Monday, March 19, 2007

Sequoia Classic Race Report

By: Ryan

Day 1: Rocky Hill TT (Exeter TT)

So this was my 4th TT and it was probably the most painful... mentally. When I signed up for this one I was the only Cat 3 registered, so I went to the race thinking that I was going to get a solid workout, but there were not going to be any other racers with me... so way less pressure, but I was still going to ride my best. Well WRONG... Trina Landry came out last minute just to get the spot behind me. I have decided that I like to be in the back so I have a little carrot up front to work for... but because I pre-registered I had to go first, yuck. So I start fairly hard but keeping a little reserved for the hill (and long way home), and in like the first 1/2 mile Trina comes FLYING around me like I was standing still.... I was a little mad at myself because I thought that I was going too slow. So I keep her close and when we hit the hill I powered around her up to the top in the front, but on the decent she again went flying around me.... bummer. I do my best to get all tucked in and railed this sketchy corner at the bottom and pass her (in the corner) and stayed in front for a bit... then once again she goes flying around me.... and literally powers away from me... out of sight. This is when I lose it mentally and sort of give up on myself. Not a good idea, but it was getting really hot out there (in the mid 80s) and I wanted to go home. So the rest of the race I pick off some of the guys that had passed me, and I did my best to make up the most amount of time on the way back and up the back side of the hill (I ended up passing like 4 guys here). I ended up finishing a few minutes from Trina but I was a bit bummed because I just got killed once again in a TT. The day ended on a great note... a wonderful lunch (a place Cathy recommended) the Wildflower cafe in downtown Exeter. It was so nice to sit in this super cute shady garden patio with some organic beer and ruben sandwhiches.... great way to end the race (and on one of my favorite beer drinking holidays)

Day 2: Visalia downtown Crit

Womens 3/4 race: This race was awesome.... and an adventure which included some mad bike handling skillz by our very own Tracy Loper (and a very poor moment in racing on my end). Well we were all super active, but I decided to conserve a bit more in this one then my last two crits to try for a finish. There were a lot of ladies out there who wanted the sprint with loads of horsepower. Tracy and Heidi did such a perfect job of attacking at the right time tiring out just the right people. Trina Landry was out here as well doing a lot of work (which is what we wanted) along with some CVC girls and some others that I can't remember... anyway we were getting lined up for the finish and Tracy digs super hard and takes a HUGE pull untl she can pull no more... then Heidi goes out and digs super deep for our last lap and I feel the group start to try and swarm around us... Tracy moves up in front to cover the swarm and I see that she is digging sooooo hard and ready to pop at any moment so I stand up and try to power around her... and I move over to go in front of her and... well.... I moved over a bit early (big oops on my part) and went on top of her front wheel. My left shoe gets clipped by her spokes in her front wheel and then her front wheel gets caught on my rear skewer and rips two spokes out of her front wheel.... and amazingly...... nobody crashes. My stomach sank and I felt so terrible... I even thought about stopping, but I did not hear her go down so I kept on the two girls that got out front of us. Honestly because this happened it may have made a slight gap between myself, the two girls in front, and the rest of the field behind... but it was so fast I think we were all together for the most part, but very strung out (like a runway model as the announcer put it..) So we hit the last corner and it is a LONG sprint to the finish... I try and shift in my drops which is usually ok for me but it did not shift just the way I wanted... so I passed one girl and I am in 2nd moving up fast on first... but we run out of road... so I got 2nd with CVC taking the win. It was really a great race, we all worked so well together, and because we wanted more, we all sign up for the next mens race.

Tracy, Heidi, & I all jump into the mens 4 and master 35+ cat 4 race. It was a hoot! We all worked hard and Heidi honestly looked so comfortable in this race, and she toughed it out near the front for 75% of the race! Tracey dug deep once again and did her best to stick out all the surging and I ended up staying just about the entire race and had to make a decision..... do I really want to be in here for the last few laps with the mens 4's? So I decided to take a flyer, attack the field and get out with 10 laps to go (and/or until I blew up) . It was a good decision too beause there ended up being crashes after I left the race with one guy going to the hospital... whew... exciting day for the Bella's.

We all had a great time and got in some solid training time with the boyz... then we stayed to watch Mary's race but I will let Mary do her race report... (and I am just tired and lazy now). Mary is such an awesome force... a trooper in every sense of the word..


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