This past month+ has been crazy fun!! I've gotten to race in Washington, Arkansas, good ol' Tooele Utah, and Nampa Idaho, as well as spend a week with my team in Palisade Colorado! First off was Tour of the Depot in Tooele!
Tour of the Depot: I was pretty excited to race this race in the 1-2-3 field this year because I won it last year as a 4. The TT course is a blast, starts out climbing for a few miles and then it is ripping fast downhill the rest of the way. I felt really good on the climb and did my best to take the downhill corners at a good speed, though I think I lost of few seconds here and there (yes I'm still a bit of a chicken!) I had looked at the times from last year and knew the time I had to beat, and was so excited as I crossed the line a good 8 seconds faster than the previous years winner! I didn't know it, but I ended up setting the course record, fun! The circuit race was my downfall! I'm still learning good race tactics, and a lot of times I do a ton of work when I really don't need to be. I knew that Niki Wangsgard was going to be gunning for the sprint time bonuses, as well as the finish bonuses, so I was trying to keep my eye on her. I also knew that Niki has raced as a professional for years, and that she was an extremely smart and strong rider who would know just how to mess with my head. She had a teammate there to work for here, and they double teamed me from the second the neutral roll out ended until we rolled over the finish line! They attacked pretty constantly, and being they dummy that I am I chased down almost every one of them. What I should have realized is that I was riding with about 10 or so other riders that didn't want them to get away anymore than I did, and when I sat back they chased hard as well. I guess I was just afraid Niki or her teammate, or both would get off the front and stay off. Needless to say, I didn't race very smart at all, and it showed in the finish! Niki got first place in the sprint points (I got second but it didn't help too much) and was first across the finish line, which took away my GC lead. She is one smart rider thats for sure, and a speedy sprinter! The road race was pretty much a flop! There were 60 mph winds, so they shortened the race to 26 or so miles instead of 65. Niki got came across the sprint line first again, with me second, again!! Then coming into the finishing stretch we got neutralized due to an earlier crash and ended up finishing around an ambulance. My chance of taking back my GC lead was shot, however I was still pretty happy with second! The best part of the whole weekend was Matt winning the overall GC by somewhat of an error (everyone went the wrong direction during the race...except him and one other guy, meaning everyone got DNF'ed except those two giving Matt the #1 title!) Hah I thought it was pretty funny, except for the fact that he made more money than me!;) Hehe jk! Cycling Utah wrote a pretty good article about the race (they even spelled my name right, that is pretty rare;)...click here (pg 16).
Unfortunately this is not a picture of me winning ;)
Surprise surprise I'm being dumb again.
Cooling down with my old teammates...I don't fit in anymore!:(
Start of the road race...you can't tell but the wind was blowing about 60 mph!!
Tour of Walla Walla: Next up was Tour of Walla Walla in Walla Walla Washington! My Dad did a lot of his work early in the week so that he could road trip with me and we set off Thursday afternoon! We stopped in Boise to grab some food because we were starving, only to realize that it is just like Utah...everything closes early! We were forced to get take out from applebees which was just awful (I am not a big fan off chain restaurants like applebees and chilis...there is not one healthy thing on the menu...they used to have a pretty good salad at chilis but they took it off the menu and replaced it with a triple decker bacon burger with a side of lard and a heart attack!) We rolled into our lovely La Quinta inn in Walla Walla around 2 AM, which was okay because I didn't race until 2 PM the next day, plenty of time to sleep in!:) Friday's stage was a short 36 mile circuit race on beautiful country roads. Walla Walla is gorgeous!! It is all farmland and wineries, green everywhere, and the cutest little downtown area, I loved it! I was really impressed with the field size of this race, we started out with about 64 or so women in the Pro 1,2 field, which is huge for a regional race. The race started out pretty fast with a lot of attacking! The QOM was fun, I went to the front to drive it up the hill and weed out the other climbers to prepare for the last days road race that ended on a two mile climb. A group of 5 or so held on till the 200 meter sign and I took off, it was so much fun! I was pretty happy to be in the front at that point because right after the QOM point was a big descent (and if you know me at all you know this is not my strength) so I took off as fast as I could down it! To my surprise I stayed in the front the entire way down and did not touch my brakes even once! I was more excited about this than I was about winning the QOM!:) The finish was on a fast downhill section...also not my strength (especially when racing on a compact crank...and I just found out the carbon wheels I race on have a 12 instead of an 11 on the back...which explains why I spin out a lot quicker than others) I tried to stay near the front, but the road was super skinny and we only got to use half of it until the 200 meter mark. Once we hit that mark I swung out left to try and sprint around some people but we were going into a headwind and I didn't make it too far. I finished in 9th, not awesome, but I was still happy about the descending part!:) Saturday afternoon was the TT, my Dad and I pre-drove the course and it looked like a blast! Flat for a few miles and then a big climb, big descent, flat and then climb to the finish! I went out pretty hard but made sure to save it for the climb, I tried to gain as much time as I could on the climb and then I think I lost a little bit of time and focus on the descent. You kinda get into la la land when you are descending for a bit on a TT bike and I need to learn to focus more the entire time because I think that is where I lost the most time! I loved the course though!! I felt great about my TT when I finished and thought I had a pretty good time, but then found out I finished 7th! I was kinda bummed but needed to focus on the crit...which was a lovely 1 mile, 9 corner beauty! Crits are still something I struggle with, and definitely what I get the most nervous for, so I really needed to focus my energy on that! Holding on in a crit for the first 15 minutes is the hardest part (especially NRC crits) because they go from the gun and attack attack attack until you think you are gonna pop! My goal was to stay in the front third because that is the best place to be to conserve energy and not get popped off the back. I know this is probably a little backwards but I absolutely loathe prime laps! Hah I should be excited that they are giving out hundreds of dollars to the person who comes across the line first, but not being a sprinter means that I get drug around at full speed hanging on for dear life during every prime lap! Hah someday I am going to be good enough to go for a prime myself and then maybe I'll like them!;) About half way through the crit I started to get a hang of the course and knew where I needed to be, I had been taking the corners on the inside, but learned that on this course you maintained momentum better on the outside line. Once I moved positions I was golden and actually felt comfortable and was having fun...yes me Tayler Wiles was having fun in a crit!;) With two laps to go the race leader went down HARD in the front! Everyone managed to swerve around her but it was one of the worst falls I've ever seen, she ended up breaking her collar bone and being pretty beaten up! I held a top 5 position for those last two laps and was so excited for the finish, and then through the last two corners the speeds were SO high I got a little chicken and cornered like a chicken watching a bunch of girls pass me! Dang! I ended up finishing 12th (mine and my Dads lucky number!:) which I was actually really happy with because of all the personal barriers I had broken during that crit...minus the last two corners!;) The fun came on stage 4, a 75 mile road race with a loop we did twice, a QOM, and the finish line at the top of a two mile climb, just like I like it!:) The first time up the climb was at the very beginning of the race during the neutral roll out, so we just putted up it. Then we did the first loop and the second time up the climb was the QOM, I really wanted the QOM but more than anything I wanted to kind of test the riders and see what the climb to the finish would be like, and who would be with me. I went to the front at the base of the climb and tempo'd pretty hard up it to string out the field. I hit the 1K sign and there was only 2 girls left with me so I picked up the pace a little and took the QOM :) I was pretty excited, and even more excited for the finish because it was the kind of climb I love! We had a small break of 7 or so come back together and we rode pretty hard trying to hold off the main pack but they caught us with about 15 miles to go and it was the longest 15 miles EVER! Once the pack caught on, no one would work (bad headwind) and it was agonizingly slow for awhile! It finally picked up a little as we headed back into the little town towards the climb. There was one girl from the team Total Restoration that stayed with me pretty close on both QOM's and I knew she'd be gunning for the finish. About one mile from the base of the climb to the finish Total Restoration sent a girl off the front, I'm pretty sure they were trying to bait me, but I knew she wasn't a climber and that we'd just catch her on the climb so I just sat in. We got to the climb and I went to the front and drove it again, not an attack, just picked up the pace. I got to the 1K sign and noticed it was just me and the Total Restoration girl left and she was just sitting on my wheel. I thought she was gonna get me for sure since I'd just pulled her up the climb but with about 500 meters to go I looked back and I had started to gap her just a little, only like one bike length but I knew that she must be hurting so I took off! I was so so so excited because I'd gained a lot of time in the GC with my QOM and finish and couldn't wait to see how far I'd moved up! Results were posted and I moved from 7th to 2nd in the GC (down from first by 5 seconds) and that was without my QOM time bonuses from either road race! I went to ask the officials why my time bonuses weren't posted and after a little debate they said that they couldn't award me the first one because they forgot to print in the race bible that it came with a time bonus, the bible only said cash prize. And they said they didn't put the second one on there because it wouldn't have moved me from 2nd to 1st so it didn't matter! Hah! However if I would have gotten both, it would have put me in 1st!;) Oh well what can ya do! I had a blast, it was beautiful there, and 2nd place is not too shabby! The very best part was that a week or so earlier, Matt's Dad had made a bet with me, he said if I took top 3 GC in a race with more than 50 in the field that he would buy me a disc wheel...Wahooo Super 9 Zipp Disc wheel!!:) Thanks Craig, that was so sweet of you and I could never thank you enough!!:) And thank you Matt for getting me an early birthday present and helping pay the difference!!:) Love you both!! I had a lot of fun with my Dad that weekend. When I was younger and played soccer he drove me to some of my soccer tournaments and I used to love it! We might possibly be the only father daughter duo that sings along to tenacious D on road trips and I wouldn't have it any other way! Love you Dad!:)
The lovely town of Waitsburg, just outside of Walla Walla! My Dad was rockin the piece sign in front of the giant black and white American flag building...which happened to be where packet pick-up was!:)
Pictures don't really do this place justice, it was beautiful!
Neutral roll out for the first road race
Warming up for the TT...my game face is a little frightening I know!
Line up for the crit!
Palisade Cycling Camp: Right after Walla Walla it was off to Colorado to spend a week with my team! Corey was nice enough to pick me up on his was from Idaho through to Colorado, so I got to spend a good 5 hours in the car asking him all kinds of questions! Palisade is very similar to Walla Walla actually, very beautiful farmland with tons of wineries. We stayed in the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in, and our team got to stay in this little side house just off of the hotel, it was so fun! There was local wine tastings every night at our hotel that my team loved, too bad I'm only 20!;) We did a lot of riding, with skill sessions and such taught by the one and only Tina Pic! Meeting her was absolutely incredible, she is one of my heros!! She was so sweet and gave me a lot of insight on my dreaded crit racing!;) One of my teammates husbands is a professional photographer and got some amazing pictures of the week, he followed us on rides, hanging out the window of his suburu taking pictures, it was pretty funny!! We went to dinner in the little town every night and had some delicious food!! The best part of the week was getting to know my coach better, I am pretty shy and Corey was pretty happy to get me out of my shell! Little did I know but Corey is hilarious when you get a little wine in him!! It was so great hearing him talk about all the riders he has coached and how much he believes in me. Corey isn't one to give too much praise, and he has had to tell me to be patient a million times already, so it was really good to sit down and talk with him about my future and the potential he thinks I have! I have no idea what I did to get lucky enough to find such a great coach!
My teammate's husband is a professional photographer so we got some pretty great pics at camp!
I know it is hard to tell but Angie and I are singing "Pump the Jam" while climbing (it was blasting from her husbands car in front of us!;)
At dinner the first night Mark (the photographer) would not leave me alone, I tried my best to hide from the camera but when I turned to give him an dirty look he snapped this pic...just before the evil glare really took shape!
Group pic with some of the other girls at the camp...yes Shellane has some mad hops!! From Cheerleader to cyclist, I don't understand that transition!;)
My teammates with Corey, Tina, and Kimberly (I was not holding my leg like that to be sexy...I was trying to help cover Tina's shoes, she wasn't sportin the right sponsor ;)
Corey sent me this pic, apparently he thinks I'm a "wheel Sucker!" ;)
The one and only time I have worn my "team" helmut...just doesn't fit me right!
You had to know this was coming...I'm pretty sure Corey was mortified! "Way to go Angels....Thank you Charlie!"
Just to prove what a great photographer Mark is...and how long his arms actually are...he was driving the car with his arm all the way across the passenger side taking pictures out the window...that takes talent!!
Corey and Kimberly really liked the bongos and fabulous felt lion picture! (Corey does have a background as a drummer...not sure what Kimberly's connection is with lions or felt pictures! However I think wine had a lot to do with the need to play the bongos and feel up the fuzzy picture!)
In order to be on the Primal/Rocky Mountain Colavita cycling team, you must have some seriously good Jazz Hands!!
Joe Martin Stage Race: After camp I had to focus on finals and finishing up school the day before I jetted off to Fayetteville Arkansas, for my second NRC race ever Joe Martin! I was so surprised by how beautiful Arkansas was, it is SO green and the trees are so thick!! It is amazing! But along with all the green comes the crazy humidity! The first stage was a 3 mile uphill TT! I was so excited for this because I love climbing, and this climb was supposed to average 10%! We got to the course early to pre-ride it and it was cooking!! I haven't felt 85+ degree weather in a LONG time, and add in the humidity, I felt like I was drowning! After pre-riding the course my head was pounding and I knew it must have been the heat (I never get headaches). We sat in the shade and ate our lunches until it was time to warm up. I was having a hard time doing my normal warm up which includes some pretty hard efforts because I felt like I was draining all my energy along with all of my liquids! I drank 8 water bottles before I took off, which is WAY more than I usually drink! I got to the start line, excited but sooo nervous and was off! I hit the climb and wondered where the heck my legs had gone because I felt terrible. That is the most painful TT I've ever done, I pushed it as hard as my legs could go over the last little kicker to the finish and thought I was gonna tip over for sure! I was bummed because I knew the winning time from last year, and I was a minute slower :( Boo, I was upset, but knew (or Corey told me) that I've got to stop beating myself up for less than perfect results. I ended up in 21st place, and ready to get onto the next stage! That night Anna (an amazing girl that was guest riding for us whose family lives in Arkansas...I guest rode for her team at Redlands) invited us to her parents for dinner. My super fast old teamie Alisha and her husband Dave came along and it was so much fun...and the food was amazing!! Pasta and chicken, just what I needed!! And I had my very first ever bowl of banana pudding, which is apparently a southern specialty and mmm mmmm good!:) Stage 2 was a bit of a heartbreaker! I was looking forward to this stage because it ended on a bit up an uphill! I was trying to focus a lot on my positioning in the peloton during the race and especially the last 5 miles. The course narrowed a lot towards the finish, and had a bit of a crit like finish with a few tight turns. I was in great position coming out of the second to last turn into a little kicker of a hill in the last 500 meters and BOOM I went down. I had stood up to get over the little climb and the girl in front of me was obviously completely toast and pretty much went backwards right into my front wheel. I was instantly devastated as I got up, grabbed my bike and ran it up the hill watching 50 girls fly by me :( I hopped back on and cried my way across the line. That was my chance to get a good result and it was smashed in the blink of an eye. I probably took it harder than I should have, okay I know I took it harder than I should have (my coach is trying to improve my mental toughness because things like this tend to devastate me, and in reality things like this are going to happen a lot the more I keep racing) but after I talked to my coach I felt better and was ready for stage 3. Stage 3 was another road race, however it had a downhill, pretty sketchy finish. I had been told by several people how dangerous it was and just to be careful going into the final 500 meters. I enjoyed this stage because the terrain was pretty fun, if you weren't going up a roller you were going down one and it made the race pretty fun. Unlike Redlands there was a little bit of downtime here and there, which surprised me, but the finish was crazy fast! It was a huge pack finish, I rode in on the right side in the wind to stay out of all of the chaos, and finished somewhere in the middle of the pack. Stage 4 was a small nightmare for me. As you know, crits are still my biggest weakness and this was no easy crit. It was a 12 turn, one mile course, with hills, and a corner that has become known as carnage corner! There was multiple crashes at this same corner in every category, and broken collar bones galore!! My teammates husband raced it early in the morning and crashed in that same corner twice, so going into the race my mental state was probably not in the best place. To make matters worse Tina Pic came up to me before the race and said (she knows crit racing scares the crap out of me) "Tayler, don't be scared just line up in the front, stay up there in the front, corner at the front and don't get anywhere near the back!! You'll do great!" And what did I do, got pushed to the back when we lined up, was off the back from the gun hanging on for dear life just trying to move up, and boom got caught behind a crash (on carnage corner of course!) I got gapped off the main pack and was riding with a small group as I heard Tina yelling for me to "go, go, go!" I was a bit humiliated as they pulled me and my group out around the 25 minute mark, knowing that I'd just DNF'ed the whole race, not a happy moment. However there was a big bright side! My old teammate and new PB and company/twenty 12 rockstar Alisha Welsh did absolutely amazing in the crit! I was SO proud of her and on top of that it gave me a lot of hope! She used to struggle with crits like I do...not nearly as bad as I do, however she did amazing in one of the toughest and most technical crits I've seen and in just one short year! I have hope that it will click with me one day and I'll be able to hang in there!!:) I went home a little heartbroken but with a lot more experience than I left with! Baby steps!:)
Baby Shayda giving us the victory salute for good luck! Corey sent this to me before we left, isn't she so ridiculously cute! With genes like that you know that baby is gonna be fast!
Lining up for my favorite stage 4 crit...don't even bother trying to find me, I was WAY in the back!;) I gotta strive for that top ten call up, that way I'll be in the front for sure!;) Dream big!
Podium after the crit, Team Vera Bradley and Webcor take the top three steps giving Alison Powers the overall GC win at the 2010 Joe Martin Stage Race (her second year in a row!)
Idaho trip/Treasure Valley Omnium: My coach emailed me a few weeks ago asking if I'd like to do Treasure Valley Stage Race in Nampa, Idaho (he lives in Boise so it was a good one for him to be at), and also if I'd come up a week early to train with him and meet with Kristen Armstrong (Would I like to meet Kristen Armstrong, "Um YEAH!!") My aunt and uncle live in Boise, so going down to work with Corey is always pretty easy and a lot of fun (my aunt and uncle are a blast to be around!) I flew down on Tuesday May 18th and spent the week training and working with Corey. One day he sent me out to do sprints with one of the guys he coaches on the Waste Management team named Dillon, that was a lot of fun! My Mom, Ernie, and Grandparents drove down Friday to come watch the races that weekend!:) Unfortunately the weather went from 75 to a freezing cold 40 with wind and pouring rain on Saturday! I raced with the cat 3 men, the group shattered apart on the first 25 mile loop and the group I was with decided to pull out after the first lap because they were all freezing cold, myself included (I was soaked to the bone!) and didn't really wanna ride another 25 miles alone and freezing to death. The TT that was scheduled for later that day ended up being canceled because of the weather (can't say I was too crushed about that). My family toughed it out in the cold conditions and confusion of the race schedule and for that I owe them a huge thank you!!:) They were troopers!! The crit was in downtown Nampa the next day and surprisingly the weather cleared up and it was nice! Since there were only two Pro 1,2 women signed up they mixed us with the 3,4 women. The course was pretty fun, kind of a figure 8 shape. My coach told me to go to the front and drill it from the get go so thats what I did. The other Pro 1,2 and I got off the front pretty easily and stayed off in a break for the rest of the race. We had agreed to split the primes evenly since we were racing together, however it didn't really work out that way (she was a little dishonest!) We had been taking turns pulling and going ever other over the line for the primes and then out of the blue she sprinted for two in a row, so I went for two in a row to make it even! Which unfortunately put me in the front for the last lap, not a smart move on my part. We took the last corner, I hear her gear up to sprint around me so I committed to the sprint and took off. She never came around me and I took the win. My family did a great job of cheering and my Grandpa didn't pass out so I call that a huge success!:) My coach was there and was a little disappointed with the way I finished the race, leading her out for the last lap, but I explained the prime issue and why I did that. However I need to control my temper sometimes so I don't make silly decisions in big races. Overall it was pretty fun, and it was really fun having all my family there! The other Pro 1,2 I had been racing with was obviously upset with the way the race went and decided to get a little revenge. When I went to get my prize money they told me that she took all of the prime money, ALL 7 PRIMES!! That was $100 bucks that should have been split evenly between us! What a B....okay I wont say it but I mean really how poor of a sport can you possibly be! Don't agree early on in the race to split the primes evenly and then take every stinkin one of them!! I don't know what the officials were thinking, they obviously weren't paying attention to who came across the line first each time and just trusted her when she said she got them all! Oh well, in the end I got the W, and she was just a poor sport. Hope she enjoys that $100! I was a little bummed out at the end of the weekend because Kristen Armstrong had been too busy to meet with me, but maybe next time. I had a lot of fun with my family and can't thank them all enough for all that they do for me! My Mom hates road trips but would drive just about anywhere to help me out, and my grandparents endured all the stress of driving my bikes too and from Boise and watching me race (my Grandpa gets really really nervous about me racing so this was pretty tough for him!). Not to mention my aunt and uncle let me take over their home for a week!:) Thank you thank you thank you!:) I love you all a lot!
My Aunt Sue is looking very Aero!! See I told you they were fun!
Warmin up right by the start/finish
Three of my favorite people, Uncle Ger, Aunt Sue, and Grampy Dan...he was such a trooper! As you can see by his face he was a bit of a nervous wreck, but by the end of the race he was smilin!:)
And then there was two!
Notice the trend, every other across the line...splitting the primes, or NOT!
Sorry this was the longest post ever and if you are still reading it your are a hero!;) Next up is Mt. Hood, then Elkhorn, and the biggest one of them all NATIONALS!!:)