Winters Road Race Results: (Full results available at USA Cycling: http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2013-3038 )
9th Diane Moug
11th Susannah Breen
15th Judith Wexler
Vacaville Gran Prix Results: (Full results available at USA Cycling: http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2013-3037 )
10th Judith Wexler
Amy Chandos coming off of winning the women’s 1/2/3 field at Dunnigan Hills yesterday pulls off a great third place in at the Suisun Harbor Criterium!
Race report to follow
Dunnigan Hills Road Race 2013
Saturday Aug 10, Yolo County
Folsom Bike/Cervelo women p1/2 race
Sometimes I like to write race reports when the pain and fatigue is still raw and fresh in my legs. After 86 miles at Dunnigan Hills, that feeling lasts for days. When the fatigue and post race headache subsides, its too late to recollect why this road race is so painful, it’s long and it’s grueling.
I will confess I went in to the race grateful for a number of things. The weather was expected to be 20 degrees cooler than last year that simply made it a race of attrition without the miles of wind to go with it. Also riders from last years podium were not returning, a different dynamic in the field always makes the same race more interesting. I was looking forward to racing with Amy Chandos and Fiona Strouts from Folsom Bike/Cervelo. They are both riders from our team that I feel were well suited for the course. They are strong and know how to ride in the wind!
The race rolled out a few minutes behind schedule but seemed business as usual. I used the first 15 miles as a warm up because it’s a long day. By mile 20 however I had grown tired of ‘sitting in’ or chasing attacks that were proving to be unsuccessful and the wind wasn’t taking much effect. So at mile 20 I attacked on an open stretch of road and a Red Racing rider tried to follow suit. Her inability to pull through or catch her breathe proved less than helpful, so back to the peloton she went….and I was off, head down, suffer through the wind, rollers, second feed zone, miles and miles of frontage road wind into lap two!
Riders from the peloton began to get organized and by about mile 55, or so, they decided to chase me down. Bummer! I knew I had attacked early and was surprised to be up the road so long but the thought occurred to me that my two teammates would be coming up rested in the peloton ready to counter attack. Amy Chandos launched a solo flier that a few tried to respond to but had no success. What the riders maybe didn’t realize about Amy is that she can time trial well, she lives in Davis so the girl knows how to suffer in wind, and Fiona and I could now sit in and block or disrupt the rotation if they got organized. Good bye Chandos. A long lonely finishing stretch for her but at the end not only did she solo for the win, it was by over 5 minutes!
Back in the pack however riders were getting testy. Multiple attacks were inevitably getting pulled back in because there were so many individual riders that were strong but without teammates. It was starting to feel like negative racing and for a good stretch of the race they had simply given up and started riding really slow. Perfect!!!! Legs recovered from my early break, go time. I attacked hard on the frontage road on the long painful stretch to the finishing turn. Being much further out, than I realized, from the turn to the over pass for the finish, I had made my move, created a sizable gap, it was time to head into the wind solo on this stretch again but this time for good. Finishing turn came up, barely drug my tired legs over the final stretch over the freeway, through the small ‘S’ turn, 1K to go, home sweet home! Fiona stayed with the main field and had a 12th place finish. She was a great teammate, always active in the race to ensure nothing bridged up to a teammate and attacked countless times early in the race and still finished with a very strong field of riders. Great day to have two spots on the podium! Thank you mother nature for the weather forecast.
But first, I would like to share a few lessons I have learned the hard way since I started racing a couple years ago, in the hope that I might spare some the same embarrassment.
1. Fire your mechanic, then, if anything goes wrong, blame your tools.
If you get dropped by the entire pack at the start of the race – except the girl who got a puncture – and are chasing all out only to be left in the dust – by the girl who fixed her own puncture – your brakes might be rubbing (this was Snelling RR, 2011).
2. Learn to clip in without thinking.
Five seconds of looking down at your feet and you’ll wonder where everyone’s hiding. Also = 50 minutes of flat-out chasing to make the time-cut (at the Redlands criterium, 2012).
3. Pay attention to the LAP CARDS, not the crowd!
Especially when you find yourself off the front, on your own, towards the end of the race. The crowd will always make it sound like you’ve won (Cat’s Hill Classic, 2012).
4. Sometimes there are important details in the pre-race briefing.
I used to like to take this moment of peace and quiet to think about something serious, like ‘what am I going to have for lunch today?’ Turns out they don’t always repeat exactly the same thing (Patterson Pass RR, 2013).
I was excited about Patterson Pass RR – this was one of my first NorCal races two years ago where I finished 3rd, and last year I finished 2nd, so I had one last place to round out my t-shirt collection. We lined up with an overwhelming Metromint presence and other familiar faces so I knew it would be a fun and eventful race. A bunch of stuff happened from the start (very well re-capped here: http://norcalcyclingnews.com/2013/08/06/tilting-by-windmills-w-123-patterson-pass-road-race/) and we were soon down to 4 girls off the front – all Metromint – and me. We had over a lap and a half to go and I was happy to work with them and make sure we stayed away, as I knew there were some strong sprinters chasing from behind. I was also feeling pretty good and starting to think about the finish when they started popping off; first Joanna, and then Sabrina with an unfortunate puncture near the end of the race. But I knew the clever Katie Hall would be hard to get rid of, and hatching some sneaky way of getting around me. In the end, she didn’t need to – as we came around the last corner towards the finish I started my sprint, but veered off to the left to get a gap. Without even thinking, I had crossed the centerline, right under the nose of the commissaire. While I crossed the finish line first, it was the other line that counted, and there was no sweet talking this lady – automatic DQ. So there we are, another race not won. At least they felt sufficiently sorry for me to give me a t-shirt. I’ll now leave some space for Amy to tell you about how to really win a bike race…
Congratulations to Fiona Strouts for placing 1st in the women’s P/1/2/3 field!