Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The final 2009 race reports part 2: Reston

Reston: MAC championships. 3/4 Women's field with all the strong contenders for the Cat 3 series title.  Snow.

Yes, Snow.  There was no snow where I was in Vermont 4 days before this race, but there was snow Saturday.  Oh, wait, did I say snow?  Because I actually meant mud.  There was snow early and even some scenic snow late.  I even toyed with the idea of racing the 9 am race.  But the ice scared me into spectating with Jess.  By our race, it was muddy.  Maybe not the muddiest of our season, but close.

For whatever reason they started all the women at once.  There isn't a better way to annoy us, even if you did do the callups right.  It means we can't tell at all which field is where or meter our race efforts accordingly.  LH was getting hot and bothered about this.  In the end, it worked out to her advantage - she had a great start and got away early for the win.

I was just out for fun.  I started behind a Baltimore-based C3 elite rider who normally starts well, but had ice frozen in her cleat - so it was a bit slower than normal.  By the time we hit the first little muddy off camber uphill mess, fellow LSVer Julia and some other Cat 4's were in the mix.  I rode a clean line through there and got some space.  Soon we were into the barriers, down through the sweeping off camber muddy section, past the pits to a run/ride up.  That first lap I rode it.  I was pretty psyched about that.  Across the dam - not as windy this year but sketchier because there was still ice on everything but the far right hand line (I found that out the hard way during pre-rides).  Up to the runup that I crashed at the bottom of last year after my first hole shot ever.

I was feeling good on the bike.  The slippery downhill and off camber sections were rolling.  The deep, thick mud after pavement transition was scary, but better at speed than in my pre-rides.  I chose the mud puddles when I could - ground underneath was solid somewhere down there.  Because so many turns had a mud-generated speed limit, rest was good.  Attacking the uphills and the flats was important.  Eventually a few cat 4's came by me, but I was carefree - having a great time on the bike.  Crossy, who is normally way ahead of me, passed and I hung on, but couldn't quite catch her on the bell lap of my season. 

I finished a surprising 5th.  For a day when I was really just out to have fun, I pulled together a mistake-free race on a technical course that played to my strengths.  I beat some ladies that had been spanking me around lately.   I took my head out of the game.  Even with small fields, my previous best MAC finish was 11th, so this counts as ending the season on a high note.  The trusty Bianchi survived the mud.  The kit... well, lets just say whoever thought white panels was a good idea hopefully likes a bit of the subtle dalmatian look.

Click through for pictures this time!

No comments:

Post a Comment