One might say time trials are time trials, but I think some would agree that a team trial can be even harder than an individual time trial while at the same time a lot more fun! There is something about racing with teammates that allows you to dig a little deeper, push a little harder and go a little longer. The Haystack TTT was definitely one of those races for me.
The weather couldn’t have been better and I was very excited to be racing with my team. I was, however, pretty nervous as I had just arrived back in Denver on Thursday morning on the red-eye flight from Maui after ~10 days of vacation. The Denver altitude always makes me suffer after a sea level vacation, but I didn’t want to miss the only team time trial of the season!
I parked in Boulder and rode to the race with Susan. We ran into our other teammates who had already raced the individual time trial earlier in the day and they felt that the conditions were great. Once together, we talked a little strategy (go as fast as you can and don’t drop each other!). I was a ball of nerves as I really didn’t want to disappoint my teammates but really didn’t know how I would feel.
We had a good 45 minutes to warm up, dropped our things off at our beautiful Audi team car and headed to the start. 3-2-1 and we were off – I took the lead at the start to try and set a manageable yet good pace up the first hill. It was going well, Susan pulled through, Berta followed and Rachel got us through the corner and onto Nelson Road. We kept rotating and at the first descent Susan charged ahead and we had to jump to stay on. I pulled up one of the longer hills, with my teammates behind me cheering me on. On Nelson Road we got passed by the Primal ladies team and I could feel all of us accelerate in an attempt to keep them from getting away. We turned onto 75th, passed some riders and could still see the carrots ahead. On 73rd, I could feel my legs start talking to me and they weren’t saying especially nice things, but I pushed on hoping I could maintain our current pace. On Niwot Road, I skipped a rotation hoping it would allow me to recover and still do a little more work, but my time was limited. With about 3 miles to go, our speed had deteriorated and I told the others we were too slow. Rachel pulled through while at the same time picking up the pace and had Susan on her wheel. There was nothing I could do, I was done and they were going!
While I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to cross the finish with my team, I was happy that I had done it and was even happier that the others left me when they did. We ended up in 2nd place in the SW1-2 category and a big part of it was because we rode well together and were able to make smart decisions.
Thanks to GS Boulder for putting on a great race!! It was an awesome day! We had a great turnout for our team with Berta, Susan, Rachel, Ingrid, Kimberley, Amanda Cyr, Barb, Megan, Anna and Elizabeth all racing in one or both of the events!