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Friday, March 29, 2013

San Dimas 2013

Update time! I am back in the US of A and loving it. Once arriving in LA I was picked up by my team mate Amber Gaffney and her partner Jacob and was spoilt rotten! Not only had she come all the way out to LA to pick me up, she had gone via my favourite super market (Trader Joes) and picked me up my favourite American treat for the car trip. Once arriving at her house she made me an incredibly delicious sandwich and then went for her second ride of the day so she could show me where I could ride.. That is what I call one pretty awesome team mate! I then spent the next week training with Amber and getting to know the area.

First race for the season was the San Dimas Stage race which consists of a 4 mile uphill time trial, a 50 mile road race and then finishes off with a 60 minute Criterium around the streets of San Dimas. We had a small team of 5 rider, Leah, Brie, Amber, Lauren and myself as well as Michael, Rachel and Jeremy (Mechanic, Director/organiser/planner/do everything-er and the swanee).

Leah and I stayed with Susie and Dennis, a lovely couple who looked after us incredibly well during the few days of racing. They were both very accomplished sports people so we had some good conversations. The morning of the time trial Leah and I got up leisurely to have breakfast. By the time we left for the race Susie had gone for a run, walked the dog and was about to head out the door for a ride to watch us race. Once returning from her ride she then went for another walk.. an incredibly fit lady!! I felt so lazy after just doing a little time trial then riding home.

The weekend was a great success for the team. There were close to 80 strong starters in the race, so we certainly had our work cut out for us! Brie rode to a very impressive 4th place in the time trial with Lauren, Leah and Amber not far behind. I finished somewhere in the 20’s. I was pretty disappointed with my result as I felt great and had a great lead-up but not to fear I will be there soon, just need to get some racing under my belt to wake the legs up again!

The Road Race was pretty action-packed with a nasty crash happening near the start and the race leader Mara Abbott came down. So for the next lap we neutralised the race until she rejoined us and then the race was on! My job was to go for the Queen of the Mountains, I won the first one, got 2nd in the 2nd and then 3rd in the final time.. Unfortunately that put me in 1st equal with Lex Albrecht and in the UCI rules the winner is determined by whoever is sitting highest on GC, which in this case was Lex… Dammit!! So I didn’t get the polka dot jersey for this one.. Next time =)

Amber and I attempted a couple of lead-outs for Leah and Lauren for the mid-race sprints, and they both did awesome, Leah got the first and then Brie (who also did the leading out) got another one. Kathryn Donavon from NOW got away solo on the 5th lap and rode strongly up the road for about 3 laps, with 1 lap to go Amber and I went to the front and set the pace as no-one else seemed very interested in catching Katy. Once we had about 5kms to go Amber drilled it on the front while I totally blew up! Going up the last climb (so with around 5 kms to go) Brie set the pace, ,and then kept setting it, and just kept going.. then won the sprint!!! She is like a pocket rocket that just keeps going!!! So we finished the stage with a stage victory, the sprint jersey (Brie), a place up in the GC standings (now sitting in 3rd) and a first equal for QOM (Dang). Successful day all round!!

The final day was a Criterium, and boy was it on from the start. We averaged about 42kmh for an hour.. it was hard! And I was hurting! Long story short Brie finished 2nd in the stage thanks to a great lead-out from Amber, Lauren and Leah.

San Dimas was a great first race of the season. I personally am not at where I want to be but know it is the first race of the season and speed will come fast! I have the strength and endurance, now I just need that speed. I am so stoked to be riding with such a great team again this year, we all gel so well and get along.. its going to be a great season =)

Me going for the QOM points at SDSR.

                          One happy team after Bries win in the Road Race. Very well deserved!!
                          Both photos copyright of Danny Munson, Cyclingillustrated.com

Now I am off to San Diego with one of my closest friends Emma Grant. I have not seen her since August last year and cannot wait to spend the week hanging out and riding my bike. Then I am headed to Redlands for a 4 stage race. Fun times ahead, will keep you all posted.

Thanks for reading =)


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