Sunday, May 6, 2012

Highland Rim Omnium Race Report

This weekend was the Highland Rim Omnium. It’s been at least 3 years, maybe 4, since I last did this race (2011: Rev3 Knoxville; 2010: Rev3 Knoxville; 2009: training for IM Loo). My memory did not fail me, though, and I remembered that the road race had a tough climb, the TT was all climbing, and the crit was fun. This year, however, there was no TT and the crit was modified. I wasn’t too disappointed about the TT, but I definitely was disappointed about the crit—this year’s course wasn’t very challenging at all compared to some others we’ve done.

The crit was Saturday, and it was only Parri and me from Team Belladium. We started with 7 other Cat 1/2/3 women, and I took off from the whistle. Jes was on my wheel immediately, and AJ was close enough behind to catch up within a lap. Parri also wasn’t far behind and caught on within a few laps. The 4 of us stayed together until Parri took a little detour and dropped off the back (she somehow went up a driveway, into some gravel, and then back onto the road, all without panicking or wiping out). The 3 of us together kept the pace up the whole time and ended up lapping everyone except Parri, some multiple times and one only once (Alison caught on when we were lapping her and finished with us). I think I looked at my watch twice during the entire 45 minutes, just to see how far into the race we were. At the finish, Jes went a little sooner than I’d planned on and I didn’t react quickly, which meant that she was the first into what Todd had said was the critical corner and won the race. I finished 3rd.

The course was a 4-corner, clockwise, short course that took what felt like 1 minute to go around (it might have been 1:15, and I’m guessing we did at least 35+ laps.

Sunday was the RR, and we had a much bigger Team Belladium showing: Kat, Catherine, Parri, me, Valerie, and Shelly. Twenty-two of us started together—they joined the 14-woman Cat 1/2/3 and 8-woman Cat 4 fields because they were running slightly behind and more is better. The 2-mile climb comes around mile 15, the next 30 miles are pretty flat to rolling, there is a 3+mile descent, and then the final 2 miles are rolling to uphill (that somehow equals 55). My only hope at staying with the lead group was to be one of the first up the climb and then hope I could stay with them whenever they caught me. After a few attacks, I was the first to start to the climb but not far enough ahead to put me where I wanted. Instead, I ended up by myself from mile 17 until possibly mile 47 or so. It felt like forever.

For most of those 30 miles, I was able to see Valerie and a Marx & Bendsdorff girl but couldn't make up much ground on them. Finally we all ended up together for a couple miles before the descent. Valerie let me lead (and pretty much let me get away) on the descent, so I crossed the finish line solo in 9th place for the Cat 1/2/3 women and 11th place overall. Kat won the race; Catherine won the Cat 4 race; Parri was the 3rd Cat 1/2/3; Val was the 3rd Cat 4; Shelly was the 4th Cat 4. Pretty successful day all around, even if at least half of us rode alone! Kat was by herself after the climb too because Parri and Catherine kept anyone else from catching her.

Saturday afternoon crit: 45 minutes, 14.41 miles, 21.3 mph (30.3 max), 185 bpm (199 max)
Sunday morning RR: 55 miles, 2:56:36, 18.5 mph (43.3 max), 160 bpm (190 max)
Total Sunday mileage: 3:28:31, 62.57 mi, 8.0 mph, 155 bpm; 12:45, 3.93 rollout; 19:09, 4.04 roll in

I will be honest—I did not want to ride those 4 miles back to our car!

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