Monday, May 24, 2010

Wilmington and Kelly Bike Jam

Racing this weekend was tough. With Colavita ripping things up at Wilmington, the field went from over 70 starters to 31 official finishers. Unfortunately, CAWES did not figure into the finish. Sonja stayed in the race the longest for CAWES, staying strong for about 15 laps. Getting pulled late in the game after she RIPPED it up on the course was a bummer, but it was awesome to watch her rocket through the corners and whip up the hills!

Kelly Cup/Bike Jam looked to be another challenge. With the sky constantly threatening to open up and coat the course in rain, we got to the line in a much better position than on Saturday. Again, the race was fast and furious, with lots of attacks from Laura Van Gilder, the Vanderkitten team, and others. At one point, it looked as though LVG was going to get away from the field and solo to the finish line, but the chase commenced and she was brought back in. There were two crashes in the race, one of which caught Mitch out a bit. She stayed upright, but had some gearing issues, so she hit the pit for a free lap. All in all, it was a fast race and we all kept the rubber side down!

Once again, we have an iMovie to share with y'all from our racing this weekend. This video (taken by the talented Sara Brams-Miller), gives you a pretty good account of the race from Sunday. I particularly love the clip of Sonja leading the pack through the hairpin turn.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wilmington and Kelly Bike Jam

This weekend, the CAWES girls hit the National Racing Calendar for the first time in 2010. The downtown Wilmington Grand Prix on Saturday, May 22nd and the Kelly Cup/Bike Jam on Sunday, May 23rd are longstanding races in this area known for their high speeds and technical difficulty. Both races attract members of domestic professional teams like Colavita, Team Tibco, and Team Kenda.

If you're in the area, come on out and root for the Girls in Green as they work to make their mark on the peloton!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Poolesville Road Race

The Poolesville Road Race took place on May 15th and ended up being a big team race for CAWES.

Hitting the start line was Alaina, Chicken, Goat, Jencheng, Mitch, and Sarah.

We had a good plan going in, which was to try to get two riders into a break. If that didn't work, we were to work for Mitch to get the sprint finish. We wanted to launch attacks and, more importantly, counter attacks. But, we also wanted to race smart - and strong. It was a big race for us in terms of working as a team. That, I think, was one of our big goals for the day (in addition to getting a good finish)!

The first lap was pretty uneventful. People were checking out the gravel section and checking out the competition's legs. By lap two, people started to launch a few attacks here and there...I launched one in the dirt section and got a bit of a gap with Alaina and a few good riders, but they got pulled back in once the group hit the pavement again.

The real turning point in the race was the neutralization halfway through lap 3. The men's field was catching us, so they STOPPED us on the side of the road at the base of the climb for about 2 minutes. Just long enough for a few gals to hit the natural potty and for our legs to get filled up with lactic crap. Once we started up again, the attacks were thrown like CRAZY.

Alaina got herself off the front with Heidi Goldberg of Kenda and a short while later, Leslie Jennings and Jen Rasmusson bridged up to them. Sonja was behind that group of four with a chase of four and I was dangling somewhere in the middle, trying to get up to Sonja. Upon finally bridging the gap...

Sonja turns to me and says, "We're going to attack going into the gravel and I want you to go." I'm thinking, "Oh, CRAP." I say, "Okay." We attack heading down the hill to the dirt section and we HAMMER it into the dirt. We got a nice gap and started working together. We managed to maintain our gap through to the finish, even pulling the leading group in to about 15 or 20 seconds. We never quite caught them, but we held off the chasers behind us to take 5th and 6th on the line.

End results for the team were great...Alaina in 3rd, me 5th, Sonja 6th, Mitch won the field sprint for 7th.

We worked really well as a team at this race. We talked a lot, we launched some strong attacks and counter attacks when our legs would let us, and we ended up with a strong showing. There are still things that we could do better, but we're on our way.

Only a few more weeks until Philly. Man, when I say that my stomach does a little flippety-flop. Sigh.