Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Winning isn't everything....

But Team work is!!!!

Kate and I traveled (with Soigneurs Mike and Phil) to Sedalia on 8/29 for the 2009 Sedalia Criterium on Saturday and the Otterville Road Race on Sunday.
We almost made it to Sedalia without incident, except for the fact that Phil and I were drinking lots of water to "hydrate" and we got a little lost. Our little country road turn around was also a porta-potty. We were laughing so hard when we saw through the weeds that Kate and Mike were turning around and appeared to be driving toward our "private" bathroom....we nearly peed on ourselves!

Sedalia is an adorable town. Each couple had booked "1927 Luxury Suites" at the Hotel Bothwell. We quickly unloaded our stuff, registered and set off to warm up.

Kate had posted a message on facebook earlier in the week that she was motivated to
win one in honor of her sister. We warmed up on "Highway" 50, and the streets around the Jail and "Meth collection mobile unit" to the smell of burning tires, from the motorcycle peel-out festival, and discussed our strategy. As far as we know, there would be the two of us, Stacie and a new racer, Mandy. We figured we could attack and work together to get a break. Since our race was short, only 20 min +5, we could attack pretty early.

When it was time to roll to the line, we discovered that we had atleast 5 girls in our race, including Emily from SKC. We heard Emily tell Mandy that she had won her first race but had just had a baby, so wasn't really back to racing form. Kate and I foolishly discounted both Mandy and Emily's abilities.

We did dominate the Crit from the start. I pulled for a couple of laps, Kate pulled, I pulled and when Mandy offered to pull, Kate attacked. I tried to go with her, to keep with our plan of the two girl breakaway, but Emily was right there with us. I felt bad about dropping Mandy like that, but not to worry! Mandy should not be underestimated either. She was right back with us in a lap or so.

I quickly learned on the first prime lap ($10), that Emily still had a good sprint, but I was able to beat her to the line and scored the prime. She ended up getting the second one and almost succeeded geeting off the front. It took us 3/4 of a lap to reel her back in. The course was technical, with 5 right hand turns and a right (an L shape) and there were TONS of bumps, manhole covers and pot holes (all marked with yellow paint). We had to be extra cautious about our lines all the time.

Team Hub continued to dominate and Kate and I both got the pleasure of hearing our names butchered by Aero over the PA! Unfortunately, Kate pulled too long and as we were headed in to 3 to go, 2 to go and 1 to go, she was still on the front! I was trying to get her to sit back in but she was nervous about going off the back. SHe did keep the pace high and started to recede in the second to last turn. At that moment, I saw both Emily and Mandy move into position for the final turn/sprint. They went left, I went right and gained a position on them on the last straight, getting to the last turn first! I sprinted the best I could and ended up winning!~

It was bitter sweet because I really wanted Kate to have the win, but wasn't going to give it up to anyone other than her. We got a good chunk of change, some wine, free beer and GLORY to saver for the rest of the night.

Kate's day would come at the Road Race.

It was a cold morning but by 10 am, when we started, it warmed nicely. We had 9 ladies and due to only one wheel truck and one pace, we were instructed to work with the juniors. I quickly realized that I didn't have a working computer. We must have been in some computer eating vortex because several other computers were shooting craps too.
We also quickly realized that the boys talk too much! We were relieved to have them pass and continue down the road.

We attacked the rollers, with Kate and I on the front more than we should be. We'd make note, and slip back for some protection but find ourselves on the front again at the next hill. Kate had some great acceleration on the downhills and would almost immediately pass everyone. I'd try to latch on (I guess secretly hoping we'd get a gap on the others).

The hills kept coming. They weren't terrible but they were many. Then, there was one hill that Kate descended and I didn't latch on. I was on the front and watched a small gap between us quickly grow. I didn't react. Actually, I think I might have held my breath...No one else reacted. She just rode off down the road.

I then started to pay attention to my pulls. My computer wasn't working, so I don't know how much I slowed, but I definately did.
When we reached hills, I would pull us up, or move back and let one of the triathletes pull us (not as strong on the hills as they are on the flats).
Kate was GONE!

There were a few times when we came within sight of her again. I got a little nervous and moved to pull again, to slow us down. I was confident she was home free when the next mileage check revealed we were only 4 miles from the finish! At that point, one of the ladies commented "Is that your team mate up there?" Doh! "Um, yes..." .

I just had to get my butt across the line now. I knew we'd have to climb the feed zone hill first.
That hill was L..O..N...G....
I so badly wanted to turn off early. As we neared the turn, my legs were on fire. Mandy and Ann moved to the left, taking the turn a little shallow. I was worried as I knew I had NOTHING left. Mandy stayed in front of me but Ann was as spent as I was. I was able to make it to the line second of our group, third overall. Time to celebrate with Kate!!! She got her win for Mary!

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