Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tour de Ephrata April 25th & 26 -Evie Does it Again for the win

Day 1 40-mile road race:

The race was amazing but most importantly we got a big dose of Amish culture right away on the drive to the race, buggies and Amish people all over the place. Goal #1 was accomplished.

About 70 women started this race. The Raddies did nicely get ourselves to the front of the race quickly. I was thinking it might be good to try out some new strategies at this race, but then decided a women's open field with 70 riders on a narrow, windy and gravelly roads might not be the best idea. Instead I did what I know best, and sat on or towards the front the majority of the race.

The Raddies made our presence known by being at the front and protecting each other from the wind (more like Erica and Maria coming up and sitting in front of me, so awesome!!). I got a nice lead-out from Andrea Luebbe the 2nd lap near the hill and launched an attack, I got a away for about a mini minute, then I got caught by a few, tried to attack that group a few more times, but was really a big fat snickers bar dangling in front of them on the open Amish roads. I think we dropped about half the field (unfortunately Maria suffered another flat, I think it was the 2nd or 1st lap, yuck, hopefully you have fulfilled your flat quota for the season!). About 35 of us went into the finish. I somehow got myself stuck in the swarm of the pack going into it, when we hit the 200-meter mark the girl from BMW (Lauren Shirock) jumps. I decided I should mark her wheel and then I just tried to sprint and not get in the way of anyone else. I managed to pull off 3rd and Erica was right there at about 20th.

Day 2 TT and Crit:

It was 4 miles flat (or more rolling) and then 4 miles uphill and this uphill hurt, I remember thinking; I might puke...puking before you cross the line is not sooo cool. I was able to clock a good time and got 1st (I think it was Maria's shoe covers she let me use), Maria, "I am going to soft pedal it” I see screaming up the hill got a strong 16th place and Erica rocked it full cannibal style for 23rd (I think it was about 60 plus women at this point).

So the crit was a classic 4 corner one, with a little uphill followed by a downhill finish. Raddies were once again able to shimmy up to the front and from the gun we went hard, my thought was maybe we should try to string it out in order to get rid of some of the riders. It was 20 laps, I tried to attack a good amount of times on the little hill, sometimes getting a gap but most people were not so itching to work with me. Maria hopped up front a few times and gave me a nice wheel, which was awesome. Erica was doing great until the last few laps when some girl crashed. I heard the crunchy bike noises...yuck! Impressively she finished the race after crashing, with a broken wheel with 7 laps to go. Wow! Maria got stuck behind the crash and was able to bridge herself back up to the pack, I think we were 3 laps to go as I drifted to the back and heard Maria go, I’m here!” Sweet! So the last lap to got up at the front, a couple of Verducci girls started to try to lead each other out from the turn of the hill, so I just decided to use brute force and go. I took the last turn at the front, knowing that I had Andrea Meyers and Mary Costelloe on my wheel, but it was too late to fix the problem, so I tried to move fast, but I wasn’t fast enough. Those 2 came around me.... yuck.... I think if it wasn’t for the crash, we would have been able to set up a better lead out, next time!!

I won the GC overall. It was a fun weekend, The Raddies really showed we were a team that works together and we were all able to work on our tans.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Battenkill 2009- Evie wins the Pro field!


So the race from my perspective...(Maggie Shirley that is).

Anywho, the first 9miles or so was totally chill with radical setting a decent clip at the front to keep evie out of the wind but comfortable. Thanks Maria for your crazy draft. I needed you.

So this is where the narrative gets choppy (at mile 9) cause I went into something like reptilian survival mode in which language is condensed to grimaces and grunts...and the frontal cortex lies

So what I remember...Anna Milkowsi (who apparently knows the course)attacks into the first gravel stretch after which follows a series of turns and a narrow covered bridge with about 65 of my favorite female riders knocking around beside me. Evie and I fall to the middle of the pack immediately before the climb; our plans were foiled. Have no fear, dear reader, we scurried up the gravel on the right side of the road to find ourselves beside the likes of the gasping Anna and ahead of the middling pack following us up the climb....

Again reptilian, I remember something like Evie attacking at the bottom of the first climb, then Lynne Bessette (yes, that Lynn Bessette which we will further to refer to as winner of redlands 2007 and total Canadian badass (damn those Canadians) chased her down and then launched a pathetic which our Evie gives her the smiling grimace and lays down another. At some point, the road changes from smooth pavement to dirt...and I'm like wholly pooh this race is forreals. I'm watching all this as they, yes, climb away from me.

I'm reminding myself that these damn sprinters legs tend to go hard for me (for about 10 seconds) and then fill up with acid and send me into wheezing fits as I fly backwards on the climbs...So I try to remain within myself...hehe. No can do with Evie running the show up the climbs.

So frankly, I get dropped and as I crest the top...I can see three groups of two straggling about 10 meters apart with the field about 30 meters up the road. Ack. So my mind-set is something like, this shit ain't happening, and I slam it into my big ring and start to haul through the slight downhill gathering girls in my draft. Anyway, I get to the pack and look around for Evie...but alas no teammie. I'm like there is no way I passed her and didn't notice...and then I see the pesky Canadian chasing and realize...ah ha. She is off the front...OF COURSE.

So the pack chases for 3 miles or so...through some rollers, etc. And I get to just sit for awhile...thanks Evie.

We roll a bit more through some flats and then hit another climb. (May I point out again that Evie pulled way to much the entirety of this race. I often tried to get in front of her and block some wind but then got frustrated with the stupidity of pulling around a WORLD CHAMPION and one of the nations best I slunk back to the pack. Hehe (got to get my jabs in where I can)...but I guess it didn't hurt Evie to much in the end anyway.)

So we climb again...and yes...surprise, surprise, Evie attacks again at the base of the climb. This time the tempo of the pack is more steady and I am able to haul my sprinter ass up and over the climb on the strung out remnants of the pack. (BTW, I wheeze....who knew).

Anyway, we descend a bit and around mile 35 with Evie presumably a bit gassed from setting tempo off the front; I attack. So I'm not sure what happened in the field at this point. Pretty sure they decided to just let me fry out there (damn them) but I was having fun. I felt pretty good and decided to try to keep my pace around 24 miles an hour (except the uphills) and lay some tempo. At some point I was told I had about 45 seconds, which was fairly cool...but as soon as I was beginning to have delusions of grandeur (or at least hoping a small group would bridge up). I guess the pack decided they didn't like my style and started to work. So after five miles of an effort I was reeled back in (boo.) and boy did Evie's counter hurt.

Some more rolling (and yes, Evie was on the front).

All that followed was dust, crazy, gravelly pain. I must say that these girls all had fairly mad handling skills cause there was several near disasters as women fishtailed down the gravel descents but we managed to finish it all rubber side down.

Anyway, so there was a roller coaster section which consisted of three gravel power climbs ( I think this was the section with 25% grade) and three gravel descents. I was totally gassed and holding on for dear life. I could see the Canadian and LVG looking frisky up front and got worried when Evie was climbing near me. No fear Evie get up there and she sets gravel spewing with spinning legs as she vaults to the front. I realized my folly when the pace picks up and I'm begging for pity in my own head from my teammate on the front.

It all comes down to the final climb...which I regret to say I hardly remember...except pain, pain, pain...and then Oh sh*t, LVG is falling off...I can catch her (I'd been dropped already). Evie in the meantime, attacks and managed to bring five or so with her.

The rest of Evie's story is she finally found someone as willing to work as she is in Anna Mccloon and the two of them make the made dash to the finish with several on their wheels. Evie wins in an impressive dash to the line from 300 meters away...a true (I'm a whole lot faster than these chicks) way to win.

My story....I latch onto LVG's wheel thinking...well she might pull me to the finish. She looks back (knows I'm not gonna help her in anyway) and lays down an impressive pull. We pick up audrey from anthem and several other girls (I think we finished with 6 or so). I have to say I saw altarum and anthem pulling LVG to the finish when both teams had girls up the road. I can't imagine how these girls could transgress such a cardinal sin in racing. I can only imagine that it can't possibly be as cool on other teams as ours...but whateves.

Anyway, so I am TOTALLY stoked at this point cause I GET TO TRY MY NEW SPRING AGAINST LVG and I know she is tired. hehe. I think...maybe, just maybe.

So the long and short of it is...she kicked my ass....but I did manage to keep up with her for the first third of the acceleration...which I must say was a mighty proud half a second.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bethel- March 22- Open Women's Race. Reported by Ashley

Bethel- March, 22 Open Women's Race

Maria, Cecelia, Maggie and I, Ashley, headed back up to Bethel CT. to keep Maggie in the leaders jersey and get a nice spring training race in. The field seemed a bit smaller than the week before- I'm guessing around 30 girls. Our job was to get Maggie in a good position to sprint either from a pack finish or get her into a break.

As we hit the first hill my legs were feeling ok after pulling for the first lap through the wind I was happy- last week if I pulled through the wind I was dying on the hill but not this week- thankfully! The pace was when riders would hut the hill hard. Sometimes, Radical set the pace and sometimes other riders set it. Radical was always attentive and at the front of the race to be sure if there was a break someone got in it.

About halfway through we did have a nice attack by Maggie that resulted in a break with Maggie and Ann Marie Miller- that was caught by the next hill.

In the end the race stuck together and came down to a pack finish- coming into the sprint Maria quickly got to the front and gave Maggie a nice lead-out for a second place finish. Radical raced a good race- it was fun! Maggie won the series! Nice job team!