Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rocky Mountain Roubaix Race Report

by Tina

After a lovely 5 hour drive the night before, I woke up to a sunny morning… The forecast had been touting mostly cloudy skies, threat of rain, and highs in the low 50s. With a start time at 10 am, that would mean temps in the 30s to 40s.

Driving over, I mentioned to my husband that I would rather have it be cold, rainy, and slimy – just to weed out the weaker ones, which may have been me after my ego was done trash talking.

It was only my second real race and nerves were tight – it was a miracle I kept my breakfast down – and only had one round of the nervous-rea. Rocky Mountain Roubaix takes its name from our favorite Belgian race with cobbles and unpredictable weather - only this one has lots of dirt roads and pavement that's actually worse then the dirt!

They combined the women's fields – we even had a Cat 1 road racer on her cross bike out there to show us just how bad we were – was 18 –which is HUGE for Montana. I was very excited. We had many Bellas – me, Jackie, Erika from Idaho, and soon to be Zoe (I think she just has to fill out her waiver) all in our Velo Bella kit and full of flair – me with the sparkly frog on the skateboard mojo and matching earrings, to Jackie with her cross bike and pink bar tape and matching sidewalls on her tires… It was fabulicious.

The race got off with a calm pace and the first sign of a dirt road sent an itchy Cat 1 racer on a desperate attempt for a breakaway –we chased her down like the dog she was…And – this was really funny – cuz' it showed me the difference between men and women racers – on the first dirt section not even 3miles in, a lonely voice toward the back cried out "CRAP – I got a flat!" and the entire field went, in unison, "Awwwwww." That's when the Cat 1 took off.

Wasn't that sweet?

Well, I got shelled off the main group about 1/3 of the way in on a steep dirt section, with two Bellas still in the lead group, Zoe andErika, to bring home the hardware. They ended up dropping the Cat1, and Erika and Zoe came in 2nd and 3rd – Woohoo!! Erika will have to give you more details on that one –

I managed to find some girls willing to work together and we roundedout a beautiful day of racing with a SWEET sprint finish – I took a flyer at about 100k to go and thought I had a nice gap, but justbefore the line one of the girls I was working with came up and got me by a couple feet. It was really cool though – I still get goosebumps. I like to Sprint. A lot.

And many many kudos to Jackie for toughing it out on her cross bike - she's our awesome mountain biker, cross racer, 24-hours of dirt and mud chica and she did awesome! :)

Thanks for reading until next weekend – Helena Primavera RR – I'll be donning my beautiful Easter bunny ears!

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