Sunday, July 15, 2012

SCRD Rocket City Omni Race Report

It feels like it’s been forever since more than 1 or 2 of us raced together and even longer since we traveled together. So I was really looking forward to this weekend’s race, the Rocket City Omnium (Part II; Part I here) in Huntsville, AL. Anna, Catherine, Kiki, Shelly, Valerie, Todd, and I headed south on Saturday morning before our 11:40am road race. We were scheduled to ride three 10-mile loops in a Cat 1/2/3/4 race, and we set out with 12 of us total (6 Team B, 3 Mystique, 3 no-teammate-women; 1 Cat 2; 5 Cat 3s; 6 Cat 4s). It started out beautiful, with sunshine and humidity. With no neutral zone, we started out fast and quickly dropped 2 of the Cat 4s (I am guessing this was one of their first races, and they had 1-day licenses). Right around 6 miles, Jenny (Mystique) looked up and said, “Do you think we’ll get rained on?” Shortly after that, we did—and it was pretty much a downpour. It’s obvious on the graph because our speed dropped a bit when the rain came. We are aggressive, but we are also all about racing safely!

Kiki leading the charge in the crit.
This and the rest of the pics from here.

The rain didn’t last more than a couple miles, and by the time we crossed the finish line the first time, the roads there were completely dry! We didn’t get rained on again, and the roads on the back stretch were a little wet the second time and mostly dry the third time around. And it started getting super hot! The attacks started just after the first time across the finish line. By 13 miles in, after some solid attacks by Shelly and Valerie, just before mile 13 Catherine, Anna, and I had a gap on the field that Allison (Mystique) bridged but no one else could eliminate. Anna did a ton of the hard work for the first couple miles to ensure that we would be able to stay away, and then she wasn’t able to stay with us. So Catherine and I, with Allison, worked what felt pretty hard for about 10 miles. At that point, we got a time split from the referee that told us we were about 2 minutes ahead of the rest of the women.

Catherine and me as the break in the crit.

I had known we had a decent gap that could stay away because 1) we were the strongest riders, 2) Todd had moved from behind the field to behind us, and 3) Valerie would do her best to keep us from getting caught by anyone still in her group. By the time we finished, we had about 3 minutes on the rest of the field. Catherine attacked with approximately 1 mile to go. Allison reacted and caught her, so she sat up and recovered. She attacked again within 1/2 mile, Allison attempted to bridge, and before she had a chance to catch Catherine I took off to start my sprint to the finish. Coming up to the line, I knew I could catch Catherine or let her win, and I opted to catch her. My 2nd RR win ever! (The first was the first RR of the season, in GA.) Results: 1/12, 1/5 Cat 3s

The TT was a couple hours later on part of the course we’d ridden in the opposite direction. It was super short, and my goal was just to go hard. Go hard I did, and although there was a net gain of 40’ over 0.6 miles, I still managed to finish in 1 minute, 37 seconds, good enough for 44th of 70 finishers and 2nd of the 7 women who did the race. Catherine won in 1:34, and Kiki was 3rd in 1:39, so my 1:37 was pretty much right in the middle of that.

Team Belladium on the crit line.

The crit was Sunday, and 7 of us lined up for the 30-minute race. Team B had 5 women (Catherine, Kiki, Shelly, Valerie, and me), and there were two others (one Cat 2, Beth; and one Cat 3, Allison). There were also 12 primes over the course of the race (in which we did 15 laps). They had a prime on the first lap, and Valerie basically led me out for that prime. I didn’t necessarily need to win the prime, so I waited for Shelly, Kiki, or Catherine to make a move. When they didn’t go before my predetermined place, I went and got the prime. After that, I just went for all of them. Between minutes 15 and 17, they called primes on back-to-back laps. I had won the first one and went for the second, creating quite a little gap between myself and the field. Catherine bridged it solo, and it was just her and me for the remainder of the race. Well, rather, it was just her and then me for the remainder of the race. She was clearly riding stronger than I was, and I just wasn’t able to stay on her wheel. She stayed out by herself and won the race, and I stayed out by myself and got 2nd in the race.

I loved being able to go for every prime I wanted to and still being strong enough to stay in 2nd by myself. I would have liked even more to have won the race, but Catherine was stronger and deserved the win. Todd had said it was either of ours to win, and she earned it.

Catherine the winner!!!

This was a super fun weekend. It was awesome being able to race with my girls again (I’d missed them in WI), and it was so much fun working well as a team and dominating every race (granted there weren’t a lot of women, but we still had to finish well to place well). Beth, the Cat 2 racing this weekend, said after the crit, “It’s hard to beat a team that works like a team,” and that was a great complement. Todd has worked with us for a while on getting us to work together, and we succeeded this weekend.

  • RR Stats: 29.82 miles, 1:19:26, 22.5 mph (34.4 max), 182 bpm (200 max), 1106’ ascent, 1172’ descent, 3 laps
  • TT Stats: 0.6 miles, 1:37.0, 22.4 mph (26.7 max), 170 bpm (184 max), 49’ ascent, 9’ descent
  • Crit Stats: 10.48 miles, 28:24, 22.1 mph (30.6 mph), 175 bpm (188 max), 474’ ascent, 512’ descent, 15 laps
On the crit line - I was just remembering
to put my gloves on at this point.

Valerie and me ready to race.

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