May 26, 2010

Racing in Enumclaw

I just finished up my last class today so my summer can officially begin! I'm sort of sad that my epidemiology class is over though, it was the most fascinating class. Here's a race write up from this past weekend's race at the Mutual of Enumclaw stage race in Washington. 

The weekend got off to a great start when I realized that I included my race license in my last load of laundry. The only part left was my photo with little words stuck to it, not good! Thankfully after a quick phone call my coach back in Winnipeg, he was able to make a new license and e-mail a copy to me.  

This year the stage race was based on overall time, rather than an omnium calculated from finishing points like last year. The weekend started out with a short time trial. The weather looked menacing but the thankfully the rain held off for the girls start time. The start felt slow, but I really got into a rhythm later in the race and felt pretty fast. The finish was interesting. There were two cars ahead of me that slowed down because they saw all the cones and cars set up at the finish line. This was a little bit frustrating because they had no idea I was coming up behind them and almost ran into them trying to finish. I still had a good tt time, finishing 7th about 30 seconds back from first. 

The next stage was one of my most favourite 8 cornered crit courses. That being said, I enjoy this course a lot more when it's not pouring rain! The sun was so promising. The rain did split up the race very quickly though. There was a group of 9 of us who got away very early on in the race when people let gaps open on the corners. I was extremely sketched out going 
around all the corners. There were sewer grates on almost all of them which had to be avoided. My super pumped up, no-tread tires didn't really help the situation. I sprinted and won a prime early on which was fun. Unfortunately the time prime was the very next lap which did not play out in my favour at that moment. I unfortunately crashed going around one of those fun eight corners. It was sort of a strange crash though, I'm not sure if I actually ever let go of my handlebars! I just sort of ended up with some road rash on my knee and hip. It was nice to get a bit of a break in the wheel pit for a free lap. Just my luck though that I just happened to miss the second time bonus sprint. I got back in though and felt really good. With 4 laps to go they announced the big money prime and I just had to sprint for it. I had a bit of a drag race to the end with another girl and won it by the smallest distance! Going into the final laps the speed just kept ramping up. I was sprinting out of every corner to stay with the group because I sort of lost faith in my ability to keep my bike upright. Still finished with the group in 7th position. 

Sunday's stage was the road race. I had moved up to 4th in gc after the split happened in the crit. I wasn't that far back and knew that I could move up in gc if a break happened. And that break did happen on the second lap of four. The enumclaw road race loop includes
a pretty long 3 km climb. The Total Restoration team hammered up this climb at the front and formed a break of 10 of us including my team-mate Noe. It was a fantastic break, none of the three riders ahead of me were in the group and I realized that if this break stayed away and nobody got away from the group then I could take over the lead. Thankfully everyone in the group really wanted it to stick and worked together. The finish was sort of interesting. There were quite a few attacks on the last descent.  I chased so nobody could gain any time and take over the lead. The sprint wasn't on the loop that we had been riding all day and the finish line came a lot sooner than I expected. I thought it was later and timed my sprint a bit late oops. Still finished third in that race. It didn't really matter anyways, the break had stayed away and gained enough time that I took over the overall standings! I was so incredibly excited with this result. 

1 comment:

  1. Been waiting with anticipation to hear from you, Leah. Studies went well and now you're in your summer break. Enjoyed reading your race experience at the Enumclaw Stage Race. Must have been one heck of an event. Congrats to your first place finish plus earning some price money. We're looking forward to seeing you soon out in B.C. Oma & Opa