Another weekend of bike racing, another 2009 goal met.
Last weekend, was the Tour of Granite Country in Albany, MN. Hwood and I loaded up the car with all the bikes and headed north for some fun racing and chillin at the hotel fully loaded with our favorite peeps.
We kicked it off with the road race. The pace was so slow for the first 10 miles, but when we hit the big climb, the race finally began. The group of 11 splintered, with 6 gals charging off the front after cresting the hill. I sat in 7th, off the back but on full pursuit solo as we decended. My compact crank that helped me up the hill didn't have enough to close the gap on the decent as I spun my legs in my 12, just wishing I had an 11 on the rear. After 2 miles of diggin in, I finally completed the bridge as they turned into a cross-wind. The 7 of us formed a pace line and drove it to the finish. When we got to the climb for the final lap, my legs were in better shape than earlier and I was able to cross the line in 4th place.
That evening, after some time watching the Tour and a much-needed nap, Jay and I joined the rest of the Mpls Mafia for some small town bowling action. It was a riot - 'nuff said. But Emily needs to watch her potty mouth! Again...'nuff said!
The next morning was bright with a gentle breeze as we readied ourselves for the 8 mile TT. Even though my legs were pretty tired, I was able to get them up to cadence pretty quickly. With only my minute gal out there in front of me, I rode inside my head and focused on the sound of my cranks turning. Luckily, I caught her at the turn around or else I would never have seen it..... there was no one there, a line across the road, and cones on the edges of the road... not at all how a turn-around should be....dare I say Jankey? (BTW, I hate that word, but just had to whip it out). My heart-rate spiked HUGE after my mini-"is this the turn around"-freakout, so I had to focus to bring it down fast. I settled back into my rhythm and kept it goin til the finish. With everything I had left in my legs, I sprinted across the line to grab every second I could.
Once the results finally came out, I found out that I won!!! Yeah - my 3rd TT win this year!!!! I was so jazzed, but had only an hour or so to prep for the hour long circuit race. Sitting on the trainer, I tried to clear my head and think about how I was going to ride, especially without the rest of the Hellians with me. When the time came, I rolled up to the start and joined in the fun.
Each lap was only 5.5 miles long, but our first one still took 20 minutes! Since no one out there had a team with them (other than D & Z), so everyone just looked at each other to pull at the front. I wanted to throw my hands up at the finish, so when it came time for the sprint points at the end of lap one, I sat up but made sure to maintain contact with the top gals. The 2nd lap was faster and everyone was able to get into a rotation to keep the momentum going. When we crossed the line the next time, I was certain to cross in 3rd to get a 3 pt bonus.
In the third and final lap, the pace increased and we kept the rotation moving. In my head I kept playing out a sprint finish.....I wanted to raise 'em up....I was wearing the Anitfreeze Hoshovd glasses.....and I felt GREAT!
We took our last turn and looked down the 1 mile stretch to the line. I was sitting in 8th position of 8. My lead-out train didn't even know they'd been commissioned to take me to the line....I think I forgot to send out the memo. Sprints started to go off early and petered out quickly and I made sure to be in a slipstream for all of them. With 1K to go, the sprints were going off full forces and I stayed on the wheels of the gals who'd been taking all the bonuses. As this rider or that rider slowed, I grabbed the next fastest wheel until there was just one bike in front of me. Still not yet up to my full speed, she began to slow on the climb and I knew it was time.
I gave my trusty levers a double click and came out of her draft in an instant. I could hear Jay shouting "all the way to the line"..."raise 'em up".....I charged with everything I had in my legs and came across the line with no one else. I sat up and RAISED 'EM UP for my first circuit race win ever!!! It was amazing!!! I'm still super jazzed about it and am super stoked that my awesome hubby got video of the full monty! Thanks a ton babe! Unfortunately, the computer's in the shop, so you'll have to wait for my Cavendish unleashing.
All in all, great weekend!