Naked Women's Racing Blog

Race reports, training tips, and our ladies' lives on two wheels.

Steamboat Stage Race Surviving and Thriving

Allie Morgan discovers a wrong turn doesn’t mean you won’t end up where you want to be. 

After surviving the Tour Del Sol stage race out in Utah this spring, I decided to try the Steamboat Stage Race over Labor Day weekend. The first race was to tackle was a 22km time trial on Saturday morning. I was planning to borrow a TT bike from a friend, but after some mechanical problems, I did not get the chance to ride it until the Thursday before the race. I will admit that while I felt pretty uncoordinated on the too-big bike, I also felt really fast.

The first half of the TT passed by in a blur. I was gaining time on the person in front of me and enjoying the feeling of pure speed on the rolling course. Just after mile 6 it started to pour rain, making some of the sharp curves in the road a bit slick. Despite being drenched, the miles still seemed to fly by. By mile ten I had passed one person and was coming close to passing another. I came onto a fork in the road with cones rounding out the corner to the right. There were people with flags to show me which way to go and everyone was yelling “straight” but with the rain, the sound of my wheels, the muffling from the helmet and my loud breathing it sounded like they were yelling “sprint”. I bombed around the corner to the right, giving the last little bit of the race everything that I had only to be stopped by an official who kindly told me to turn around because I was headed the wrong way. Feeling embarrassed and exhausted, I sprinted back up the hill I had just soared down and got back on the course. Although my mistake only added a minute to my time, I lost the time I had gained on the riders in front of me and was passed by two people from behind. Lesson learned, always pre-ride (or drive) the course!
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On the second day we did a 48-mile road race on quiet country roads outside of Steamboat. The race started with two punchy climbs followed by steep descents that split the group in two. After the second descent, we rode on rolling hills for 15 miles, then turned around to do it all backwards. On the way back I attacked the first hill and was able to get a gap on the other women in the group. Exhausted and hurting I worked as hard as I could up the second hill, then rode the last 6 miles as though it was a TT. Each little climb felt a little more difficult, but I managed to stay ahead of the field and crossed with a strong time gap made up for my TT mistake the day before.
The third and final race was a criterium in downtown steamboat. The course went in a rectangle around several blocks so it was safe and fast. The pace was hard from the start, but almost everyone stayed together and the sprint at the end was hotly contested.
Overall the weekend was a ton of fun. Three races back-to-back was not as miserable as I anticipated, and I had the chance to ride through some beautiful parts of Steamboat. Thanks to Naked Women’s Racing and to all of the ladies on the team who have done hill climbs with me this summer for making this race possible.
Editor’s Note: Allie will be starting the 2017 road season as a Cat 3 after winning the 48 mile Road Race and Overall GC Category in Steamboat.