Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tour de Tuscaloosa: First Races of the Season

The team headed to Tuscaloosa, AL, this weekend, for a criterium on Saturday and a road race on Sunday. Eight of us raced this weekend: Anna, Kat, Lisa S, Lisa C, Parri, Shelly, Valerie, and me.

Saturday's Crit Course

Sunday's Road Race Course

We must have ridden the crit loop 13 laps, and we rode the road loop 4 times. The hill in the crit course got just a little harder every time, but it was nice to have ridden a hill 13 times one day and then know that whatever challenge we had on Sunday, we had to tackle only 4 times.

As a team, we rode well, capturing 5-6-7 in the Cat 1/2/3 crit and 2nd in the Cat 1/2/3 RR. None of those are my results, but I'll get there or help my teammates stay there. Neither was by any means my best race, but neither was by any means my worst race. I loved having teammates on the courses with me, and I loved having the opportunity to work with others to try to help us all get better results. Overall, the weekend was great.

Crit: 45:32, 15.16 miles, 20.0 avg (34.4 max), 190 HR (200 max). I got dropped 2 laps in but kept the right race attitude. I knew there were people in front of me I could catch, and I did my best to catch them and not think about anyone behind me. It didn't take me long to catch one girl, and she and I worked together the entire rest of the race. We got lapped by the eventual winner with 4 (3) laps to go but didn't lose much ground to the main pack. We caught 2 other riders right at the end and had a good little sprint finish. I remembered how much I love racing. 13/16, OK for a first race but leaves me a lot to work on.

Road Race: 2:04:13, 38.97 miles, 18.8 avg (35.9 max), 160 HR (191 max).

I got dropped by the lead group somewhere around 8 miles into the first lap. Someone attacked up a hill and split up everyone. Val, Lisa, Shelly, and I got together and worked hard to catch a group of 8 or so that included Lisa S and Anna.

Anna was ready to roll, and as soon as she realized that she had 5 teammates with her, she wanted to pick up the pace and split up the group. She did, and the 4 of us who had just caught her fell off again, not being able to pick up the pace after the hard work we'd done to catch them. Shelly and I thought after the race maybe we should have kept going—that is, passed/attacked that group as soon as we got there—rather than staying on the back and we could've had a chance to split up the group a little and then be able to relax for a minute or two. Alas, we have a lot to learn and remember about strategy. Val, Lisa, and I ended up riding the last lap together, and when we realized there was a girl ahead of us and Valerie was still climbing so well, we sent her on ahead to try to catch that girl. 19/22, not so good even for a first race. And on second thought, maybe we should've pulled Val up to that girl and let them duke it out at the finish instead of making Valerie do all the work and then have to think about beating her across the line too. Need to remember that it's OK to hurt for a few minutes and recover after the race. Go big or go home!

Weekend: I forgot only 2 things: sunglasses (Shelly lent me a pair) and Team B clothing (which I have a bit of and will have to remember next time!). I was happy to have brought along my own food; it made pre-race and post-race eating much easier since I had good food easily accessible. Loved traveling with my team. They are a group of strong women that will make me stronger. I hope I have as positive impact on them as they have on me!

No comments: