In a two part blog Katie shares with us her experience at the Steamboat Stage Race. She has labelled this stage race “Bonkfest 2014.”
Steamboat Stage Race: Part I The Time Trial
Have you ever gone out to your car on a really cold winter morning and the thing just wouldn’t start? Sometimes, no matter how much money you’ve thrown at it over the years in maintenance, all the oil changes, the quality fuel you pay extra for, the time you spend making sure it’s a reliable vehicle, no matter what you do, some times your car just craps out on you. Well, I got to Steamboat and my “car” wouldn’t start. Except this time my car was my body. The machine I try to take excellent care of failed me.
This is a two-part report recalling my worst performance of the season. It’s taken me a few months to come to terms with what I now refer to as “Bonkfest 2014” – also known as the Steamboat Stage Race. This is my favorite race. I love the town of Steamboat, I love ending race season in Steamboat and I love ending the summer in Steamboat. This year my family flew in from St. Louis to watch and I was hoping for a good result. I flatted in the road race last year and crashed in the time trial, so this year couldn’t possibly be any worse…or could it?
Per usual, I was sleep deprived on the day of the time trial. We drove half way to Steamboat the night before the race, arriving in Summit County around midnight. We took a nap and drove into the Boat early the next morning. I didn’t have time to pre-ride the TT course, so I drove it quickly before I started my warm up. It wasn’t ideal, but at least I knew where the gravel was and where to turn. As the current State TT Champion, I expected to do well in the time trial. I had a decent go at it, ending up 3rd only one second off of 2nd place. It was great positioning going into the road race. At least I hadn’t crashed like I did the year previous. (Yes, I crashed myself out in a TT…it happens). Though it was a good run and I certainly couldn’t complain about the result, something felt off. I felt off. I didn’t have the extra kick I usually had but I didn’t worry too much about it. Everyone has off days.
The next day was the big road race, arguably the hardest road race of the season. It was the longest, the hilliest and at the highest elevation. I’d put in my miles, I’d trained at elevation, I felt prepared…or so I thought. It was a cold morning for August. The skies looked dark and threatening. There was thunder and lightning in the distance and it was raining. I was nervous. I hate rain and I especially hate riding in it. I was already cold, shivering and just wanted to get on with it. The start whistle blew and we were off through the rain. I couldn’t see through my yellow lenses. Everyone was a little hesitant and there was a lot of braking going on. I worked my way to the front in an effort to stay out of the carnage that was inevitable. This is where it gets ugly.