The weekend started out with a 47.5 mile road race in Albany, MN. Although the Women's Cat 4 was a separate field from the W Cat 1/2/3's, we all had the same start time and distance. The field rode together for quite sometime, with only a few girls dropping off the back here and there. I felt great – actually keeping with the field for the 1st time in a road race (not counting Spam Jam). Before this, my best finish was 24th I think. The heat was intense, and I was doing everything to preserve what water I had. With 13 miles to go, I was riding with the group….and finished my last drop of water. There was no support on the course for me at all, so I knew the fight was about to settle in. I got dropped on the climb, only to catch on miles down the road, and with just enough time to recover for the finish. With 800m to go, and a wide open shoulder, I sprinted up the right-turn hill to the finish, forcing the rest of the field out of their saddles, and crossing the line in 3rd place! I've never even taken top 10 with these ladies before. Yowza, it was the most amazing feeling!
Hwood, Timmer, and Tone had a great road race too! Jay took 11th in the race, with Tone close along in 10th, and Timmer finished great in 4th place. After we all finished, Jay, Timmer, Tone and I headed to a local park for some R&R. We got a lot of relaxing in, but little warm up - getting back to the action just in time for me to suit up and hit the bricks for my TT. After 4 hours of rest, the TT was PAINFUL! 5 miles into the wind, with 3 hills in the first 3 miles. My legs screamed out in agony, causing me to go so much slower than I had hoped. At mile 3, the road started to angle down, and the legs finally quit their b1t(#in', allowing me to finally get up to speed but with only 2 miles to make up time. I ended up finishing 8th with a time of 14:48.4. Julia Mairs kicked but, taking 1st in the W4's 1:30 faster than me! Cam Schmitz, only weeks back on the bike after an unfortunate accident, destroyed the TT, taking 1st in the W1/2/3 in 12:33, 23 seconds faster than my fav. Silver lady Linda Sone. Doug Swanson won the Men's 1/2 TT, with Timmer close behind in second. Timmer made up big points on Marcotte, with Jay and Tone knocking him down coming in fast and furious in 13th & 14th respectively.
After the last of the races for the day, we loaded up and headed to our room, scored solely by Jay-time alone as we lined up for the TT start. A little bit of take out and some Tour de France on the tele was all we needed to rest up for Sunday. Jimmer and Jordan even crashed our party for a bit, coaxing us into a quick late nite dip in the hot tub. (I think Jimmer has some crazy footage of a really bad chicken fight he was threatening to post).
On Sunday, we got up for the Criteriums. Mine was first thing in the morning and I was ready. My mom and lil bro came down for the fun, too, which was such a treat. With all of Saturday's rding under me, my legs were warmed up and ready to play. I rode hard and was having a blast riding with some great gals I've gotten to know over the season - [Strats, Julia, and Sarah P...You gals rock! Thanks for such a great time and so much I've learned! I look forward to the next time I get to ride with you!] As for the race, I was cornering great! I even tried attacking and leading a lap for practice. It was so much fun and Jay was coaching and cheering the entire time. Come the last lap, I was sitting well in 4th, but got pinched off at the last turn and my finishing sprint couldn't save me....keeping my position, I finished in 6th of 12 ladies, and 5th in the overall GC. Julia took 2nd and Strats nailed down 6th in the W4 GC. As for the W1/2/3 ladies, Linda Sone finished in 4th overall, and Cam Schmitz took the win!
Me off the front
Hangin' with Ma after the race
As for the men, the crit was fast and crazy as usual. I can only hope to corner and race like them someday. It was scorchin' out and the field was hungry. Jay ran out of juice, and gu, with 15 laps to go and had to pull out. Timmer was riding great, as usual, and fought the drones of GrandStay riders all the way to the finish. At the end of it, he came in around 7th, but had enough speed to take 2nd place overall! Jay worked hard to help out Timmer, finishing 15th in the GC, with Tone taking 14th. In the 50+, Dave Herbert and Dave Pramann of Silver Cycling rode great as well, with Dave H taking 2nd and Dave P taking 3rd in the GC. Jordan "I wish I was Silver" Cullen rode great all weekend, taking 2nd in the Juniors. Jimmer was also on fire, fresh from some great European riding, taking 3rd overall in the 35+.
It was an amazing weekend, start to finish! Thanks for putting on such a great series, guys! See ya next year. As for you...check out the boys crit'in it up!
Jay is a pro at cornering!