Race Report from Rachel Scott
Louisville Criterium & Groove Subaru Criterium
4/2/11 and 4/3/11
SW 3-1st place and SW Open-7th place
What a random weekend of racing. From sunny and 70 to snowy and 30, Colorado has continued to surprise me. What also surprised me is that after a terrible first season of cyclocross, my performance this weekend was much better than I anticipated…at least one of the days.
Day 1: Louisville Criterium
Saturday’s Louisville Criterium, which is one of the races for the Prerace.com Rocky Mountain Cup, was the first mass start on the ACA calendar. The weather was perfect, sunny and the spring winds hadn’t quite kicked in at my 8:50 scheduled start. The women had a dedicated cat 3 field with 22 starters. Though somewhat new to the CO racing scene, I at least knew most of the racers and got some assistance pinning my number on my new Veloce Speedwear skinsuit.
I opted for a road warm up because I despise riding on the trainer, much less setting it up. After preriding the course a few laps, I felt that this course wasn’t going to suit my strengths. The .7 mile loop had 3 wide right turns with a gradual leg burning power climb to the start/finish line. I was there to have fun so I didn’t worry too much about it, and got the spot I wanted-inside right-when I lined up and waiting for the official to signal us off. My former teammate and coach, Olga, taught me some invaluable lessons for crit riding, and I always envied how quickly she could start from the gun. I thought of her that day and took off like a bat out of hell. It actually worked and got off the front from the get go.
That was perhaps the most exciting part of my race as I really didn’t do any movin’ or shakin’ in the pack after that. We got in an 8 person break early on, and I literally sat in and sucked wheel of a super strong cyclist from Montana in town on vaca. About 35 minutes in, we lapped the field because I think most girls had someone in our break(lots of team support out there) and had no reason to chase. So on the very last lap, I sat second wheel while three girls attacked one after the other on the gradual climb into the finish. Grabbing each girls wheel with their attack, I had just enough kick to sprint around the last attack about 20 feet from the line. Without teammates there, I think I raced smart by staying out of the wind, riding aggressively, and most importantly, I was having tortuous versions of fun. Everything went right for me in that race, so I hope it wasn’t a fluke!
Stats: 22.2 mph average
Distance: 16 miles
Winnings: 1 Bottle of merlot, a bag of granola, and a free chiropractic consult/visit(those of you who know me can see the irony in this)
Points: 5 towards 2 upgrade
Racing Part Duex: Sunday Groove Subaru Crit
Luckily this race was in my backyard, even though I still managed to miss my turn twice. This course I thought would be better for me with the steeper climb, but I was mistaken. The 1k loop had an uphill start and finish with 3 left turns and wide open roads. Actually, now that I think about it, it might as well be the exact same course as Louisville, but for some reason it felt much different.
I’m still a little upset with my performance because my game plan didn’t go how I thought it would. I wasn’t as aggressive or as smart as I should have been, and instead of getting to work for my teammate, Joan, I was a pansy and sat in while she did a lot of the work. The one attack I did throw out, I thought I was going to crap my pants. I started out strong at the gun and was third wheel, shuffled around a lot for the first 15 minutes and then it started to REALLY enter the most inner part of the pain cave. The pace was fast and Roberta from Rocky Mounts threw out an attack that I couldn’t cover, so Joan went. Once I got my composure, I tried attacking and had two girls come with but that didn’t last long. I really wanted to throw up or quit, but after 35 minutes, it began feeling a little better. Just in time for the snow to start pouring. That’s when the braking started, so I tried to find a good wheel. I didn’t even realize two girls went off the front, so I tried to pull a lap, alternating with the girl who tugged me around the course yesterday.
Coming into the last lap, I wasn’t in a good position and should have put my big girl britches on and moved up. Coming into the sprint up the hill, I also wasn’t capable of leading Joan out from behind her, so I stupidly didn’t grab her wheel either–I sprinted next to her. Oh well, lessons learned. One of these days I’ll be strong enough to help out our 2’s! Thanks to our lovely teammate, Vera for coming out to cheer us on in the wet snow–and delivering sweet customized stickers for our bikes(pics to come soon)! And thank goodness Joan came back after I told her I would ride home-the weather changed 24 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Stats: 21.2 mph average
Distance: 17.5 miles
Winnings: a complimentary lesson learned
Points: you don’t get points for being a wuss
Teammate Jenny also raced this Sunday, nabbing 3rd in her SW 4 crit at Groove Subaru. Saturday, Joan nearly escaped a horrible crash that wiped out a lot of her SW Open field; however, her tire didn’t fair so well after having to lock up her brakes. Unfortunately, that occurred after the 8k lap rule. Check out 303cycling.com for all race videos, results, and photos from both days.