Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pretending to be a roadie! Nature Valley Grand Prix: Stage 1

Lots of liquid sunshine here in St. Paul. In fact, so much that early in the morning with the severe storm warnings, we were told to check at 3 p.m. to see if our race would be canceled. Well, luckily we got to race, albeit an abbreviated version of our 40 lap, 1 hour crit. Warming up was rough. I hadn't picked up the trainer from my friend Molly, so when the rain was so heavy you could not see a foot in front of you, I was riding the course and watching all the REAL roadies warming up on their trainers under the covered area we could park. But they didn't have their Dad there supporting them!
I love racing crits! Granted, this was only my second one ever, but I really get a total high from them. Much like a cx race, but on the pavement. Unfortunately, unlike roadies, I listened to the officials when they said they would not start the race until we all took a lap. They were trying to make way for call ups and get the starting gate situated, so my brain thought, "well, if I leave first for the lap, technically I should be in the front then, right?" WRONG! Over half the peloton did not budge. I was still sitting towards the back. Lesson learned. And then they rushed the damn call ups because it started to pour. All that and they still didn't get the fanfare start they wanted.
Well, even though I started from the back, I avoided all crashes and continually worked my way up. I was passing massive amounts of people each lap. Tubulars in pouring rain are key. They stuck so well and I cornered like a rock star, only slowing up when the person in front of me was braking. I appreciate the cautiousness of people, but there comes a point when it is a bit over the top. I kept the rubber side down and just kept flooring it and passing as many people as I could on corners, straightaways and the little hill, which you can hardly call a hill. The bad news is, however, that not only did Kristin Armstrong lap the entire field, but I got 'inadvertently pulled' with 4 to go. I talked to the official about it and told her that the main field had not lapped me and I was just chasing on the the main chase group from the second one, but no matter. I was out of the race. She apologized, but what the heck? She was 'trying to clean up' the tail end of lapped riders. Well, although I was not one of them, perhaps my #255 didn't help. But what do numbers mean in road racing anyhow? It's not your ranking, as far as I know. I was pissed, but it was basically a shit show and apparently I was not the only one that had this happen. I watched the girls I had just worked hard to pass pedal by and finish the race. SO STUPID!!! But the good news is that I felt great, didn't crash, had a blast and got a good effort in. The road race tomorrow should be fun. I have to remember not to start in the back! Stay tuned for more. My sister took some pictures so I will try to post them soon!

1 comment:

StevenCX said...

Good job staying safe and moving up! That was a scary race.