Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Race Report from Jamie France - Greenville Training Series Weekend #2

Saturday -- Fork Shoals -- 45 miles: It was sunny & windy. Our 11:20 AM start was delayed 45 minutes due to the races before us being delayed (women were set to start last). About 30 women lined up for the start, mostly all experienced racers (no squirrels). I didn't know the course at all, having never ridden or even driven it. I had no idea where any of the turns were. It was three 15 mile laps. After rolling out at the tail-end of the pack (to see whichway we were going), I was up in the front third by mile 2. Attacks started in mile 3 and they never let up. It was attack/surge, followed by regroup/recover. I stayed up in the front third, which was good thing because there is a steep hill in mile 8. I did great on that hill, and I finished the first lap with an average mph of 21.9, thinking "this is tough riding, but I think I can hang!" Yeah, well, I was being naive. I got dropped when the pack surged up a small incline in mile 17. Three of us got dropped, one of which took off before I could ask her to work with us. The other gal (Erica) and I decided to hang together for the rest of the race (33 painful miles). With the wind, we had no hope of catching the pack again, unless they got neutralized due to the Pro 1/2 Men's lapping them or a traffic problem. So we didn't give up hope, but went as fast as we could. It got really hot; we ran out of water at mile 40; I got a sunburned face, arms, & thighs. I had nothing left to give at the finish (uphill, into the wind finish). So Erica beat me over the line by a foot or so.
The Cat 4 women's results only listed results 4 deep, but they have Erica as 4th. That would make me 5th since we were together. (
Sunday -- Donaldson Center -- 35 miles: It was cold at first, but it warmed up. I was tired from the day before. The normal huge field of women were there, including some squirrels (boo, hiss!). Even though I was tired, I was racing well. The first 4 laps went splendidly. I am definitely stronger on the hills. I went into the 5th lap in good mid-pack position, but… me and two other ladies got caught behind some squirrels and got gapped. I had to sprint once I got around them to catch the pack, which put me at the back of the pack starting up the hill at the golf course with already toasted legs & lungs. I fell off and finished the last 4 miles alone. I ended up 14th out of the 20 Cat 4's, and 29th out of all the Women. That is two better than the 16th that I got the previous weekend. I am pleased with that, given the hell-race I had done the day before.