by Bekah, Jimmy, Tom and Michael
This just sucked. Took 3rd. The end.
I had made a plan with Brianna leading into this race that we would do a break on a hill. We had never ridden the course before so decided we would take the first lap to evaluate. We were hoping Sophia or another Cat 4 would bridge to us so we could maintain the gap on the descent and then hammer out to the finish.
I told Brianna at the beginning I wanted to set the pace as I was hoping to shake the Grupo women. I hate the way they ride. So we held at the front for maybe 7 miles until Brianna decided we should fall back and conserve energy. The grupo women kept launching these weird attacks- I think they were wanting to get someone to chase them and tire them out because they seemed half-hearted and with a decent pace at the front we could them in minutes.
We were sitting near the back going into the 2nd lap. I could tell the women were fatiguing when we started on the rollers and the pace slowed considerably. I saw a gap start to form at the back and I called out to Brianna that the gap formed and motioned to her that I was going to go. We flanked- her on the right, me on the left - which confused everyone and hammered up one of the rollers, creating a small gap. We eventually fell into a line and started helping create a pretty good distance through the downhills. Kate told me she and some cat 4s tried to chase, but they fell off and she was about to fall back into the peloton when Sophia came out and bridged the gap, taking Kate with her.
We were about 17 miles to the finish at this point so I told them we had to work together to keep our lead. Sophia kept the pace high by calling people off the line when they fatigued. We held a solid pace. I told Brianna that we couldn't beat Kate in a sprint so we tried to force an early sprint .5mi out but we both were just too tired to make that work. We rolled in together - though I guess I had a small gap on her and officially took 2nd.
With time tallied we ended up almost a 5 minute gap on the group. All the women were super happy- which was awesome because I had tried prior to this race to reach out and had a hard time bridging to other women. This helped out A LOT.
This was, by far, the most fun I have ever had on the bike in my life. EVER.
So after the road race Sophia pulled over me and Brianna and basically said we were going to do the same thing as before. Brianna and I were still trying to edge out Kate since we knew her strengths are flats and sprints and we have better legs on hills.
During the race, we only took small pulls at the front and if it looked like we did too much work, Sophia would yell at us to fall back (haha).
During the first lap the 2nd and 3rd place cat 4 women tried to make a break. It was clear they didn't have endurance but Sophia, Brianna and I pushed to the front to watch them and hold the pace so the gap didn't grow. We let them sit like that almost a full lap before I got sick of watching them dangle and bridged (they were basically back on at that point so didn't really burn a match). We forced them to eat wind and pull the group for another lap. They weren't too happy about that.
We fell to the back to make a plan and had determined that we were going to make a move during the uphill stretch of the longest roller by the feed zone on the 4th lap and hammer into the bad turn, work together to maintain distance down the downhill and just repeat the performance from the day before.
Brianna made the break and I went to the front where Kate was in order to hold the pace back for her through the roller. She had a great lead and on the last slight bump up, Sophia and I took off with Kate to bridge. We went into the turn, Sophia in front. She misjudged the angle of the turn and started to fishtail. I saw this, pumped brakes but too hard for my speed and went down hard- almost taking Kate out. Peloton was quick behind us and passed me, sprawled on the ground (lol).
I got up, didn't feel any pain so jumped back on the bike and took off after them. I had lost at least 1-2 minutes on the group at the worst part since they were in the downhill. I chased back the group for the next 2 miles- at one point the pace car came in front of me which was quite demoralizing. I knew that I could catch them on that final incline since the group never moved fast through there and that's what I did. When I rolled back on they were pretty shocked and I was pretty tired. I told Sophia I just needed :30 to recover then we were going to start dropping people- I was super upset and had no intention of falling off the podium for this stage.
We launched multiple attacks- not to break away but just to pull the pace up and lose people. We dwindled from maybe 12 to 6 at the very end and I just hammered up the last hill- taking 2nd and glad to be done!
I was really looking forward to the Tucson bicycle classic this year, in fact, I skipped a few races just so I count focus on the training. After carefully looking at each stages I opted to ride my road bike with my disc wheels and some clip-ons. I felt really good before the race and I had been seeing some gains in my training so I was pretty happy. This year I decided to do the CAT 4 once again and was expecting to be able to be competitive in the circuit race particularly and MAYBE in the road race.
On day 1 of the TT I had an issue with my disk so I wasn't able to use it, however, that didn't really influence my performance. I rode my slowest TT ever on day 1 but I never expected do to well on that course as there's a steep enough section to hinder my results from being competitive.
On day 2 I felt tired but when I looked at my data should have been still somewhat fresh. On the second lap I got dropped and chased back on about halfway down Helmet Peak then on lap 3 I got dropped again and rode hard in that wind with a couple of other guys who had been dropped and we came across the finish line together.
On day 3 I was feeling pretty tired but was hoping that as we got going my legs would spin out and I'd start to feel good. However, I got dropped on lamp 3 chase Bake and got dropped on lap 4 again and then rode the last couple laps by myself. Actually I was the last person to finish in the morning session of races, lol. Nothing like a slice of humble pie from the Lord!!
One thing that happened that was pretty funny was... as I was coming across the finish line all the pros were lined up and they had to move out of the way for me to come through. As I came through I started saying, "Hey, I have the call up!" which is when they allow someone who has some status to go to the front of the pack before the race starts. As I went by the pros were moving out the way several of them patted me on the back, hahaha! I still had a great time just hanging out with the team and seeing everyone else doing well. So now it's time for a little bit of rest and to reset for what may be coming up!
I was really proud that my father came out to support my racing!
This year I attempted the Time Trial on my aero road bike. I sacrificed the aero position to be able to climb better. I think it paid off with a top 10 finish.
During the Road Race 3 riders formed a break away in the first of three laps. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the Time Trial and their teammates took on the responsibility to chased down the break all race long. In the middle of the 3rd and final lap, I thought we would catch the break. We could see them very close to us. But the race leaders decided to let them stay out a little while longer. Richard bridged over to the break and gave them new energy to hold off the chasing peleton. With about 3 miles to go, I decided to bridge over to the breakaway. Nobody chased me down. First I passed Richard who fell off. Then I caught the other 2 riders. Once caught, I tried to shake them, but they attached themselves pretty good to my wheel. Then I decided 3rd place is better than not being on the podium, so I pulled us to the finish, placed 3rd place. Thank you Jesus!
After the road race I managed to be in 6th place overall. My legs felt good, so I tried to animate the race as much as I could. Maybe a podium overall place was possible. However I was a marked rider and none of my breakaway attempts were successful. I was able to keep my 6th place overall which I was very grateful about.