Thursday, April 15, 2010

Walkersville RR and Tyson's

Last weekend was great weather for bike racing. Even better was the fact that the race on Saturday was local, the Walkersville Road Race promoted by ABRT (Annapolis Bicycle Racing Team). After being spoiled all week with summer like weather, it was pretty cold at 40deg. for an 8a.m. start. Our field consisted of category 1-4 women and master's men 55+ all mixied up in one big bunch. This means lots of big men and women with all different levels of experience and bike handling skills.
I would say the sketchiest part of this race was on the neutral roll out trying to navigate past a vehicle blocking half the right lane while the yellow line rule was being enforced on the left. Good times at the start. After that is was pretty tame.
On to the race~there was this dude in our race I could not get away from. You know when you are in a race or on a ride and you just don't want to be near someone and they inevitably are just THERE constantly. I'm sure he was a very nice man but for craps sake, he had this rubber chicken key chain (see below) swinging from the rails of his saddle.

Who is this dude? Is he your teammate? Was he really afraid he was going to lose his keys? This thing was flapping back and forth the whole race. Someone wanted to know on our local racing listserve if "Wedgie" Bags were legal in a race (I never heard them called that before but whatever)...What about a freakin' rubber chicken keychain?Does anyone know this guy? This was beyond annoying. Even more annoying than the guy with the number flapping because he was so careful he didn't want to wrinkle it and use the least amount of safety pins.

When I wasn't being distracted by the above, it was fun watching Phil Hepburn (who wasn't on the pre-reg only list) dressed incognito in his plain yellow windbreaker laying down some hurtful moves until the guys realized who he was.

At the end of the day it was alot of fun being out there racing. Having a combined field does add a different dyanmic but I would prefer to have a field to race in than not. Congrats to Laurel with a Cat. 1 move with a Cat. 4 license.

A big thank you to ABRT for keeping the quality road races alive in our area.


Sunday was Tyson's Corner Circuit Race promoted by NCVC (National Capital Velo Club): report by Jen Rasmussen

Tyson's Corner Circuit race is always a tough race. Whether its the uphill finish, or because its early season and the day after a road race, or perhaps a combination of both, its never less than a gut-checker! This year was easily one of the highest quality fields we've had since I started racing; Team Kenda's Marni Harker, Chris Kelley, Janelle Hubbard and myself lined-up against riders Sarah Caravella from BMW Bianchi, Amanda Watson and Erin Siliman from Fruit 66, the ABRT Women's Elite team and all the other high-quality women from the area.

The course is selective and tends to be a race of attrition, but that didn't stop numerous attacks lead by Team Kenda, BMW Bianchi and Fruit 66 from making the race aggressive from the gun. Team Kenda raced like a well-oiled machine and there were several attacks throughout the race that looked like they would stick as a break, each time Team Kenda being represented by either Chris Kelley, myself or both of us. About half-way through the race I was able to counter a move from CK and solo away going up the hill and quickly had about a 20 second gap! I really wanted it to stick, but knew with 25 minutes/10 laps to go it would be a long time to stay off the front with this tenacious field.

As the race counter came down to 2-3 laps to go it became clear that other than a possible flyer on the bell-lap, this race was going to come to a field sprint (meaning time to "recover"). The Bell came and we proceeded around the course for one last time. Fortunately, even with the tired legs the tempo did manage to ramp-up. Coming into the final corner we were about 400m downhill from the finish-line. I was fairly well-positioned in 3rd or 4th wheel behind Sarah C. and Amanada W., but still a little too far for me to make it to the finish line. Knowing my sprint, I need a high-speed leadout in order to maintain the speed I need to contest a field sprint and generally in local races that does not happen. Suddenly, I felt a light touch on my hip and there was teammate Marni Harker coming on my inside to give me that much needed 15m catapult launch to the finish. The sprint was on! Sarah Caravella easily took the win, but the race for last two podium spots was tough. My legs started to lock-up aout 10m from the finish, (now hating me for all the earlier breakaway attempts), but the thought of Marni sacrificing her race to push me forward gave me that last "umph" to get across the finish line and hold onto a podium at 3rd place!

All in all a good-hot day of racing! I have attached the video for those who are interested...

Thanks girls!