I've upgraded my blog to a fancy new website! To follow my cycling journey, check out my new website and read my new blog

Monday, May 27, 2013

Long time no talk!

Well hello there. I would like to apologise for my lack of updates since Redlands, I have no excuses as to why I have been so useless just that my brain has been else-where for the past month or so and everything has been go-go-go. Ever since Redlands I have been on the road, completing 7 Criteriums and 2 stage races all over the US. I have had an amazing time, our team has been riding awesome and my form is coming around. Below is a very brief description on what I have been up to;

Charlotte Criterium, Charlotte, NC.
-         -  Ouch. This was a fast, aggressive race. There is a lot of money on the line so people risk everything for the win. Finished with a bunch sprint, 4th and 5th.
-        -   Next day we did another Criterium in charlotte. The team rode the front for a large quantity of the race, until Jade got away with Crowell (Exergy). Jade finished 2nd. We had an awesome race, may not have got the win but we rode like a team supposed to ride, it was awesome.

Joe Martin Stage Race, Fayetteville, AR.
-          - Stage 1 TT =  Ouch.
-          - Stage 2 RR – Aggressive and fast for the first half. There was a long 15ish km climb and I got into about 4 breaks, none stuck, the team rode great but we couldn’t get a breakaway. Finished with a sprint and Joelle got 2nd!
-          - Stage 3 RR – Fantastic race, team rode to perfection. Amber got in a break with one other rider for half the race, caught with 10kms to go and Joelle wins the sprint finish. Awesome team effort.
-          -Stage 4 Crit – More ouch!!! Bunch split to pieces on the first lap, Joelle 3rd in a very long hard sprint. She rode like a superstar!

Gila, Silver City New Mexico (7000 feet above see level.. ouch).
-          - Stage 1 RR- Not much happened at the start, occasional attacking and little breaks. Biggest highlight would be my wheel change and my shoe break after a rider decided to ride her front wheel into me. Bunch together at the base of the 15km pain hill. Was a grovel, I rode it with Brie and we pushed each other up. Happy to get to the top! But unfortunately Brie suffered some pretty bad heat stroke at the end of the stage and was out for the rest of the week =(. Thanks to two of the top climbers in the World, Claudia and Mara for making it so damn painful!
First Day Complete. Pretty shattered after one hard climb . 
      - Stage 2 RR- Denise and I did some early attacks and chasing which helped our legs suffer for the rest. Jade and Lauren rode awesome while Joelle came off on the downhill =(. Janel did ok too, soloing off the front and doing a time trial for about half the race. SHE WON!! Beating some of the World’s best and showing everyone how it’s done.
-          - Stage 3 TT – Janel, after doing a 60 odd km TT the day before, finished 2nd to Alison Powers, by only 10 seconds!!! My aim for this was to finish in the time cut and save my legs for the following days so I could have something left to help the team as much as possible. It went well and I was nice and comfortable =)
Lauren and Joelle killing it in the Crit. 
-         - Stage 4 Crit - The team rode great, Joelle did a fantastic lead-out for Lauren who won! And Joelle hung on for 2nd. Awesome!
Pre-race meeting with Rach. The knowledge that Rachel has with the tactics is amazing and I hold onto every word she tells us. 
On the front earlier on in the Crit. 
During the TT at Gila. 
-          - Stage 5 RR – Last day, legs tired. We protected Janel and Jade as much as we could by chasing every break that went off the front, (Joelle staying away in a small break) and delivering them to the base of the hill well rested and ready to rip legs off. Janel finished 3rd, racing two of the World’s BEST hill climbers up one painful climb!

Tour De Grove, St Louis, Missouri.
-        -   Crit #1 ; starting at 8 :30 pm, in the dark. It was fast from the start. Optum P/B KBS rode awesome making the race exciting. I got off solo, then Annie went off solo, then Amber went off.. etc. Unfortunately Annie had a terrible crash half way through. She hit the barrier and it came over top, breaking her Scapula in the process. She is so tough, and is now home in Canada on her way to recovery. The race was re-started after about 20 minutes. Knowing your team mate and close friend is in a really bad way was not good for me mentally so I wasn’t really in it for the rest of the race. I just wanted to ride off the front, so I did, but got caught and it was a sprint finish. Leah 4th.

       - Crit #2 ; Super aggressive race. The team attacked like crazy, it was hard and fast. Having only 3 riders was hard, the larger teams took advantage of their numbers and made us hurt. Unfortunately nothing stuck and came to a sprint again with Leah in 5th.
Leah and Amber doing sprint training down the Hotel corridor. 

Doing some 'touristy' things. The arch at St Louis. 
-          -  Crit #3 ; Fun day! Again attacking, attacking, attacking. This time something stuck! Leah got in the break with 4 others and they drilled it at the front. All I had to do was chase attacks from the main field to try and keep it together. Leah sprinted to an impressive 2nd place to Theresa Cliff-Ryan. Last lap someone came down in front of me. I had to jump her bike and unfortunately got gaped from what was left of the small bunch. I got back on but had nothing left to contest the sprint, which did not really matter as it was for 5th or 6th place.

Wilmington Grand Prix, Wilmington.
-          - Only a small Optum team in this one, which made it hard. Amber and I rode an aggressive race, we are not sprinters so we wanted a break. I got in an early break which stayed away for quite a few laps. We were caught and the attacks started up again. Unfortunately one of my attacks was countered by a Colavita rider forming a break. The rest of the race Amber and I tried everything we could to bridge the gap. Felt like we had big signs on our backs telling everyone to please chase EVERYTHING we do. It was hard, and we gave it everything but couldn’t catch unfortunately. We made it fun and hard though, dropping about half the field in the first half of the race with our continuous attacks. So it wasn’t all bad. Fearless Femme rode awesome and took the win.
Amber and I at the front in Wilmington. 

Kelly Cup, Baltimore, MD.
-        -  A smaller field on a cool course around a park in Baltimore. Once again, Amber and I attacked like crazy women making it almost one of the hardest races I have done. It was a 22 lap course and we would have attacked at least once every lap. Once again we were covered like crazy. Amber went to lead me out at the end and then she got a gap coming into the final 400 metres, she kept drilling it but got caught on the line, finishing in 2nd place with me in 3rd. Congrats to Amy Cutler for a very impressive sprint finish!!

I am now in Bend, Oregon where I will be based for the rest of the season. I found a house to rent with my team mate Jade Wilcoxson in one of my favourite towns in America. It has incredible views of the mountains, a really cute little town and the most important part REALLY GOOD COFFEE. The best part is is that I have been here for a week now and have not seen ONE Starbucks. It means it’s a good town when there is not a Starbucks on every corner!! On my drive over from Medford It started snowing on me so I had to stop to take some photos. I haven’t been in the snow like this since I was about 5 years old so I was pretty excited about it! I even got to ride in it on my second ride here. Bend is at about 4000 feet altitude so the weather conditions change rapidly. The last week has been cold, but from the start of June the temperature supposed to get pretty high, up to around 30 degrees, that will be a nice change, but the views of the snowy mountains are pretty spectacular.
Driving through the snow on my way to Bend. 
Views I get to enjoy on my rides. 
Top of  Mckenzie Pass, amazing climb! 
I am not sure of my next race yet, so just doing some training on the beautiful Country roads of Bend, and meeting some cool new people.

So far the season has been awesome and I am really looking forward to the next race with the team. It’s been a week and I miss everyone like crazy already!!

Thanks for reading and once again I apologise for my lack of contact. Things are a lot more settled having a base and now I can get things ticked off the list =)


No comments:

Post a Comment