Sunday, August 22, 2010

Elite Track District Championships and National Qualifier 8/22/2010

Elite Track District Championships and National Qualifier 8/22/2010

For the past five weeks or so I've been training for the Individual Pursuit, and finally I got to race one at Districts. My goal was to qualify for Nationals, so I brought along some friends to race to make the field size bigger (which means more people qualify). Thanks to Mary Ellen Allen, MaryAnn Levenson and Andi Smith for coming out and racing, we ended up with 12 people racing the pursuit! I had a good warmup and then I was on the start line. I had a decent start for once and I was off. My second lap was a little fast, 25.8 seconds, but then I settled into a fairly steady pace around 27 seconds per lap. My last couple of laps were a bit slower than the first couple, but not by a whole lot, so I ended up with a final time of 4:05.32, which is a bit faster than I expected to go on my very first pursuit. I'm really happy with my time, but it was a bit frustrating that Beth Newell only beat me by 0.8 seconds - so close. Congratulations to Beth for posting a great time and winning districts, I'm happy to have gotten 2nd place and qualified for Nationals.

After the individual pursuit, Andi and I wanted to do a team pursuit. We didn't have a third person, so we recruited Margaret Jones, who I met there that morning. Margaret had never been to the track before, but she did fine in the individual pursuit, so we decided we'd give the team pursuit a shot. We didn't even get to practice beforehand, but we figured out a strategy and away we went. Andi started, then Maggie, then me. Andi and Maggie each took half-lap pulls while I took full-lap pulls, since my time was a bit faster. We did pretty well actually, especially since we didn't practice and I know that Maggie and I have never done team pursuits before at all. We finished in second place with a time of 4:09.2, only 2.8 seconds behind the first place team. Since there were four teams, we actually qualified for Nationals!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dunnigan Hills Road Race 8/14/2010

Dunnigan Hills Road Race 8/14/2010
Category: W1/2/3
Field Size: 32
Length: 86 miles
Place: 16th

The course was very flat, probably the flattest road race I've done here since Cantua Creek. I like flat races, but this one was a little on the long side too. When we finished, my clock said something around 4 hours. We did two long laps, and the first one was fairly relaxed, since most of the attacks that were made didn't seem serious so early on. A couple of times there were a couple of people up the road, but we never let them get too far away. About twenty miles in my lower back started aching, so after that I didn't do very much work bringing breaks back or attacking myself. I just settled in and tried to keep myself properly fed and hydrated so that I'd have something left for the sprint, since it looked like no breaks were going to stick anyway.

Before the race, we'd been warned by the race officials that the centerline rule was being strictly enforced and if you were caught advancing across the yellow line, you'd be DQ'ed. Well, our motor ref took this very seriously and over the course of the race he DQ'ed five people. After the first one, I realized just how strict he was being and took care to generally stay on the right side of the pack and move up on that side. Anyway, on the second lap there was a group of three off the front for a long time, but they were never that far ahead, we kept them in our sights, and finally they were reeled back in with maybe 10 miles to go. We were all together with about two miles to go, though people kept making moves to get near the front, when we were informed that the finish line had been moved an extra two miles up the road and that we'd only have a single lane for the sprint. That messed up my plan since we were supposed to have the full road for the last half mile, so I was hoping to be able to get to a better position at that point. However, we stayed single lane right to the finish and I didn't have the energy to stay at the front since everyone was trying to do that and the pack kept churning. As a result, I was stuck in the middle when the sprint finally came, though no one had much room to sprint anyway.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Timpani Crit

Race Report from Jane Wolcott from the Bridge Team

Timpani Crit 8/1/2010
Category: W1/2+3
Field Size: 26+17
Length: 55 minutes
Teammate: Ange
Place: 11th

The course was a nice flat four-corner loop going clockwise. The roads were fairly wide, and apart from a couple of bumpy bits of pavement and manhole covers, the road quality was pretty good. I met my teammate Ange for the first time the day before at her farewell BBQ, since she's flying back to Australia. I was glad to get to do at least one race with her before she goes away, and we had a pretty good race together.

The race started off at a decent pace, but not super fast. There were some attacks, and I did my part in chasing them down occasionally. Ange was up there too doing a great job staying active in the race. I know I saw her follow groups up the road a number of times making sure nothing got away from us. With about 10-15 minutes left in the race a break of 6-8 people made it off the front and got a 6-8 second gap on the field. Since neither Ange nor I made it into the break, I did my best to either bridge or chase it down with a number of attacks, but I just didn't have it in me to bring them back and the gap wasn't getting any smaller.

I made one last attack on back stretch of the last lap hoping to get away one last time, but I just didn't have it, so I rounded the last corner about 10th wheel in the pack. The road was wide open, so I decided to sprint for it anyway, and I actually had a pretty good sprint, I just started too far back to place well. Anyway, I thought it was a good race and it was great to get to finally race with Ange.