APRIL 26th Sunday Quabbin Road Race as Ashley raced it
Open womens- 62 miles- Ashley, Cecelia, Dara representing for radical.
I really and truly I was excited to race as the temps were in the 80's and I knew I would be able to breath :)- so my first real race of the year (one I could race!)
I was not sure how selective the course would be- I read the course description and knew there was a hill at mile 10 and mile 20 that I had to pay attention on- but it is MA, and the hills are hard to predict.
Anthem showed up in numbers ( Beth miller and Elena being the contenders to watch) and I was happy to see the red-white and blue on Ann Marie Miller show up- along with Anna Milkowski and a Colavita lady ( I never know how strong they will be...). Since Ann Marie Miller showed up and I know she is a safe and dependable wheel- I told Dara to watch her and try to stay on her wheel- if she goes- you go too- which is exactly what she did- nice job Dara.
So when did it go? Mile 10 on the first climb, Beth Miller jumps out of the right hand side of the pack- with one girl on her wheel- I am on the left side having a terrible slow motion moment- my legs would not go- they were screaming at me " I'm not ready yet" they did not have a choice- the first person to jump out of the pack to chase that was Elena then I see AMM and Dara, ( who bridged up effortlessly from my perspective- I was very jealous!) I am going- doing the best I can to get on the end of the bridging girls with Cecelia yelling at me " get up there Ashley!!!!" ( thanks Cecelia this really helped!) The girls up the road were going for it and I knew this was the race moment- so I talked my legs into moving for me and actually sprinted onto the back of the break- that was a great feeling ( Anna Milkowski and I were I think the last scramblers)... I had made it!
So right away we started drilling it and pacelining- we had to stay away and there was a fast downhill- we all worked together pretty well- I would guess the group was about 12-14 girls- fantastic a bike race! this is why I came :) but we still had 50 miles left- yikes~!
At mile 20 there was a long stepped climb ( kinda like hill towns but not as hard of a climb- but it was one hill on top of another- you thought you were at the top and then it went up again) AMM and Anthem were setting a really high pace up the whole climb- my legs were feeling great but the rest of me was suffering quite a lot- about 2/3rds up the climb I see Dara going backwards- yes this climb is hard- no joke! And we shed a few girls on that climb- Colavita was really nice to me saying to me hang in there- we are almost to the top- I guess my suffering was apparent!!
I made the selection- yeah!! Crap this is hard- I try to eat and drink a lot- knowing this it taking a lot out of me with my race fitness being behind- We worked together the paceline went pretty smoothly except for when Elena came to the front she would not pull through or would just sit up- I don't get it.
We continue on- the course levels out a bit- lots of fast down hills! We were working the whole time but had not had a climb in a while and at mile 40 there was a short power climb- they hit it - I did not- my legs were stiff and un-moving- I could not persuade them as I got unhitched from the front group :( Crap!!!!!!!
I thought now I have to keep my place. Head down- legs wake up and I push through the last 20 miles by myself without being caught- I achieved that at least along with my first real race fitness of the year!
Ann Marie Miller won- 9th (ashley), 12th (Cecelia) 18th (Dara)/ 39 finishers
It was fun!