Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An unintentional time trial

The ladies of CycleLife powered by Specialized survived a physically challenging race weekend with the Wilmington Grand Prix NRC race on Saturday in Wilmington, DE and then the Kelly Cup/Bike Jam in Baltimore, MD on Sunday. Both fun venues and fun courses, but for the accidents that always seem to go hand in hand with your registration packet at Bike Jam.

We know crashes happen. We hope to escape them unscathed. For the most part, the team survived this weekend, although PJ is nursing some bruised ribs and torn cartilage from the Womens' Pro race crash pile up at Bike Jam. We think the bike is ok. And PJ has been prescribed a big bottle of percoset. (I saw it.) So all it right with the world. Or just sore and really fuzzy. I know she was planning on doing hill repeats up Illchester this morning and her last words to me last night were, "It's okay to ride while taking percaset, right?" Talk about devoted to this sport and the training it requires. Geesh. I'd be shoving those percasets inside my daily ice-cream chipwich and calling it a day...for at least 5 days.

(Photo courtesy of Chris Kelley) (Photo links courtesy of Jim Wilson)

Thanks to Joe Jefferson for the MABRA shout-out for my first win this season in the womens' 3/4 race at Bike Jam. First, I could not have gotten the W without my awesome teammates: Chicken, Jen C, and Sara. They knew I wanted to win--and made sure to keep the pace high and me off the front throughout the race. Race report below.

With two laps to go, Chicken rode up to the front and passed me sitting at 5th or 6th wheel. She winked at me--more than once---so I knew she was communicating something to me. Though I wasn't sure what. I decided lots of winks meant I should follow her. (I assure you this was not how my fiance snagged me.) I tried to move up on Chicken's wheel and it was being securely drafted by Dori (Artemis). The woman knows how to draft a wheel. So I patiently tried to maneuver myself onto Chicken's wheel while the pack moved along the back side of the course.
Right before the chicane, Jen attacked up the left side and caught the pack by surprise. Like a greyhound spotting a rabbit, I jumped off Chicken's wheel and grabbed Jen's. At that point I started barking out encouragement like a drill sergeant, "Come on Jen. Keep pedaling. We've made it away. Keep going. Just take me as far as you can." Jen put her head down and drilled it through the chicane, up the back stretch and round the final corner to the uphill finish. At that point, my adrenalin was coursing through every vein with every pedal stroke. We had opened up a sizeable gap on the field and I knew I had the jump and the legs to finish strong. I pulled off Jen's wheel and said, "We've got it babe. 1, 2. You and me. Come on." With that I sprinted up the hill. As I crossed the line and sat up, I heard the familiar bell and in that split second looked right to see the lap card displaying 1. Oh shit. And oh yes I did think that was the last lap. I repeat, oh crap on a cracker.

So I dropped back into my drops and put my head down and went on, muttering to myself, "Great. You hate time trialing and look where you are now. Left to time trial this darn thing." I heard the call of "8 seconds but closing in" while on the back side of the course and I saw my watts drop below 210 which means I've got more to give for a real TT effort. So TT effort it was and I managed to pull off the W with a solo finish across the line and kept the field at bay for the remaining lap.
So, did I unintentionally win. No. But did I unintentionally win on a solo 1 lap effort. You betcha. But in retrospect, I suspect the pack thought Jen and I were nuts to be drilling it up that incline with still one lap to go. That was, however, enough for me to get a gap I could hold. But I owe it to my teammates for believing in me, making the attacks throughout the race, and controlling the front of the field. Thank you chicks.

By the way, I saw this picture on Jim Wilson's site and I want to know where these were at Bike Jam. I'd have sprinted for pie primes all day long. Note to promoters - I do not speak for my team. They like cold hard cash.


Zig said...

Not true. I like pie.

jared said...

Congrats on the win. Nice job sticking it out for the extra lap.

Pete said...

damn, that is a leg-searing story. Congrats on the [unintentionally] gutsy move, and way to stick it for the win!

Badger said...

Zig - For being such a great teammate, I'll give you race $ and pie! I'll be baking something for Sat RR..me thinks brownies might be easier to stuff in our jerseys than pie...