This weekend was the High Uintas stage race and it was super chilly!! I was pretty excited for this race because I love stage races, and the road race stage went 80 miles from Kamas to Evanston and had a pretty good climb (which for some odd reason I like!:) ) There was some pretty dark clouds hovering over Kamas at the start line and I was really hoping the rain would hold off #1 Because it would be freezing, and #2 Because there was a very steep and very long descent after the climb and going 45+ miles an hour (or in Tiff P's case 60 mph, she is a ridiculously fast descender!!) down a hill on my bike is scary enough without adding water! (Pretend you didn't read that Mom, I never go over 20 mph on my bike I swear!;) ) The first 15-20 miles of the races was pretty mellow with just a few minor rollers. We even decided as a group to stop for a pee break, which I'm sure the passers by thought was hilarious, 11 girls squatting (completely out in the open by the way) on the side of the road, had to have been an interesting site! I'm just waiting to see our booties posted online somewhere, you never quite know where the L'Autobus is lurking. We hit the Provo river falls where the big climb began and Brianne from Ski Utah immediately attacked taking Carmen (a international pro female cyclist on Colaveta, she was talking on the rollers about how she has been racing in Europe lately...not intimidating at all!) and Tiff Pezzulo (she is from Utah but mainly does NRC races) with her. I took off after them, the Colaveta girl climbing like a maniac dropping Tiff and Brianne fairly quickly. I passed Brianne and Tiff and was trying to bridge up to the Colaveta girl. I looked behind and noticed most of the group had dropped back except Lori, Alison, and Tiff hanging on to the back. Lori told me to slow up because if I dropped them I'd have a 40 mile descent to ride all alone, I struggled with what to do because I really wanted to catch Colaveta but that'd be taking a big risk because if I didn't catch her I could burn out before the top of the climb and then be alone for 40 miles or if I did she'd probably drop me on the descent anyway and I'd be back where I was with the chase group. So I did what Lori told me to and sat up a bit. We dropped Tiff at one of the feed zones but I knew that wasn't the last time we'd see her, she was an incredible descender, and by incredible I mean FAST as hell!! My Mom and Ernie were there to support me at the feed zones, they did a fabulous job getting me food and water and braved the coldness!:) After we hit the last feed zone there was a little more climbing and then the steep descent (that I was dreading just a tiny bit, I know I'm a little backwards but I would so much rather go up a mountain than down one!;) I'm getting better though, baby steps!) Lori was the best descender out of the 3 of us so she led us out and my goal was just to stick on her wheel no matter how scared I was, fast fast fast! I was a little nervous because the roads were a little wet from the on and off rain showers. I can't imagine how scared I'd be if I was racing in the down pour that poor Matt's group got stuck in! I was just waiting for Tiff P to come cruising past us and sure enough at the end of the steepest descent there she was! She sped by us going at least 10 mph faster (I'm totally not exaggerating), she was going so fast none of us could even think of catching her wheel, and before we knew it she was completely out of site (seemed like a matter of seconds really, yeah she is fast!) From then on I was focused on getting third, I knew Colaveta was long gone and that Tiff would be hard to catch even if we worked together because she was so fast on the descent. The last twenty miles were a little brutal but we were lucky enough to get a killer tail wind (which I hear never happens!) and the rain held out until we had just 5 miles to go. Our group of three came down to a rainy and very wet sprint and I took third with Tiff and Colaveta girl in 1st and 2nd (Thanks for standing in the rain to cheer me at the line Mom and Ernie!:) ) Poor Matt's race didn't go so well, it started raining hard on them early in the race and he suffered through it all the way up and over the climb before it was too much to handle. There were tons of people with hypothermia and most of his field had to pull out because of the conditions, bummer!:( I'm glad he was hypothermia free though! :) I stayed in Evanston with teammate Chantel and her husband Aaron because the Time Trial and Crit were in Evanston the next day. We had the cyclist Lasagna special at one of the local restaurants, good times! ;)
We woke up bright and early for the time trial. The officials screwed up my finishing time for the road race so I ended up having to go off very first in the time trial (they usually order it backwards so if you took first place in the race the day before you go very last in the time trial) I should have gone third to last but instead had to go first which is a bummer. I like to be able to see the people in front of me because it gives me motivation to catch them!:) My start time was 7:48, and it was rainy and freezing!! The time trial started off a bit rough because when we got there we realized Aaron and Chantel's timing chips were still on there road bikes back at the hotel so Aaron had to leave super fast to grab those before their start. I had left my TT helmut in Aaron's car and was terrified he wouldn't get back before my start. Matt came and set up my trainer so I could warm up under the tent (thanks coach:) ). Then there was a strange sting of random craziness all up until 30 seconds before my start time. When I was warming up my bike fell of the trainer, scratching my disc wheel a bit, I ran down get my TT helmet from Aaron when I saw him pull up and barely caught him before he drove away, put my bike down to grab the helmet and noticed that my front tire was flat (with 2 minutes to go before my start time! S@&%!!) I booked it back up the muddy road to grab an extra wheel from Matt, thank goodness he has so many, ran back down, put it on, and ran up to the start line just as they were calling my name. I got clipped in and ready to go as they held up my bike, then I dropped my bike computer while they were doing the 30 second count down!! Lets just say my adrenaline was REALLY pumping as I finally got clipped in again and set as they counted down 5-4-3-2-1 GO! Heading out there was a big nasty headwind and I was feeling a little slow but I knew that going out was the hard part and that I would be able to recover coming back so I pretty much went out with everything I had! I got to the turn around and was happy that I couldn't even see the girls that started after anywhere in sight! Going back was fabulous, mostly downhill, tailwind, and the thought that it was more than half over, all good things!:) Matt's start time was 8:07 so he passed me going out and said "Go, go, go!" :) I finished and ran back to the car to change because I was in a soaking wet full body skin suit, not only is that unflattering but dang cold!! The bad thing about time trials is that you never quite know how you did until you see the results, which usually takes a few hours! We went to check them out a bit later after going back to the hotel, eating some waffles, and getting warm! I took 3rd once again, which I was thrilled with because the Pro Colaveta girl took first with Tiff 2nd (who is pretty known for her excellent TT skills!) and then me!:) Matt took 2nd!!:) Only 3 tiny seconds from first place (I blame those three seconds on the helmet, he accidentally left his TT helmet home!)
Another highlight of the TT was getting to show off Matt and I's new BFF necklaces! Yep that's right, heart shaped necklaces with the words BEST and FRIEND engraved right in! We just wanted to put the minds of ever tried and true L'Autobus follower at ease. We are working on finding a three way necklace, possibly involving the word FOREVER to be given to Clinger, the third member of our infamous triangle! I'll keep you posted! ;)
I've got the BEST, Matt's got the FRIEND :)
The crits were scheduled for later that afternoon however there was some iffy stuff going on. Since the weather had been so crazy they decided that only the road race and TT would count for the overall GC and that the crit would just be for kicks, and wouldn't happen at all if the roads were even a tiny bit wet. All this confusion sent about half girls from out field home, so it looked like our crit would consist of Chantel, Me, Colaveta girl, Tiff, and Lori! We scrambled a bit trying to figure out if it was gonna rain or not, then suited up at the last minute and headed to the start line, where we were SO happy to see that 2 Ski Utah girls that had made a U-turn on the freeway to come back and race!:) The crit was 8 laps with a bit of a climb each lap. The pro Colaveta girl attacked quick with me and Tiff quickly getting on her wheel. I think she expected Tiff to stick with her but not me and she wasn't too happy about it! I stuck with them in their break for about 2 laps but my severe lack of cornering skills was creating some big gaps for me to close. Colaveta was taking advantage of this because she had seen how poorly I corned before she attacked and was now drilling it into the corners to drop me, which worked!:( I was a little frustrated because I felt like I could have stuck with them if I was better at cornering, that is something that I need LOTS of practice with! Once they dropped me I sat up to catch back on to the main group and road with them till the end which was a group sprint with me and teammate Chantel coming across the line together 3rd and 4th!:)
Matt had some fun in his crit and came across the line with his arms raised, unfortunately my camera is slow and snapped the pic right as he took them down! Darn! ;)
Matt and teammate Dave leading the pack!
After the races they have there usual beer and pizza awards party, which also involves a sexy calf contest! Chan and I volunteered to be female judges for the men's category. We narrowed it down to the final two: Dave Harward and Ali Goulet. After an encore involving Dave "stripping" and Ali pouring beer on his calf we declared Ali the winner #1 because he poured beer on his calf and #2 he's got a baby, $50 can buy a lot of diapers!;)
Ali's first flex!
The winning strategy!
Then it was time for the girls!! Lori literally dragged Chantel and I up there, which was humiliating on so many levels for me: I have terrible calf muscles, and am SO dang shy, especially in front of crowds, so standing up in front of a room full of people, flexing my non existent calf muscles was nothing short of terrifying! Chan and Lori were the crowd favorites, however Lori stacked the judges with her husband (2nd place runner up in the men's category and wanna be stripper) Dave Harward, so she pulled out the win over Teamie Chantel!
Lori workin the judges!
Chantel is almost as shy as me!
The final decision!
Chan was robbed! ;)
Then it was award time. Sadly Colaveta girl and Tiff left early so I had to stand on the podium alone, but I'd rather be up there alone than not at all so I was pretty happy!:)
Even though it was super cold it was a great race and a really fun weekend!:)
PS: Sorry about the long blogs, I'll learn how to shorten them sooner or later! ;)