Back from Kern, and too tired to write real race reports yet, so here is a small recap for those of you who are just dying to know.
Stage 1. TT.
Highlights: The new TT bike (loaner from David) made me feel really fast. The skinsuit (yes, I got one) and aero helmet didn't hurt either! It was not as hot as I have heard Kern can get....a balmy 89!
Lowlights: I dropped my chain near the turnaround...and it was bad enough I had to stop and put it back on manually...felt like a dork.
End Result: 8th place
Stage 2. Walker Basin RR.
Highlights: I won!!!!! My teammate was awesome, helped me in the race, which turned out to be an easy 4 laps, and came down to a field sprint. I found an opening and snuck up the inside wiht just enough time to get around most of the people. It was really great to have finally timed one right. And I'm beginning to think I'm more of a sprinter than I thought! (see Stage 3 highlights)
Lowlights: I crossed the line with someone else...but it turns out she had gone up the wrong side of the double yellow to pass the field rather than finding an opening in our lane...and we had been warned about that. So she got a penalty and I got the win. I felt a little bad for her...
End result: I won! Moved up to 6th in GC...things were looking up
Stage 3. Breckinridge Hill climb.
Highlights: I had a strong finish, got stronger throughout, and was closing the gap between myself and the leaders by the time the finish rolled around. I felt strong, and had a nice kick at the end to release the last bit of my energy, and get a gap on the rider near me. (granted she still was ahead of me in the GC...but you do what you can).
The bass clarinet player (I think thats what it was...I was delierious by this point) serenading us with 1.5 miles to go).
The guys cheering and giving us water (which I didn't take...not sure why...see delerious point above).
The beautiful scenery.
Lowlights: It was a LOOOOOOOONG hot hill climb
It was a LOOONG hill climb.
End results: moved up to 4th in the GC! Yeah...getting closer. Things were definitely looking up.
Stage 4. Road race.
HIghlights: The flat out fabulous descents. I went the fastest I've ever gone in a race (50.2 miles/hour)! I stayed with the lead pack the whole race.
The fabulous group of 4s I rode with! They were by far the most fun people I have ever encountered in a race. I am sorry I don't remember all of your names, but (Marian, Sarah, Julie, Kim, Liz, and one other girl I didn't catch the name of) you were flat out great to ride with. The nice rotating paceline we got going was far more than I have ever managed to accomplish in a RR to date! Awesome!!
The fact that my legs hung in there and I actually felt better than I thought I would!
Lowlights: I got dropped on the very last ascent...sigh. It was all I had. They just had one more match... Experience and strength I guess.
I got a warning for crossing the centerline at the finish. Ack! I kind of had a meltdown because I felt like such a moron, too! Ooops. There were 2 people I was encountering coming up to the finish from the 3s race, and they still had another lap...so they were not pushing. And I was trying to minimize time gaps and get in quickly so I was up out of the saddle and going fast, and they were taking up the lane. I SHOULD have sprinted to the inside...but alas I was delierious again and not thinking...and I went wide. I got off with a stern warning because I was not trying to advance my position but I can honestly say I feel really bad about it :-(. Thanks marian, for reminding me that it is JUST A BIKE RACE...and I should just let it go... you're awesome.
End Result: 4th place in the RR, and 4th in the GC!!!!!! YEAH. My best finishes to date, a win in a RR, and a bunch of new friends! Marian from Velo Bella had an AWESOME race, with 2 victories and a victory in the GC, and Sarah and Julie from Metromint were also super strong and fun to ride with! I hope to ride with you all again soon! Everyone was great, and I have to give a super thanks to my teammate Susan for helping me out this weekend, especially giving me a chance to get around her in the descent when I nearly missed the key breakaway. She saved my race! She ended up 9th in the GC.
Real reports coming...but in case you couldnt wait!
:-) tired, but thrilled. Kern is awesome!!!!
PS. Bobbi, thanks so much for letting us stay at your place 10 minutes from the RR start on Saturday! That was awesome..and Liz--great result! It was fun to ride with you.