Monday, August 31, 2009
Photos by Velogrrl.
After a little deliberation, I headed to the WORS race in GB instead of the Palos Meltdown. Ripping 35 or so miles a few weeks out from the Cheq 40 seemed like the right thing to do. I was also excited for what is essentially a road race on the mountain bike with some single track to boot.
The start was the typcial frenetic pace for the holeshot to the singletrack. I felt decent, but I didn't put the hammer down hard enough (unfortunately it seems like I've lost a little on the flats compared to earlier in the season.) and someone who is much slower in singletrack slipped in ahead of me. That is all it took to create a gap...once we went from leadout to singletrack back to double track, the top 8 women were gone. The remaining 6 of us were left in the dust.....left to duke out the remaining 30 plus miles. In retrospect that is where the biggest mistake was made....I should have at all costs threw it down harder on the lead out. Losing the drafting train on this course pretty much equals game over.
So I spent the next few miles blowing myself up trying to be the "front of the back". Once I accomplished that mission, Regina showed up and we were off. At a certain point in the first lap she was ahead of me and tearing my legs off. But I made myself stick on her wheel at all costs. My legs were on fire and my back was in some serious pain. I debated packing it in, but my seatpost had slipped as the race continued which eased the pressure on my back. The comp men started to pass us about half way into lap 1. The King of WORS made his way past me and then took down Regina just in front of me. I picked my jaw up off my top tube, thought "Holy Shit!" and cruised around the carnage. Luckily everyone was ok.
Regina caught back up with me and we rode lap 2 and most of lap 3 together. The back and forth was a total ass beater.....I kept trying to rip the singletrack as fast as possible, but there was no shaking her. On the home stretch in the third lap, Regina disappeared. A comp rider informed me that she had dropped her chain. What a total bummer and not the way I wanted it to end. A sprint finish after 35 miles would have been super sweet. So I just threw it down with everything I had and rolled in 9th for the day. Definitely a decent finish, but also a little disappointing as I can't seem to turn the pedals any faster to move my way up the Elite womens' food chain. I fully realize that Rome wasn't built in a day, but a podium finish would be really, really nice. On a positive note, I did ride the singletrack well. It's not the most technical, but you gotta take the small victories when they come your way.
Also mad props to Lori S. Winning the overall and beating Rebecca C. on her home trails is a huge freaking accomplishment.