Sunday, June 14, 2009

Central Park Club Race June 14, 2009- Erica Places top 5laces top 5!

Four Raddies showed up ready on this Saturday for the six lap power points race, joining 25-30 other women.

Points are to begin at the end of the first lap, and continue at the top of Harlem Hill and Cat's Paw through to the end. We're neutralized for the fist sprint. Our pre-set team strategy is not to worry about the first set of points up Harlem Hill, but to be with the lead group in case of a split, which we think is likely. I know Alejandra is going to go for it, given her great sprint and current fitness, so I get on her wheel at the bottom of the hill, and when she gets up to go, I go with her. She leads me over the line for third place. I'm as surprised as anyone, and am a little afraid that I've expended too much energy, but to recover as quickly as possible in order to be ready for a response from AMM or Jaimie Nicholson, which do happen but fortunately with enough breathing room that the pack is able to contain their attacks, along with a few other attempts.

Second sprint, the first at Cat's Paw, Lisa Force goes early, I get on her wheel, she leads me almost all the way up and I pass her near the line for second place. This is going well. David has warned me though that it is difficult to recover from Cat's Paw in time to sprint at Harlem so I'm a little worried that I've made a mistake. But fortunately we got neutralized again, right after the sprint this time, so we get a chance to catch our breath before the next HH sprint. I get on Alejandra's wheel again for this one, and end up with second again. How exciting! I'm wondering if I'm actually going to be able to pull this off for the whole race. I was unfortunately right to wonder. Next time up Cat's Paw I get on Lisa's wheel again but am only able to pull of around 5th, and am just lucky to have a teammate like Ashley who is on Jaimie Nicholson like glue when she tries to get away after the sprint.

Next time up HH a whole new crop of sprinters have taken over, with AMM and Deb now competing with Alejandra. I'm beginning to get a cramp in my calf and have lost my sprinting mojo, so I back it off just a touch over the top and try to jam it down the other side and help Ashley cover any attacks and gaps in the field. And so it goes. By the fifth time up Cat's Paw, Ashley is up the hill in front of me, I'm in mid-pack with Jaimie, so we switch roles and I jump on Jaimie's wheel when she launches her predictable post-sprint attack. I hear AMM say to Jaimie "I'm here" from in back of my wheel, and thought well if we do get away, I'm in good company if I can just hang on. That lasts about a second and the group is with us again.

Going past Tavern for the last time, Ashley comes up in front to set up a lead out for me for the finish. Cecelia goes in front to keep the pace high, we can't quite get on her wheel since she is on the other side of the road, but it helps string out the field a bit so it's not too messy going into the sprint. Ashley gives me a good leadout but the Teany riders, who haven't contested a single sprint all race, have timed their leadout and energy reserves perfectly, and Colleen Conway sprints across the line first for her first top finish (unfortunately that only gives her enough points to finish 5th, but kudos to Teany and Colleen for their excellent finish!). I'm not even sure who else finished ahead of me, but they place me 5th for the finishing sprint, with Cecelia finishing right beside me (or something like that?), and fourth overall for the race.

Great teamwork Raddies! Thanks so much for believing in my sprint more than I did.

Cheyney Road Race June 14- Ashley Was Feeling Good Again


Sunday I headed down to Landcaster County- armed with promise of temps in the 80s and a clean cardiac bill of health.

There were about 25 girls lined up- it was a combined Women's field- and I really didn't know anyone but for Betty-

The course is a 10 K loop ( same as central park) with a pretty nice climb in the middle- well a 2-part climb. The first climb started out a bit steep at the bottom but was steady ( 1.5 k of climbing combined)- leveling out a tad towards the top. At the top of that main climb there were QOM points on all laps but the 1st. After the first climb there is a slight down-hill then a 2nd climb that was long and steady ( not as steep as the first) that leads into a face tech downhill- with the finish at the bottom- so fast finish.

2nd lap- I stick with the girls going for the QOM- legs a bit tight- and get 4th- but I realized that the other 3 girls had really gassed themselves and I had a lot more in the tank, interesting.
3rd lap- I pushed it on the hill setting the pace - I was not planning too, but no one wanted to go that hard- and I wanted a work-out so I pushed it a bit. One girl came with me, Laura McCaughey (Australian track champion living at T-Town over the summer- I didn't know this until after the race) she took the sprint just barely- and would sit up after the sprint- we had a huge gap- and I felt good- so I decided to just go- what the hell? I pushed up the 2nd climb got out of sight for a bit but they really made up the time on that fast downhill and I was caught after a half lap- I should have saved this move for the last lap but well- I was antsy I guess :)

So I kept up the strong climbing with Laura clipping me at the line every time- I encouraged her to go on the 4th lap- but she was not interested- why would she be- she will win the sprint!

So now I am a pretty marked woman and knew I would have to wait until the 6th final lap- the first hill we went pretty hard but they fought to be on my wheel- so I sat up a bit and decided to go on the second climb- the 2nd climb there was one team with numbers and they set up an attack counter attack- I went with the counter- she went hard- we got away! wow- a 2- person break! we made it down the hill coming into the finish with a group chasing hard and catching us on the line!!- DARN- there went my finish- I ended up in 8th- but had a very fun time- the best by far I have felt this year-