Monday, July 12, 2010

PAL race weekend

The last race of the spring season passed by a few weeks ago. I was pretty excited to race but I knew the fields would be small. It was one of the hottest weekends ever after 3 straight weekends of races.

The womens 3/4 and womens 1,2,3 field managed a combined total of 10 riders. A lot of the big names were gone. I was feeling good. In the warm up my legs weren’t even tired. I was stoked to race and felt confident that I could pull out a win.

Saturday’s course was near a mile long. The finish was at the top of a little hill with a sharp corner at the bottom. From there we climbed up to the final sharp corner about 500 meters out from the finish. At 300 meters there was a small bend, a little incline, and a straight shot to the finish line.

For the first several laps 1 rider was constantly attacking. She attacked on the downhill after the line and took a bad line through the sharp right turn. She rolled hard off the road but luckily the field avoided crashing. She didn’t rejoin the race.

With her gone the race lost its excitement. No one was strong enough to solo off the front so we kept a steady tempo.

1 lap to go: I was ready. I fought for 3rd wheel around the final sharp corner. As we straightened out the field panned out to 4 abreast. We were all looking at each other. As we made it to the bend i jumped hard. I got the gap and held it to the line. My first win as a pro,1,2,3.

Sunday’s course was harder. It was a 35 mile road race with a few of Florida’s harder climbs. I was excited and nervous.

For the first lap I sat in the field. I was watching everyone seeing who was strongest. On lap two I launched an attack on the big climb. I got another girl with me but we didn’t work together and the field shut it down.

The race was pretty much the same every lap. I raced attentive and towards the front and got in some moves that had a chance at working but got shut down. With 1 lap to go I started to conserve for the finish.

At the start of the final lap I could feel my legs tighten up when i would stand. I knew the sprint would be super hard. From the final corner I was first wheel. It was a little too far and I got passed by 1 rider. I still managed a second place but was slightly bummed that I didn’t pull out a win.

It was nice to kind of end on a high. I have a couple months off of racing and then the fall season. The only big race left is the State Road Race. Maybe I can snag a jersey this year! =)


Melbourne Circuit Race

Well after a few weeks of down time the races have finally started up again. I had competed in the State Crit as my first cat 2 race but an untimely cold left me with a result that was more than unsatisfying. In the week leading up to the Melbourne weekend I was hungry to race, dying for a win, and stoked out of my mind.

The course was in an uncompleted subdivision. It was pancake flat with hardly anything to block the wind. It was about 2 1/2 miles long with the final corner over 1000 meters from the finish. It was a long drag to the line with a stiff cross wind from the left.

At the start I was super nervous. I can’t remember the last time I was that nervous/excited. Something was different about this race, in my mind something had clicked. I was ready to go. In the past couple races I have blown trying to get into the break only to find that when the sprint comes around I’m spent. My race plan was RACE SMART. If I missed the break, I missed it, but I was going to well in that finish.

From the gun there was an attack. Everyone looked to Tina Schofield (Team Z-Motion) and Julie Jerue (unattached) to pull it back. The two man break had gotten a sizeable gap in the tail wind but Tina went to the front and hammered it until the field was back together.

The next lap was uneventful. All the girls were looking around waiting for the move to happen. Half way through the 3rd lap it did. Julie went. She had a decent gap and the field slowly jumped to close it down. Tina reacted fast. She was soon up the road with Julie and in about 5 minutes the field shutdown.

The rest of the race was rather slow. Any chase attempt was blocked by Julies 2 teammates in the field and no one was seriously committed to chasing down the breakaway. I settled in for the sprint.

As we came up on the final corner I was boxed in. I slid to the back and hammered around the field in the corner up to 3rd wheel. I was tucking into the field hiding from the wind. I was set. Around 600 meters to go an attack went up on my right. I quickly jumped onto her wheel and got ready to go. Around 300 meters the line just came into view the girl in front of me was fading. She pulled to the left and I jumped. I could see shadows behind me but I just kept focused on the line. It hurt really badly, but a final lunge for the line, and I'd won my first women’s 1, 2, 3 field sprint.

My finish was good enough for 3rd. It still isn’t the win I’m gunning for but it sure did feel good. I learned a lot in the race, gained some confidence, and I can’t wait to get out and race again. My next race is not for 3 weeks. I’m going to be getting in solid training and can hopefully get a good finish put together.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

aspide - selle san marco saddle

Its always exciting to get the new cycling gear. nothing makes you want to go faster than having some new equipment to break in. This year i get to ride the selle san marco aspide saddle. its way cool looking and i have my first ride on it today. deffiantly very excited!

A special thanks to Coach Laura and the sponsors (all-sport, squadra, selle san marco, lazer, sock guy, and sidi) for getting me the new kits and all the awesome new gear. Hopefully everything will be ready to race by the state crit in 2 weeks time.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sugar Loaf - Race of the West

When ever the Sugar Loaf race weekend rolls around all Florida racers cringe inside. In the month before the race, the only "mountian" in florida is dotted with cyclist trying to get in prep for one of the hardest weekends of the year.

This year I was excited. The course was about 12.5 miles long. The first big set of climbs was buck hill, followed by bruce hunt, and then sugar loaf. ( for anyone not in FL sugar loaf is the only respectable climb you'll find. Although its not terrbily long, at only about 3.5 minutes, it is extremely steep).

I raced the womens 3/4 which was combined with the masters 55/65+ field and the cat 5 men. We had a big field with 70+ riders. I had a good start possition and knew that I had to be at the front.

Once we rolled through the nuetral section everyone looked towards Dave Viney, but bight as we reached the first hill he broke a spoke. As everyone looked around at each other a couple cat 5's went to the front and began to hammer. One by one cat 5's were slipping off the front. As we reached the first big hill the field surged and began to reel riders back in. Once we finished buck hill the field was back together. My legs had felt okay but were not feeling amazing. I moved up the field as sugar loaf approached.

As we started sugar loaf I felt okay but once we reached the steep section my legs begn to scream. The field was being shredded and I found myself alone, though luckily not for long. I was soon joined by a strong cat 5 who pulled back the group of abot 10 riders ahead of us. During our second lap we made contact with the second group on the road which also contained the second place girl.

For the final 2 laps our little field stayed together. There were a couple attacks here and there but it was mostly a steady tempo. On the last lap I was tired and the other girl had out climbed me every hill. As we began our final assault on sugar loaf my legs blew. Our group was ripped apart and so were my legs. I managed a happy 3rd place in womens and top 25 overall with a new P.R.

The next day started off gloomy. Dark grey clouds had started rolling in and occationally spit out a few drops of rain as a warning the coming weather.

The field size was dramatically smaller. The women 3/4 had only about 7 riders and although combined with the master and cat 5 our field topped off at about 35 riders. We had a 4 mile nuetral start which was both relieving and disapointing with the biggest climb of the day nuetralized.

As we crossed over Buck Hill Road the race started. The course went out though Groveland on a route that I was somewhat familiar with. Our race was 55 miles long and the terain was rolling but the big killer was the major cross winds.

The first 10 miles were insanely fast. I tried to stay near the front to avoid getting dropped. About 20 miles in our little field had shrunk to only about 15 riders with only myself and Michelle Moulton left to represent the womens race. Michelle had won the previous day so I knew she would be hard to beat.

Dave Viney had found his way off the front yet again and had taken 1 other rider along. We had 3 strong cat 5's in the field and in about 5 miles they had pulled the two man break back from out of sight.

As we reached about 15 miles to go my legs felt tired but I was really excited to reach the finish. We made our way through an industrial park and the field began to split. I followed a wheel up the right side and was in the middle of two fields.It had finally begun to rain hard. Michelle was behind me to my left. As we sped down the hill the rider next to me locked up his brakes. He sped straight into a curb and rolled into the grass. As we crested the next hill I looked around to find that Michelle was no longer in the group.

With only about 6 miles left I was in a small group of 8-10 riders. With only 2 others willing to work I put in alot of work at  the front trying to get some distance between me and Michelle. I could turn around and see her chasing but slowly the gap increased and eventually I was able to relax and enjoy the ride.

I crossed the line in the rain with a smile. I finally got the win.

This weekend had some big up's for me. In past road races I had hydration and cramping issues but this weekend wasnt plagued by any of that. I was really excited not only with my finishes but also with the improvements over previous years.

With little racing until May I look forward to getting in some good quality training. This weekend is Webster-Roubaix which is always an epic race.

race hard!


(picutures courtesy of Jan Chalmers)

after sundays race

sunday womens 3/4 podium

suffering up suarloaf

sutrudays women 3/4 podium

Winter Haven Weekend

After a week off, I was stoked to get out and race. The Winter Haven courses are some of my favorites. The road race course is a little rolling with a long uphill finish and the crit course is a very technical course with 8 turns.

I started off with the women 3/4 road race which was combined with the masters 55+ and 65+ men. We had a good sized field with 12 women and 26 masters. With masters TT champion Dave Viney in the mix, I knew it would e exciting.

Our race was 2 laps on the 14 mile course. For the first few miles we kept a steady tempo with very little excitement. About half way through the first lap the first of the big attacks started. With Dave Viney in the lead I tried to stay as close to the front as possible in hopes of a split.

As we came around to start our second lap there was some confusion at the finish line. The junior race was on course with us and was finishing up their race. As we came through the finish line there was a big split in the field. I was in the front group but the fields soon came back together.

Throughout the final lap I stayed towards the front. About 3 miles out I found my way to Dave Viney's wheel. As we rounded the final corner we could just make out the finishing line at the top of the hill. The sprinting started way out at the 1K mark. I stayed tucked in the draft. As we neared the finish I felt pretty tired. I could see a girl coming up on my right and tried to hold her off. She got me at the line by about half a wheel length. I was 2nd in the womens race and about 5th overall.

After a good warm up on Sunday I was ready to go. Right before the start my nerves were all whipped up. I was so excited and ready to race. The course was made for a break away and I wanted to be in it.

At the line the officials announced a prime on the first lap. As many girls took off I slid back to find Tina's ( Z-Motion) wheel. After the sprint for the prime I was lined up for an attack. She shot off to the right and got a little gap. I closed it down and looked back to see we had a good gap. We rotated for about 8 laps. I could see the gap getting slightly smaller and the wind was killing me. On the back stretch she attacked me and I couldnt follow. I sat up a bit and waited for the field. I got the timing right and they caught me with the tail wind. I sat in and tried to recover.

The chase lasted for a few more laps until Tina was finaly reeled in by Cathy (ASV). My legs were pretty spent but I was still ready to go. I tried to stay very attentive. In my time off the front the field had been split in half. There were plenty of other attacks but nothing was sticking. Finally with 10 min plus laps left Tina attacked with Cathy in tow. They soon had a big gap and the field instantly shut down. I didnt have the legs to follow and found myself racing for 3rd.

Our little field stayed together for the rest of the race. The break was soon out of sight. As we came around to th final lap I was pretty spent. I grabbed Elizabeth's (Z-Motion) wheel and hung on. We were soon in the front. Coming around the final turn a  rider dive bombed from  the outside and cut in front of my wheel. I hit the breaks and almost slid but managed to stay upright. My legs done and momentum gone I gave it all to the line. I managed a 5th in the field and 7th overall.

Once again a good race weekend with ups and down. I've seen some steady improvemnts and have had good legs so the season is looking up for me. I have this weekend off and then its off to Clermont to the race of the West. One of the hardest courses of the year with SugarLoaf mountian in the mix. It promises to be epic.


Friday, March 26, 2010

coming soon!!!

I have two new race reports coming soon for Winter Haven and Sugar Loaf with my first win of the year at sugarloaf! but for now: this is for you coach!

jujubees the candy of champions ;P

Monday, March 01, 2010

new blog header!

check out the new blog header ^^^ courtesy of Craig Creeden!!!

thanks Craig!! =))