Tag Archives: Megan DiBiase
2013 has been a year of learning for Megan in bike racing, and it is only April! She found you could “work” your way into bike racing based on fitness alone, but eventually bike skills are a necessary prerequisite! This blog post Megan shares what she learned this weekend, and how her teammates helped so much along the way.
Fed Center Crit
A year ago I hated crits/avoided them, now I crave the opportunity to do them as a way for me to improve my bike handling skills & sprinting. Plus they are fun once you get going. It really helps that my Cat 3 teammates are pro when it comes to bike handling and always give me tips before, after the race, and even during (Kat will not let me get gapped!). I am slowly learning how to corner wisely, how to respond to attacks, how to sprint, and how to draft better and better. Fed Center was a great opportunity to work on all those skills, while scoring team points, and improving team camaraderie. Ironically Lanier was trying to lead out Susan or I and ended up getting herself on the podium. So never underestimate your potential! BTW Fed Center has something like 17 corners on each lap, I was going dizzy by the last lap trying to figure out which way to even turn. You certainly had to pay attention! I look forward to more speedy races like this to come
As for Deer Trail, this was a 43 mile road race I did well at in the Cat 4s. However with the 3s, I knew I faced stiff competition, and most if not all girls were definitely fitter than me as well. Our combined SW3/SW45+ field had around 25 riders to start. The corners and short steep hills were the normal dropping point so we quickly whittled our group down to 12 riders pace-lining through the rolling hills. At around mile 23, I was bonking – hard! I am still figuring out nutrition for these mid-day races. I then accidentally dropped my gel and had no food. Luckily my awesome teammate Susan gave me about 200 calories of food and got me eating and drinking stat! If not for her, I would have dropped halfway through the race. Instead I lasted well until the last 2 miles, where my legs died after responding to attacks. I did everything I could to sprint for 8th.
Nutrition, Bike Handling, Sprinting, Pack Riding Skills, can always be improved and make you a better bike racer. I think our team provides great opportunity for all of these skills to be developed through mentoring, racing, and teamwork.
I am proud to be on Naked Women’s Racing team and look forward to a strong season for our Cat 3 squad
And Megan, we’re happy to have you!!
Megan and Kimberley raced this weekend in Fort Collins and both not only kept rubber to the road, they kicked butt and got a podium finish. Great job to represent the Naked ladies this early in the season.
After an exciting weekend in Moab with the Naked team, I was primed and ready for my first race of the season, which happened to be Cobb Lake Circuit Race in Fort Collins CO. I was nervous because it was my first race in the SW Open field, which meant any female of any category in the region could show up. I was nervous about getting last place and letting down the team. I was nervous because I just had my hardest week of training in 6 months and was fatigued.
However, the race ended up being a lot of fun. And there is nothing like racing to make you stronger, or to teach you how to be a better racer! Here is my recap as well as lessons learned:
- Entrants: 18 women, 6 Cat 1-2, 6 Cat 3, 6 Cat 4 registered.
- Course: 48 miles (6 x 8 mile loops with a 1/2 mile finishing climb on each one, plus ~1 mile section of dirt to boot).
- Finish: 8th. 3rd Cat 3. (Top half finisher)
Within the first lap, one girl had attacked the field, and launched a tremendous pace on the rest of us. We ended up all grouping up in the 2nd lap into smaller groups of 1-5 riders. Luckily I found a group of 5 to work with, though we were sitting 8th-12th in the field at the time. Each lap was harder but I had to concentrate on the race within the race. Rotate, eat, drink, hammer, etc. On the first race of the year, it is hard to pace, so there is always a learning opportunity! Eventually the race ahead was won by my teammate Kimberley in a sprint to the line. My group of 6 broke up in the final 2 miles (on the dirt!), so there were 4 of us going up the final climb. I tried to sit on the 3rd and 4th girls’ wheels and went around them both on the final steep section to finish. I was lucky to finish 2nd in our group the line. For once I made a “move” at the right time. It was fun! The rest of the field trickled in over the next 10-15 minutes.
- Cat 1-2 women are really strong! They all but one dropped me within 30 minutes So proud of teammate Kimberley who won the race!
- Whatever you do, find other people to work with. Even if you are racing for 7th place! The race was over two hours long and it was extremely beneficial to have a “pack” of 4-6 riders to work with, in the wind, up the hill, etc. It helped with focus, and definitely helped with speed.
- You might like what you least expect. My favorite part of the course was the dirt! I have always hated dirt, but I powered through it quite well and used it to my advantage here. I found myself less tired than those around me when I got to the hill each lap. Which was helpful for the finish!
- Never underestimate a sprint! Going into the race I had no particular goals for finishing, except don’t come in last place By the last lap I was thinking it would be Awesome to finish in the top 3 of my “Group” of 5-6 girls. I out-sprinted a few on the steep uphill to the line and finished 2nd in the group, which was a small victory for me. This really helped my confidence for standing uphill and for sprinting, which in turn made me more excited and confident for future races.
- Every race is a great workout, and is great recon for future races. You learn who is fit, who is climbing well, who doesn’t like to corner, who Really likes to pull into the wind, who is the best sprinter etc. It helps so next time you know who to best draft where and how they can make you a better rider. We all have strengths and weaknesses and can learn from each other.
- Hydration and nutrition is always tricky in a 2 hour + race, especially when it is during lunchtime! I was VERY hungry and thirsty by the end, and wished I hadn’t skipped lunch. Cramping hamstrings reminded me of such throughout the race.
- The best bike racers can respond to attacks. This is something I’m not great at and need to work on if I want to keep up in Cat 3. I especially have trouble going hard in the first 10-15 minutes of races, so I was hurting BAD early on, and wished I had warmed up more, or done some openers the day before!
- You never know What will happen to others (or you) in the race. In this particular race day I saw the following occur in various categories: DQ’ed riders for crossing center-line (on the dirt!), DNF riders that dropped out, DNS rider that missed race start (almost 2 miles from registration!), riders with flat tires who got behind, rider who crashed out and broke his fork. The list goes on! So even if you think you are doing poorly it can always come back to you so never give up.
I love road races and the challenges and the teamwork that is required (across teams too!), and this was a fun way to kick off the season. I encourage you all to do some road races in 2013!
Thanks to Dejan Smaic for some awesome photos: http://www.sportifimages.com/RoadRacing2013/CSU-Cobb-Lake-CR/Pro-12
Sexy Beast put this lil’ number together. Can we say how much fun we have as a team? ‘Nice Swimming Medal’ is now our new catch phrase.
Our Cat 4 riders crushed the Salida weekend. Sadly, we’ll see Sharon evicted to Cat 3′s but the other Cat 4′s will pull together to try to win the Rocky Mountain Road Cup by the end of the season! Here’s Megan’s recap-who also will be joining the Cat 3 ranks soon too!!
This weekend was the State Road Race Championships in Salida, CO. We had a good contingent of 7 Naked TriBella girls between the TT, Crit, and RR, which was spectacular. My goals for this weekend were Top 10 in Crit, and Top 5 in Road Race. A team goal for Cat 4s was to catapult to 2nd position in the RMRC Cup standings
Saturday morning was the Salida Crit. My boyfriend and I got up wearily at 6am in Denver and hopped in the car for a long ride to Salida. I was tired, I was anxious, I was very nervous, as the last time I did the Salida Crit I got dropped in the first lap, let me tell you I was Terrible at crit racing when I started bike racing. This year I was inspired to do the crit because my teammates would all be there with me, and I needed to face my fears of a figure 8. I started the race by getting off the front and leading the first lap. This helped me not get stuck in the back of the pack early on! However I did spend half the race in 10th-15th position while watching Amanda Cyr and Amanda Bye and Sharon always seeming to hold smart positions in the top 10, I can still learn a lot from them! I will admit I am nervous cornering close to others. I have worked on my cornering but I am anxious around unfamiliar riders. Luckily I know most of the girls in the race and felt comfortable following their wheels, like Michelle Maxwell from Primal, who usually finishes one spot ahead of me in every crit With two laps to go I thought I would give it a go pushing at the front. By that time, we were pretty certain Sharon would win. She makes racing crits in Cat 4 look effortless. I led for a lap and then got stuck in 8th position. With 200m to go, Justine attacked and I caught on the tail end of a group of 5. We sprinted and I ended up 5th place. I was very happy, and very proud of my teammates. It was awesome having the Cat 2 and 3 girls cheering us on too, as they are an inspiration to us all.
Sunday was the Road Race. I was hoping my legs were fresh, but about 2 miles in, I could tell you they were anything but. I had to keep reminding myself on this unrelenting 5.7 mile circuit course that this was hard for everyone. Though my goal was top 5, I found myself in 11th position 2 laps in. I wanted to give up. I looked at my boyfriend cheering and was embarrassed and downtrodden. Then I saw Lanier Allen from Team Evergreen pull by me. I got on her wheel and we started working together. She is dynamite, absolute dynamite on the downhills and flats. I pulled her up the steep sections, and she showed me how to descend FAST. We slowly but surely ticked people off. On the final descent we were catching up to the group holding 4th-7th positions. Never in a million years did I think we could catch them, but with 200m to go we caught them after the final turn. I thought we must be sneaky, and I started my sprint early and went between them, sprinting hard for fourth. It was a much harder sprint than the crit, let me tell you. I was very lucky and pleased to solidify 4th place in the road race, after almost giving up halfway through. Moral of the story, never give up, and always find someone to work with! Congrats to my teammates on their spectacular finishes, including Sharon on the podium again, this time in 2nd.
My inspiration for next year – train more with my teammates! They are smart and fit and fun. And nice work ladies moving us back up to 2nd in the CAT4 RMRC Cup!
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.
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.
I wish I could have my dog write this race report like he writes our holiday letters. I do not enjoy writing but here goes.
Who talked me into this?
Am I glad I was talked into this?
Yes, now that it is all over. On the last 11 miles of the RR I was cussing both girls out.
RR-54 miles of non-stop wind. Stayed with the lead pack until the start of the climb and then after a few minutes they blew me up. It was hard having those pro 1-2 racers who did age group in our category. The climbing was actually easier then I thought. Was by myself for awhile then caught up with Kendra and worked with her then Megan caught up to me. We all worked together for a few minutes then Kendra fell off. Megan and I stayed together. It was so nice having a teammate to work with.
We’re at the top of the climb. I love descending and I know Megan does not love it as much. I told her she had to stay on my wheel. I did go close to 50 so she did fall behind but I kept hearing her words and Kathy’s (my coach) do not do the last 11 miles alone. I knew the best thing to do was to wait for Megan to catch up so we could continue to work together.
Last 11 miles. Highway to hell. 45+ mile an hour head winds. No fun. Megan and I passed the 2nd place position girl then she caught up with us again but did not want to work with us. We kept trying to rotate and push on but you never felt like you got a break from the wind. Megan ran out of water and I was giving her some of mine. She was getting fixated on no water, which I was down to almost zero. I told her we couldn’t fixate on the fact that we had no water and that we were going to die on that Highway to Hell from dehydration. We caught up with the 2nd place girl again with about a ½ mile left and I just hit the wall. The wind became a head case for me. I told Megan to take off and go get second place which she did. I trudged in and got caught on the line thinking no one was behind me so I got 5th. Lesson learned. Always look behind you. DUH!!!!
Who’s idea was this?
Yes, it will help with muscle recovery.
Ok an ice bath. This was a new one to me. Joan runs my water, throws in 1½ bags of ice. No, not 1 she had to add another ½ bag. No they weren’t 5# bags they were 7# bags.
Sharon, get in the water now. I slowly lower myself in screaming I can’t do this. She appears before my tubs. Points her finger at me. Gives me that mother look and tells me to sit down now. Yikes! I obeyed. She throws her coat on me makes me some hot tea and sets the timer for 12 min. I decided the only thing that would keep my mind off this is to text. My Pen Pal (Amanda C) was 2 doors down and she was in her ice bath so we sat there the whole time texting back and forth killing time. Mama Joan finally comes in and told me I was in there for 14 minutes and my time was up. Thank G-D.
Day 2: Crit
The plan was to have THE AMANDAS worked for Megan and I. We told Megan her goal was to sit on my wheel and I was going to sit on the Amandas wheels and whoever was fresh enough and in the right position was to go for it.
The whole race Amanda C is leading the pack, I’m staying behind her and Amanda B was usually on my left protecting me. These girls amaze me with their skills and giving it their all at these crits. They were work horses the whole race. Leading the pack. In that crit every girl wanted to be on their wheels. Now, now, I get one of them so don’t get in my way. They are loved by all the Cat 4 girls but they belong to me so stay away:)
I didn’t hear the announcer say last lap but the pace did pick up. We turned the corner and I was close to the front but I should have jumped up to the age group girls for the sprint in. I took off past the couple of girls in front of me but 2 other girls came past me so I got a 4th. Lesson learned: Make sure you are right where you need to be before the last corner not after the corner.
FYI: My legs did thank Joan from that painful ice bath and told me it was worth it.
Thank you Joan and Roberta for all the cheering you did at our crit. It was awesome and kept us going just having you there.
TT: Last race of the weekend.
Today was the maiden voyage for my new Focus bike to get out there and do its first race. It’s time to break her in. Amanda C felt we needed to say the Jewish blessing over her. She started saying it perfectly in Hebrew with everyone watching and laughing then this Jewish guy comes over and helps her out with the prayer and adds his version. It was very funny. The Jewish guy and I rode off to warm up and Amanda C looked at me like that is my boyfriend fix me up. Sorry Amanda, next time. I was more focused on my TT and wasn’t thinking about a boy for you.
I knew going into the TT I was 6th overall and I didn’t have that many seconds between the girls in front of me. I told myself not to become a head case with the wind and give it my all. It would be less than 30 min. in the pain cave. I gave it my all and felt great. I did it with no TT gear because I don’t own any. Next purchase. Helmet and skin suit. Came in 8th but ended the weekend in 5th place overall. I’ll take that for my first Stage Race.
Joan, I am still wondering where that downhill is on the TT course that you kept telling us about. The Amandas and I never had it on our TT course.
I’d like to thank all my teammates (Amanda C , Amanda B, Megan, Joan, Roberta, Kimberley and Rachel for a fun weekend. I would like to give an extra thank you to the Amandas for all the entertainment, laughs and encouragement. I couldn’t ask for a better fan club. FYI: Amanda C is president of my fan club if any of you would like to join. There is an initiation fee so she can get a new bike.
Thanks for reading,
Megan tackled the first-year Guanella Pass Hill Climb in some serious winds and was rewarded (and surprised) along the way with motivation from our teammates.
Guanella Pass Hill Climb was this past Sunday. Why would anyone race their bike up a 12,700 foot mountain for fun?
1. The pavement was like butter (says Janet Uhde)
2. Hill Climbing is perhaps the best (humbling) test of your fitness.
3. The scenery could not be beat.
PLUS an unexpected reason: the Naked TriBella SuperFans!
This past Sunday, Kimberley, Janet, and I all raced the Guanella Pass Hill Climb, in SW2, SW3, SW4 respectively. We all achieved top 10 in our competitive categories and each overcame our own battle. Kimberley is returning from a serious wreck at City Park Crit and a bruised sternum. Janet is wrapping up swing shift rotations at her Denver medical residency, and I was battling a slow leak in my front tubular. Anyhow, it was a beautiful (albeit windy) morning, and we all enjoyed a good challenge.
Little did we know, our AWESOME teammates Amanda B and Amanda C were up at the crack up dawn riding the climb and chalking in with their support. Not only that, but they cheered from the top for over 2 hours for almost every finisher. I commend these girls for their undying support of the team, whether they are racing or not, and commitment to the sport and sportsmanship.
I was prouder than ever to be a Naked Tribella team member this past Sunday, thanks to my wonderful teammates, who continue to pleasantly surprise me with their undying commitment to the sport and this team. Plus, did I mention they now know personally almost every other girl on the women’s peloton?
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face at 12,700 feet!
Race report from Megan DiBiase. Naked Women’s Racing pb TriBella had a 2nd place finish in the SW 4′s, and two pack finishes, a 2nd place finish in the SW45+ field, a 3rd, 4th and 5th place finish in the SW1/2′s and a 6th place finish in the SW3′s. Wow!
A year ago, I would have told you I’d never have the opportunity to win at Deer Trail. In fact, last year I dropped out of the race, less than 10 miles in, with strep throat, and not enough fitness. A week ago I also would have thought my chances at podium were very slim. In the past week, I did a running race in Philadelphia, went to an amusement park with my nephew, got sick (again!), and had some severe mechanical issues with my bike. Oh, and only rode once.
However, if at first you don’t succeed try, try, again. The biggest surprise for me at Deer Trail this year was my fitness compared to most of the other women in the race. Within 4 miles into the race, we had a race of 40 women whittled down to 6! Oh and might I add that there was a 3-man crash in the first (neutral) mile of the road race! Being up front is key.
For the next 8 miles, the group of 6 was rotating pretty well though I could tell two of them were on the fritz going up and over the rollers, while I was in a comfortable Zone 3/low Zone 4. What can I say, I was fresh! At the first north-south turnaround (about 15 miles into a 35 mile race), the pack dropped down to three – suddenly! One of the girls with me was very confused: “What do we do? Shouldn’t we wait for my teammates?” I kept saying No and it took some prodding for her to man up. She was after all the fastest ‘climber’ of our little bunch. I relegated a strategy of rotation that was quick and efficient, and we gradually pulled away from the pack. A few times the third girl (who can destroy us all in flats and crits) was struggling on the uphills, however she gave us a nice advantage on the downhills and flats so I was happy to have her, and we really didn’t have a good idea how far behind the others were! And I certainly didn’t want them to catch up.
With about 6 miles left, the moto finally came by and told us we had 1:15 on the next bunch of 3. After that gaps were large and far between. How did the field get so spread out? A little wind, and some good luck, and larger than anticipated discrepancies in fitness? At this point we were just powering up and down the rollers and not sure how the finish would go. I knew I could probably out sprint the climber from GS Boulder, but the Primal girl was a Mad fast sprinter, maybe we could box her out? Well with about 1K to go, the climber went (too early) and I stayed just inside her wheel. About 200m to go I pulled ahead without Too much effort, but then out of the corner of my right eye I see an acceleration from behind (smart!). Leslie sprinted with all her might and beat me by half a wheel. I was proud to contest that 1st place sprint (and it hurt so bad I thought I was going to fall off my bike!) and was quite content with 2nd place.
We had fun with our podium and it was a good opportunity to work in the break. Deer Trail is a nice course, and we had nice weather, we Also got to see teammates in other fields (i.e. SW1/2/3 about 10 minutes up the road, and other teammates a little ways back) that kept things motivating. It was really a good course for me, medium build, good stamina. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. But then again I contribute that to three things:
- Started training early and racing early. I’ve been racing for 2 months while most girls have been racing for 2 weeks.
- Train with faster girls (and guys): I did a lot of training this winter with the Cat 2 and 3 women on my team, and they pushed me! Also this spring I’ve been riding once a week with Primal guys and they humble me like nothing else.!
- Don’t be afraid! We can psych ourselves out mentally all too much. Everyone hurts in bike races. You can do it!
Still a lot to work on (and I need to keep that mileage up), but I am a lot closer to a Cat 3 upgrade than I thought I’d be by now…but planning to wait until summer so I can keep on sprinting for first!
I have never worked for teammates before. In fact, last year I didn’t have any teammates in my category. So the prospect of riding and racing with my team this year was really exciting. But let’s step back a second. My cycling coach also coaches the DU Cycling Team, and I am a graduate student at DU. He convinced me to do a handful of early season races (March – April) in the collegiate division because: they needed women, it would be good practice, I could garner upgrade points, and the fields are sizable enough (~25) to practice all the skills of the trade.
Well this past weekend was my third collegiate cycling race, and I have gotten top 5 in each one! This weekend however I got the opportunity to work for a teammate, who was going for a podium finish to get her upgrade to “A”. So I got to do my share of “work” at the CSU circuit race, which had 3 x 8 mile laps, with one 90 second hill and one 1 mile stretch of dirt in each lap. Everything else was smooth sailing (literally). So my tactic was to get in front on the flats leading up to and in the dirt, power up the climb, and coast on the ridge and the downhill. We gradually broke the pack of 27 down to a pack of 7. It was fun being in front (for the most part), I got to drive the pace, pick my line, and not worry about girls crashing in front of me or braking too much (there are still a lot of squirrely gals in this division).
So all in all it worked out, my teammate got 3rd, I got 4th, and we were both 6 inches out of 2nd. Always something to work on (sprint!) but great race training and fun too. Collegiate cycling has been good early-season training, and now I am over halfway to an upgrade, but we’ll see if I can stretch that out. Still need to practice some technical skills!
How did I get so prepped this season? A training plan that started in January. Cat 2 teammates that drilled me into shape like Rachel Scott, Vera Divenyi, and Ingrid Alongi. Cornering practice with the TriBella girls. And getting my confidence up to go for it.
This next weekend I am going for the podium at the Air Force Academy And then back to a season of fun racing with TriBella!