Tag Archives: Barb Parnell

Cat 4 State Crit Champion Race Report


Team Mom Sharon rocked it, along with our stellar Cat 4 squad, and brought home the Colorado State Criterium Championship jersey! And yes, the Cat 4’s did faster laps than any of the women on that day!

You know its time to rethink your racing when your son tells you he has seen pictures of you all season on the podium but not a first place win.  Ouch!  Then you have a coach and teammates asking you when you’re going to get the big W and what’s taking you so long.  A little pressure if I say so myself.

Going into the CO State Crit Championships I really wanted the big W.  I knew I had to attack on every breakaway and stay as close to the front as possible.  I knew I had to watch out for those young college students who started appearing at the races and the regular strong riders that I know.  At every race we learn by our mistakes and I didn’t want to make any mistakes at this race.

Right out of the shoot the pace was fast.  Then right away breakaways started happening and I went on the chase.  I had no clue where my teammates were or if the pack was together or split up.  I kept telling myself to race smart.

As I was fading from chasing breakaways I said to myself I can’t do this it really, really hurts then I immediately said, “Yes you can”.  I let the positive thoughts take over.  After settling back in I looked over and there was Amanda C.  I had to do a double take.  I’m thinking wow she’s still in the pack and was so impressed, thrilled, etc.  She said, “hey buddy, get on my wheel”.  Of course I did as I was told.  She went to the front and worked away with team mom on her wheel.  Then another attack happened so away I had to go.  Chased that one down.  Then we all settled back in again at a fast pace.

Lanier (who I adore and also wanted the big W) ended up on the front and pulled for several laps and my guilt came over me so I said, “let me help you and I’ll pull”.  I pulled for a whole lap then I hear this voice next to me yelling at me to get off the front.  Yes, my angel appeared again and took over.  Amanda C.

5 laps to go and I look over and Megan appears at the exact time I needed her to relieve Amanda. Nice work Megan.  Then Amanda gets back up front and sooner than I would have liked Lanier jumped around Amanda so I jumped on Lanier’s wheel. I knew I had no choice but to stay 2nd from the front if I could. I hung on and once Lanier and I got around the final corner I took off.  We were side by side and I said to myself dig deep and that I did to get the win.

Yeah!!!!  I finally got the big W for my awesome teammates and me.  I couldn’t have done it without Amanda C. and Megan helping out on the laps when I was maxed out from all the attacks.  You girls rocked.

Amanda B.- you were sick on Sunday and you still came out and raced.  I would have gone back to bed if it were I.  I was very impressed. You are at every race supporting me and encouraging me to do well.  You have improved immensely during the season.  Keep up the great work.

Barb- I gave you a goal before the race and you accomplished your goal.  I was so proud of you.  I gave you a goal for your next race and I want you to shoot for it.  I believe in you so you need to believe in you.

Megan- you started out the season being totally afraid of crit racing and look at you now.  I’m so impressed with how much you have improved at every race and how more comfortable you have become in the pack.  You appeared in the front at City Park when I needed you and then you did the same at this race.  Keep up the great work.  I’ll continue to have you to race with once we bump up which is awesome.

Amanda C.- Blah, blah, blah…..it would take several pages to go over everything I have to say about you.  I would not have won this race without all your pressure, support, encouragement etc.  I would not even be racing this season if it weren’t for you.  I’ll never forget our first crit together.  You were all over that pack like you owned it.  You know how to race and race smart. This race was your break though. Next year is your year.  Go for it.

“Pain Cave Racing” at its best


I wanted to stay in Vail for the weekend since I accomplished my duties of beating up the Amandas on the Copper Triangle.  As usual I was told by the Amandas that I had to come home and do the Sonic Boom Crit and help the team out and get team points.  Guilt! Guilt!

Once again the Cat 4’s were stuck racing with age group.  Guess who once again was racing in age group, all the Pro 1-2’s (Therese Johnson, Heather Mierzejewski, Gabriela Ferrat, Andrea Koenig and a couple other ones).

In Laramie I made the mistake of picking out who was pro 1-2 and decided I didn’t need to hang with them since they weren’t in my division.  That was a big mistake because I feel I could have placed higher than 4th if I hung with them.  At this race I told myself I was going to hang with them as long as I could.

Start line.  Amanda C. had me get right next to her on the start.  I was going to go behind her and I’m glad I did not.  3-2-1 go.  Speed went from 0-100.  Heart went out of my chest.  I jumped on the train.  Oh my gosh where are my teammates?  Where are my other racing friends?  What am I doing?  It’s sink or swim!  The sharks are surrounding me!  Hang on, you don’t want to be in no mans land by yourself.  Yikes!  I just hung on to the big girls for dear life.  This was by far the hardest and fastest race I have ever done.  Anytime a gap came between the big girls and another girl I would have to sprint ahead and fill the gap. Then the slight uphill out of the turn they always picked it up more so I was out of the saddle sprinting to hang on.  I have bruises on my wrist to show for it.  I can’t tell you how happy I was when this race was over.

Where I found this inner power to race like this is beyond me.  I was Vo2 max the whole race. 100% in the pain cave.  The speeds were fast, over 30mph at some points.  I did it.  I can truly say even though I only got 3rd in my division I hung on with the big girls the whole race until the final sprint to the finish.  I finished this race feeling good about what I accomplished.

Great job to Barb, Megan and the Amandas who raced this race hard.  It was not an easy race but you all were out there giving it your best.  Just think of the great work out you got.  You all apologized to me because you couldn’t be there to help me.  No apologies needed.  You did an awesome job and just being next to me at the start and cheering for me during the race meant a lot to me.  It’s only because of you wonderful teammates that I am racing this year and having a great season.  You believe in me and your support at every race has been awesome.
Team Mom,