Kimberley put her legs to the test racing two days in a row and somehow managing a ride with 8,000 feet of climbing. Perfect hardwoman training for the Gila! Here’s her recap of the weekend’s sufferfest.
Women’s 1/2 Race Report – Oredigger Classic and Pioneers Criterium
For me and several other Naked teammates (I’m still getting used to our new sponsor, and have been assuring friends and family that yes, we will indeed still be wearing clothes), this past weekend marked the first race weekend of the 2012 road season. Saturday was the Oredigger Classic, a hill climb time trial up Lookout Mountain. We had a strong presence, with Rachel, Joan, Susan and I in the women’s 1/2 field.
Although I had decided with my coach ahead of time that I would only be “racing” at around 90% of my all out effort pace in order to get in a solid three hour training ride in the mountains after, it was still very valuable to participate in. Doing the 4.5 mile effort helped me to gauge where my 90% was at compared to the other girls in the field, and, as it should be, I came in dead last. As this will be my first season racing in Colorado, I have yet to get to know the local women’s peleton, and I was encouraged to see some strong riders.
The next day was the DU Pioneers Criterium at City Park, which both Vera and I raced in. With the combination of it being my first true race effort and my tired, protesting legs from the 8000 feet of climbing I did the day before, I was a bit nervous as I began my warm-up. The fact that Cari Higgins, (a racer who’s claimed medals from National, Panamerican, and World championships) would be lining up at the start with us did not exactly calm my nerves. The field was small, but contained some strong riders, which helped to keep a fast pace and make up for the size.
After waiting at the start line for well over a half hour past our start time, we were finally off. A solo attack went off the front within the first few laps, and we worked to steadily bring her back over the next few laps. A few attempts to get away were made, but the extremely windy conditions made that quite difficult. The race ended with a field sprint to the line, which landed Vera and I in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, with Cari Higgins taking the win. Overall I felt good about the race, and it was great to have Vera and I finish in the top three.
All in all, I was happy with my first race weekend of the season, and definitely helped to build my excitement for the next few months of racing. It was a great time to test out my racing legs and get to know a few of the other riders in the Colorado peleton. I look forward to the upcoming season, and feel quite confident that the Naked Women’s Racing team will have a strong presence in all categories of the women’s races.