Monday, June 22, 2009

Tour de Nez Northstar Circuit race 6/20 by Katy K.

Tour de Nez Northstar Circuit race
Katy 8th place of ~27
Teammates: Annie Malouin 12th, Rae Brownsberger 13th, Lauren Hecht 17th

3 Race omnium: Rae 10th, Katy 11th, Lauren 14th, Annie 16th

First, we need to thank our host in Truckee, Scott, for putting us up in fine
style. The races were in the evening each day, and Scott welcomed us into his
home late at night and allowed us to take our
time winding down from racing even though he had to get up & go to work.
Saturday morning he cooked some breakfast for us and came out to cheer us on.
While we were watching the men's race on Saturday he got us into the VIP event,
and Scott convinced the race promoter to give Rae a ride on the back of a moto
to watch a few laps of the high-paced men's race.

We need to thank Rand who put up with three women & drove us to the races all
weekend. Many thanks also to Dan & Andi Smith for loaning us the SportVelo
vehicle as our team car & loading it up with team food.

Now for the race report...

The course start/finish is in the center of the Northstar village on some fake
cobble. The two mile circuit takes you out of the village through some parking
lots and back up a short steep climb to the
finish. The circuit is all up and down, at most 200 meters of flat on the
entire loop (and it's not a continuous 200m). Because of the distance of the
circuit & the nature of the circuit there was no free

This was our third day of racing at altitude, and we had the pleasure of racing
at 6000 ft, the highest yet. The first two days I was working on hanging on
with the pack and adjusting to the faster pace
of the mostly 1/2 field; this was my first time racing with people who are paid
to ride their bikes (however meager that amount may be).

We went to the line prepared for a fast start, but the race didn't start quite
as fast as I was expecting (maybe my expectations were really high?) -- this was
a good thing, because I suffered plenty as
the race went on. Amber Rais & Katerina Nash were separated by 4 points on the
omnium, so Amber was closely marking Katerina and Tibco wasn't yet driving the
race. Lauren got to the front the second lap and put in a hard effort which I'm
certain made people suffer. On the next time through the start/finish Annie M
led & we got to hear her name announced. On either the third or fourth lap
there was an attack going up the first climb. I was pretty far back in the
field when
this happened, but I felt I had the legs to be up there. Commence the chasing.
The chase was a bit disorganized at first, but with lots of help from Rae we got
back up to the break in a lap and a half. That time through the village the
announcer called out Rae's name. A quarter lap later when we met the long climb
again, Rae gave me a face that said "you're on your own". She did an awesome
job getting me back up there, but now it was on me. Tibco controlled the pace
for the next two laps, and I felt like I had some time to recover. Then Stacy
Marple attacked, and I was back out of the lead group. I ended up with a
Metromint and a LaGrange rider for the remainder of the race. We were working
well together when a Tibco rider flew past us. We each tried to grab her wheel,
but we couldn't make it. This put 7 up the road ahead of us and 3 in my group.
I did a lot of work to keep our group from getting caught, and sometimes took a
longer pull to lead through a corner. There was one corner when the Metromint
rider & I would gap the other rider with us. Over laps 3 & 2 to go we tried to
shake her off after that corner, but she fought back on. My teammates made
certain no one from their group got up the road. I was thrilled when the 4 laps
to go sign showed up, but also afraid I wasn't going to make it. At 3 laps to
go I tried to convince myself it was only 6 more miles, but I knew how hard
those 6 miles would be. At two laps to go I tried to stay off the front of our
group, but I was in such a state that I don't remember much of the rest of the
race. My favorite part of the course was the downhill turn after we passed
through the village into an uphill. You could fly up the start of the hill with
your momentum from the downhill. I finished 2nd in my group for 9th place, or
so it seemed.

After the race we heard that the Tibco rider that flew by me had soloed for the
win. During her post-race interview she mentioned that she had taken a free
lap. Her honesty meant that the race win was taken from her as there were no
free laps. This gave the win to Amber Rais & moved me up to 8th overall.

Here is the Velonews race report:

It was a great weekend of hard racing, and I really enjoyed racing in a mostly
1/2 field (I'm still working on moving up from the 3s). I'd like to work on
staying in the lead group and being farther up when the break goes so that I
don't have to fight so hard to get back in.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Race Schedule

June 6th Dash for Cash WP,1,2,3 (Lauren, Red, Big, Katy, Rae)
June 13th: Pesky RR WP,1,2 (Red, Rae) W 3/4 ( Katy, Big)
June 18-20: Tour de Nez WP, 1,2,3 (Red, Big, Katy maybe Lauren)
June 28: Burlingame Crit WP,1,2,3 (Lauren, Rae, Katy, Big)

Spring Hill RR, W3/4 combined field by Katy

Spring Hill RR, W3/4 combined field
31 May 2009
Katy 1st, Annie (Big) 2nd out of 30+

Spring Hill RR is a great course - no major climbs, some larger than rollers and some rollers. The Women 3/4 were combined (no distinction in numbers), and we did two laps for 44 miles. I definitely noticed a headwind on parts of the course, and I would surmise then that there was a tailwind, but it didn't really register.

Annie & I were very excited to race together, and this was my first race for the Webcor/AV Bridge team pb Sportvelo. This was also my first USCF race since Snelling (I've been racing collegiate for Stanford), so Annie had to fill me in on who the other women were. Our plan was to keep the pace high throughout the race because while we thought we could get up the final hill fast, we weren't sure we could hold off any sprinters. Also we were hoping to get one of us up the road in a break.

The race was a fast pace from the gun - similar to last year - I briefly thought that there was no way I'd make it if the pace stayed this high. I think the fast start helped to dwindle the group down, but there were probably 30 or so women that made the first lap. The pace dropped occasionally on the back side, so I went up to the front to pick things up. Just when I was thinking it would be nice to have Annie take over, she came to the front and took over for me. Annie put in two attacks on the rollers. The group never let her get far away, but it definitely helped pick up the pace.

The start of the second lap the pace picked up again, and our group dwindled to 15 riders or so. At this point we had dropped any of the sprinters that Annie recognized. We were working well together to keep the pace high until we hit a left handed hill on the back of the course. The pace slowed and the pacelining fell apart, so I attacked the hill. No one was interested in chasing at first, and they let me stay away for a few miles. I noticed the headwind while I was out by myself. I was caught and sat back in to recover. If I remember correctly Annie put in another attack, but the group had her marked.

You can see the final climb a few kilometers out, and last year I went too early for the finish. This year I decided to sit in as long as I could. The pace picked up as we were going through the feed zone. The road flattens a bit before kicking up again. Things slowed down here, so I attacked the final hill and hoped I could hold on to it. I got enough of a gap and managed to hold it, and Annie was right behind me for 2nd. This was a great way to start my season with the AV Bridge Team, and I enjoyed racing with Annie.