Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tour of Catskills

Now this is an unreal stage race 3 stages.  Stage 1 19k time trial, stage 2 105k road race including devils kitchen climb and stage 3 95k road race.   

I cannot believe how smooth the time trial course was it was unreal.  I’ve never been on a smoother course ever.  We were on 1min start gaps between riders.  Now since I have left it so long I can’t remember if I pasted riders on the way out but I know I passed riders on the way back.  At one point I was playing a back and forth game between another rider we were so close and on this course we couldn’t go outside of the white on the shoulder of the road or we could get disqualified.  The rule made sense cause of the traffic on the road.  So finally the last time I was behind this one particular ride she said not to draft her and I wasn’t trying to because I know the rules about drafting.  So the fire got lite under my butt but I guess it wasn't enough of a fire at the end of the day I was in 5th place only 5s out of 3rd place and couldn’t believe it.

The next day I wasn’t really looking forward to stage 2 because of the devils kitchen climb just not knowing the climb was killing me.  I almost got dropped a couple of times out of the main group at the beginning of the race but worked really hard to get back into back of the group.  I played it smart in this race I didn’t stay at the front for very long when I pulled.  I do believe the switch in my head went off at the provincial road about the amount of work I did in the race and controlling myself which was perfect timing.  So back to stage 2 and devils kitchen.  I have never ridden/raced up a hill like this in my short little racing career.  WOW. It was funny when I turned the corner and saw this hill it was like holy crap you want me to go up this how the hell am I going to do this??? Had to definitely mailbox up this hill, which means I had to criss cross on the road to cut the steepness down but atlas I had to at one point get off my bike because I just couldn’t breathe.  So once I got my breath back and was able to find a somewhat flat part of the road I got back on my bike and started going again.  At some point of the climb I was pulling so hard on the handlebars that my shoulders were slightly coming out of place and yup I was definitely using muscles climbing up this hill that I have never used before.  Once I final got over this climb I thought for sure I was going to get a decent down hill nope I was not so lucky.  More rollers and some roads that was still slight going up sheesh but I finally found the finish line on this stage and went over if.  The weather pretty much waited till the last few ks to start raining, which I was very happy about.  So that was stage 2 of 3.  Finished 8th in the stage and slid back to 6th place in the GC.

Sunday was another road race that started and finished at a ski lodge of course now I can’t remember the name of the place but very nice location.  Started this stage with 26 women from the 30 that we originally started with on stage 1.  I do have to say being in the top 10 of a stage race is pretty neat because each stage you’re in the top 10 you get a call up at the beginning of that stage freaking cool.  So we were off and running into the last stage.  It was feeling more like a group ride at the beginning, which was nice because I think everybody was pretty baked from stage 2 race I know I was.  The race profile kinda lied a little bit about this stage cause with looking at it it didn’t look that rolly but oh my gosh there were no really flat parts on this race.  The road was either going up or going down and it felt like every corner we turned went towards another hill.  The group was pretty much stayed together until we got into some super rollers and of course the one time that I was not close to the front of the race was when 3 girls just rode off the front of the race and were gone.  I was pissed with myself about that but what can you do I wasn’t in the right spot this time.  So as the rollers continued a long the course the group kept on getting smaller then it was just 2 other girls and me.  This change up happened after the 2nd kom and after another major steep climb on a road called airport road.  This climb was similar to the devils kitchen steepness but this time I did not get off of my bike to walk I made sure that I did the mailboxing going up the climb and got myself to the top and was able to pass a couple girls because they were walking a portion of the climb.  That was a huge boost to my confidence for climbing and being able to get up that hill.  So the other 2 girls caught up with me and continued to share pulls on the front but when we were going down the descents I was getting down them at a faster speed then the others but they would catch me on the up hills.  I was hoping I wasn’t driving them crazy with that but it’s just how it played out.   Now we were finally getting on to roads that I was recognizing so I knew the finish was coming which I was extremely happy about…On the final stretch of road into the ski place we were still sharing the load of being on the front and then once we got into the parking lot it was on…And since I have such a great sprint lol especially going up a slight hill I rolled over the finish line from the group of 3 last.  Overall I was extremely happy about my performance for this race.  It was great racing with girls that I was competitive with and that I was not out classed completely.  Final finishing was 8th place on the last stage and 6th in GC.

At this point I can’t wait til Green Mountain Stage Race which now is only 5 days til the first stage.

to be continued again I know...

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