Challenge Road Race
1st Place Senior Women Category IV
Ok, so they started the 3s and 4s together. They told us we could work with each other but not any other groups. I didn't want to take off on the first hill because I had no idea how strong any of the other girls were...they were good climbers. I stayed in the front, not letting anyone pass me, but I wasn't killing myself off. I made sure to keep my breathing under control on both the climbs. I stayed in the front and eventually on the climbs we broke into about 5 of us up front. We stayed together for most of it, got stuck behind the master 45 who wouldn't let us pass. Several people told me about the course--2 climbs, flats, rollers and an uphill finish. I didn't think the rollers would be so hard. They were uphill rollers if that makes sense. The girls go so slowly on the flats...I couldn't believe it. I stayed in front, but didn't want to make any huge effort pulling. On the rollers we dropped two more girls, so there were three of us together at the end. They were both cat 3. I came in the finish before the cat 3 and 4 women, but they cat 3 had another lap, so that really doesn't count. I was probably 20 min. ahead of the second cat 4 and I got 20 bucks!! Woo hoo!! It paid for gas at least.
So I hurt on the hills..the flats felt good, really good, but the hills hurt-I guess they're supposed to. I felt good though for my first ever race.
Junior 17-18 year old
11th Place Elite 3
Ethan, Ryan and I set out for Live Oak on Friday afternoon. We planned to stay at my grandparent’s home that night and drive up to Challenge the next morning. This worked out well so that we did not have to wake up extremely early for the race. We made it out there and got registered, and pinned some numbers. It was actually quite cold in the early part of the morning, but that would not last for long. We made it over to the starting line and sat there for about 30 minutes. Velo Promo is always late, but I can not blame them because they provide so many races throughout the year for us, and I really appreciate that. Velo Promo races are what racing is all about; its races for riders who just love the sport as the only prize is a T-shirt. I must say though, a Velo-promo T-shirt is considered to be quite the trophy in the bike race world.
Well the course started out on a crazy neutral descent. I got in front for the neutral descent and stuck behind the motorcycle, it’s quite amazing how much draft you can get from those. The pavement was horrible for this descent, but my trusty Specialized and I glided over most of it. We started up the first climb and I began to do some tempo near the front, I was not going very hard but it felt good to open up the legs a little since I had very little warm up. After a bit I dropped back and put in a small attack. I got pulled back in and Ethan attacked and Ryan blocked on the front. I think that we may have started our tactics too early, but it was a lot of fun to ride with a team. Along the course we went onto a very nice paved descent, and it was pretty steep. We got going about 5 2 mph so that was quite a lot of fun. I personally enjoy windy technical descent more than pure speed, but there is just something about going over 50 mph on a bike that provides a thrill. I sat in for much of the lap and then we hit the feed zone climb. This climb is tough and it is absolutely wide open so the sun was just bearing down on us. I went with an attack on the climb just so that I could sit on and be in front of the pack so that I would have a buffer zone and not get dropped because I was suffering. I made it up to the feed zone and poured water all over myself and then I felt decent through the final climb.
The second lap I just hung in and tried to conserve. We started the feed zone climb and I once again went with the attack to provide some room. The pack started to break apart chasing us down and about 20 guys made it up to the break that I was in. I started to really suffer on it though and was barely hanging on to the back of the new pack. I made it to the feed zone once again and got some much needed water. I then went up near the front for the start of the other climb. I suffered my way through the first part and barely hung on. I made it back up to the front for the steep section of the climb, but I was dropped there. I made it to the top not to far back and the pack was just humming along now along the flat section. I snapped up into my big ring and gave it all I had to get back into the group. I went straight up near the front and started the final climb there. One guy attacked right at the start, but he was chased down relatively quickly. At the 1 KM sign the pace began to heat up, and I was stuck in the second row. I wanted to move up so I could be ready to move quickly on any attacks, but with the yellow line rule and the ref on the motorbike right behind us I had no where to go. I was suffering and I made it to the 200 meter sign where there was a large attack and I was not able to respond. I suffered my way to the end and got caught by Zach Williams and Ryan at the line. I think that I should have conserved more, but I also think that on this day some 8 other guys were better than me.
Thanks for reading,
6 years ago