Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dunnigan Hills

Dunnigan Hills Road Race
Womens 123
Team: Emily Foxman, Mary Maroon
Feild: 21
Placing: 4th

I caught up to Em around the warm up area. There were only 2 of us and 7 RED Racing. We needed a plan. Em and I decided to make it fast. Emily attacked right after the moto pulled off. When she came back together with the pack, I attacked. This was enough to set the stage for how the race was going to be. Josie Morgan went and I went again. This time I was off for quite some time. About 30 minutes. RED organized at the front and began to work to bring Webcor back. I was collected right at the base of the first climb. Em immediately attacked up the hill. 1 RED racing went with her. There were 3 RED at the front. I bridged to Em and began a rotation with her. We were away for 10 minutes before I got a flat. Em and RED kept going but got caught a few minutes later. I waited for the follow vehicle. Lucia (LGBRC)  had also flatted and was pacing the follow car back. I jumped in with her with a borrowed wheel. Right as we were catching back on the pack took a nature break. We rode that finishing straight at a comfortable pace. During the second lap, RED Racing sent some girls off the front but everything came back. 

Before the final climbs, I told Em that what I needed most was a little wind protection. She offered me her spot I told her to find a safe spot for herself and allow me a little room to follow. We had both worked ourselves over and were struggling the second lap. This last effort from Em made a huge difference in my ability to recover. At the final climbs, Em was done. She fell off the back and just couldn't get back on again. She rode as hard as she could during the race and even though she wasn't connected to the pack she continued to chase. At a time when most people would soft pedal in having decided that they had done enough work for the team, Em kept going. She finished alone and on the back and Webcor should be really proud of what she did for us today. 

The finish was moved from last year and was tricky. The sprint finish was not well marked and very small. Velo Promo was experimenting with a different finish location. I'm confident that they will find a good way to work it out eventually. Anyway, as a result of the road closure and finish line, Webcor got a very honorable 4th place. No, it is not 1st but we did not hand over the race to chance or race reactively. We raced hard. We raced like a team. 


Monday, August 1, 2011

CCCX Road Race

Race: CCCX Circuit
6 laps, 75 minutes
Teammates: Mary
Field: 15
Place: 3

Keith DeFibre loves racing so much and it really shows at his circuit
races. He marked off 5 miles of road between Sea Otter and some
Military housing with some climbs. It's a really good course that
doesn't necessarily favor a pure climber. Our field was a little on
the little side because they raced the Masters Women and the Cat 4s a
minute behind us and there was another race in Danville.

Last year I battled the race out with Laurie Fenech (MadCat). She was
here this year too. Neither one of us had official teammates but we
both had a back up plan. Laurie was talking with Jane (Yahoo) before
the race but I drove down with the Mexican National Road Champion

The tactic that Laurie and Jane devised was pretty good considering
the field. Laurie would attack. I would jump and bridge. Jane would
try to chase me down. The rest of the field would follow. This
happened twice. On one occasion I countered Laurie and the same thing
sequence of events unfolded. It was pretty clear what was going to
happen all day. There was not going to be a break with me in it.

If you can't instigate a break and you can bridge to a break, you can
always thwart a break. Keeping a close eye on the girls who want to
attack and just going with them will keep the field together. This
plan is great and almost completely executable. The only variable is
there are other women.

I'm not going to try and control the race. It's not realistic and
philosophically speaking a little unethical to think you can make
other people do your bidding. I'm not going to just sit back and be
reactive. Letting other people determine how you race is just plain
stupid. Racing is like boiling a pot of water. All the molecules are
moving around together.

So anyway, I loose track of Laurie for 3 seconds and she pops off the
front again. For about a mile she was only a few feet in front of us.
No one chases. Then Jane, instead of putting herself at the front of
the race and sitting up, separated herself and rode on the opposite
side of the road. Most of the field followed her out of habit. Then
all of the field followed the rest of the feild. The next thing you
know, Yahoo has very passively managed to get the entire field behind
her and at sub 15mph. And Laurie rolls up the road.

Dulce, our heroine of the story and our Maxican National Champ,
doesn't know the racers and their shenanigans, doesn't know the course
but for the 2.5 laps we've been on it, and quite frankly doesn't know
she can trust me. In English, I tell her she might want to go after
the girl up the road. I'm not sure she understands what I said so I
give some hand gestures and indicate that I will block. She jumps and
starts a little TT after Laurie.

Right at that moment I overcome with contentment because I know Dulce
will make contact and win the race. I know that she has a little ways
to go before she gets there and that she'll have to work for it but I
know it will happen. It felt really good to "tell" Yahoo and MadCat
that it was fine that they wanted to play tactics with me but I was
going to counter them with something they couldn't expect. Right at
that moment Yahoo was physically trying to chase and mentally
realizing that Webcor and Touchstone were not going to let it happen.

It took Dulce 1.5 laps to catch MadCat. Dulce won the sprint by at
least 3 bike lenghts. The rest of the women's field was so proud of
her and the promoter was super stoked to have her at his race. As for
my race, I rode at the front with Yahoo on my wheel. I sat up for 2
seconds and let her lead out the sprint for 3rd.

On a day like Saturday you realize that racing is not always going to
be getting taken to the curb by Vanderkitten. Sometimes it's you and
10 of your best friends trying like hell to crush each other and being
really proud of whoever makes it to the top that day. I can't write a
race report for Dulce, my Spanish isn't that good. I know she worked
super hard to bridge and she earned a well deserved first US win. I
can tell you that I will be racing with these same world class, world
champion, tough as nails women for a long long time to come and we
will love every minute of it.


Tour de Nez

I think Webcor is now 9th in the NRC standings, and Bec and Mary should be in the top 100 individually. :-)  A 5th and a 6th at an NRC race, pretty sweet!   ~ Andi

Race: Tour de Nez
60 minutes
Teammates: Mary, Bec, Em
Field: 35ish
Place: 5th (Bec 6th)

I didn't take a survey with every single rider in the peloton, suffice
to say I didn't talk to anybody who didn't feel a little bit sluggish
in the heat and altitude. Martina Patella (RED Racing) actually passed
out during the race and hit a hay bale. It was that hot. Amber Pierce,
who is from Reno and won the race attacked after a field separation
and TT'd for 20 minutes for a win of 45 seconds over the field. It was
pretty incredible.

In case you don't remember, Amber Pierce used to crush the Valley ride
when she lived in the South Bay. She's on the National Team now and
changed her name from Rais via a husband. She was on Webcor, dark
brown pony tail, really professional and really classy...Now you

The current Webcor/AV Women's team had some big Diadora's to fill on
Sunday. We rose to the challenge and did our best. Our best put Webcor
in 9th place for top NRC teams.

The course was great. It was a little narrow and the corners were
tight. There was an uphill chicane and a downhill chicane. It was
great for going really fast.

The pack was together when the first Prime Bell was rung. I went for
it to feel out the finish. I actually ended up getting it and creating
some separation from the field with 3 other riders. I pulled off the
front to begin the rotation. When taking inventory of the potential of
the break I saw 1 girl who was not break riders and 2 who could be but
didn't know how or wouldn't.

The pack was only a few feet back so I sat up. This actually created
more separation. There was no one in the top 5 who were represented in
the break yet there was no one chasing. Perhaps it was clear that this
break would not stick. A few girls bridged, including Bec. Then a few
more. I had no reason to chase a break with Bec in it so I sat up and
kept an eye on anything that would encourage a regrouping or be a
threat to Bec.

Eventually the field came back together. The wind was picking up and
would definitely affect the finish. It would just be a matter of
positioning going into and coming out of the uphill chicane on the
last lap. I had been following Bec for the last 4 laps and she was
taking the corner at the top of the course perfectly. I thought that
if she could just do it one more time we would take the field sprint.

I passed her before that perfect spot on the last lap. It was a slight
miscalculation but I don't know if she knew I had been on her wheel or
that she was so perfect on that corner. We got on the back of 4 riders
before the crest. Primal were 2 of them. 1 Primal sat up and opened a
huge gap between her teammate and the rest of us. I passed her, Bec
passed her and we just tried to see how close we could get to the
three in front of us.

Our best team placing this year: 5th in an NRC race. Thanks for reading.