Thursday, April 13, 2006

Master Women Wrap Up

by Monica

Circuit Race, Friday
W 30+ & W 40+
VB racers Liz Benishin & Monica Neilson
Weather some clouds, mild temp., windy

The officials combined the W 30+ and the W 40+ fields. I knew Jen Holladay, ofTamarack, who was racing in the 30+ field (we met at Cascade Cycling Classic (aNRC race) a few years ago. It was sweet to see her again. She is a pretty strong rider and I knew she was a good, safe wheel to be on. She seemed to want to lead so I sat on her wheel as much as possible.

I felt great on the climb up the Cork Screw and never felt like I was working hard. I sat in, watched my competitors and waited to see who would do what. Unfortunately, on our last lap, on the last climb, the officials neutralized us as the Cat 3 women were catching us. It was really discouraging, I felt really good. I planned to punch it on the last time up the climb and I couldn't.

We ended up passing the Cat 3 women at the last left hand turn before you make your way to the finish line. It was here things got all messed up, groups mixed together that weren't supposed to. It was a cluster **^#! In the end, I took 2nd and Liz took 3rd.We did get to sit outside in the rain for three hours waiting for the results to be right. Amazing when there were only 12 people in our field! Gee, maybe the"official" decision to only start the various fields 40 seconds apart (vs the stated 2 minutes) caused more work for the officials too. hmmmm......

Road Race, Saturday 4:17 start time
Weather: beautiful but windy

Once again combined the W 30+ with the W 40,VB representation- only me. We had four laps and a big part of this race is attrition so its important to be patient, play it out and see what happens.

Each time up "the wall" the field narrowed. On lap 2 we were down to 6, 3 30+ women and 3 40+ women. We had some trouble getting a good working pace line going as not everyone wanted to play. That's okay, there's no written rule that you have to participate.

Every lap on the long descent I took the lead. I know this course well and I know that leading through the big left turn at the bottom of "the wall" allows you to carry as much speed as possible up that hill. This worked out great. I seemed to set the pace up the climb, not intentionally, it just happened.

The last lap as we made the right up Barf Boy to the finish line, everyone was watching everyone to see who was gonna go, or who was gonna do what. The pace was pretty mellow. I kept my eyes on my two opponents and kept them off to my side, making sure they weren't resting on my wheel.

We picked up the pace as we got closer and closer to the finish line. At the 1km mark, Alexis (of Joselyn's and the W 30+ group) and I rode a little harder. We found ourselves with a little! At about 500m to go, Alexis hit it hard. I got out of my saddle to go with her but she gapped me off a bit. I kept my pace up and crossed the finish line just behind her but for first in my field! It was so great to see Michael, Sabine, Jeff, Soni, my crazy husband, brother in law and nephew out there cheering. It was late, it'd been a long day for everyone and I really appreciated you guys sticking around.

It was a challenge to try and read the posted results in the dark, have the awards at 9PM and finally, eat a sandwich at 10PM. We had to miss the Kona party, dammit....but hey, it was sweet leaving the Otter at 9:30 at night with no traffic!


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