Enumclaw stage race. I was very excited for this race for a few reasons.
#1 I love racing
#2 It was a timed event rather than points. My first.
#3 New Trek team time trial bike with all aero everything.
#4 Jennifer Wheeler SuperStar is going to be racing this as her first race back after collarbone surgery.
#5 love racing multi-day races
#6 Climbing Mud Mountain Road 3x fast
First race: a 6.5 mile TT
Warmed up pretty good and got in line on time without mechanical issues and no stress beforehand. First time this year!
Took off into a headwind that made me hurt and go into the red in about a half-mile. My 30 second man was still in sight and I was slowly gaining on him. He turned right to go down the backstretch and I lost sight of him for a little bit. The headwind was now gone and I felt really fast. Caught my 30 second man a little before the halfway point. I had to wait to pass him for a second due to a sharp turn. Then I caught sight of my next carrot, my 1 minute man. I caught him before 2k to go and tried to catch one more guy before the line but I could not.
My time was 15:36, good for 20th place and only 3 seconds faster than last year. I had no TT gear last year. Must have been a really strong headwind, broken collarbone, water on ground, excuse, excuse. I was only ~50 secs. out of first in GC. My only teammate in the CAT4 group Nick Z. had a time good for 39th place. 1:30 back on GC. Jen W. got 3rd in the time trial for the 1/2 women's field. Not bad for her first race back.
Scary 8 turn downtown Criterium.
This course was fun last year, this year it scared me due to my new severe aversion to crashing. I placed 9th and got one of the points primes last year.
The sun came out and dried the course right before the start. Awesome!
With it being a timed event my plan was to just stay safe and finish with the pack, maybe go for a time bonus prime. They only called up the top ten but I managed a spot in the second row. For a second. Two juniors from the rad racing team pointed their wheels in front of mine then when we started one of them could not get clipped in until turn 2 and I was stuck behind him sending me to the back of the pack almost immediately. grr. I spent the next 25 minutes working really hard to move up. I got stuck behind several crashes, no close calls for me. My initial goal of finishing with the pack in jeopardy, I did not want to lose time. My average speed for the 30 minutes was 27MPH. I managed to catch back on to the front group in the last 3 laps but had nothing for the sprint and finished 19th.
I moved up from 20th to 15th on GC. A bunch of guys got dropped or pulled or crashed out. My teammate finished a few places behind me and improved his GC place to 33rd.
Then we watched the brutal conditions for the CAT3 men's race. Miserable pouring rain and wind. Jen W got dropped from the lead group due to her strong aversion to crashing and the course was soaking wet.
44 mile Road Race w/3 times up Mud Mountain Road.
It was pouring rain the entire drive to the start. I warmed up a little bit on the trainer and bundled up as much as I could. My car said it was 44 degrees at the start of the race. We started with a neutral rollout of about 3 miles, just long enough and slow enough to really get cold. Please let the climb come soon so I can stop shivering. My hands and feet were already soaking wet before the first time up the climb.
My teammate Nick kept the pace really fast up the climb and we lost at least half of the group the first time up it. I almost lost contact with the lead group but dug really deep and caught back on at the top of the climb. Ouch. I was warm for about 3 minutes until we turned to descend back into town on highway 410. Where I started to freeze again, shivering so much my steering was affected. Scary stuff at 40 MPH. There was a crash and the guy was lucky it was so wet on the road, he just slid off to the side. Luckily nobody hit him or his bike or it would have been a mess.
Climb 2 was a welcome sight due to the need to warm up again. We still had a large front group of about 20. A couple guys took off in a break but they were brought back on the base of the climb, once again Nick hammered up the hill and we lost a few more people off the back. I kept contact all the way up. 410 was uneventful except for the shivering.
Climb 3 was once again welcome for warming up. Nick blasted up the hill and had a 15 second gap with one other guy at the top but we got neutralized at the top so almost all the people that were dropped on the climb came together again. GRRR. So many people were really mad about that. They let Nick and his breakmate have a 15 second head start so it would be fair to him. Not so much for the rest of the group that worked so hard to drop people though. Nick hammered it all the way back to town, eventually dropped his breakmate and won the road race. I didn't know the finish straight and jumped way too early and got caught on a little hill and had nothing for the final sprint. I came in 22nd with the pack time. Nick finished 30 seconds ahead of the pack.
Results were taking forever to get posted so I went up to the top of the climb to watch other and cheer on the higher CAT guys and girls. I watched about 4 laps and decided to pack up and head home.
Just for fun on the way back through I checked the results. My name was way up near the top??? I finished 9th on GC. IN THE MONEY! Over a third of what I paid to race! Nick finished in 11th just outside of the money but he won some for the Road Race win. So awesome.
Jennifer Wheeler had a really strong road race and led up the climb every time, her race came to a sprint at the end and she came in second. I think she finished 5th on GC.