Sara / AZT:beer::beer:
Sara / AZT:beer::beer:
Here's a shot of the ITT podium, I don't have RR podium shot, yet.
On a climb where you need every pedal stroke pushing you forward, and the right gear to stay attached, a skipping chain is death, pure and simple. Starting you with the men also completely changed the dynamic of the race and created a really uneven playing field, sort of like throwing a pace car out there and seeing who could hang on.
You did well on a tough course in tough conditions. You earned the medals in both events. Several million of your age and gender peers didn't show up ;)
Nice thing too is we have HF's winning TT file to do some comparison, been working with her on small things that really add up and she's putting in some technically excellent rides.
This was a good chance for you to do battle on the TT bike and continue that learning curve.
LAJ and Ex, thanks. Yeah, I am really pretty happy about my ITT, but I have to admit that finding out that my nemesis got me by 43 seconds when I had just killed it out there was a bit deflating. We'll fix that, though. I am enjoying that TT bike!
Ex, I totally agree with you on the RD starting us with the men. I was thinking while on the line "oh, crap, now everyone is going to try to stay with them and there goes the race". EVERY SINGLE ONE of the women was spit out of that pack, and ALL of us rode the bulk of that race, in that damn wind, on our own. It did not need to be like that. But, it was, and it's done. Yes, I was there, not on a couch! I have the sore butt to show for it, too.
The women should have gotten together and pushed the promoter to at least allow for a 1-2 minute gap from the men. Worth sending an email.
sara, that merge with the guys does really change the dynamic of your race, and having it happen on the start line is a bummer. In a couple of my recent races, last-minute changes were requested by people in the pack (one to split the fields and one to join the fields) - and both times, the race director put it to a vote of the racers - with the requirement that it had to be unanimous to change from what was published. both times the change was voted down.
I had a training race two years ago where they merged us with the guys, and the women who were there (only about 5 of us) all agreed to not race with the guys - so we made our own start like 2 seconds after the guys and raced against each other. Just a thought, if this happens again, you guys can make a pact. But that would mean you have to all stick to the agreement, and not race with any guys, even dropped guys, which might be very tempting in a real race.
W.R.T. the TT - congrats on giving it your all. Keep working on it, there is so much to learn, and of course you have a great resource in your coach. My TT just got better, and it wasn't about watts, it was mental.
W.R.T. the mechanical - what did you learn from that? I might have as a takeaway - no equipment changes on race day. Maybe you tested the equipment combo and didn't have the issue - but maybe you didn't test.
Wheels of Thunder
SW4 - 1st/33
Long course, wide open roads, non-technical with 3 left turns, one of them a little narrow, and two short climbs, including the finishing stretch. Somewhat windy, with threatening rain that didn't happen.
First time I ever raced 2ce in a day.
The first race was the masters 45+ women, 45 minutes, one team mate, small field. My plan was to sit in and sprint, my teamie was going to lead me out. But the field was small and there were a couple of people I didn't want to be near, so I spend a little extra energy staying in front of them. There were a couple of solo fliers, and then one counter looked threatening, and I went with it, but the woman (S) who was the biggest threat wouldn't pull through, so I didn't either and we were caught.
Last lap I was in the position I wanted, but my leadout teamie went way way way too early (she didn't like the unhill finish part) and I didn't go with her, it would have been suicide. My plan was to wait wait wait for the sprint, but someone went early and I got suckered into going too (doh!)... I went really hard and got a good gap, but it was too early. I almost almost held off the pack but got passed right at the line by S, and her teamie was right behind me. If it had been 5 meters longer I would have been 3rd, 5 meters shorter I would have been first. Sprinting is so tricky!
Second race, though, I got a do-over.
20 minutes in between races - just enough time to do one spin around the course, switch jerseys and bottles, and get to the line.
30 minute SW4 mentoring race - the mentoring and non-technical course brought out all the inexperienced gals, and it was a fairly large field (33). As soon as it started I was like, whoa, this is a sketch fest, and even though my legs were tired and I wanted to sit in, it felt too dangerous to be in the middle, so I stayed near the front on the edge of the pack, even though I had to work harder than I wanted. This turned out to be a good decision, lap 2 had a big crash right at the S/F line, I heard something and looked over to see someone's legs pointed up in the air. (3 to the hospital, 6 dnf). I spent the next 2 laps, considering dropping out b/c I was shaken by that image. at 2 to go the pace increased a bit and the pack got smaller, which was nice. I was able to be in the position I wanted - top 5 most of the lap, 3rd wheel after the last corner (took a good line and slingshotted onto the lee-ward side of the group), and was more patient this time. Someone jumped just a little before where I was planning to go, and I sat on her wheel until she started fading a little, then jumped myself. First over the line by a bike length.
My first W in a real race!!!!!!!!!!!!
Valygrl, holy crap!!!! A W!!!! Way to go, woman, way to go! Patience, smart racing, right placement, karma - all of it, you had it. OMG, am I ever glad you avoided that crash, that sounded nasty. Oh, I am so proud of you.....W!!! Congratulations!!!
Valygrl, I did test the wheelset the day before the race, and in the warmup it was working perfectly. I've been having cable issues on the Cannondale as of late (they put cheap crap on that bike to keep the cost down), and I think it's time to get them replaced.
So awesome, valygrl! I was waiting for the report. Very well done.
Way to go valygrl. Post pics if you have them.
<bows to Valygrl> Awesome, especially after a hard and long race. You rock.
congratulations! i'm popping a cork on a bottle of champagne in your honor. :)
me, i drove a wheel car for a race yesterday. i figured i can't race so i might as well volunteer.
Our Masters groups get polled at the line frequently to see whether the older category wants a delayed start or not. It's similar, but not quite the same, as what you ladies face. Personally, I go against the delayed start unless there a big consensus to do it. It rarely (actually, make that never) works out here. Either someone in the delayed group decides to use the younger group tactically and attacks to get around them (that would often be me) and things get mixed up, and/or the older group gets lapped at a really bad time, like just when you are cranking it up for the sprint, as happened this past year. Fubar, is what it was, and it made the finish order meaningless.
Obviously, it does change the character of the race. A sprinter will want the delay - slower pace, smaller field, fewer chances of a successful break. I'm a break guy, and I want the fields combined so I can try and be in a break with someone from the other category. Usually, our officials take the unanimous or you go by the flyer/bible approach. Sometimes they just make the decision on the spot on their own. I never object or complain, as it's all part of the sport. I just adapt my tactics to whatever they decide to do, and I typically have an advance plan for each alternative. You know, so I can throw it away when the whistle blows.
Wheels of Thunder - 4's
Finish: last of ~50?
First race of 2 races today. Same course as vg above. Plan was to be in position for a prime or three, and give'em a go, otherwise ride easy and conserve for race #2 . I was not thrilled about riding with the kidz, but it turned out to be fine and I felt very safe...much safer than race #2 below.
First prime I found myself 2nd wheel, and a couple of guys went too early, and I followed in their draft. They flamed out and I waited behind them as the finish was still far away. Then boom! Some young'un launched and I couldn't catch on. The kid was not only fast but he also had excellent positioning and timing.
The rest of the race was uneventful as I focused on saving energy and with that M.O., was never in position for another prime.
Wheels of Thunder - 35+/4's
Second race of the day. Sadly, I could feel the fatigue from the morning race. The plan was to sit in all race and contest the finish.
This race was mid-afternoon and there was a strong (~19mph) crosswind on this oval course, which made the leeward side very advantageous. The field was 75, and usually many abreast, so switching sides during each lap to be leeward was a challenge! Leeward on the finishing straight was up against a curb, and for a stretch of this straight, the pack was consistently only 2-abreast, and aggressively in the gutter.
The pace was fast (for 4's) at 25-26 mph (with a hill and wind); the lap times for the 35+/4's were less than for the 4's, even though it was windier. The last 2 laps were 28mph.
There were only 2 real corners on this course. For the entire race, never could I make it through either corner without brake checking, because everybody in front of me was brake checking; I was frustrated by the generally poor riding skills for the pack. It was very sketchy unless you were in the first few wheels.
After 40' of scrum, we came to the last lap. I had good position exiting the last corner onto the very long finishing straight. A couple of guys attacked too early, about a minute out into a headwind, and I followed, staying fairly sheltered. They died; I coasted - for about 1 second, until a whole boatload of frenemies hammered past. Everybody was launching from surprisingly far out, about 45". I chased, but never caught the fastest.
I have success at getting good position from ~1' out, but then always get blindly attacked from behind while waiting either to launch or for a better wheel to follow. The balance between launching and following from 1' out is something I am clearly struggling with. If I were my own coach I would probably tell me to start practicing 1' attacks in my "C" races.
Thanks everyone! Still feeling the buzz from the win.
Tom, that's interesting people were using the gutter, my race wasn't savvy enough to do that, but I'm putting it in the playbook. It sounds like the wind changed, we had slightly-right headwind on the finishing stretch..
Teton, that's cool that you are volunteering. I have a teamie who is doing that too, she crashed out in her very first race ever (!) and got a serious concussion (!!!) and she's been volunteering as much as she can and coming to all our races, she can't wait to get back to it. Yesterday when Iwent back to the car between races, she was standing there with my jersey with the other number on it ready for me to put on, handing me a bottle. What a great attitude.
Thanks for helping out in your local races, as AZT said, it does feel good to give back.
I haven't found any race pix. here's the podium: