There is no such thing as a “free lap”…

Well, I honestly didn’t want to write about this, but I guess I should.

I will begin with saying that the Tour de Nez is an incredible race.  Each venue was unique with amazing fans, good food, positive energy, and plenty of parties after the races.  It was an awesome experience to be a part of this race.  Tim Healion (race promoter) did a superb job organizing this race and including the stages for the women this year.  You better believe that I will return next year!

The final stage was held at Northstar, Tahoe.  How cool is that?  The circuit race was a 1.1 mile loop that started in the village, on the cobblestones, blasted out into the turnabout, and then up a hill (about 1k long) looping back into the village after a steep incline onto the cobbles.  The streets were lined and the energy was high.  You gotta love it. 

AFR was first in the omnium, so we just needed to make sure that she held her position, and finished high.  A break could happen, we just needed to make sure no one who was in omnium contention was represented in the break.  Aggressive racing was the plan, but also the freedom to be in a break and work the break if it was a good selection.  We started the race and Jerika dictated at the front.  It was awesome to see her bridge the gap to an unsatisfactory break…and jump onto attacks.  It was a killer effort by JH.  AFR kept good position.  The race was fast and the hill caused a selection of about 10 riders. AFR and JH were present.

I struggled at first with some mechanical issues, and was forced to get some adjustments.  There was a slight misunderstanding on the rules of the race, and when re-entering the race, I was put towards the back of the strung out peloton.  I chased solo up to the lead break for 2 laps, and attacked the break.  With the attack, I was able to solo the last 4 laps of the circuit race.  However, there was no “free lap” rule in effect, therefore, even though I crossed the line first, I was relegated to a lap behind.  I was more embarassed then anything else.  AFR took the win, which is awesome.  Not only did she win 2 of the stage of the TdN, she won the overall.  I was so satisfied in this, I was not looking for a personal win at all.  I was supposed to attack the break, and our race had gone according to our team plan.  I was thrilled for the Team TIBCO success.  Not at a bad day at the office at all.

Through this experience, I learned that paying attention to the specific rules is always important, and bike racing will be bike racing.  A slight technicality may have cost me a podium, but it didn’t matter because AFR was there to take the stage win as well as the omnium.  I am so proud of the way she raced, and took control of the situation.  This whole race was such a great experience for me to continue to build on my experience, not take “free laps” for granted, and once again, humble you like bike racing always seems to do.  Just when you think you got it covered, it throws another hairpin corner at you, and you are stuck trying to find the right line to follow.

Thank you for understanding. 

There may be no such things as a free lunch, or a free lap, but I will return to the mighty mighty Tour de Nez, and I will take on that Northstar Circuit Race once again.  I know I can attack that course, free lap or not.  I would never want to take it unjustly, so there is always next year.  Team TIBCO will be at Burlingame Criterium on Sunday in full force, if you are in the area and want to check it out…

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