This weekend was the Methow Valley Stage race. It was probably my last chance to get a large number of points towards my Cat 2 upgrade so I really was motivated to do well.
The race was 3 stages in 2 days. A time trial and a hill climb (in lieu of a crit ... awesome) on day 1 and a road race on day 2.
The time trial was hard and demoralizing. It was almost nothing but hills which generally I like but I just felt SLOW on this one. Luckily, I had a bunch of carrots in front of me and I just concentrated on picking girls off the whole race. I think I passed 3 or 4 girls. I finished 2nd behind Robin Secrist. I'm proud to say that I'm the only woman who finished within a minute of her.
The hill climb was so hard but so fun. About 1/2 mile after we started climbing, Robin and Sally Fraser started pulling away and I did my best to stay with them. I never quite got their wheels but I kept them in my sights until Robin dropped Sally. I caught Sally on a flat section and realized that I too had broken from the pack. Sally and I worked together taking long pulls to the top. We weren't able to put any time into Robin but we kept her in our sights almost the whole climb, finishing about a minute behind her. At 200 meters I gave it what I had left and got 2nd place over Sally by about half a wheel.
The road race was not exactly my kind of course, more rolling than hilly but I was excited nonetheless. I went into it 2nd in the GC 4 points behind Robin and 7 ahead of Sally and another girl tied for 3rd. We all agreed to take the first lap as a warmup which was really nice.
So here's what I'm really proud of ...
Going into the second lap, right before we were going to "really" start racing, I flatted in the rear. The wheel car stopped for me and quickly gave me a new wheel. I was really upset and said to the mechanic, "I'm not going to catch them, am I?" The mechanic was so nice and just told me "go! I think you can get them!" The pack was probably a minute up the road from me. I had flatted at the bottom of the only decent climb, right in town. I hammered up the hill and just as I crested, the wheel guys pulled up next to me and offered me a pull. I paced the car for a few miles which was scary and fun at the same time. Finally, we got the pack in our sights. I kept hammering behind the wheel car until I was about 100 feet behind a truck that was stuck behind the follow vehicle. The guy in the wheel car waved me through and I jumped and caught the pickup truck. I sat behind him for a second before passing him and catching the follow car. the driver of the follow car waved me through and I jumped again, catching Tamara who was hanging off the back of the pack. Tamara and I worked together and finally, about 4 or 5 miles after flatting, I caught the pack again.
The rest of laps 2 and 3 I just sat in. I was really hurting after chasing back on. Liz from Starbucks was awesome and helped me through the rest of the race so I would have a shot at holding on to my GC place. at 1k she gave me what lead out she could and I gave what little I had left in my legs. 3 girls went off the front and I managed to barely out-wheel a girl from Valley for 4th in the RR, holding onto my 2nd in the GC.
All in all a really fun weekend and as an added bonus, I think I finally earned that Cat 2 upgrade ... updates will be forthcoming.
Mind The Gap
9 months ago