Stage 1: Smith Rock Road Race. Distance: 71.2 miles
Profile: Mainly flat to rolling with one significant climb (QOM) and 2 sprint lines. Long rolling 10 mile straight finish. Favors the sprinters and the strong of heart.
We met this morning and drove up to the race site. Our bikes were beautifully clean, and had some spectacular HED Stingers on them. We were going to go fast. Being the first stage of 6 stages, we wanted to be cautious in the beginning. WIth lots of activity in the middle of the race (Queen of the Mountain–QOM, and 2 sprint lines), we needed to watch these pan out, and then make our move. The race was pretty calm with a lot of build-up around the sprint line. We aren’t going for a sprinters jersey. The QOM was a nice little climb, felt good to open the legs a little bit. Then we hit the second sprint line, and that caused a little chaos for a while. Finally. Game on. Time to race our bikes. We started the attacks. Shredded the field. Attacks and Counterattacks. We were on fire. Yet, with all the efforts, we were still mostly together with 10k to go. We tried to organize a lead out, and everyone was jockeying for position. It was narly out there. Elbows, hips, gutters…the lead out trains were trying to assemble. An attack went off the front, we were somewhat neutralized for an ambulance…and it was each to their own. Jo ended up 5th, and Kat in the top 10. It was a rough end to a planned race. Tomorrow will be a new day.
I did notice the heat today. It was about 105 degrees, and my legs started to feel the hydration deficiency. I had to go back to the car to get a feed. That actually was my first time doing that, and it was pretty comical. I will have to get better. Jeff is trying to give me the bottle, and Steve is yelling at me to throw the bottle in the car. I was trying to hand him the bottle. “Ali, just relax…throw the bottle in the car…throw it…um..throw it now. Good.” “Grab the bottle…hold on to it for just a second…” Wow. That was stressful. I will need to work on this again. Thanks for the patience today.
I am glad to get the nerves out after my first big road race here. I am not gonna lie, I was nervous. I worked on position, and I worked on moving around in the peloton. It wasn’t a bad day at the office today. Bend is beautiful.