So we're half way through the first race of the season (for me), Redlands, but I'd say the excitement is just about to get started.
The race kicked off on Thursday with a 3.1mil prologue that climbs most of the way. Having been fighting a cold last week I was a bit unsure how I was going to be feeling but thankfully the legs came out to play. Nothing earth shattering...which given the previous situation I wasn't really expecting, but came out with the 18th fastest time out of 113 girls just a little over a minute slower than the winner Amber Neben. And a little faster than last year. For the team there were three of us within 7 seconds of each other and all in a tightly packed group, so lots of room for climbing the GC.
Thankfully rolling off at 10:49 meant I got to avoid the worst of the heat for the day. The poor guys didn't start until around 12:30, when the temperatures were starting to hit over 90F. I still haven't quite got my conversions figured out, but it was ridiculously hot!!
I think I finally might bring aero bars next year.
The prologue heat was just prep for Friday's stage, Beaumont Road Race. Again we didn't get too killed by the heat until the last lap of three but there was still enough salt lines on everyone's clothing and face to show that the heat was taking it's toll. That and the way the race shattered over the last QOM. I made it over the top in the front group of 10 or so, and then people started re-grouping down the run in towards the finish. About 4km out Lea Davison (pro mtber for Specialized) rolled off the front and with everyone looking around, I decided to attack and bridge up to her. I got up to her, she took one more pull ...and then as she said after...she was maybe one matchstick too short. I got the gap up to about 16 seconds, but Colavita and HTC were definitely going for a sprint finish, and I got brought back with about 450m to go. Ohhhhh well. Vero was there for the sprint though, grabbing 9th, so all worked out decently.
We also got our new kits just in time for yesterday's race. So exciting! I'll have to try and find pictures.
We're heading out for a morning spin shortly and then we've got the ever exciting Crit. Crit's usually end up being the most spectator friendly and intensive racing and the Redlands' one definitely does NOT disappoint. The first year I did this race as a Junior I think I spent most of the race cross eye-ed from sprinting out of corner after corner after corner. There's 9 corners in 1 mil and an excessively long start/finish false flat straight. Should be an action packed 60 minutes. And I'm sure the guys - with 209 starters - will be even crazier! Always a good atmosphere in downtown Redlands for it. And then Sunday we get to hit the infamous Sunset circuit. Where things really go down. Someone was commenting the other day that it's all that really matters. If you can't hang on Sunset (aka your climbing legs aren't there that day) the time just balloons. I think it says something that you get a GC placing if you do 3 out of 9 laps. That is NOT normal for a road race.
Alright time to go have a snack and go spin the legs.