Sea Otter was too far away and too expensive to be so slow so far away from home. Tour of Walla Walla was the perfect way to spend a long weekend with the boys. No, I didn't race with them, but Tim was going with his team, so I tagged along and did some road racing with a talented bunch of ladies. It was fun. We left Portland in the pouring rain and 50 degrees, so preparing for it to be almost 80 for the weekend seemed, well, impossible. I packed for the 'just in case', but luckily, all those warm clothes stayed in the bag. We had a great weekend.
Friday the road race was later in the day. 4 p.m. 42 miles. I did my usual sit in the front too much, kind of checking out who was there. Made a go for the QOM on the first lap and got 3rd. I should have sat further back, but it was fine (even though the ref gave me 4th). The final lap was hard and I got boxed in a bit on the sprint, thus not really sprinting, struggling to breathe and legs said ouch! 8th was the best I could do.
The crit was in the heat of the day, but only 30 minutes long. We were delayed and got to sit in the sun for a bit longer and I acquired my first burn on the season. Sunscreen would have helped. Oops. But I had fun in the crit, tried go gain some time back, sprinting for time primes, getting a few. Maybe I should have gone for the cash, but I needed seconds, b/c I knew my TT skills were not in top form. I got 3rd in the crit pulled myself into 2nd in the GC. My TT was at 5:58. I still have not figured out how to get aero enough. I passed my 30 second gal by the top of the hill, but she passed me when I couldn't shift back into the big chain ring and even when I did get it rolling, I could not pass her again until the end. I had an o.k. TT and got 5th, putting me back into 4th in GC.
We had an unfortunate turn of events in Room 304 at the comfort inn and suites on Saturday night. Tim was up all night puking. He was 3rd in GC. Had a great TT and now he was out. It was a long night, but on the way to the race, he started thinking he could do it. He rallied. Tried to eat something and then suited up for the start. I thought he was crazy. It was 80 degrees, he was already dehydrated and empty, but he had to figure it out the hard way. He had nothing. He is not superman & unfortunately he had to quit. I would have started.
I, however, was feeling fine. Yes, I felt like I had raced 3 races in two days and the heat was a shocker, but I was ready to have some fun. I had nothing to lose. I had never done this race and it was 64 miles, 2 laps. My coach had said, well, on the first lap attack and attack on the last hill and see what happens. Well, nothing happened except I got one hell of a good workout and may have made a few people suffer. We actually had one girl off the front until about mile 60. Lots of chatter in the peloton and as much as I wanted to get away, it was not possible. I didn't have enough and there was too strong of a group. It was a really good race. Hilary had said, well, at least lets win a stage. I agreed. I couldn't move up in GC, but I still had a sprint in me. She gave me a fantastic lead out, but I thought I had to stay to the right of the center line (stupid Oregonian), so when the gal started coming in towards me on the center line, I kind of bumped back and some smart person used the whole road and snuck around on the left. Oops. I got 2nd. I so had it. But my stupidity and not listening cost me the stage win. And I didn't get any time back, so stayed in 4th GC.
It was a great race and I encourage any regional racers out there who have not done this race to do it. I may even go back. It is well run. A great area. Great courses and a lot of fun. Not to mention a lot of good wine in the area. Too bad Tim was too busy being sick so we didn't even grab any wine post race.
And I apologize for no pictures. I will try to find some somewhere. But with no podiums, I really had nothing to take pics of. I'll post some if I find some somewhere. Cheers. Now off to AZ for some dirt riding. It's about time.