Monday, June 22, 2009

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah

Before I get to explaining this title, on behalf of all of us in the VKVB Cycling Club, our wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Maria & Brenna! We hope you both heal up very soon & are back on your bikes in short order! Take care!

Not easy to segue but here goes...

El Cap's on fuego & she’s serving up some smokin’ course records! Yep, our Cook came through once again yesterday setting another record at the Virginia State Championship Time Trial (with an official time of 59:03)!! The fact that she’s breaking so many records is impressive unto itself but to recognize that these records were all set by her last year brings another level of “hot damn” to this accomplishment. WAY TO GO, CHEETAH!! We’re all very proud of you! By setting these PR’s & CR’s, you’re also setting an example of what can be achieved by women in cycling!

I can attest that it was a windy one out there yesterday – seemed as though it was coming from every direction at some point on the course. As has been noted though, it’s an added element that everyone has to endure so at least the playing field is fair….fairly hard, that is, unless it’s a tail wind! A thanks to all who helped to successfully put the race on - most especially whoever marked up the bridge, which undoubtedly saved alot of racers from bike and/or body damage. This was my first time at this event & I look forward to doing it again next year (of course, that’s a lot easier to say now that it’s done). I was happy with my time & got a win in the Cat 4 category.

The day before, Rob and I headed up to Richmond for the Cat 4 State Championship Crit. It wasn’t easy getting up at the crack to make the trip but once I stepped out into the oven (promise, last time I'll do the Dinah reference) from the a/c of the truck, I was all too happy to have the race starting at 8:55 a.m. Turned out to be the most challenging & exciting crits I’ve done so far this year. Right off the bat, one girl broke away & no one gave chase (myself included). In the handful of prior crits I’ve been in, that move would have prompted me to go after her but I thought that there may be some other strategy at play. As we lapped the course a few times with no attempts by her teammates to break & no time being made up between the pack of us and her, I realized quickly that I had erred in my judgment. From then on, I knew if there was any shot at getting closer, I would have to pick up the pace. Slowly (much more slowly than preferred), the time gap being shouted out got smaller but it was still about a 40+ second split. Then, her teammate unfortunately wrecked around the 180 turn. This changed the course of action though by allowing a couple of other girls and me to separate from the pack (as she had been doing a standout job of keeping us all together). We managed to make the break which then led to us trying to catch up. With 5 laps or so to go, there was potential but it wasn’t an easy task by any means. She was obviously a strong rider who knew what she needed to do. I felt like I had worked hard to narrow her lead so I tried to keep pushing & stay focused. At some point along the way, I ended up on my own. Finally, with 2 laps remaining I caught up to her. We traded places until the last lap and then once we rounded that 180 turn for the downhill straightaway to the uphill finish, the final push was on. In the end, I managed to cross the line about a wheel’s length ahead of her & I was all but spent!

Once again, I'm stoked to have been a part of another good weekend of racing. It seems to me that we may not have the quantity that most of us would like out there giving it a go, but based on everyone whom I've met, there's no question about the quality of racers on and off the course!

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