Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rockabilly Gran Prix Race Report

RR start, team meeting, during the race, and podium

Friday night we headed to Jackson, TN, for the Rockabilly Gran Prix races. Our road race started at 8am, bright and early (and dry). It was a 3-lap circuit, with each flat-to-slightly-rolling loop at ~10.5mi each. After ~1mi of neutral, we started attacking. I went first, but I then got dropped pretty quickly after getting caught. That definitely was partly a result of my Friday birthday workout.

Somewhere around mile 7, I caught Karah and she and I rode the remaining 23 miles together, alternating pulls and hoping to catch anyone else. Around mile 27, we caught Megan, another Cat 4 rider, so I told Karah I'd lead her out for the sprint if she could pretend we were teammate and she'd stay in a good position. She did and stayed on my wheel for the sprint. Karah played it perfectly, but Megan made it too easy unfortunately.

Twice within those final 3mi, I had the girls pull through. Karah knew the plan but Megan didn't (obvsiously), so I just said, "Pull through and I'll come back to the front." She did, but then she kept wanting to lead or, worse, ride next to me. I didn't want to say too much, but I did say, "Use the girls you're with...don't do too much work!" She did too much work and wasn't able to stay with us for the final 200m. Karah did awesome and I'm proud of her effort even if she isn't my teammate.

Speaking of teammates, AJ, Parri, and Cali made it into a 6-woman break, from which they finished 1st, 3rd, and 4th. Kiki, Anna, and Shannon were in the next group and worked together to set Kiki up for the Cat 4 win/bonus. Score! I finished 14/22 overall and 4/4 Cat 1/2.

The TT was not great for me. I was on my road bike and had gotten in a decent warmup, but I just did not go super fast. Like almost 2min slower than AJ, who won. She was on a TT bike, but I still shouldn't be that far behind.

RR Stats: 1:31, 31.53 mi, 20.6mph
Lap 1: 30:50, 20.5mph. Lap 2: 30:17, 20.9mph. Lap 3: 30:33, 20.4mph.
TT Stats: 14:33, 5.00mi, 20.6mph
Crit Stats: 28.54, 10.59mi, 22.0mph

Our crit was, again, super early, and it had rained most of the night so we were really hoping for dry roads and no rain. We got it! 21 women lined up for this race, and we had 7: Amanda, Cali, Anna, Kiki, Shelly, Catherine, and me. We had the luxury of numbers, and we used it to our advantage.

Early in the crit

Cath and I weren't a threat to the overall (AJ, Cali, Pam, and Marda were all pretty close), so we were aggressive from the start. We got chased down by mainly Marda, Jess, Stephanie, and Shannon, but with 4 laps to go I attacked and no one came with me or chased.

I knew I'd have to work hard to stay away for the remaining laps, but I also knew that if I didn't, Catherine had my back and the other girls would help Amanda maintain her overall lead. Finally, with 1 to go, I knew I'd stay away. My effort those last 4 laps included attacking (standing up, even) the 2 hills on each lap to either maintain or increase my gap. It hurt.

Finishing off the front, Amanda sprinting, and Omni podium

Jess started chasing and my teammates picked up the pace to set up for the sprint, so my lead at the finish ended up being only a few seconds. But it was a lead nonetheless, and I came away with the win. Amanda won the field sprint for 2nd, Cali finished 5th, Kiki beat another 4 and won the Cat 4 omni bonus, and everyone else did her job and raced smart.

Any win for Team Belladium is a win in my book, but a 1st place for me is also a nice feeling.

(Pics from here and from Catherine.)

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