gun. In just 8 short laps I was already looking at the lap counter and wondering how long we would keep it pegged. Eventually a break formed containing one rider from each of the major teams (HPC, C3, Hub, Cyclelife, Artemis, Kenda and Human Zoom). This helped to ease the pace in the chase group, much to my relief. A few ladies put in an attempt to chase them down, none of which were successful. (photo: 7 woman break)

With 7 laps to go I started thinking about getting my self into position for the finish. Just as this thought crossed my mind, the officials announced that the chase group was now reduced to just 2 laps to go. It was a scramble to find position. Looking back I could have been a bit more risky on the back side in order to move up, but at the same time the entire field was getting a bit squirrely. The field sprint didn’t turn out so well. Christina and I rolled in together as we always do. Oh well, we both like riding in the dirt better anyway. (photo: C3 ladies)

Our premature finish allowed us the opportunity to watch the finish for the 7 woman break. Turns out Sonja Evers successfully launched off the front of the break and was able to hold onto a respectable gap. What a beast! It was really exciting to watch her enjoy a beautiful solo win. Nice job Sonja! It was only a matter of time before you got your day to shine! Lesley had a great race and finished third overall. Many thanks to Michelle who really laid it on the line in order to make that break a success!
(Lesley and I took a cool down spin to West Virginia)


Anonymous said...

Nice reporting Anna. I'm glad you are back to writing race reports. BTW, looks like Leslie still has her number on in that photo from your cool down. That's almost as bad as leaving your seat bag on for a race :-)

Yes, looking forward to getting dirty in cross season. Will you come out for cross?


mikejoos said...

Good to hear the climbing is getting better. I think NY is supposed to have a lot of climbing.

Those garden balls are beautiful!!!

Lorena said...

Pinning your number upside down AND racing with a saddle bag? And to think that you once made fun of me for warming up on my trainer with my helmet on.

gwadzilla said...

helmet on when on the trainer?

or warming up on a trainer?

lorena always makes me smile

good job anna
great report
those shinny garden globes will look great in your Mount Pleasant yard!

Anna said...

Thanks to everyone for the kind words. I feel so loved in blogland! It's like a virtual utopia.

Anonymous said...

Please join me in holding hands and prayer. Oh Lord,
please let those hamburgers find their way and roll
their chubby little buns into the house that is
most Phat and safe so that they, like we, may find
solace under your heat lamp of love.

Anna said...

Praise be to God. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.