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Sunday, July 17, 2011
The Giro was our 5th race of BC Superweek which was down in the ‘colorful’ itialian part of Burnaby. I think all the girls were excited and a bit nervous going into the race because of how well we had all done in the past races. The course was wide open and at some points taking up three cars lanes, which made the corners very safe and fast to take. Each loop of the course was 1.85km, which is long for a crit almost like a circuit race.
The race was very aggressive from the start with lots of attacks from the other teams and Trek. We were all covering attacks and staying on every move. Five laps into the race one of the girls from Local Ride countered an attack of a team mate and I happened to be one her wheel at the time and went with her. We were able to get away and work together to get a big enough gap that some of the smaller teams wouldn’t have been able to chase us down. Now I don’t know how it was in the pack but what I heard from the girls is that they sat on everything well and kept the group together so that no one could bring us back. They also grabbed most of the primes from the other teams.
With 5 laps to go in the race I was getting a bit nervous I didn’t want the race to come down to a sprint, I had to make up my mind that I was going to attack the girl I was with on the next lap. So once the 4th lap rolled around, I waited till the right moment and then attack with everything that I had. I didn’t want to mess it up from the team so I was super relieved when I was able to get away and solo it in for the win.
The girls in the pack got ready for the group sprint with a third place still on the line. The sprint ended up going early and it worked out in our favor also. Karlee grab third place away from the other teams making two Trek girls on the podium for the second race in the row. The rest of the team finished strongly in the pack making a great showing of how we raced. So far the Trek girls have show that they are a very strong team and that others should watch out because we are on a roll!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We arrive in Banff with a monster of a rain storm on our tail which let us know what we could expect for weather for the rest of our week. The first race of the 3 day stage race was the Prologue which was a 1.5km sprint up hill. Having pre road the hill the day before at an easy pace a few of us thought there was still another curve in the road when the finished came up so fast. The Trek girls had a good race though with a few in the top ten and Kristine getting a 4th place just ones hundreds of second off the podium.
Our next race was the Lake Louise road race. We found out the night before that the race had been shortened both for men and the women. The reason for this, wolves! Apparently there was a pack of wolves living at the far turn around and the park didn’t want a bunch of bike racers in that area. I think it would have been good motivation to go fast and not get dropped and be left to the wolves. The race now was only 66km and was in the pouring rain with temperatures at 5 degree making at lot of the racers miserable. The Race was neither very hard nor easy, it sat somewhere in the middle with a couple attacks but nothing every sticking. In the end it came down to a sprint finish with Trek taking a strong second place finish.
We had two races the next day, the ITT and crit. We were very lucky that the rain decided to take a break and stay dry for our ITT in the morning. The course for the time trial is a very pretty with rolling hills around the base of the mountains. Most years there is always a bunch of wildlife on the course but this year we didn’t see any. All the girls on Trek had very strong TT, with all in the top ten and Kristine taken the second spot finish.
For the Crit the plan was to go off hard and drop as many riders as we could right off the bat. That was also the plan of one of the other teams there as well. So the pace was set very high right off the gun and half the field was blown away in the first half a lap and was whittled down to only 9 riders in the front group by the second lap. All the four Trek girls in that group of nine were holding their own. There were lots of attacks but no one could ever break away. It came down to another sprint and Trek managed to grab a spot on the podium with a third place finish.
Overall Trek had a great week of racing with three podium placing out of four races. As well as a third place and fourth place in the GC.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Well I think today deservers a blog post….Europe has slowly been breaking me down. First it was my water bottle cage, meh easy fix, no problem. Next was a crash in Flanders where I lost skin, messed up my shoulder, broke my shoe and cleat. Still an easy fix, skin heals, shoe can be fixed and cleats are meant to be broken. Next was a broken helmet, it only cost me an arm and leg as well as hefty visa bill. Last but not least I (well not me but another racer) broke my bike by landing on it. Snap not quiet an easy fix. So Europe you broke my stuff, my bike, my bank account and the cheesy thing would be to say that it didn’t break my spirit; but let’s face it, it kind of did today.
Only have another week to go in Europe and three races all in Germany, hopefully I will have a bike that fits and be back to working order by Friday.
Give me a day or two and I will bounce back. A bike is just a bike and money really does come from trees. This is just a short post today but it has all the exciting bits in it, hopefully more (positive) exciting thing to come in the week.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
So as our Canadian luck would have it (which there wasn’t much of to begin with) ran out hard core on our trip to Holland to race in a matter of days. As a few of you might know from reading a status or two on my facebook, every day we raced we put our life in our hand, or maybe just our body and bikes but still, point made!
We arrive after a longish drive across the vast European country side, it was really only 4 hours but who’s counting? We were glad to get out of the van and car to stretch are legs and were dying to get some food. After we got our race numbers we headed to find our “vacation house/ camping house”. After staying in France and seeing what they call camping (a back woods shed) I’m wasn’t too prepared for what we got. Our house was a modern two story condo style place, with leather furniture and mini flat screen TV. A full mini kitchen and when you got up stairs there was 11 beds! It really wasn't that big, I know you are thinking wow, 11 beds! If it had been a North American standard that would have been huge; In Europe that means bunk bed stacked three high with no wiggle room, fun times when you hit your head, arm or foot on the wall, guard rail or oddly place light….
Later that night we had supper put on by the race organizers, which was tasty by buffet standards. It was the ordinary pre race food that you would find at races, pasta, salad, veggies, some kind of meat or fish. Breakfast was very western European, with bread, cheese, ham, and more bread, different kind of bread and a variety of dried crunchy bread… oh and pasta and tomatoes sauce again.
The first stage was a 110km race that had two big loops of something like 46km’s and two small loops of 7km. Racing in Holland is very different from racing anywhere else because there is no hills, its dead pan flat. I’m not talking about Saskatchewan flat; that you can see you dog run away for 3 days. I’m mean like you can see your dog run away till he dies - in reality I mean no elevation what so ever. It is like someone took a rolling pin to the ground and said ‘hey I wonder if we can make this place even windier, oh look we just did’. This place has the wind of a jet engine, deep dish wheels are a big no no. I wish I had known that before…. Anywho the race started off with a bang, and the sound of carbon scrapping the ground. The sound happened three maybe four more times, actually lets be realist here it happened like nine or ten times to be truthful. The Canadians as our luck would have it didn’t manage to miss all the crashed nor be in front of them either. One of was girls went down later in the race in a big crash and broke she bike but she managed to come out with only a bit of road rash and bruises.
I ended up behind many of the crashes and crash-ies, having to unclip or off road it a bit and chase like a mad man or women (I’m not picky in which is used) back up to the bunch that was lucky enough to be in front of the crash. I off roaded it a couple times in the ditch to move up to the front of the pack because I was getting tired of the middle and not being able to move. But in doing so the European girls don’t like that a foreigner or maybe just a Canadian is in front of them. I got yelled at a couple times to move but I didn’t move so I got shoved a couple in the butt to move, oh well it wasn’t like I was going anywhere.
A few of the Canadian girls had great spots in the front of the pack and moved like champs to get up there, me, I’m still a bit more timid and still getting my feet wet on the whole cross wind, crazy packs, and narrow roads thing. I ended up getting a flat tire also in the race and burned a whole book of matches to catch back up. I caught back up and promptly got dropped - caught back on then a crash happened and I got caught behind it in usually fashion and had to chase with a bunch of girls to get back on. I ended up finishing in the third group I think placing 114th, yeah for me. No please don’t… I need to work on staying with the front of the group, I have a long way to go but I’m hoping in a couple years and more racing here under my belt I won’t have to be at the back because I’m a bit too nervous to take chances to move up. Two of the other girls on the team finished in the top 40 I think and the one positioning herself well within reach of the young rider’s jersey, sitting in 4th spot in line. The race was over in less than three hours, 2 hours and 50 minutes.
The second stage was a short road race of 80km that rolled along a 5 loop course through narrow towns and blinding open cross wind roads along a lake. We rolled up to the starting line 20 minutes early, wasn’t earlier enough to get a good spot on the line though, there was only about 120 other girls in front of us waiting. We were already at the back and the race hadn’t started yet. In the first two km there was 6 or 7 turned where the neural start pace went from 40km an hour to almost a painful half track stand around the corners. Moving up was not going to be an option for me this time. There was only two crashed this race maybe three. One of the girls went down in the crash but bounced back up like a champ and finished the race and placed very well (after the race we had thought that she broke her ribs, but luckily it was just a bad bruise). I got dropped on some nasty cross wind guttering and ended up in the second group. This group was chasing to get back on the peloton. We were down to 20 second off the back, one of the Canadian girls that was with me in the group made a bold move with a couple others to chase back on. I cracked because I didn’t eat or drink anything in the race and didn’t finished well.
Third stage I will make this short…We got to the start line 40 minutes a head of time and we still were not in the very front. Two crashed in the first 1km, Canada had one girl in it, she broke where collarbone and is now on her way home to get surgery. Another mashed her face up and broke teeth from the USA. I got dropped hard and so did almost half the pack in the first 10 km. But a couple American girls on the national team and an HTC rider hauled ass and dropped half of us that where hanging on for dear life in the gutter. My race ended here, before the first feed zone at 26km sad isn’t it…. A few of us rolled on the front, then the cops told the commissionaires to pull all 40 of us cause they didn’t wasn’t to hold up traffic every though we were not time cut yet.
There was only one lone Canadian left in the race for the fourth stage the next day which she did amazingly well.
Now we are all ready to race again; we are heading back to wonderful Holland for another five days. We will tough it out, we picked ourselves up and brushed it off and are ready for round two.
Yup that’s how we roll
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Europe so far has had its ups and downs over the week and a half that I have been here. I arrive in Belgium greeted with a surprise, sunny weather; warm sunny weather. I took my bike out for a spin later that day. I have glad to find that my bike had arrived in one piece but they did manage to break a strap on my helmet: how they manage to do that is beyond me it would have had to be creative though.
Being away from Belgium for awhile I had forgotten about the crazy winds and the rough roads that make you get lost so easily. I always seem to get turned around that I am going to other way then I thought I was. Lucky me that all I have to do is follow the wheel in front of me or get into a van when I have told when my sense of direction goes to shit.
Four days after arriving we had are first race, Tour of Flanders. It was my first world cup and I will have to say more nervous then I have ever been. But as my luck would have it I only lasted a short time in the race before I decided to become good friends with the pavement. I was making my way slowly up to the front of the pack and was about a third of the way there when I started to see a couple girls bounce off of each other. The girls started to go down in front of me and there was nowhere for me to go… shit shit was all I could think, and then I got run over. I smacked the pavement messing up my shoulder and knee a bit, little bit of road rash. I got back up and tried to chase back on but the pack was flying and there was no way that a single rider, this rider, was going to get her butt back on the pack. Plus I was hurting from my crash.
I got into the car and ended up watching the race from that back. :(
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Catch up is what I have been doing for the past few weeks since I have returned home from Tucson. The last month in Tucson flew by with training, power tests, birthdays, a race and general randomness from everyone. The last couple days were spent cleaning and packing and cramming in the last bit of training before we all headed back to the cold and nasty weather of the places we called home.
The drive back home was a long and uneventful, we ended up following my moody GPS and making is back to Canada 6 hours faster than the drive down. It felt like we drove up hill the hold way back to Canada, which is kinda funny since it felt like the opposite one the way down. Who know if you drive North you are really going uphill haha.
Since I have been home I have been sick with a cold and cant seen to shake it at all…. It hangs over my head like a little annoying fly and just when I think I have killed it, it comes back and I feel the tickle in my throat is still there. Then whole time that I was in Tucson I didn’t get sick at all and now that I got home it has caught up to me and making me pay.
Training at home suck, I hate riding on the trainer or roller which makes work out go so slowly, I’m looking at the clock every 5 seconds and it is the longest 5 seconds of my life that I wish I could be rid of. I miss riding outside in the sun shine in shorts and jerseys. I haven’t got riding outside once since I have gotten home, I have turned soft. I fully admit that I am soft and quite proud of it, training in the sun made me fast too; Faster than I would have been if I stayed at home and toughed it out in the cold and on trainers. I am not motivated to go to the gym like I was before I left; I now find it tedious and boring.
I will be leaving to Europe with the National team in about a week and I am super excited to be going again. I will be gone for about 5 weeks and have a full racing schedule of UCI races and a couple World Cups… If that doesn’t get me into racing form I don’t know what will. I will be sure to update how it is going.
Once I get back from Europe that first things that I probably will do is sleep for a couple days, then do laundry and start packing again. I will be moving out to Vancouver for the rest of the summer to race in Trek Red Truck. I’m hoping to be in amazing form by then and injury free.