February 28, 2011

An early start to the season

This past weekend Annie and I decided to take up an offer from our host family to race the Callville Classic near Las Vegas. Both of us had never raced this early in the season (Canada is usually still in a deep freeze), but a quick look at the hilly course profile convinced us that it would be an excellent training opportunity and chance to test our legs. We all piled into good ol’ Meatloaf, the Tanner’s much loved truck and drove to Las Vegas.  

Day 1: uphill TT
Stage one was a short uphill TT. It was ridiculously windy outside, Annie and I rode to the course and were struggling to stay in the bike lane and not get blown into traffic. Thank goodness it was mostly a tail wind to the course! Since it was just for training, we didn’t really worry too much about using any arrow equipment for the TT. Even though the race was mostly uphill, this decision may have lost us a bit of time. I finished in at 12th and Annie in 16th overall out of a group of 30 women. 

Day 2: Road race
We woke up to pouring rain and wind, fantastic! Annie and I were actually bit excited that the weather wasn’t so great since we both ride in the rain a lot from living on the west coast of Canada, maybe it would be an advantage. Unfortunately I didn’t bring a lot of rain gear to California because I refused to believe it would rain! Isn’t it sunny all the time? I guess not in Nevada. Needless to say, it was a very cold race. There was an early attack by a Colavita/Outback team rider. She was away for awhile, but was brought back quickly when the SC Velo girls started chasing, as they held the overall lead. Annie and I tried a few times to get away and break the race apart, but our attacks didn’t go very far. Annie had an awesome attack on a long climb later on in the race. Unfortunately she was so focused that she completely blew by the turn around point and kept riding in the wrong direction, oh no! Luckily the officials let her motorpace Meatloaf at 70 km/h to get back to the pack. I was so relieved to see her back with the group! The second half of the race was less aggressive than the first part, so it stayed together. I think everyone was just freezing and wanted the race to end. My feet had lost most feeling by this point. I was able to get into a good position going into the last corner and beat Primal racing’s Nicky Wangsgard to the line to win the final sprint! Annie and I didn’t bother cooling down and just climbed right into the truck to dethaw and get indoors ASAP.
Photo courtesy of Jet Tanner
The rest of the day was a lot more enjoyable. We had the opportunity to go watch the Blue Man group perform in Las Vegas. Vegas is quite the sight at night, a bit of a sensory overload! The performance was pretty incredible and entertaining. They go through a lot of paint! 

Day 3: Criterium
Photo courtesy of Jet Tanner
Finally it was sunny today! This course was fun to race. It had quite a few corners and a slight climb with a fast descent going into a big sweeping 180* corner right before the finish line. Annie and I didn’t really have anything to lose in the GC so we raced fairly aggressively. The sweeping corner was interesting to figure out. It took a few laps before I was comfortable going into it fast. There were lots of attacks during the race, but nothing stayed away. SC Velo held the race together to hold onto the lead. I was able to get into a good position going into the final sweeping turn and won the sprint! The two stage wins gave me a 20 second bonus and moved my GC place to 6th, not bad for the first race of the season. The only unfortunate thing was that Annie was riding so fast that her powertap flew off during the race (if anyone who was at the race reads this and found it, please let me know!). We spent the rest of the day watching the rest of the Jet cycling team racers compete. Meatloaf was a bit temperamental from her doors being left open all day. A quick boost revived her and we were on our way back to Cali after an exhausting, but really fun weekend of racing! 
Check out Veloimages for some good race photos from the weekend. 

A big THANK YOU to the Jet Cycling team for all their support this past weekend and congrats to all the riders!

1 comment:

  1. Don't know what happened to my earlier comment Leah, but here it goes once more. Excellent action pictures of you on Veloimages, you really worked hard to win that stage. What experience you're gaining by attending all these events, good for you. Thinking of you, Oma & Opa in Hawaii