Mt Hood Stage IV

I haven’t mentioned how beautiful Hood River is and all of the courses, it was just heavenly. The final stage began with a fun descent with great views and Jennifer Barbour, Lori Emerson and I controlling the pace. The great thing about this course was that we got to see the final climb at the beginning because it was an out and back course with a little added after the starting line. Soon after we began the course flattened out for several miles as we approached the first climb which was long and very steep in some sections. Our group of 3/4 racers stayed together until the climb, I didn’t look back until three quarters up the climb when there were only 5 of us. This was the steep section and when we had less than a mile to the QOM is when I lost the lead group. I know it seems like I should have been able to hang on, but the accelerations during our climb was what hurt me and I just couldn’t do it. The descent was nasty, huge holes, breaks in the pavement, sharp and narrow corners, blind corners. That is probably where I lost most of my time. Jen said it was scary even for her so even if I had made it to the top with them, I may not have been able to keep their pace on the descent. During my solo descent, two non-teammates were working very hard to pass me without me catching on. They caught me by surprise, mostly because I had a group of men behind me who were doing the Mt Hood Tour which was on the the same course at the same time. When I heard noise, I just thought it was that group of men. I saw the two women just before they passed me, I gave it my all, but they had the advantage of 2 people and the element of surprise and I couldn’t grab their wheel. At the bottom we started retracing our steps, back across the flat – ish area and towards the climb, which was pretty uneventful. The additional climb to the finish was steep gravel and in my opinion a poor finishing stretch. I saw those 2 girls who passed me and I swear if my wheels weren’t spinning so much I could have caught them.

Here is the results for general classification:

1. 463 TRUEBLOOD Johanna Davis Bike Club CAT 3-4 WM 5.44’32″
2. 464 SHERRILL Ellen Davis Bike Club Race Team CAT 3-4 WM 5.44’47″ 15″
3. 472 BARBOUR Jennifer NewHope360/GSBoulder/Trek CAT 3-4 WM 5.45’13″ 41″
4. 480 MORIN Rhonda Sorella Forte CAT 3-4 WM 5.46’48″ 2’16″
5. 481 STERNER Jessica Team Rep CAT 3-4 WM 5.56’51″ 12’19″
6. 473 RODRIGUEZ Jennica NewHope360/Trek/GS Boulder CAT 3-4 WM 5.57’55″ 13’23″
7. 476 CHARBONNEAU Emily Sorella Forte CAT 3-4 WM 5.57’55″
8. 470 POMEROY ADLEY Lorna New Hope 360/GS Boulder/Trek Store CAT 3-4 WM 5.58’33″ 14’01″
9. 467 NELSON Monica KC United/Balance Point Racing CAT 3-4 WM 6.01’57″ 17’25″
10. 461 STICKLEY Tannille Balance Point Racing /KCU CAT 3-4 WM 6.02’58″ 18’26″
11. 465 APPLEBY-KRIEG Karen IDAHO KIDNEY Institute I.C.E CAT 3-4 WM 6.06’19″ 21’47″
12. 469 EMERSON Lori New Hope 360/GS Boulder Trek CAT 3-4 WM 6.06’40″ 22’08″
13. 466 CLARK Anna Ironclad Performance Wear CAT 3-4 WM 6.08’08″ 23’36″
14. 474 PEDERSEN Virginia none CAT 3-4 WM 6.18’01″ 33’29″
15. 486 PAXSON Emily CAT 3-4 WM 6.18’28″ 33’56″
16. 487 KOBZA Beth Bob’s Bicycles CAT 3-4 WM 6.19’22″ 34’50″
17. 475 AUDRAIN Ivy Norther Rockies Orthopedic CAT 3-4 WM 6.21’56″ 37’24″
18. 485 HUNTER Sarah Green Submarine Records CAT 3-4 WM 6.41’29″ 56’57″
19. 482 CLARK Sandra CAT 3-4 WM 6.42’13″ 57’41″
20. 471 DANKO Natasha NewHope 360 / GS Boulder / Studio One CAT 3-4 WM 6.49’03″ 1.04’31″
21. 484 FOXWELL Shoshana CAT 3-4 WM 7.06’37″ 1.22’05″
22. 477 LEWIS Leigh Sorella Forte CAT 3-4 WM 7.42’12″ 1.57’40″

Mt. Hood Stage II & III

Stage II was the time trial, which was 10.6 miles of pain as it should be. It is so individual that I feel there is not much to say other than I did about the same as I have been doing. So I didn’t improve or do worse, so that is ok.

Stage III was the criterium which I felt was tactical in terms of the entire stage race. The course was technical because there was a 180 degree turn on the quick descent. I quickly discovered after 2 laps that this was a race in which it would be very difficult to get away from the group and in fact, many tried but to no avail. So instead of pounding my brains out every lap only to slam on my brakes at the bottom of every lap, I sat in the back, took it easy around the nasty corner and soft pedaled until the group converged as the short climb began. It was a fun course and many people felt good so they were trying to launch multiple attacks. It was apparent how many had worn themselves out by the end, which left them with less in the tank for the most difficult and final stage of the Mount Hood Cycling Classic. Interestingly enough, I finished 7th with little work and had saved up for the next day. Unfortunately, from the back of the race it is very difficult to see everything that is happening, so sorry to say, I have very little to say about what other people were doing in the crit. I do know that our team received numberous compliments on how well we work together, and I know Jen Barbour was in the front dictating the pace for most of the race. Lori Emerson got up there for a couple laps, which is great since she is still recovering from being hit by a car earlier this year. She is right on track for her peak at the end of this month!

Mt Hood Stage I

Stage I

Almost insulting, a 28 mile road race with fun climbs. Our field consisted of 25 riders, 5 from GSBoulder, 5 from Sorella Forte, several unattached riders, some locals and 2 teammates from UC Davis.
As I was surveying our competition, I picked out the sprinters first because I knew we had to drop them as soon as possible seeing as how stage I would end in a sprint on a downhill. Two riders stood out and I pointed them out to my teammate, Lori Emerson.
The first climb was fairly gradual, with sweeping turns and gorgeous views that I enjoyed the day before when we pre- rode the course. That was a stellar decision because it prepared us for the drastic change in terrain that awaited us at the bottom of our first descent. Most riders made it to the top together, jockeying for the best spots the whole way. As we descended one rider decided it would be a good idea to retaliate, after I very aggressively took her wheel, by bumping me while hitting speeds anywhere between 25 and 30 miles per hour. We are all fortunate that I  very experienced with such things and well versed in accident prevention because that one move could have taken down one third of our field. She actually got the raw end if the deal, I saw her wavering out of the corner of my eye and she never even came close to me the rest of the entire stage race, no one did got that matter.
So back to that drastic change in terrain, before the road even started to level out, we made a 90 degree turn onto an immediate, oh I don’t know, 12% grade. Since I knew this was coming based on mileage, I shifted appropriately before we started braking and even though I took the turn slightly slower, I made it to the top of this short wall with the front of the pack. Again, we turned 90 degrees into a steady climb that seemed to be without end. This is my fault because we did not pre-ride this section of the course. It was perfect though, steep enough to put significant time on almost half of our field, with the help of a clumped calculated accelerations, of course!
On the descent Jennifer Barbour strung us out in a quick and fun ride down our first climb. When we reached the bottom the riders in the front sat up and   we started crawling towards the finish which was only 4 miles away. As a result a couple riders caught us, including two of my teammates, Lori Emerson and Lorna Pomeroy and unfortunately, a couple others. Now instead of duking out a sprint finish with 7, we now had 11, including one of the sprinters I had picked out at the beginning of the stage. Nobody wanted to pull, everyone wanted to rest and that is what we did until about a mile to go.

Superior Morgul

Wow, our 1/2/3 field was stacked for this one and it was intimidating!
There was someone from Peanut Butter and Co. Who was using the race for training,  a couple of My Ride ladies, Margel and several others that quite frankly make me quake over my pedals.
Having rode the course last year I was prepared for the wall of road and the wall of wind on the plateau. My goal was also training and I wanted to stay with the main pack for as long as possible. For me, that lasted for one lap and 2 “walls”. For those who are wondering, the “wall” on this course is an extremely steep section and I not only counted my laps (4), but the number of times I needed to climb the wall as well (5). The race ended at the top of the wall.
This race was important for my crash recovery because I was able to feel more comfortable in the pack and owning the wheel in front of me as opposed to letting other people take it. I was more comfortable being aggressive in holding my space and thus staying out of the wind. I feel this race was great for my development.
The best part of this race, hands down, was the fans and their fantastic enthusiasm – no matter who you were!! There were so many people cheering on the wall that it made the climb and the race more exciting.
So after I got dropped, Lori Emerson and I worked together quite effectively because we soon caught another dropped rider who joined our small pace line. This rider was Roberta Smith from Rocky Mounts whom I had never met. After awhile she informed us as to how she thought we should be rotating and we tried it for a bit, but her sharp accelerations began to wear us down. As a result Lori and I decided to go back to our method which worked much better for us! Before we reached the wall for the third time, we lost Lori. Afterwards Roberta enjoyed my small draft for the remainder of the race. Needless to say I was extremely exhausted from fighting the wind by myself for 2 laps and I was very relieved to finish. Roberta sprinted around me at the end, which I fully expected, but what can you do when someone absolutely refuses to share the work, even when the offer becomes a forceful invitation. So when my teammates Luke McConnell and Tony were cheering me to the finish line I couldn’t have felt more gratitude!

Deer Trail Road Race

Results

It was windy and very cold as Amber and I warmed up for Deer Trail and prepared for our field of cat 3 competitors. Amber had Rachel on her mind, someone I do not know, but that Amber knows is strong.

During the first 7 miles of the race I was feeling great, I was doing a good job hiding from the wind and conserving energy. Then a couple of things happened simultaneously. A “friend” crowded me towards the centerline, I allowed her to take my wheel as my teammate attacked off the front. Those things combined with a very small field, left me in no mans land before I knew it, pushing furiously to get back on a wheel. The wind was too strong and I too weak, so I spent the rest of that miserable race fighting the wind. I had some much appreciated company towards the end.

Moral of the story: there are no “friends” during a race, only before and after, unless of course they are your teammates.

The great news is that my teammate, Amber, won the race in our field placing in front of Rachel! Tyera won the 1/2 field, and Melissa took second!

Haystack Mountain Individual TT

Results

Man, it was SO windy, many people were hating it and many people did this course twice that day, once for the team TT and once for the individual TT. Wow, I have admiration for those racers!

This was the first time I raced on my new 650C TT bike and I loved it! I also used a disc wheel and that did not seem to bother me, much to the surprise of my teammates. After racing Dead Dog, Tour of the Gila and some other very windy races, I have learned how to ride in the wind. I don’t just mean, the wind, I mean the super strong, swirling, knock people off of their bikes, wind. Don’t waste your energy fighting it and pushing into it, that will wear you out and/or send you onto the pavement. It is more about balance and staying centered and completely focused.

Actually, this race started out very poorly for me because, one – I was extremely nervous, two – I had a late start, and three – I wasn’t clipped in. So, when my teammate Amber passed me, I felt like I was standing still; which was hard to shake off the temptation of feeling devastated. Once I got moving the race went much better, however I got passed by Rebecca Serratoni, which also set me back mentally. But only for a moment, then I became so focused that I didn’t even notice when I passed her back. I was shocked to see that I finished before her, and I must say, extremely happy because she is a great time trialist who must have been having one of those days.

For my first time on my new TT bike and first TT against my new field, I feel very happy with my result.

Front Range Cycling Classic

USAF Academy, CO
(Event Information)
Road Race on 04/10/2011
Results

This was exciting because it was the first time I got to race with Melanie Wong and it was Women’s Open! The course they use for this race was great for her, Jennifer Barbour and I, but we didn’t execute any tactical efforts much to my coach’s dismay. We are all small and excel when it comes to climbing. During this course we climbed long, gradual hills for 3 laps.

I have heard so many negative things about racing with the Women’s Pro 1/2. That they are harsh and yell at the slightest errors, and just are unpleasant to race with in general. This was really my first experience, because Bikes and Buffaloes doesn’t count because I got dropped right away and didn’t even finish the race.

We only finished the Front Range Classic with 12 women, but I know we started with more, maybe 20?? Right away Beth Fisk and Whitney Shultz took off with no one willing to chase them. I have no idea how many women were dropped right away, but I am sure there were some. Then we had a group that kept shrinking, my teammates and I kept accelerating on the hills and every once in awhile I looked back and saw fewer racers.

Now keep in mind what I had heard about these “mean” cat ones and twos; one of those women in our group started talking to us as a mentor. I thought, “This is great! I can use all the advice I can get!!” so I listened to her advice, which sounds absurd now. She kept telling us to conserve our energy and every time we “attacked” on the hills, we were wearing out the group. Well geez, isn’t that the idea :D, yes it absolutely is and I should have ignored her because she was able to save her energy and used it to beat us on the final sprint :( We should have really attacked earlier so that she did not have that opportunity. She was very clever to convince us to do what she wanted. Lesson learned.

Great race, fun course!!

CU Crit

Yesterday was the first race since my Steamboat crash. Six months prior to that was my Gila crash. It was extremely difficult not to think about my two ambulance trips and $5000 plus in hospitals bills, two concussions, two long roads to recovery, two times losing months of hard training, $2000 lost on equipment (carbon wheels). Most of all, the fear of flying through the air in slow motion, imagining the impact before it happens, the impact, the blackout, the waking up in a pool of my own blood. Coming in and out of consciousness in the ambulance and being stuck numerous times with needles and not remembering chunks of my life.

I just couldn’t put all of that behind me yesterday and I couldn’t get close enough to anyone’s wheel to benefit from their draft. As a result I yoyo-ed off the back for a couple of laps; broke my 30 second and 5 minute personal records for power and then got popped off the back. Actually, my 5 minute record was probably when I was chasing the pack. Then my coach from the sideline told me to back it off and wait for the pack to come around again. Essentially, he was telling me to forget about the race and use it for training. In my case, mental training. Try again to get close to the other riders without thinking about what could happen.

It was tremendous how many GS women were at the race, some to race and some to show their support. Being devastated about my lack of performance made it difficult to account for everyone that was there and how my teammates performed. I do remember seeing Lori Emerson, Melissa Barker, Amber Rydholm, Virginia Betty, Rebecca Premus and Danny, maybe Jacqui Pesca?? who were there to show support. Thanks you guys!!

GS Racers included Tasha Danko, Jen Babour, Lorna Pomeroy, Dana Weiss, Heather Gelhorn, Beth Tennant. In this women’s open race my teammates all hung in there, 3s and 4s alike. Great job ladies!! They tell me it was super tough and sketchy. Allison Powers was there, Megan Hottman, Kacey Clark, Mora Abbott (I think), so yea, it couldn’t have been a cruiser ride :D. I think Jen, Dana and Gelly came in the top 10!!??

Steamboat Road Race

I feel like there is a threshold that must be crossed in order to be successful in road racing, it is probably different for everyone, but we all need to find it. For some it may be physical, for others mental, emotional; and then all the variations of those. For me it was mental and I am not sure what it was for Lorna Pomeroy, but she crossed that threshold in the Steamboat Road Race!!!

Lorna, Jen Moehring, Rebecca Serratoni, and Rachel Mahoney were able to break away  from the field, work together and create some separation! This is really exciting because Lorna put GS Boulder in a terrific strategical position. We had Amber Rydholm who currently held 2nd GC (General Classification) in the main field. This means that both teammates could rest while other riders are working for them because no one can argue that you should pull away from a teammate in high GC standing or pull GC threats (people ranked close to your teammate in GC) up to your teammate.

After sometime, Amber’s chase group (including Amy Charity) caught Lorna’s break away and continued on by themselves after the feed zone. The final results were as follows: Amy Charity 1st, Amber 2nd, Lorna 3rd, Becky 4th, Linea 5th, Jen 6th, Rachel 7th.

I know Virginia Betty put in a huge effort to help Amber after she dropped her chain, I think Virg helped Amber back to the chase group. I know I am missing quite a few details, but it is hard to write about a race I wasn’t in.

So, apparently I am married to MacGyver! Fifteen miles into a 70 mile race, Luis’ shifter broke. He removed the cable, wrapped it around the center of his handle bars and was able to ratchet the cable with his thumb against the top tube. He then caught back on and managed to finish in the top half with only 4 gears in a race with lots of climbing!!!

In other exciting news, Jennifer Barbour took first in in her first road race as a cat 3!!! She also took 2nd in the circuit race and 1st in the time trial, wow :) Chris Carr and Rory Kelly took 15th & 16th in the Pro 1-2 field!! And finally, I am now a 3, 19 points from ACA and several from USA Cycling.

Steamboat Stage Race Circuit RR

Steamboat Stage Race Circuit Road Race

So, I have been looking forward to this race for quite some time, ok, ever since last year, so I was very excited to say the least. Last year I took 3rd overall and was ready to do some major damage this year. Little did I know, the kind of damage that would actually happen would be bodily damage and I would be on the receiving end.

To add to my excitement, my teammates and I got on video chat with Eric Kenney and mapped out a racing strategy with me winning!!

This day was rough for me, I had all sorts of trouble. My trainer was mal-functioning (actually user error), I didn’t get a proper warm-up in and I didn’t pre-ride the course to refresh my memory from last year. This would have been a good idea since the race direction was switched.

On the first lap, I finished the climb at the front with Amber Rydholm, Rachel Mahoney and I don’t remember who else. We started a screaming decent. The course had some crazy switchbacks and seemed pretty steep. It also had some crazy dips in the pavement on the corners.

After piecing many accounts of the event together, this is what I think happened…

A sudden deceleration, and swerving caused me to brake, my wheel to skid, and just when I almost gained control, I hit the damn dip on the corner. I clearly remember saying some choice words, flying off of the road, into a ditch and over my handlebars. Then I was knocked out again (2nd time in 5 months), my teammate Lorna stopped and made sure I got into yet another ambulance. Off to the hospital again to find out I have another concussion, more whiplash and plenty of road rash and another scare on my forehead.

This time was better because I didn’t almost get dropped when being loaded into the ambulance, I didn’t get a lecture about hydration on the way to the hospital, I didn’t get stabbed in the arm 20 times (not an exaggeration) and my concussion was not as bad. My cat scan was normal too!

Amber got 2nd, Lorna 4th, and Virginia 7th. I am not sure how it all played out, but I am sure it was a tough race. I just wish I was in it for more than 5 minutes.

I probably sound more bitter than I really am, I must say I am very happy to be alive without any broken body parts. Although, I did lose another absurd amount of money on another set of destroyed race wheels.

Next, the Steamboat Stage Race Road Race…

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