Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Congrats to Our Newest Cat 2!!!

Go Sara! She's worked her arse off this year and deserves it. And in case there was any question...this photo is of her winning the Cat 3 Crit Championship (photo courtesy of Jim Wilson)... And yes, she can beat you at arm wrestling too, why do you ask?

Tyler & Me... a Couple of Bridesmaids

Yep - that's one of my favorite pictures! Tyler Farrar and me at CSC last year. I wish his sprinting abilities had rubbed off. Unfortunately I think he caught my bridesmaid condition.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hagerstown and Dawg Days

So its Monday after a hard weekend of racing. Am I the only one who feels hungover?? Granted, I'm allergic to alcohol and technically don't know what it feels like to be in the said state of "hungover", but I imagine it feels like this. Dog tired (like I actually fell asleep at my desk today). Puffy face. Bad headache. Gotta love this hobby of ours. But I digress....

Saturday was the MABRA criterium championships in Hagerstown, MD (what a great venue. thanks AVC!). We knew going into the race that the tactics would be a bit tricky because there were two jerseys to be had...one for the 1,2s and one for the 3s. The plan was to keep things aggressive while ultimately protecting our sprinters and overall BAR contenders in each category. Sonja started things off hard with a long initial attack/pull. I countered in what I thought was just going to be one in a chain of attacks that would keep the pace up...but only Erin (Artemis) went with me. So, we just decided to hang out for a bit up the road (by "bit" I mean 50 freaking minutes of pain). We worked super well together with her pulling through the longer, curvier back side of the course and me taking over for the windy straight-away through the start/finish. The officals consistently gave us time gaps of 20-30 seconds from what we thought was the entire field...but turns out they were giving us splits from Sonja and Leslie and then just Leslie as they tried to bridge up to compete for the 1,2 win. I definitely pulled like a crazy person every time I heard the gap go down...so yep, maybe time to get out the race radios again. Erin and I were able to hold the gap , literally proclaiming our love for each other throughout the last lap (bet that doesn't happen too often in the men's fields). She took me in the sprint, taking the overall win...but we both got to walk away with our first big championship wins! Leslie finished second for the 1,2s as the sole chaser, and Jen took the field sprint for second in the cat 3s. Special thanks to Sonja and Christina for controlling (and dealing with some frustrating tactics) back in the field.

Check out the nice article about the race in the local Hagerstown paper (and check out the pain grimace in the pic from the article).

On Sunday we welcomed Michelle back after a few weeks off nursing an injured knee . Michelle, Sonja, Christina, Jen, Leslie, and I lined up in a much larger field for the 1st Annual Dawg Days of Summer circuit race. What a fitting name for the race. The open, unshaded course was mucho hot and windy. With the heat, wind, and sprinter phenom Sarah Caravella in the field, we knew it was not going to be an easy day. Michelle led it off followed by a number of failed attacks from CycleLife, Sarah, Team Kenda, Artemis, and others. It didn't seem like anything was going to get away until Leslie countered a strong attack from Jen late in the race, taking Amanda (Artemis) and Chris (Kenda) with her. The trio would ultimately stick it (seriously guys, I don't know how you did it) with Leslie taking the win. Back in the field, we settled in for the field sprint after pulling in the only chase group. Sonja drove the lead out for an entire lap...allowing Jen to take over with a RIDICULOUS acceleration to take the field sprint. In the end, we walked away with two primes (Michelle and Leslie), first (Leslie) for the 1,2s, and first (Jen) and second (Christina) for the 3s. All and all, not a bad weekend if I do say so myself :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Day - literally

After an exhausting week at Nationals where LJ and Sonja consistently placed top 5 in all three of their races, a successful weekend for the Cat 3s locally, the team happily took a long rest weekend to regroup, chill out, and do some fun stuff. Chicken and Jen ventured out on the 3rd to Rock Creek Park to take advantage of the closed roads and stopped for some fresh cantaloupes and peaches along the way.

Riding with Chicken is entertaining because she talks about her "rest weeks" and how they included a spontaneous Goon ride, Arlington Hill ride, and a Kelley Acres ride all in one week. Jen's rest week looks nothing like that...

Jen's rest week included a lot of fun team rides, BBQs, and learning how to ride other "bikes." Although she wasn't used to riding in so much heavy gear, it's still fun to ride at 100 mph. Speed is under-rated!