Deer Trail Road Race
SW 3-2nd place
Colorado is a windy place. After moving here end of June last year, I missed out on the raging spring tempests. Though it was a little breezy, I feel we *somewhat* lucked out with weather conditions. I’ll take a breeze any day over a blizzard.
I carpooled down with Susan of Primal/Treads in her pimped out converted bicycle hauling mini-van(I want!) and talked about the course, conditions and what to expect. As we pulled up, we could see a few flurries. Fingers were crossed that it wouldn’t dump snow. The temps were certainly cold enough.
We picked up our numbers, and begrudgingly pulled on the spandex over Flex-Power lathered legs. It was going to be a cold one, though I’m a sweater. I didn’t want to put on too many clothes and prefer to wear less than more. So as a last minute decision, I put my wind vest under the jersey and was very thankful in the long run.Though I looked like a salt lick after the race.
A twenty minute warm-up was good enough for me for the upcoming 44 miles. So I lined up shivering from the cold(and maybe some nerves too). This was my first road race in over a year so I had no idea if I could even last. After the ref blew the whistle, we had a neutral roll out and things stayed pretty slow. I jockeyed with a couple of riders and then made a decision to just stay up front since the pace wasn’t enough to warrant a draft. Glad I did because once the rollers kicked in, I much prefer to be there than behind someone.
Not too long after mile 4, and shocked as sh!t, a very strong 14 YEAR OLD, Laurel, took a flyer on one of the rollers and the group let her go. I thought she was just testing the legs but sure enough, she kept her pace high and wasn’t seen for quite some time. We hit the first turn-around(literally a cone in the road-I’ve never seen this before in a road race, let alone 3 of them!) and that’s when things started to get a little jumpy. I came to the front and was just waiting because it seemed like something was going to happen. The second I peered around, Amber from GS Boulder attacked through a hole on a roller and I grabbed her wheel. We had a little separation and continued to drill it until we could see that this was going to stick.
She and I conversed about the direction of the wind, food, who was pulling where based on strengths, and just how far we had to catch Laurel while trying not to get caught by the field. So from mile 8 to about 25, we rode with a tailwind, with 2 crosswinds and huge relentless headwind together. Had there been more to look at than brown fields, the suffering wouldn’t have been so bad. Though I was thankful for the headwind because it allowed our two person train to catch Laurel around that 28 mile marker.
Once we caught Laurel, we could see that Susan and 3 Prodesign ladies were leading the chase so we needed to pick up the pace. That’s when Amber started drilling it, and soon after our turn into the last section, we dropped Laurel. I still can’t believe she TT’d that far by herself. She will have a career ahead of her if she keeps it up. I wonder if she’s on junior gearing?
The last stretch was TOUGH. I was getting pretty tired and I swear Amber picked up the pace by at least 1.5 mph. It was then after that last turn around, with only 7 or so miles to go until the finish, I started negotiating. She already was taking longer pulls than I, and this is a gentlemanly(or gentlewomanly) sport.
“If you can just get me to the finish and make sure we don’t get caught,” I begged. “I swear to god I won’t sprint around you, I just cannot pull anymore.” Though I still found a little something to pull a couple of times to give her a breather before she went back and did the majority of the suffering in the wind for us.
With the finish line in sight, I knew we had it and weren’t going to get caught. That was when Amber pulled away and it took everything I had to get across the line 6 seconds behind her. Super strong chick. Nothing like watching someone pull away and you are at max capacity. We ended up putting about 5:30 minutes on the field.
Susan crossed and took 3rd and soloed it in after that last turn around point. Impressive! Great day for TriBella and friends:) Though that evening was one to be remembered. I had race gut from the hard effort until the next morning. I was up till 3 am with gut wrenching pain. Not sure which hurt worse, the race gut or the race…
Stats: 19.3 mph average
Distance: 44 miles
Points: 5 points towards 2 upgrade(6 to go if USAC points can count) and BAR Points but unsure just how many.