Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Independence Valley Road Race

The entire drive down to Rochester (90 miles south of Seattle), rain pelted the windshield. This was serious rain. This rain wasn't messing around. We all were thinking "This is the worst idea we've ever had" but as we pulled into the parking lot and slowly got our kits on and bikes ready to go, the rain let up a bit and our spirits started to rise a bit. Yes, there was some convincing  like "At least it isn't cold" or "Its not as bad as team camp was" and some negotiating about the goals we had for the race, but at the end, Team Cat Club, presented by Hagens Berman-Society Consulting all lined up to race on Saturday at IVRR.

My goal for this race was to keep up with the front pack. There were 2 hills on the loop which we did twice, so 4 hills I needed to keep up on. After a not so neutral roll out up the first hill, I was already working too hard and knew this race was going to be a strugglefest. But since we dropped a few women each hill, I was able to keep a better position in the pack than I did at Sequim - so there's a win.

Whole pack still together. HBSC ladies are in blue. All Photos from here
The miles of the 2nd lap were a blur. I had said going into it that I'd be incredibly happy if I could continue to hang on. I couldn't tell you what the course looked like besides the pavement... I was working too hard to think or look at anything else besides the wheel in front of me. Having teammates that were going through the same paincave as I was made it a little better as we worked together to hold on. On the final hill two of my teammates and I fell behind the front group, but were determined to catch back up, so we bombed down the descent, each took a really freakin' hard turn pulling each other and were able to catch the group again. Nothing feels better than catching that group. Nothing!

That's me!

With a few miles to go, one of my teammates Mal flatted and I felt SO terrible for her. She was the strongest one of us that day and was seriously crushing the hills. If it wasn't for that flat, I know she would have podiumed for sure. At that point, the three of us that were left, decided to pull for Ana to do the sprint. Well, plans were thwarted when I mis-judged the distance to the finish and the sprint went early. There were 10 of us in the group and since I was in the front of the pack, ready to pull Ana, I didn't have a wheel to pull me once the sprint went, so I worked so freaking hard the last 1k and was able to finish 8th. Ana was able to get a wheel and finished 5th and Stephanie finished 7th. Mal, who flatted, still finished 11th!

That's me in the VERY BACK of the sprint...
Crossing the finish line.

It was a super tough race, but I'm so proud of my teammates and myself for our performance. All 4 of us were able to keep up with the front group and proved that we're a strong group that has the potential to do very well in the Cat 4s. GO TEAM CAT CLUB!

1 comment:

  1. This is super cool! I love reading from your perspective about the strategy and how it all plays out. This makes me itch to get back on my back...just need some warmer temps!