Stage 2: Three Creek Road Race, 81.2 Miles… From Bend up to the Three Creeks Sno Park towards the top of the Three Sisters (do not confuse these with the little rollers in Marin we so fondly refer to as the “Seven Sisters”.
The Three Sisters are volcanic peaks located in Oregon, and they each exceed 10,000 feet. Their names are Faith, Hope, and Charity. I don’t know which one is which, but they loom in the distance as we wind around the countryside in the high desert, along a flat to rolling terrain.
The race contained 3 “Hot Spots”. 2 Sprint lines, and 1 QOM (Queen of the Mountain). The final 10 miles was climb up to Three Creeks Sno Park. If it is a Sno Park, you can assume it is a climb, and you can assume is is high up. You climb about 2000 feet in about 10 miles. That is a real climb.
Our game plan, to race, but to race smart, and possibly after the “Hot Spots”. We started a vicious line of attacks, nothing was really sticking. Yet. As our team director said, “That was a nice exchange, ladies”. That’s really what it was like. A little combat, a little exchange, just to see who was willing to put up a fight. Apparently they were willing. For now. Finally a break launched up the road. It contained AFR and then a representative from each major team. You could refer to this as a “neutral” break. No one was really going to chase it, but it might not last until the finish.
We started the climb, and the peloton shatters. We are gaining on the break. Attacks begin as the climbers try to scare everyone with their accelerations up the inclines. We hang on, and AFR is the only rider from the break to not get caught by the peloton…She finishes 5th, Kat finishes 6th…Julie 8th, Mer 11th, Me 16th. Not bad, but no win.
I learned that you should not be scared by the random accelerations that climbers do. They do that to get you out of your rhythm..but really, if you stay and find your “happy place”, often you will reel them in. Which is what I did. However, next time, you find that although the accelerations hurt, they hurt everyone as well. The tempo will not last that way the entire time. Hurt for a little bit, and then you can sustain back to yoru comfort zone. It will be worth it. Next time.
Tomorrow, the TT. Sweet. I get to ride my new Look 596. She is sexy.
Did I mention that I have a new best friend? She is beautiful. She is slim, with a subtly sexy curvy figure, and she is one class act. She is the new Look 596 with that famously fashionable light blue paint scheme. She is my love at the moment. I not only get to race her at Cascade, but also in the Nationals Time Trial next week, and then in two stages at La Route de France. She is a show stealer. If you want to keep your man’s attention, be sure to avoid walking by this beauty. I just hope I can do her right. She deserves the best, and deserves to go fast. Here is to her.