Friday, June 29, 2007

Joy in Minnesota

I think we had hoped this would be a breakthrough for team racing, given our strong roster of Mandy, Kathleen, Andrea, Rebecca, and new riders Arielle Filiberti and Yarden Gollan. It turned out a bit differently – Mandy couldn’t race, Yarden crashed out on the first day, and Arielle and Kathleen crashed into each other on day two, badly bruising four knees and breaking one fork and resulting in Kathleen dropping out of the race on the last day. The race turned out to be rather negative, with the strongest teams preferring to wait for selective terrain rather than go on the attack. It was largely determined on the basis of a time trial, time bonuses, and extremely steep uphills. A small team like ours wasn’t in a position to dictate the course of the race. And so we followed. It was the first time in a while I’ve ridden for gc, because on the big teams you get used to valuing podiums above all else, of not caring about top 10 or top 20. It was probably a good experience for me, forcing patience. And you know, it was pretty fun! I dug deep up those steep hills and did ok. Exacted some revenge on the Stillwater course, the only bike race I’ve ever dropped out of, as I finished just off the main (whittled) group. I would up 16th on gc, Robin 19th. Rebecca and Arielle are improving to past form quickly, in that tricky stage where one needs to be patient and just believe that the fitness will return, and it will. Andrea finished the race, a major accomplishment after Montreal WC, Montreal Stage Race, and PEI. She needs a rest! Next up, Fitchburg!

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