Monday, March 31, 2008

I thought SoCal was supposed to be warm and sunny?

My San Dimas Race Report
Stage 1: The hill climb. So I am no climber. Last year, I thought I was a climber, but that was just because I didn't know how to ride on the flats. Now I have that figured out....and I've realized climbing is just NOT my strong suit. Not that I mind it or anything....but I'm just not the tiny speedy type! Plus, with my injury last fall, it is still pretty early season for peak in sight yet. So my goal for the TT was to ride steady and hope to be in the mix afterwards. I rode my most consistent TT to date, so I was really happy with it. I wasn't happy that it was only good for 23rd place...but alas, you take what you got, and that's what I got! I should have been happier that the weather was nice.

Stage 2: RR. The 3/4 road race was supposed to be at 8am. The hotel I was staying at was only about a mile from the start/finish, so I just warmed up at the hotel, and rode over. This seemed so cool--to RIDE to a bike race. The only problem was....the start was delayed, and it was extremely COLD! I guess a park gate was locked shut, and they had to open it before the start. So we all froze. I was physically shaking by the time the start actually happened, a good 30 minutes late. It would have taken me a long time to warm up, except that about 1.5 miles in, someone slammed their brakes ahead of me, and I had to do some evasive riding to avoid causing the folks behind more issues, and nearly ran into a lane barrier. After being happy that no one crashed, my heart was in my throat and I was suddenly plenty warmed up! Ack! There went a match... Anyway, soon after, I said to Olivia, who was next to me "I have GOT to get out of this spot, this is terrifying," and with that, she sees a hole I couldn't get to, and is suddenly right up in front, exactly where I wanted to be! Damn, she's good!" Anyway, that was that, and soon I had my position settled again. However, the race would continue to go like that for me. Some of the teams were really organized, and I was just not picking good wheels, and found myself jettisoned around the pack more than I would have liked. I guess I need to work on reacting quicker, but I'm learning, so that is good. On the last time up the climb (there was a KOM climb in the middle-nothing too crazy, actually a pretty good climb for someone like me who can at best consider herself a power climber, and at worst not a climber at all), I got behind a bad wheel and had to use a lot to pop around her, finding myself gapped at the top. I chased back on because there was a really awesome descent, and I love to descend. That was when my "see your life flash before your eyes" moment occured. I was catching up on the descent...spun out, full on chase, and there was a spot where the road turns, and then there is a climb. There were 3 girls on the climb, going rather slow. They were all towards the center line, and I decided to go around them on the right, as there was no room between them and the center line to go left. It should not even have been close...but as I was approaching at high speed, the one girl pops and swerves to the right! I screamed something (have no recollection as to what) and changed my line, narrowly missing her as she realized what was going on and heard her say "oh,sorry!" I couldn't breathe or swallow for a split second...but somehow I kept pedaling and managed to catch back onto the lead group. Yippee! Thank goodness for all those mornings of hammering with the guys. Alas, as soon as I hit the back of the group, someone attacked, and a bunch of girls went. I was too far back to respond quickly and had to dig deep. I found a hole and bounced through the people who did not bridge, and then put my head down and hammered. I caught the lead group (one other girl bridged as well) just as we were in the finishing sprint. I didn't get to pass anyone, but I did finish with the same time as the leaders, in the pack sprint, so I was happy with my effort. I had given it my all, made up for some errors, and worked my a** off. 16th place. hmph!

Alas, when I toed the line for Stage 3 yesterday, it was anything but sunny in SoCal! The raindrops started at the exact moment the race begain, and it rained for the entire crit! I usually love to race crits, but racing with 50 cat 3/4's in the pouring rain was more than I cared to deal with! There were no crashes in the race, which was excellent, even when someone dropped their chain! The problem was that my glasses fogged up completely and I couldnt see a shred. With 2 to go, I decided to sacrifice some position to fix the problem. I had no pocket to throw them in (darn skinsuits), so I went back a bit, got to the right and threw them in the grass. Then I had to work my way back up to the front for the sprint, and never quite got there. Oh well...decisions decisions. I can always second guess myself, but at the time I decided that seeing was better than crashing, but I really did lose position and any hopes of a podium. Anyway, I saw this morning online that I got 14th.

So my results are nothing to write home about. I don't know my final GC yet, but it was 19th after stage 2, so I'm assuming it is about that now, as well. I did have a ton of fun, though, and learned a lot, and got a few more races in the experience bag. I'm chomping at the bit for Garrett Lemire and Sea Otter now!!

Photos coming when I find some!



CyclistRick said...

Sounds a bit frustrating; bad weather, late starts, and squirrely riders. At least you stayed safe and finished! Both accomplishments. Looking forward to see you racing in person, again, at Kern (where I get to revert to full time support person :-) ).

Chris said...

Great report. If it were raining at the start of a crit I would pull out. I just hate racing in the rain, period. Good job.

Greg Knowles said...

Kimberly, I appreciate your insight and view of what road racing is really like. I've only done 1 and reading all this good stuff is at least keeping me aware of many of the peleton goings on. Thanks!