We did this race last year (it was an omnium) and came back this year for more. We like to do TN races because that's where we live, but we also like to do well in our state and pick certain races to focus on. This was one of them, because the road race was our state road race (RR). That means if you win, you get recognized in the state and you earn a jersey. So there's a little incentive. (But it also means very little, if any, payout, because the promoters want to encourage state racers and discourage out-of-state racers.)
Oak Ridge Road Race, short course
The RR was first, and I was ready. Last year I DNF-ed this race, and I told Todd that my goal this year was to finish. Baby steps, I said. Parri, Lee, Anna, and I all started together and had 45 miles/3 laps to complete, and about midway through each lap was a 1-mile climb. Last year I got dropped on the first time through and didn't complete the 3rd lap. This year I stayed with the group on the first time through, got only slightly dropped the second time and caught back up, and got dropped the third time. The first 2 laps were fantastic. We started out with 14 (8 Cat 1/2s and 6 Cat 3s) and ended up as a group of 12 working amazingly well together--I'm talking a beautiful double paceline with everyone doing equal work. There were not any attacks until the lead in to the big climb on the final lap, but it was just as hard as any other races because of the high pace. I loved it, and it reminded me the entire time of Hell of the South (or rather, I kept reminding myself of that race, because I'd done well there and it was similarly paced).
The third and final time up the climb, I got dropped but kept pressing on--I had gotten dropped the previous lap and was able to catch back up, plus this was our state race! I knew that I was currently 3rd in the Cat 3s and that if I could catch Stephanie and Jenny I could beat them on the final climb/sprint, but though I could see them for the final 4or 5 miles, I couldn't ever catch them. Still, I ended up 3rd and on the podium!
|Oak Ridge State RR 3s: Steph, Jenny, me|
I did a much better job with the heat this year; it was still just as hot (we started at noon Eastern), but I had an ice bottle in my pocket (which I drank later), 2 water bottles with me, 1 bottle at the first feed, and 1 bottle at the second feed. Smarter than last year!
Parri was 2nd overall and the 2nd Cat 1/2. I was 11th overall and the 3rd Cat 3. Catherine won the 4s race, and Kiki was 4th overall but 3rd in the state. So we podiumed in every race and won a state jersey!
|Oak Ridge State RR 4s: Catherine, Leah, Kiki|
|Oak Ridge State RR 1/2s: Katie, Parri, Jes|
2012 Stats: 47.79 miles, 19.4 mph (44.8 max), 170 bpm (196 max), 3728' ascent, 3348' descent
2011 Stats: 32.53 miles, 18.3 mph (42.1 max), 172 bpm (198 max), 2503' ascent, 2202' descent
The TT was later that afternoon and it was pitiful for me. This was a slightly longer course than last year, but not 2:30 slower! Last year, the first woman finished in 19:16; this year she did it in 20:00. Last year I finished in 20:55; this year I did it in 22:38. I don't know what to say except that I was tired. I was 11th overall and the 4th Cat 3.
Sunday was the crit. I watched Catherine, Shelly, Kiki, and Valerie dominate early in the morning, and then I raced early in the afternoon. Eight of us started, but no one in the final group of 6 had teammates, so it was quite slow and uneventful. I attached with just under 1 lap to go and 2 others came with me. Katie passed me straight up, and Liz sat on my wheel until just before the finish line, so I ended up 3rd overall and the 1st Cat 3.
This course was WAY different different than last year's. It was in an industrial area and had a 180* turn just after the start. It was shaped like a lollipop, I guess, with a little uphill to the finish and a downhill on the other side of the road. Counterclockwise, shaped kind of like this; the pipe on the far right is the start/finish, and the bracket is the 180:
Stats: 54:04, 19.5 miles, 21.1 mph (31.9 max), 170 bpm (193 max)