Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge

2 Sep

     

PINK BOW!!!! Made it very easy for my fans to pick me out. I think I might make it my trademark. What do you think?

This race started the day before, hydrating, eating enough, riding to open up my legs so they were not in terrible shock the next day, making sure my bike was functioning correctly, and resting. That day I felt so good on my ride, the altitude didn’t seem like it was going to effect me too badly. I ate dinner and headed to bed early.

6:15 wake up, eat, fill bottles…7:00 out the door. The drive from Edwards to Aspen took about an hour and a half, but felt like 4 hrs to me. Driving into Aspen, my nerves started to get to me (when I get nervous, I sing, or if I am in front of people, I listen to music and pretend I am singing). I met up with my team at my friend Abby Mickey’s house, and enjoyed  a relatively low-key 2 hours.

Numbers pinned and music plugged in, we headed out for our warm up. I knew I needed a really good warm up so we all began riding up independence pass. As we rode, my teammate Margell and I decided that we would probably not make it up it that side of the climb because we were struggling to keep our cadence up in our 11-26, on the flattest part of that climb. #oops

We finished our warm up and headed into town. A half hour flew by and before I knew it we were lining up at the start.

This is was a National Racing Calendar criterium, so we knew it was going to be fast off the start line, and it was. There was no letting up in this race. Within the first 5 min the first attack came, just like it should. It was a pretty large group of girls that got away, with mainly all the teams represented, so the peloton just sat for a bit. The first sprint point came at 15 min, and the girls got anxious, so we began to reel them back. Oddly, to me, I was at the front of the peloton when the girls started attacking to bring the break back, so I just went with them, it was very fun. I think after those few attacks I was fairly tired, so I drifted back and the rest of the race was a pretty much just me hanging on, and trying to stay up front.

The next thing I knew it was 3 laps to go. I was a little further back than where I would’ve like to be, so I moved up quickly. I had my eye out for some of the other young riders and tried to keep close to them. By the last lap I was in about 15-20th place going into the first corner. My coach, and amazing sprinter, Cari Higgins, thought she was going to be a trackie (a.k.a track racer) and pedal through the corner like she does in track races, but she clipped her pedal (fortunately she didn’t go down). This broke up the girls behind her quite a bit, luckily I was inside of her and didn’t get caught.

The end was a little anti-climatic because I couldn’t find anyone to draft off of coming into the last corner so I just sprinted for a top 10 position. There was nothing left in my legs and I died with 100 meters to go. I finished 12th and was the 6th best young rider.

It was an amazing experience, and I hope I will continue to race at that level.

Amazing, fun, strong women of the Natural Grocers Women’s team

Next up THF Realty Gateway Cup in St. Louis….update coming soon!!!

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